's Forum Archives - Racing

Archive Home >> Racing(1 2 3 )

skinsuit savings?(16 posts)

skinsuit savings?DougSloan
Sep 26, 2002 10:09 AM
Assuming a good aero position on a time trial bike, 25 mph for 10 miles, how much time do you think a skinsuit saves (or speed increase) over a conventional short sleeve loose fitting jersey and shorts combo? I can't find any info on this.


Ah - the wonderful world of GoogleBiking Viking
Sep 26, 2002 10:40 AM

Sep 26, 2002 12:27 PM
Thanks; I wasn't as focused with my search terms.

Not insignificantBipedZed
Sep 26, 2002 12:32 PM
The most unaerodynamic thing on a TT bike is the rider. Having a flapping loose jersey will definitely create more drag than a tight fitting skinsuit. As far as quantifiable numbers, couldn't tell you. But I always TT in a skinsuit. Crits and cyclocross races too - not for aerodynamics, but to show off my chiseled body. ;-)

Seriously, though, there is an intimidation factor with wearing a skinsuit. Unless you're fat.
but the handiest use of all for a skinsuit:lonefrontranger
Sep 26, 2002 2:04 PM
Narrow MTB singletrack race courses infested with stickers, weeds and low-hanging branches! In this situation, a low profile Camelbak and skinsuit combo gets "snatched" a lot less. I've had tenacious blackberry bramble get snagged in a jersey and it literally hauled me off the bike. Not to mention the crash where you wad it up over the bars and then your jersey rides up exposing your bare back to rocks, thorns and poison ivy. Yes a Camelbak offers some protection (can anyone say landing pad?), but it can slide up too. I've also finished MTB rides in 3-pocket jerseys only to discover the pockets have collected a bunch of dirt and trail debris, nice to eat all stuck to that half-unwrapped powerbar you always seem to have at the end of a long MTB cruise :-P
yes, they are motivation to be leanDougSloan
Sep 27, 2002 5:36 AM
I'm going to do the 508 as a 4 rider relay, after all. That means about 12 ten mile time trials with an hour rest in between. I have 3 skinsuits, but I've noticed they tend to be hotter, and it can be over 100 degrees in the 508. So, I was debated myself whether to use the skinsuit, if it's faster enough to offset the extra heat (or descreased cooling).

Yes, wearing one certainly motivates you to lose every last ounce of body fat. In fact, that is probably a good test of whether you are lean enough -- Do you look good in a skinsuit? :-)

World Kilo was won yesterday by .001 second.Alex-in-Evanston
Sep 27, 2002 8:27 AM
Roy over Tournant. Every little bit counts.
World Kilo was won yesterday by .001 second.Sherpa23
Sep 28, 2002 6:48 AM
First of all, Chris's last name is Hoy and, second, if everyone wears a skinsuit for a 4 lap time trial, can the .001 second really be due to the skinsuit?
Sep 28, 2002 1:09 PM
Uh...I think the point is that if he *wasn't* wearing a skinsuit and everyone else was...
Sep 30, 2002 7:10 AM
Uh !!?? They ALL wear skinsuits.
World Track ChampionshipsVeloflash
Oct 3, 2002 12:28 PM
Australia was the dominant nation in both the Juniors and Open World Track Championships recently held.

The successes have been mooted to be assisted by a 'secret weapon'. A new material skin suit that can only be worn for a short period. The rider has difficulty donning as they are 'poured' into it :).

So there are skin suits and there are skin suits!
2 minutes in 10 mile TT?DougSloan
Sep 30, 2002 7:32 AM
Found a reference in "Performance Cycling: A Scientific Way to Improve Your Cycling Performance" by Stuart Baird. He reports that a tight, wrinkle free skin suit can save 2 minutes in a 10 mile time trial, or reduce over all drag by 30% compared to a loose jersey flapping in the wind. That's a whopping difference. He seems to know what he's talking about, too. I think that's more time savings than all other aero tricks you can do combined.

No way,TJeanloz
Sep 30, 2002 12:54 PM
That seems overly generous. Maybe 2 minutes faster than if you are wearing gym shorts and towing a banner off your backside. Two minutes? You're talking ~8-10% faster, and I've never seen an improvement like that.
sounds outrageous, but that's what he saidDougSloan
Sep 30, 2002 1:27 PM
Here's the book at Amazon.

This seems like a well documented reference source. I agree, though, that 2 minutes is a lot. If that's the case, anyone would be absolutely nuts not to wear a skin suit, even in a road race. 30% less drag is about the same as drafting someone. Naw, that just doesn't seem right.

I'll dig up the quote from the book and post it. Maybe we can contact the author and dig in to this more.

Thankfully, I know you don't believe everything you read (nm)TJeanloz
Sep 30, 2002 1:32 PM
Correct, but in this case I want to! nmDougSloan
Sep 30, 2002 3:29 PM