Should you buy a skinsuit?

Admit it, you thought the first dude to rock up at your club crit in a skinsuit was a total flog. You scoffed. You rolled your eyes. You might have even mocked them behind their back. Then more started showing up. You saw them in pro racing. Suddenly you’re asking yourself; should I buy a skinsuit?

Words - James Raison      Images - Lana Adams and Nick Squillari


Reasons you should

Yeah dude, it’s aero AF

Skinsuits give a performance advantage because they reduce wind resistance. How? They give the nasty air less to grab onto and slow you down. I know, I know, you’re a cynic. You’ve read too many press releases with arbitrary drag, stiffness, compliance, etc, numbers and you just feel like it sounds silly. 

BUT you can feel it when you’re riding. I never realised how much my clothing dragged until I had a skinsuit. There was no flapping, rippling, or noticeable drag the first time I rode in my Castelli Speed Suit. It's free speed too! The faster I went, the more I noticed it. Especially on descents.

Want to be more aero? Buy a skinsuit.

 You can even race cross in a skinsuit! Photo by Lana Adams

You can even race cross in a skinsuit! Photo by Lana Adams

It’s comfier than a freshly made bed

Seriously. A lot of people don’t believe me when I say that skinsuits are comfortable. The pressure that bib straps usually focus on your shoulders is spread thinly over your upper body. You climb into it like it’s a wetsuit, shimmy around a bit, and you’re good to go. 

I tested my Spin Cycle skin suit on a 350 km ride recently and it was awesome. I was in the saddle for 13 hours. All day comfort indeed.

Peeing has never been easier

For the fellas, it’s also easier to take natural breaks. Again, without the shoulder straps of normal knicks the waist band is much easier to pull down at the front. No more fighting, no more popping stitches on your bib straps, and no more hunching in the bushes by the side of the road. This has been confirmed by the peer reviewed studies carried out by Dr. I. P. Freely. 

So pro

There aren’t many things more pro than a skinsuit. Those lean, chiseled, and muscular athletes just look imposing. Fast too You too could look that awesome.* 

*but you probably won't...

Plus, if you look like this, then it's your civic duty to get around in a skinsuit:

 Photo and physique by Nick Squillari (@n_squillari)

Photo and physique by Nick Squillari (@n_squillari)

Why you shouldn’t get a skinsuit

Less storage

All that tightness makes 3-pocket skinsuits hard to find.

Most skinsuits are getting made with 2 pockets on the back. They're a little wider than a standard jersey pocket, but you've still lost carrying capacity overall. So if you're a Melbourne hipster who rides with all your tools, phone, wallet, food, and a serve of smashed avocado in your pocket, then it's going to be a struggle to fit.

 The narrower rear panel leaves less space for pockets. Photo by Lana Adams

The narrower rear panel leaves less space for pockets. Photo by Lana Adams

It can be unflattering

There’s no escaping that skinsuits will find every bump, bulge, and fold on your body, then shine a spotlight on it. So if you’re more Michelin man than Peter Sagan (swoon), then maybe regular kit is still best. 

But hey, we're cyclists. We already wear strange and tight clothes. Is a skinsuit really that weird?

Asymmetry

Are you some sort of weird upside-down pear shaped person? XL on the top and medium on the bottom? Maybe, like me, you're more of a bowling pin and have been neglecting your upper body your entire life and have leg day every single day.

Finding s skinsuit is going to be awfully hard for you. Most of them tend to just match sizes between top and bottom. So if you’re a but asymmetrical or unbalanced then regular kit might be best. Or look at custom. We know Spin Cycle Clothing have a mindboggling array of options for custom. Head to the Spin Cycle Clothing website for more info.

Disclosure statement: All the skinsuits in the article are from Spin Cycle Clothing. They do quite a lot of custom skinsuits. Check out the Spin Cycle Clothing website for more info. This was not a paid article, we just had heaps of photos of Spin Cycle stuff!