The tonsorial master Vidal Sassoon became famous for his phrase When You Look Good, You Feel Good, a saying I’ve long-since borrowed to create my own cycling mantra, You Ride Good When You Look Good, often obsessing over my kit down to the smallest of details.
So, why when it comes to training indoors have I always looked like I’d crawled out of a dumpster, with kits consisting of pieced together blown-out bibshorts and jerseys, offering less performance than an old potato sack? When you think of it, riding indoors is one of the most challenging training methods a cyclist can endure, often being propped on the bike for extended periods of time with very little let-up in position, not to mention a scarcity in fresh air and ventilation.
Well, this season I decided to add both some sartorial and technical bliss to my indoor training attire, choosing NoPinz’s new SubZero kit as a good start to a new chapter.
As previously reported, the Uk-based brand introduced its latest indoor cycling specific kit back in October of 2020, calling it “world’s first indoor cycling kit that actively cools core temperature.”
The SubZero kit consists of bibshorts, a sleeveless skinsuit and wrist bands that feature pockets wherein frozen gel packs can be added.
According to NoPinz, the gel packs are designed to keep the cyclist’s core temperature down during rigorous workouts.
“The gel packs help to keep your core temperature down, meaning less energy goes into the body, cooling itself and more blood reaches the muscles that need it to produce the watts!,” says NoPinz.
In addition to the gel packs, the bibshorts and sleeveless skinsuit are constructed from a material that NoPinz describes as “ultra-breathable wicking fabrics”, along with a chamois pad that’s been specially designed for indoor riding. Moreover, both garments come with two sets of interchangeable gel packs that can be swapped out during longer training sessions.
“Cooling the body during indoor exercise is vital to prevent overheating, dehydration and the resulting reduction in performance. While many of today’s elite e-racers have found that using multiple fans and air-conditioned rooms gives them a competitive edge, these aren’t always solutions that everyone can access. In contrast, SubZero provides a marginal gain and performance advantage that is accessible to all,” explains NoPinz.
So how does the SubZero kit perform?
After literally covering hundreds of miles in the SubZero kit and bibshorts, the quick answer is remarkably well.
However, let me pause and say, that I’m someone who rides very well in hot weather conditions, so my tolerance for training indoors where the temperature is typically high and air circulation is comparatively low is quite manageable.
Still, there comes a point when a big ass fan is needed to cool things down, especially given the spot of my trainer which located in the second-story of an open structure home where every bit of heat collects.
Thankfully, there are the SubZero frozen gel packs that tuck nicely into the top and bottom of the skinsuit (only the bottom of the bibshorts) that bring a welcomed reduction in body temperature.
Depending on the duration and intensity of one’s training segment, I would estimate that the gel packs were good for about 45 to 60 minutes before they need replacing. For those who engage in short, high-intensity intervals, this should sufficient. But, for longer periods on the trainer, say for a virtual race, some creative steps need to be taken, like keeping a cooler with additional gel packs nearby. Believe it or not, if properly positioned, this method can work, allowing you to fetch new frozen gel packs while still remaining on the bike.
As for the gel packs a la armbands are concerned, I found them to be a bit awkward. Moreover, it’s an area of my body that doesn’t require much in the way of cooling. But, that’s not to say that others might find them helpful.
Interestingly, my favorite element about the SubZero skinsuit and the bibshorts is the chamois pad, which is well worth the price of admission alone, providing unparalleled comfort for long periods in the saddle.
Additionally, the quality and durability of the SubZero skinsuit and bibshorts proved to be excellent, as both garments were washed more times than mafia money, without the slightest degradation in material or color.
It’s also worth noting that the “fit” of the skinsuit and bibshorts is what I would describe as being “reasonable”. Meaning, unlike your typical European “race cut”, which almost always seems to designed around cyclists who have been on a hunger strike, these apparel pieces are much more accommodating to a swath of body types.
In conclusion, I give NoPinz high marks for its garments, offering dedicated cyclists a viable option to help mitigate body temperature and boost comfort during the rigors of indoor training at a cost that appears to be well-position with other premium brands.
You can learn more at NoPinz.com
You must be logged in to post a comment.