Lycra wars have broken out in Rangiora over customers wearing spandex at The Plough Hotel, while nearby cafes have welcomed a cyclist boom.

Mike Saunders, owner of The Plough Hotel, is banning lycra as the hotel introduces its new breakfast menu and has stuck by his ban on lycra-visible “private parts”, displaying “no lycra shorts allowed please” on a chalkboard outside his establishment.

The ban has made headlines around the world, generating both positive and negative response from as far away as Denmark.

Further along High Street, a different sign has gone up in response to the ban, one which invites lycra wearing cyclists.

Elisa Leach, owner of Fools of Desire café, said cyclists felt alienated by The Plough Hotel’s ban.

She was happy to welcome lycra into her health-orientated café, posting her “love lycra” sign outside in response.

“You know what, when I see lycra I don’t see those private parts, I actually see a fit person doing a great thing for their body.”

Leach said the response has been “really positive”.

Ian Riach, owner of Coffee Worx on Blackett Street, also has no problem with lycra in his café and said the ban was ridiculous.

Saunders has had an “interesting” lycra-free week at The Plough Hotel.

Staff had served one lycra-wearing customer, but they did point out the ban. Customers needed a chance to get used to the new policy, he said.

Despite what the critics thought, banning lycra was not about banning cyclists, Saunders said. It was a matter of setting appropriate standards of dress.

“It’s not a sexist thing either, it’s innies and outies that we don’t want to see.”

Saunders said customers were happy not to see “the definition of private parts” around meal times.

“You shouldn’t really have to avert your eyes when you’re out having breakfast.”