You’ve likely seen your cycling friends wearing compression hose – pre, post-race and sometimes even during a race. I’ve tweeted and commented that instead of spending that kind of money on the latest fitness fad, go to your local drug store and get the socks your grandpa wore. Same thing. Until now.
I dismissed the first generation of compression wear because they were nothing more than a pair of tight pantyhose. Skins sent us their RY400 to test. Where these work for me is during a good night sleep and mostly for travel. Anyone who rides and travels knows how terrible your legs feel after a long flight. No matter if you’re racing or commuting, get on a plane after a hard ride and you’re going to feel it the next time you touch down.
Wearing compression socks and tights on a plane does make a difference. The science behind why is likely as dubious as aerodynamic claims by frame makers, but I do know that my legs feel better. I put them on before the meal comes during the flight and off before landing.
The new, more flexible, cut on the RY400 makes them far more comfortable to wear under shorts, tights, or manpris. They’ve also got a crotch fly panel for bathroom trips.
For me, the new Skins’ material is still too hot for the Summer and I don’t know how they’d address that. Skins sent a top with the bottoms and while very nice, I couldn’t wear it for more than a few minutes. You’re mileage may vary with moisture and heat management.
For those concerned with style, it’s not easy to pull off a look with these – I’m wearing them under new Ibex Wool Commuter Knickers also on test.
What I’d like to see Skins do, and any compression gear maker, is get the ultra-distance guys to test and report back. If anyone has trashed legs, it’s them. They’ll also set you straight on what to really eat – to recover and ride. They’re not eating or wearing gear for status.