It’s the season when pro teams release details of what they’ll be wearing next year and jaded journalists pass their judgement. We’ve given our verdict on the teams’ offerings and rate the Movistar kit, which is run up by Endura in their factory in Livingstone, as our favourite – so far.
Alongside the design, fabric technology and fit are really important factors in clothing a pro team, with manufacturers wind tunnel testing their products and boasting their Watt saving benefits.
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Endura has paired up with Smart Aero Technology to fine tune its kit’s aerodynamics. The company uses the AMG Petronas Formula One wind tunnel in Brackley, Northamptonshire. In addition to testing Endura’s clothing for its aerodynamic efficiency, it has worked on aerodynamics for Enve wheels and the Scott Foil aero road bike and the Giant Trinity time trial bike. It also offers analysis of position and equipment choices for amateur cyclists.
Between the riders and their support team, pro cycling teams use a lot of clothing: Rapha reckoned that it had to produce around 12,000 separate items when it became clothing supplier to Team Sky in 2013, in an agreement which is just coming to an end after four years.
Watch: Which aero kit gives you the most bang for your buck?
And pro riders are fussy about their kit. After all they spend hours in the saddle racing and training and want to feel comfortable in a whole range of weather conditions, as well as having the confidence that their clothing is working optimally for them.
Endura laser scanned Alex Dowsett to produce a moveable 3D model for wind tunnel testing. It used this to test the aerodynamics of his skinsuit prior to his successful World Hour Record ride.
It’s done the same with Nairo Quintana to fine tune his time trial clothing, allowing him to limit his losses in Stage 19 of the 2016 Vuelta a España sufficiently to win the race overall.
All images courtesy of Endura