Cycling skinsuits are designed to help you keep your mind off your clothing and on your cycling instead. A single suit means you don’t have to worry about clothes riding up or falling down, and there aren’t any snaps, zips, buttons or buckles to get caught on anything or cause a problem. Skinsuits are simply convenient and comfortable, and can be a boon to a competitive cyclist’s time.
As the name implies, the suit will fit the cyclist like a second skin. These suits are made of moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and pull sweat away from your body. They can be very breathable for warm-weather wear, or they can be designed to keep you warm on colder days. Many cyclists have several and use certain brands in cold weather and others in hot because of the materials used.
The whole principle behind these suits is comfort and freedom of movement. It’s easy to see why this type of wear is ideal for fast cycling when you picture yourself wearing a skinsuit and then picture yourself wearing a loose shirt and jeans or slacks. The looser clothing not only makes you slightly heavier on the bike, but it also offers wind resistance which can slow you down. There might be flaps of fabric that get in your way, your shirt could blow up and the waistband of the pants can dig into your skin uncomfortably.
Cycling skinsuits, on the other hand, are one-piece with no waistband to dig in and make you feel cut in half as you bend over cycling. There’s no wind resistance because the fabric clings to your body. There are no flaps of clothing to blow around and inhibit your movement in any way. And the suits are lightweight and designed to feel almost as if they’re not there at all.
This leads to one of the biggest drawbacks of a cycling skinsuit. The suit fits so well like a second skin that every curve and bump of your body is visible. It’s like wearing a wetsuit but one that’s far thinner than the type you’d wear to swim in. Many people prefer jerseys paired with shorts, which are also very revealing but not quite as much as a skinsuit.
The lack of pockets, and the need to pull the entire suit down to relieve yourself are two other drawbacks to this type of cycling wear. Once you’re used to wearing such a suit, removing it to use the restroom goes much more quickly. And unless you plan to carry many things in your pockets when you cycle, the lack of pockets shouldn’t pose a problem.