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Old 08-03-03, 08:15 PM   #1
Aerow
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Do you wear a skin suit in a road race?

I just got a spiffy new skin suit, but I don't know when I'm going to wear it. There aren't too many time trials in my area. What about road races. Anyone wear a skin suit during a road race or crit?
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Old 08-03-03, 08:29 PM   #2
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People might tease ya and call you Lance or Jan. You'd look kinda outta place but who cares what they think.
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Old 08-04-03, 04:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aerow
Anyone wear a skin suit during a road race or crit?
Not that I know of. If you are riding in a group, there will be little benefit from a skinsuit.
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Old 08-04-03, 06:56 AM   #4
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Wear it in your race and make sure someone takes a picture of you, then send it to me!

What does the skin suit look like?

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Old 08-04-03, 08:43 AM   #5
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Please don't say that it's yellow!
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Old 08-04-03, 09:54 PM   #6
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It's standard fare for a rider to wear a skin suit in a Crit, but not in a road race.
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Old 08-05-03, 04:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Laggard
Please don't say that it's yellow!
...uhm....why would you say that?
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Old 08-05-03, 11:12 AM   #8
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Hi Aerow-

Funny you should ask about skin suits. The last edition of the RoadBikeRide.com issue published by Ed Pavelka and Fred Matheny talked about skin suits:

Quote:
Try This for Your Next Ride

Convert your road bike into a time trial machine.

Your club's time trial championship is approaching and you
want to go fast. You've ridden previous time trials on your
regular road bike. Now you'd like to have an extra edge to
help you do your very best.

Here's how:

---Lower the handlebar and install aero bars. Your back
should be almost horizontal when you're on the elbow rests.
Adjust their width so your arms are in line with your
thighs,
not out to the side where they widen your frontal area and
catch more wind.

---Move the saddle forward about 1 cm. This opens the
angle formed by your hips and chest for greater comfort and
easier breathing in the aero position.

---Refine your position on the trainer with a mirror or
video
camera. Do it from the front and side. You want to see a
compact shape with a flat back and no protruding body parts.

---Install a narrow front tire. The front wheel is the first
thing that the wind "sees." Switching from a 700x23C tire
to a 20C helps you slice the air a bit better.

---Take off bottle cages. You won't need a drink during a
typical 10-mile club TT. Wind resistance from cages is
negligible, but the bike looks leaner and meaner without
them so you'll feel faster.

---Crumple your number. When you get your race number,
wad it into a ball. Then flatten it and pin it so it doesn't
scoop air. Crumpling helps the number lie flatter against
your body.

If you're really serious about this and future time trials:

---Invest in a skinsuit. A one-piece time trialing suit is
significantly more aerodynamic than shorts and a jersey.
When it fits properly (snugly), there won't be wrinkles,
folds or flapping material that catches the wind. Wearing a
skinsuit is a psychological boost, too.


---Invest in aerodynamic wheels. They can save
substantial time compared to conventional 32- or 36-spoke
wheels.

Tip: After your bike has been modified for time trialing,
do at least four interval sessions or hard rides to dial in
your position. Get the hang of how the bike handles,
especially when cornering on aero bars. Be cautious!
I highlighted the part about the skin suits. Hope that helps.

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Old 08-05-03, 11:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aerow
...uhm....why would you say that?
'Cause you'd look like you thought you were leading the TDF.
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Old 08-05-03, 11:37 AM   #10
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On the list above a few changes/modifications.

The difference between a 20 and 23 tire is going to be measured in 1-2 seconds over a 40k TT, do you want to risk the pinch flat (unless you can change your tire that fast )

Latest aero studies have shown that a water bottle/cage setup on the bar is faster than not having one (but again, maybe a few seconds over a fast 40k)

An Aero bar is going to make one of the biggest differences.

The skinsuit is only beneficial if it lives up to it's name and is skin tight all the way around, considering most come in 3-4-5 sizes that may be hard to do.

A lenticular disc and a Hed 3-spoke wheel is the fastest combo around right now (and still be controllable).

What this has to do with wearing a skin suit at a road race? I dunno. My advice, wear one if you are fast. If not you're probably going to take some ribbing from the guys who beat you, or wear one so you can take a pic to make Koffee happy .

Andrew
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Old 08-05-03, 11:50 AM   #11
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http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...797&Store=Bike

Here is the skinsuit that I got. It was a gift. It was inexpensive.

Just not sure what to wear it for. There are not enough time trials around my area (Nashville, TN) to wear it on, and I have a TYR triathlon racing suit for the triathlons that I do... so, hence my original question.

I guess I could also wear it during training runs and group rides if I can handle the kidding!
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Old 08-05-03, 12:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ajay213
On the list above a few changes/modifications.

The difference between a 20 and 23 tire is going to be measured in 1-2 seconds over a 40k TT, do you want to risk the pinch flat (unless you can change your tire that fast )

Latest aero studies have shown that a water bottle/cage setup on the bar is faster than not having one (but again, maybe a few seconds over a fast 40k)

An Aero bar is going to make one of the biggest differences.

The skinsuit is only beneficial if it lives up to it's name and is skin tight all the way around, considering most come in 3-4-5 sizes that may be hard to do.

A lenticular disc and a Hed 3-spoke wheel is the fastest combo around right now (and still be controllable).

What this has to do with wearing a skin suit at a road race? I dunno. My advice, wear one if you are fast. If not you're probably going to take some ribbing from the guys who beat you, or wear one so you can take a pic to make Koffee happy .

Andrew
Every little bit mentioned in the article helps to decrease your time. I think for the more serious racer who's looking to shave time wherever they can, this would be beneficial for them. So a pinch flat is worth the risk to get that extra 1- 2 seconds shaved, I would think.

I tend to go by what these guys say- they are professional, hard core roadies with ties to professional racers (ie- Hamilton, Armstrong), and know educators in the field (ie- Carmichael, Burke- RIP), they run camps, and they know their stuff. If you can wear the skinsuit to shave off a few seconds, and take some of the advice in the article to shave an extra few seconds here and there, pretty soon, you've gotten a nice amount of seconds you can work with towards an advantage for winning that race.

Plus, if you do wear it, I expect a pic, of course...

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Old 08-05-03, 12:39 PM   #13
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But are we talking about a time trial or a road race? Technically, unless you need the pockets in the back, it might make sense to wear a skin suit in a road race, especially a short one where you might get only one chance to break from the pack and go for it. In that instance (much like Tyler Hamilton's recent break away in the TDF) any time trialing skills and other things like tight clothing, might all work together to make the difference that you need.

And truthfully, who gives a flip if you look like a dork. You're either going to win or not win. It would be a shame to not win by just a few seconds where some tighter fitting clothing might have made all the difference... only to say that you didn't wear it because you thought you'd look dumb.

But then again.... if no one in the group takes you seriously because you look dumb, that could work against you as well.

decisions... decisions....
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Old 08-05-03, 12:59 PM   #14
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Every little bit mentioned in the article helps to decrease your time. I think for the more serious racer who's looking to shave time wherever they can, this would be beneficial for them. So a pinch flat is worth the risk to get that extra 1- 2 seconds shaved, I would think.

I tend to go by what these guys say- they are professional, hard core roadies with ties to professional racers (ie- Hamilton, Armstrong), and know educators in the field (ie- Carmichael, Burke- RIP), they run camps, and they know their stuff. If you can wear the skinsuit to shave off a few seconds, and take some of the advice in the article to shave an extra few seconds here and there, pretty soon, you've gotten a nice amount of seconds you can work with towards an advantage for winning that race.
No doubt about it at all. Here's something that is an eye-opener - based on constant power output over a 40k TT (ie you would avg 30mph normally) these are the time savings;

1. Drop Bars >> Riding integrated Aerobars - 4 Minutes
2. Shorts/Jersey >> Skin Suit - 2 Minutes
3. "Box Style" 32 spoke wheels >> Aero Wheels (deep front, disc rear) - 2 Minutes
5. Round Tube Frame >> Aero Frame/Fork - 1 Minute
4. Standard Road Helmet >> Aero Helmet (Louis Garneau) - 30 seconds
6. Adding Shoe Covers - 10 Seconds

That adds up to a nice 9:40 savings over 25 miles. Seconds and minutes add up for sure.

As to the water-bottles, here's something from John Cobb (USPS aero-guru, generally nice guy and tri-geek) - http://www.analyticcycling.com/RiderAeroStudy.html
basically it concludes;

Keep the jersey zipper zipped.
Ride on the drops.
Keep your drink bottles on the frame.
Carrying a drink bottle is better than not.
Wear an Aeropak under the jersey but better yet, keep the bottles on the frame.
Placement of aerobars is highly dependent on the rider.

Cobb also has a good website at http://www.bicyclesports.com it combines his retail stores with a lot of his expertise on fit/aero stuff (in the tech areas) and a small forum in which he is fairly active participant.

Quote:
But then again.... if no one in the group takes you seriously because you look dumb, that could work against you as well.
I see more of an advantage to that. If everybody thinks you are a newbie who doesn't know what's going on they are more likely to underestimate your abilities, etc. Could be quite the advantage.

And like you said, who cares what you look like out there, it's not like you are out there riding in jean shorts, a tank top and sandals. Go for it!

Andrew
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Old 08-05-03, 03:08 PM   #15
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Aerow... That's a hot suit!!! Wear it when and where you choose!! Don't forget to post a pic on your first try..
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Old 08-06-03, 01:53 PM   #16
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Ok. So I wore my nifty new skinsuit in a training ride today, early this morning between 6am-7am. I must admit I felt a little dorky wearing the equivalent of a Speedo on a bike with all of the rednecks whizzing by me on the way to work (ooooooh, Daaaaaaaaad!!!!! you don't need to be wearing that!) School busses are out in full force as well, and I can only imagine what the kids are thinking.

Actually, I thought I looked pretty cool, but that's my own fantasy vs. reality issue....

So, other than a time trial, I'm still trying to figure out when I can wear this thing. It's pretty cool in that it really does reduce the amount of drag... and it just plain feels comfortable.

It matches my bike... and now I've got that ever-so-important matching thing going on (my wife taught me how to match clothes... but it only works if I stick with primary colors) I'm totally black and yellow, bike and all. I look like a bumble bee buzzin' down the highway...

.... ok.. that's enough... back to work...
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Old 08-06-03, 02:04 PM   #17
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If it's comfortable and makes you feel fast than wear it anytime you need comfort and have to go fast (one of the first steps to going fast is to feel fast).

Andrew
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Old 08-06-03, 02:38 PM   #18
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I've seen a couple of guys here and there wearing their skin suits on training rides- no big deal. I don't think you need to wait for a time trial or anything... go ahead and wear it! Wear it in your road race too and let us know how the race goes with the skin suit, and if your time improved or anything. This should be interesting.

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