Affordable racing skinsuit that works across multiple disciplines
- Non-restrictive, form-hugging fit
- Practical design and layout
- Comfortable chamois pad
- Multiple colourway and size options
- Short-sleeve design works across seasons (arm warmers can be added for the colder months)
- Silicone grippers on the sleeves and shorts keep the fit snug
- White fabric can be revealing (worth going for a darker hue)
Nopinz has innovation at its core and its range echoes this sentiment across the board. Having recently partnered with WorldTour team, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, as the official TT apparel sponsor, the Devon, UK-based company is clearly looking to make a mark at the highest level of the sport. Nopinz's product portfolio has impressed us, to say the least - especially the indoor, Subzero range which we tested extensively during last year's COVID-19 lockdowns.
Recently, we were offered the brand's Pro-1 Road Skinsuit to sample ahead of the first batch of post-lockdown cycling time trials. With a couple of events already in the bag, this is what we think of the Nopinz Pro-1 Road Skinsuit thus far.
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Design and aesthetics
Earning a spot in our guide to the best custom cycling kit, the company's custom 'Club Nopinz' programme allows customers to craft their own unique designs. Those who prefer to travel more incognito might prefer the standard range and its minimalist execution, distinguishable by way of four colour options - black-grey, orange-light orange, teal-light teal and white (pictured here). While all options are tastefully designed, the white speedsuit is perhaps the most striking thanks in part to the contrasting navy-blue bottom half. As a speedsuit, the cycling jersey and bib shorts are designed as one piece, meaning it operates as a second skin for an improved fit and aerodynamic performance. This one-piece design approach also thwarts jersey creep and generally keeps everything tidier.
It's in the details where most of the aero trickery is going on. Nopinz uses what it calls 'Speedscalez' on the bottoms and 'Pista' fabric on the arms - additions that help provide a more slippery material. The torso region is constructed from a highly breathable fabric with excellent moisture-wicking management.
This particular kit represents the short-sleeve version of the Pro-1 Road Speedsuit, which may not be the most popular choice given the UK's colder climate, but that can be solved by pairing it with the Pro-1 arm warmers. For those looking to unlock even more speed and style kudos, it can be further complemented by a pair of Pro-1 socks to complete the look.
In terms of sizing, Nopinz offers a handsome spread to sate most physiques. As such, the Pro-1 road Skinsuit can be had in six sizes ranging from XS to XXL. It's worth noting that unlike some of its rivals, the fabric is very stretchy and sizing down might be needed for riders who straddle the lines between sizes.
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Riding experience and performance
Like all Nopinz products, a standout feature stems from what's happening inside the bib shorts - the chamois pad. In this application, the company has used an Italian option from Teosport, which is not only comfortable but also excellent when it comes to pressure dissipation and moisture management, too. While my time testing the Nopinz Pro-1 Road Skinsuit was limited to a few time trials and a couple hundred kilometres worth of training rides, it was clear that this is a product designed for performance and speed.
It feels racy and hugs the body but doesn't skimp when it comes to pragmatism. Where most dedicated skinsuits need two people to get on and often involve some form of contortion, the Pro-1 slides on with relative ease (this obviously comes down to flexibility). It also comes with two rear - albeit small - feed pockets to house a gel, keyfob or any other small item. And what of the fabled Speedpocket? Well, that's up to you but Nopinz will offer the service, the end result being number pockets with feed pockets beneath.
Another area that stood out was the ability to use the aero arm warmers when things were a bit chilly. You can also ditch them entirely on balmy-evening TTs. As far as scientific testing goes, I have no data I'm afraid but I did record my second fastest 10-mile TT of the year using this particular suit - 20:32. The 20:28 I set a week later was achieved using the new Le Col x McLaren Project Aero skinsuit so I'll leave that for you to mull over.
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There are a lot of options out there when it comes to skinsuits and things can get complicated and pricey very quickly. The Nopinz Pro-1 Road Skinsuit is a quality, all-round option that can double up for use across both road racing and time trials.
While it's not a dedicated time-trial skinsuit, it will get the job done, efficiently. Furthermore, at £149.99, it's substantially cheaper than some of the more established - read dedicated - proponents at this end of the market. With a great fit, a well-organised, practical design, and comfortable chamois, the Nopinz Pro-1 Road Skinsuit gets my stamp of approval, regardless of whether you're looking to move up a category or race to the cafe.
To access the full breadth of its talents, I recommend pairing Nopinz Pro-1 Road Skinsuit with the Pro-1 arm warmers and Pro-1 socks. Five stars.
Tech Specs: Nopinz Pro-1 Road Skinsuit
- Sizes: 6 (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL)
- Weight: 227g (XS)
- Colours: 4 (black-grey, orange-light orange, teal-light teal and white)
- Price: Pro-1 skinsuit (£149.99), Pro-1 arm warmers (£22.99) and Pro-1 socks (£15.99)
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