Saving seconds is the name of the game, whether it’s in a time trial or on your segment crushing route. When there’s nowhere left to turn in terms of weight and components, a skinsuit could be the next place to look. Not only does Rapha’s new skinsuit promise to shave seconds off the clock, Etxeondo’s new ARMA sprinter suit promises to be gentler on your skin when you misjudge that tricky bend in the time trial…
The team at Rapha did their homework when designing their newest skinsuit iteration. They started with 23 different fabrics and tested how well they performed in a wind tunnel with help from world-class aerodynamic engineers. In the end they’ve managed to create a suit that saves 15 seconds during a 30 minutes time trial, compared to their last suit. The sleeves are made up of a mesh fabric that claims to improve aerodynamics, and the back panel appears more breathable than previous iterations. You may have seen Team Sky putting them to the test during the TT stages (13, 18) of this past Tour de France.
photo c. Etxeondo
To reduce road rash during high-speed crashes Etxeondo has created the ARMA sprinter suit that provides lightweight, aero, abrasion resistance. The second generation uses Dyneema based fabrics that cover the shoulders, and a stronger Dyneema 2.0 for the bib shorts that’s said to help limit the damage from road rash after a crash. The new construction claims to offer the same breathability as last year’s model in spite of the extra protection. Team Giant-Alpecin was sporting the new skinsuit during the time trial stages of the tour.