For watts per pound the Trip Sockz are hard to beat.
Claimed aerodynamic gains
Easy to get on
Important to choose the correct size
Questions over how to best position the 'trip strips'
If you have been paying close attention to the domestic time trialling scene you can't help to have noticed the rise in the number of testers wearing the Trip Sockz by Nopinz. They have been worn to victory by numerous riders, including National 10-Mile Time Trial champion Richard Bussell.
The Trip Sockz are in essence light compression socks with integrated Aero Trip Strips (ATS). Nopinz have worked closely with Xavier Disley of Aerocoach Ltd, who manufacturers the stick on version of the ATS, to develop the Trip Sockz.
The concept is that by positioning the strips at 45 degrees either side of the shin, they make the surface of your calves slip through the air more efficiently.
This is done by converting air that hits your lower leg from laminar into a turbulent flow earlier, thereby encouraging the air to cling to the leg longer before separating. In short, it means the ATS are designed to reduce drag and save you watts.
The claimed energy saving is 2.5-5 watts - which could equate to around seven or eight seconds over a 10-mile time trial.
How much faster does a skinsuit make you?
I cannot confirm the claimed wattage savings and understand the best placement can vary for each rider, but the Trip Sockz felt comfortable - at no point did they feel too restrictive - and they stayed in place when racing.
They also helped me to my fastest time trial in a decade, but that was undoubtedly in part due to improved fitness.
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When choosing your pair of Trip Sockz it is important to select the correct size. Measurements are taken from the widest part of the calf- with sizes accomodating calfs ranging from 34 cm up to 42cm.
In addition to the various standard colour options you can also order customised versions.
No one wants to waste watts when time trialling, so if you don't mind the prying eyes the Trip Sockz are worth a try.
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