Bioracer CX Speed suit
Review: Bioracer CX Speed suitBy Scott Mares | Published Feb 2, 2018
With the World Cyclocross championships right around the corner I wanted to take a look at some high tech that will play a part at worlds. This is nothing unusual, most journalist go around to the pits and snap pictures of the pros bikes, tires and other bits of equipment that they are using. I thought i would look at an area that people usually take for granted. Clothing. Yes that’s right clothing. Clothing is one aspect of great that I think people overlook. Why is clothing so important? As you know in cyclocross the weather plays a big part of it. Thermoregulation is HUGE in athletic performance and so is Aerodynamics. If you Overheat you are going to slow down or stop. If you get cold you can't function properly and you will go into hypothermia (bad) and you will slow down and stop. So being able to function at peak performance is critical. So it come down to several things. Fabric type, fabric placement and Fabric Charisticis. Over the years we have seen a steady evolution of fabric in all of these areas. But if we look at a lot of the top riders in the sport of cyclocross we will see one name come up, Bioracer. I wanted to take a closer look at the kits that will be on the best so I reached out to Rioracer and Belgium Bike (official US Importer of Bioracer).
I reached out to Bioracer and had a few questions. But first let's start off with Who are they?
Bioracer really started with one guy and he was a physiotherapist by the name of Raymond Vanstraelen and he pioneered the way for biomechanics in cycling. Mr. Vanstraelen thought that the equipment should fit the rider not the other way around. So beside coaching he also did custom frameworks. So he would measure out each customer and make a frame to fit that customer. Being truly one of if not the first customer frame builders. Later the company would come out with bike fitting system and then into clothing. His wife was a qualified Seamstress. Mr. Vanstraelen recognized that clothing was a big thing because of aerodynamics. 20% of a riders energy is used to push still air out of the way at 20 mph. As the rider increases their speed the amount of energy required increases EXPONENTIALLY! So to double your speed would need a output 8X of what you did at 20mph... He also recognized that you needed to be comfortable while you were exercising. Lets fast forward to 2016. Now, the really cool thing about this company is that they are right across the street from a very high tech wind tunnel and therefore the time is short from when they design something and when they can test and get results and make changes. The wind tunnel is really cool and I got a tour of it and you can see it here. So 2016 and we are talking cyclocross, so in 2016 bioracer started to introduce their new speedmaster CX skinsuit. What happened is that they recognized in cyclocross you get off and run and in a TT you don’t move around a lot. So in 2016 Bioracer introduced the Speedmaster CX skinsuit. They took the existing speed suit which was already the fastest in the world and then took out some of the seams and gave it some mobility. But they took each rider and brought them in and custom tailored each one to enhance the fit even moore. This allowed the riders to run better in it. In addition to this they also did a nano treatment of the fabric that made it highly water repellent. It's really weird to see a fabric that is so lightweight to have water just roll off of it. So with that being said I had some questions for Bioracer. Here is what they said.
Me: How many countries will be using you guys this year at CX Worlds?
Me: Which ones?
Bioracer: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg.
Me: What are you making for them that is special this year?
Bioracer: The new Bioracer Aero CX suit did not only improve the aerodynamic of the rider. We managed to make our aero Airstripe fabric water repellent together with the Power Eyelet fabric that was also made water repellent. This give the rider a thermal advantage during races in Mud or rain. The suit gets less wet so the rider keeps better his body temperature. And also the suit will have less mud on it and will not take extra weight from the rain or mud. So the rider will not have to push extra for the extra weight like with other suits. This will be also very helpful in Valkenburg with all the climbing parts of the circuit. The suit have a special pattern so you have a tight fit on the bike but still is comfortable to run with in on some parts of the race. We also have no side panel on the suit so the rider doesn’t touch a stichting we he his moving his arms during the running parts of the race.
Me: So when you supply the Belgium team this year at cyclocross worlds What will each member get? How many pieces total will be sent out?
Bioracer: They get a full kit: Race suit Jersey Short sleeve Long Sleeve jersey Winter Vest Bibshorts Bibtigths Armwarmers Legwarmers Gloves Cap Socks Aero socks Zip tights for at the start of the race But they also have our custom leisure wear clothing for teams: Hoodie Softshell jacket Polo Jogging pants Down jacket
So I was lucky enough to get one of these Special CX skinsuits to try out. One of the things that Bioracer says is that ‘Fabric Follows Climent” so if you don't one of these highly breathable skinsuits that is and you want something a little warmer with that is either highly water repellent or waterproof they have that as well.
Fabrics: the mission statement of Bioracer is “We make you faster”. Their vision is “Man is the Measure of All Things”. These two things is what compels bioracer to look at all of the details and one of those details is the fabric. I have not found another clothing company that has the line of fabrics. Let's take a look at some of these fabrics.
Tempest: this is one of my favorite fabrics for cyclocross. I could cut and paste Bioracer’s description but I’m going to make it really simple because I have a couple of these items. Tempest is a 4 way stretch Roubaix fabric that has a undergone a water repellant treatment when it was woven. So other fabrics they apply a treatment after wards Bioracer does it at the yearn level. This makes the fabric warm, comfortable, breathable and highly water repellent wash after wash. Its not waterproof but its close.
Tempest Protect: So this is the same material as Tempest only its wind AND waterproof.
Speedsilk: This is a technology and not a fabric so to speak. Speed silk is technology on weaving the fabric to makes smoother to increase airflow for aerodynamics. The product is a incredibly soft to the touch and slick to the air.
Aquaracer: I have not used this fabric yet. I have a sample of it though. From what Im told its waterproof. The fabric is thin vs. a roubaix fabric.
Airstripe: This is another advantage that Bioracer has. They have a fabric that is woven in such a way that it physically has goves or valleys in it. This creates laminar flow, and smooths the air out over that area. Because the wind tunnel is right across the street testing is very accessible and done very quickly. This has put Bioracer at the front for making aerodynamic clothing. I would like to note that Bioracer only places that material where it is bennifenical. They have told me that when you see other companies doing that in other areas of the body it's not a aerodynamic benefit and its just a company simply using the “Let's put some here and here” without the research.
We Didn't Like
The suits arent cheep. Mn is 5 and they are about $300 each. But the min of 5 should be easy to get to for a club.
The Final Say
Can you get this suit? Yes you can get the same suit that Wout and Vanerpol wear. Bioracer specializes in custom athletic clothing. The make it for the cycling, skating, and other sports. You can find them here at Belgium Bike! Just ask for Roel!
Bioracer actually sent us one of the team cyclocross suits to try out. So what do we think? Its January 25 in portland OR and its cold and raining outside. The forecast for the day was a high of 46 scattered showers and a 80% chance of rain. So today I opted for a road ride with VO2 intervals. I got suited up and headed out. Now the suit I got has no pockets and I opted to wear a lightweight LS Jersey under the speedsuit so I could have a pocket for my keys and phone. For my legs I opted for some waterproof socks and some embrocation. I was a little underdressed for the weather on my legs. However I can see the large temperature range that you can use this suit in. I will say that it was the most comfortable skinsuit that I have worn. Whether you are chasing your buddy at the local cross crusade or chasing Wout or Vanderpol It really helps if your comfortable in your skinsuit when you are turning yourself inside out.