Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Cycling clothing review - SKINS C400 knicks and undershirt - updated

So how are the SKINS C400 compression knicks and undershirt going, I hear you ask?

Well just fine, thanks. The knicks have become my current favourites and the undershirt is more than OK. To be honest I'm not sure my current flabby physique does either item justice but as I don't have either a TARDIS or a svelte 20-something cycling body handy I'll just have to make do.

Quality remains top notch, no signs of wear after umpteen (OK, 15) rides and washes - as you'd hope, anyway. Comfort is actually even better now with the knicks seemingly moulded to my major cycling muscles, kinda ;-)  They have a grippy, springy feel that I previously likened to the 80's-vintage 'rubber Russian skinsuits' of my youth - and it's a feeling I like. So full marks there.

Both the knicks and the undershirt feel fine, if not even great, in a 'forgot I was wearing them' sort of way. The only puzzling bit - which may be an intended effect of the compression - is that they leave me with a pattern of red, presumably blood-infused, skin. It goes away quickly and seems to have no ill-effect at all but clearly - with me, anyway - they bring blood to the skin, even in a cold Eastern Australian winter. (Well, a temperate Eastern Australia winter, anyway. It doesn't really get cold here.)

As far as measurable performance goes I have no comment to make your honour, other than they haven't noticeably lessened wattage or lowered (or raised) heart rate compared to other brands - but it's still early days. I'm collecting the data and sorting it by bike, type and difficulty of ride, tiredness, weather and anything else I can think of... hopefully some statistically significant morsel will come out of it - but either way I'll let you know.

addicted2wheels: knicks
Anyway, the nice people at SKINS (thanks Matt!) have given me a set of their compression gear to test and I'm keen to wear these out rather prosaically by actually keeping upright and not testing their road adhesion. Whilst I haven't paid for 'em they (ie SKINS) and I have agreed that I should be fair and honest and pull no punches in my assessment. So that's what I will do.