Without a doubt, this is my go-to sports bra and one I would highly recommend for anyone who favours support over quick drying. Unfortunately, its sweat-wicking capabilities will not keep up with those of a good base layer or jersey - which can be unfortunate, particularly when stopping for a coffee and cake break on a longer ride.
Doesn't dry quickly
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Shock Absorber’s Multi Sports Bra has been my go-to choice ever since I was a runner-turned-triathlete. Designed for any sport from the gym to horse riding, I wear this bra for mountain biking, running, or any sort of jiving about in the gym.
This is a bra I would recommend for any female cyclist wearing a C cup size or more, the only downside is that it doesn't dry as quickly as less supportive 'compression' styles and therefore can lead to cooling core temperature, especially when stopping on long rides.
Shock Absorber Multi Sports bra: construction
This is a ‘combination’ bra, meaning it combines compression and encapsulation to offer support. The inner layer uses ‘Simplex’ to encapsulate each breast, and then over the top is a classic crop top style, which provides the added compression. Researchers at the University of Portsmouth found this style reduced breast bounce by 74.7% (see study: 'How the characteristics of sports bras affect their performance').
The Multi Sports bra uses a racer back, with two hook and eye clasps as well as adjustable straps - this future proofs the bra, and I’ve had two of these for well over a year, and they’re still going strong. The only time I’ve had one of these bras fail was when the hook and eye wire became warped - but that was after a good few years’ use and some ill-advised unprotected washing machine use (put your bras in a pillow case to save the wires etc from failing).
The band comes up much tighter than a standard, non-sports bra - it is advised that you go up one band size, but maintain the cup size. I wear a 28E or 30DD (brand dependant) in 'normal' bras and opted for the 32DD here and the fit was spot on.
The sides are made from a power mesh, to aid quick drying.
Shock Absorber Multi Sports bra: the ride
This is one of few sports bras I own that fully passes the 'jump test' - I can jump up and down with no noticeable movement. For that reason it is the only sports bra I own that I would also wear for running when cross training in the off-season, and I always choose it if riding off-road too.
Sizing up in the band is also recommended because the band is quite tight - I still have a misordered 30DD version languishing in the bottom of a wardrobe somewhere (I could just about do it up, but not if breathing was required!). I always find this up-sizing strange, as surely the sizing should simply be adjusted to suit the construction. However, on the plus side, after long term use the band has not stretched making this a durable bra and one that could last you years.
There always has to be a caveat though. In order to provide this level of support, the fabric needs to be relatively dense - and as a result, despite the power mesh sides, the bra doesn’t dry as quickly as a simple compression style bra.
This bra is also not designed specifically for cycling, so not designed to marry up with bib staps - though I’ve never found this makes any difference at all to comfort.
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