I stumbled on Skins compression tights while attending an Outdoor Sales Rep Regional Trade Show in 2004. It did not take me long to recognize the recovery and performance benefits of using these tights for cycling. The major endorsement they had at the time was from the airline pilots association which made total sense to me knowing how swollen my legs and feet would get on long flights to Europe in past years. I bought a pair of long tights both top and bottoms and put them to use immediately for my after ride ‘Honey Due’ activities like mowing and raking the lawn not to mention standing around the sidelines during my then 5 year old’s soccer games.
The upper body tights came into play after long mountain bike rides and then snow shoveling and cross country skiing in winter. Early spring miles on the bike are always hard to sneak in especially on weekends but when limping the last few miles home and my cell phone rings, I already know it will be time for Stage 2 of the day, playing soccer with my boy.
Being an older dad I have to use all my recovery tricks to keep up with Ian after a ride and these Skins were my saving grace. The luxury of stretching out, drinking some recovery drinks eating some pasta before taking an hour nap were a thing of the past. So while compression was still very new to cycling back then, I was taking full advantage of this new technology wondering when the full impact of it would hit the cycling world.
I kept thinking about all the working class masters that could benefit from Skins compression while sitting at a computer all day, bending over a Volvo as a mechanic being a school teacher or whatever. However, when I did mention the advantages of compression to them it was not backed up with any advertising campaigns.
Now the triathlon market has embraced the concept and in those magazines and web pages you will find the full-page ads with all the proven research on the benefits. The top professional road teams have been using compression for a several years now and Skins has become the official compression clothing of USA Cycling, HTC Columbia Pro Cycling Team, Rabobank, Milram see: www.skins.net for more information on all the different products they have and the clinical studies.
Skins was out of business in this country for a few years and I resorted to a medical supply store for some compression socks to hold me over until I could get back into some Skins and they too made a huge difference in my legs. I just received my new pair Skins recovery tights about 3 weeks ago (just before we got 18′ of snow dumped on us) and what a difference it is to have full graduated compression back again. I tell my master’s friends about them now and they are beginning to listen. There is no reason that Skins recovery tights should not be the first thing a working class rider puts on his legs each morning before going off to work. I used them under my dress pants on flights, on the show room floor at Interbike and on those long drives to and from races there is no doubt that they make a difference.
The Skins Bib riding tights with the Elastic Interface Technology pad are without a doubt the best I have ever worn and I have worn just about everything out there over the years. Having some compression on my butt at this time of the year is also a very good thing. I don’t think there is a rider out there who couldn’t use a little compression on their butt’s in January.
From the research page on their website: www.skins.net/us/en/research/default.aspx
Research reports have demonstrated the following benefits from wearing Skins:
• Increases venous return
• Reduces post-exercise muscle soreness
• Removes lactic acid faster
• Increases strength and power
• Improves endurance
• Improves body temperature control
• Reduces in-flight ankle edema
Skins have a year warranty and include a CD to learn more about the technology.
As John Belushi of the Blue Brothers used to say. ‘I suggest you buy as many as you can.’