I’ve worked for Total Women’s Cycling for over a year now. I’ve reviewed a lot of pairs of shorts, tights, jerseys, jacket, gloves, shoes… but I’ve never reviewed a skinsuit. In fact, an off-the-shelf women’s skinsuit that fits is something I’ve wanted to find and review for some time.
Sadly, the vast majority of brands either don’t make one, or see such an item as a minuscule volume production so they’re just not interested in marketing them. Alé, it seems, are the exception to that rule – making not just a women’s skinsuit, but even different options for varying racing conditions. Hallelujah!
This year, I’m playing around with crit racing and the track – but I’ve ridden time trials for the past few seasons, so skinsuits – all in one outfits designed to improve aerodynamics – are something I know quite a bit about. Or rather, I know quite a bit about badly fitting ones.
When I first enquired around getting a women’s fit skinsuit in 2013, the initial response from one retailer was “er, do they even make women’s skinsuits?” Yes, they do, but they’re hard to find and expensive – so I have to admit I’ve been wearing my husband’s old one for about two years. It works ok, in that it covers me up on the bike, but it’s not aerodynamic since, would you believe it, I’m not shaped like a man!
I later invested in a club suit printed by a custom clothing manufacturer – it was made to fit a woman, apparently – but though the bottom half was perfect, the top half could have fitted around three of me in it, and the manufacturer seemed to think that along with a waist and breasts, I also must have a huge neck.
Enough of the woes – I simply want to make it clear what a struggle it’s been, so that when I explain the lightbulb moment of peeling on the Alé Cyclocross Women’s Skinsuit, my dear readers, you’ll understand my joy.