Halfords has rushed the Victoria Pendleton range of bikes into stores, almost a month earlier than planned. The rush is to capitalise on what Halfords calls the "midwife effect": TV show 'Call the midwife' featured actress Miranda Hart on a classic sit-up-and-scan bike.
A photoshoot of Pendleton and 'her' bikes was promoted on Twitter and went viral. This led to a "record number of pre-orders" for the bikes, said a statement from Halfords.
Pendleton said: "I wanted to help create a bike that you could just jump on to go down to the shops or the park without having to change into cycling kit. Most women don't want to squeeze into Lycra before they get on a bike and I am pleased to say you can definitely wear a dress to ride these cycles."
Halfords' Clare Standage said: “We are not surprised by the demand for the Victoria Pendleton range. There is certain elegance about the traditional lines of a classic bike and it seems that the trend-setters are moving away from the macho, sporty look and going for a more relaxed everyday style which is perfectly epitomised by these bikes."