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What does a speed suit do?

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Old 01-05-19, 01:34 AM
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Teamprovicycle
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What does a speed suit do?

To a amature racer skin/speed suits seem kinda silly .
spend almost 1000 bucks to cover up in a thin silly material.
why not just race naked , or shorts only .
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Old 01-05-19, 02:12 AM
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At least according to a cyclingweekly.com comparison review the estimate of $1000 for a skin suit is an exaggeration. It looks like the top ranked model runs about $202 euros (189 pounds at the moment).

That report attempts to quantify in watts the aerodynamic savings versus a more basic lycra getup. At 50kph the difference between a top ranked skin suit and a typical lycra kit was estimated to be between 19 and 25 watts. Also consider the cost of a typical lycra outfit. Maybe $100 euro for a typical bib and jersey. So we're talking a difference of $102 euros to save around 20 watts at the higher end of racing speeds. People spend a lot more to shave off far fewer watts.

Is it silly for an amateur? Maybe... unless the amateur takes pride in winning and finds him or herself winning more often with a few equipment advantages applied. Two equal riders, with equal fitness and equal expertise, equal strategy and equal mental fortitude, will find the more frequent winner to be the one who expends fewer watts at any given speed. Definitely I would consider $1000 euros a silly price to pay but $202 doesn't sound so silly when you factor in the pricing of alternative common riding clothing.

As for riding naked as an alternative, no thanks. I wouldn't want to cause an accident by people catching a glare off my untanned rear. ...and I think my male-pattern hair configuration would be an aerodynamic hindrance.

Is it silly for a non-racing amateur -- someone who rides just for pleasure, fitness, endurance, etc? Again, maybe not. People who ride for pleasure shouldn't be deemed silly for wanting to do so with nice equipment. And if you're at the end of a 3-5 hour ride you may envy anyone who managed to get through the ride expending fewer watt-hours. When I get down to those last few miles of a long ride my mind often wanders into the territory of thinking about how much better I would feel if I had ridden an even more efficient bike so as to fatigue myself less. I know that is misguided mindset to some extent; a reasonably good endurance road bike is going to beat the rider up less than a top end aggressive racing bike at the end of a long ride. But a skin suit does sound like one of those pieces of equipment with few downsides; you're probably not trading endurance comfort much to get the additional watt advantage.

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Old 01-05-19, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
At least according to a cyclingweekly.com comparison review the estimate of $1000 for a skin suit is an exaggeration. It looks like the top ranked model runs about $202 euros (189 pounds at the moment).

That report attempts to quantify in watts the aerodynamic savings versus a more basic lycra getup. At 50kph the difference between a top ranked skin suit and a typical lycra kit was estimated to be between 19 and 25 watts. Also consider the cost of a typical lycra outfit. Maybe $100 euro for a typical bib and jersey. So we're talking a difference of $102 euros to save around 20 watts at the higher end of racing speeds. People spend a lot more to shave off far fewer watts.

Is it silly for an amateur? Maybe... unless the amateur takes pride in winning and finds him or herself winning more often with a few equipment advantages applied. Two equal riders, with equal fitness and equal expertise, equal strategy and equal mental fortitude, will find the more frequent winner to be the one who expends fewer watts at any given speed. Definitely I would consider $1000 euros a silly price to pay but $202 doesn't sound so silly when you factor in the pricing of alternative common riding clothing.

As for riding naked as an alternative, no thanks. I wouldn't want to cause an accident by people catching a glare off my untanned rear. ...and I think my male-pattern hair configuration would be an aerodynamic hindrance.

Is it silly for a non-racing amateur -- someone who rides just for pleasure, fitness, endurance, etc? Again, maybe not. People who ride for pleasure shouldn't be deemed silly for wanting to do so with nice equipment. And if you're at the end of a 3-5 hour ride you may envy anyone who managed to get through the ride expending fewer watt-hours. When I get down to those last few miles of a long ride my mind often wanders into the territory of thinking about how much better I would feel if I had ridden an even more efficient bike so as to fatigue myself less. I know that is misguided mindset to some extent; a reasonably good endurance road bike is going to beat the rider up less than a top end aggressive racing bike at the end of a long ride. But a skin suit does sound like one of those pieces of equipment with few downsides; you're probably not trading endurance comfort much to get the additional watt advantage.
Just plain silly.
You reference a report suggesting a benefit of a tiny amount of watts for people riding at over 30 mph and then go on to apply that to pleasure riders going around half or two-thirds that speed.




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Old 01-05-19, 08:46 AM
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https://www.competitivecyclist.com/assos-cs.works_teamchronosuit_s7-mens?skidn=AAS007F-FF1GN-M&ti=UExQIE9uIFNhbGU6TWVuJ3MgUm9hZCBCaWtlIENsb3RoaW5nOjE6Mjc6Y2NDYXQxMDAzMDc=

Assos on sale.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:04 AM
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If you are fit, it makes you look fast.

if you are me, it makes you look even more ridiculous than regular cycling kit.
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Old 01-05-19, 11:28 AM
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why not just race naked , or shorts only
and have the fancy graphics painted on your body..
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Old 01-05-19, 11:43 AM
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I've seen guys wearing easily $1,000 worth of kit-- think Rapha everything-- and they certainly weren't racing.

But they didn't spend my money, so I hope they're happy with their purchases.

Oh, and more speedsuits around $300 or less. You can find some straight-outta-China for about $60.
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Old 01-05-19, 12:11 PM
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Just shave your entire body and wear a thong and apply a dash of oil to the skin. Way cheaper.
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Old 01-05-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
If you are fit, it makes you look fast.

if you are me, it makes you look even more ridiculous than regular cycling kit.
Also makes it harder to hit the head.
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Old 01-05-19, 12:34 PM
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Naked is slower.

As far as disadvantages, for longer than a crit race, bathroom stops & lack of pockets

would start to factor.
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Old 01-05-19, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
If you are fit, it makes you look fast....
Could not resist...SanRemo BTW
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Old 01-05-19, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
If you are fit, it makes you look fast.

if you are me, it makes you look even more ridiculous than regular cycling kit.
My regular kit is regular clothes. I don't want to scare sea lions.
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Old 01-05-19, 05:25 PM
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Spend as much on kit as you like. Wear what you like, ride what you like.

personally I prefer to know if I ma getting my money's worth ... and as far as I have heard, aero advantages are greater proportionately for slow riders .... but that means you are going from 165 to 15.85 mph----and smaller proportionately but greater overall for fast riders.

Aero resistance ramps up exponentially as speed increases so it takes a Lot more power to go from 30 mph to 32 mph than it does to go from 15 to 16. And at 15 mph aero drag, while still the biggest thing you back, is minuscule compared to drag a to drag at 20.If you are not expending that many watts to begin with, the savings are going to be pretty small—probably not noticeable.

In fact, if you Really want to save watts through aero, practice your aero tuck. Practice riding with your head as low as possible and your elbows in. Much greater savings from proper positioning.

But if you aren‘t really pushing big watts or high speed, and just want to wear a skinsuit, ride an aero frame, wear a long-tailed helmet, whatever …. Go for it. I don’t care if you ride in a tutu or a kilt are an American Flag G-string (all of which I have seen.) Suit yourself … so to speak.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Could not resist...SanRemo BTW
The San Remo is supposed to be a best of both worlds. It has pockets and a zipper like a normal jersey but sewn onto shorts, as opposed to a traditional skinsuit which is constructed more like a leotard.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle View Post
To a amature racer skin/speed suits seem kinda silly .
spend almost 1000 bucks to cover up in a thin silly material.
why not just race naked , or shorts only .
Also, I suppose you are being snarky, but the serious answer is that USAC rules require sleeves. And you need somewhere to pin or glue on your number.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Aero resistance ramps up exponentially as speed increases so it takes a Lot more power to go from 30 mph to 32 mph than it does to go from 15 to 16. And at 15 mph aero drag, while still the biggest thing you back, is minuscule compared to drag a to drag at 20.If you are not expending that many watts to begin with, the savings are going to be pretty small—probably not noticeable.
To set the record straight, aero drag goes quadratically as speed, not exponentially. It takes 21% more power to go from 30 to 32 mph; it also takes 21% more to go from 15 to 16 mph. The drag at 15 mph is 56% that at 20 mph.
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Old 01-05-19, 07:02 PM
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uh they reduce wind resistance, so do the oddly shaped helmets riders wear in time trials. If someone wants to spend whatever and wear or ride whatever I say have at it
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Old 01-05-19, 07:03 PM
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Old 01-05-19, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
To set the record straight, aero drag goes quadratically as speed, not exponentially. It takes 21% more power to go from 30 to 32 mph; it also takes 21% more to go from 15 to 16 mph. The drag at 15 mph is 56% that at 20 mph.
translation: pretty much nothing matters, aerodynamically speaking, at speeds below what pro racers average. So a skin suit is perfectly designed for the people it’s designed for. Therefore the cost is irrelevant. If you’re not one of those peoples, you have no reason to even care that they exist, much less wether they’re worth the cost.
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Old 01-05-19, 07:27 PM
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The cycling weekly link in post 2 above says a suit saves between 21 and 28 seconds on a 40K to at 25 mph. The data in Elvos post shows an even bigger gain. 25 mph is a good pace for a competitive amateur cyclist. In fact a nice measure of cycling fitness is a one hour tt. If you train hard, it’s difficult to get that kind of speed savings most other ways. So the cost of a suit might be worth it.
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Old 01-05-19, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Naked is slower.
That was my first thought as well.

As to the OP, like all sports, there is equipment designed for the top 0.01% to gain a sliver of performance over their rivals. I can't count the number of times I've seen someone who can't skate step on the ice at hockey with a $300 wonderstick that heir favorite player uses, not understanding the flex and curve is not particularly suited to their skill level.

Then again, behind (in front of?) every engineering department, there is a massive marketing department that convinces the rest of use we need it to be like those 0.01%. If you haven't reached the point where you know you need a speed suit, you don't need one.
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Old 01-05-19, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
translation: ...
You completely misunderstood my post. If you have something to say, say it yourself. Don’t hide behind someone else.
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Old 01-05-19, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
The San Remo is supposed to be a best of both worlds. It has pockets and a zipper like a normal jersey but sewn onto shorts, as opposed to a traditional skinsuit which is constructed more like a leotard.
Maybe half the skin/speed suits in the drawers. Since I let loose above. I'm limited to 10 images/post. Labels are for the images above. They may be messed up as I had to delete a few.

Above Hincapie




SanRemo


Castelli Body Paint


SanRemo


SanRemo


Assos - model unknown (dad has one from 1979)


JL Velo short sleeve skinsuit


Castelli Bodypaint


Castelli Bodypaint


Core (sp?) Swiss. Great stuff
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Old 01-05-19, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
To set the record straight, aero drag goes quadratically as speed, not exponentially. It takes 21% more power to go from 30 to 32 mph; it also takes 21% more to go from 15 to 16 mph. The drag at 15 mph is 56% that at 20 mph.
Actually, I'm pretty sure the relationship between drag and speed is exponential.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_(physics)

The relationship between power needed and speed is cubic since power is force times velocity (i.e. speed).

ETA: brain fart on my part. You're correct.

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Old 01-05-19, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post


translation: pretty much nothing matters, aerodynamically speaking, at speeds below what pro racers average. So a skin suit is perfectly designed for the people it’s designed for. Therefore the cost is irrelevant. If you’re not one of those peoples, you have no reason to even care that they exist, much less wether they’re worth the cost.
No, it means a speed suit will make you faster at all levels/speeds.
Aerodynamics certainly factor in at speeds well below what the pros do.
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