SKINS RY400 Women's Recovery Wear

by Jennifer Trotman

Colour Black
Well worth the money and make you feel a little bit 'pro'.

I'd heard about compression wear. I'd even read a bit about it.  As I understand it, the basic idea is that compression helps increase blood flow to the muscles which helps them perform better and recover faster.

I'm sure it's more technical than that, and there are lots of studies out there about it. But I hadn't really given much thought to it. I've always figured that kind of thing was for proper athletes, serious sportsmen, none of which I consider myself to be. However after doing a few sportives this year, and realising the three day Tour of Wessex was looming, it occurred to me that I didn't have anything to lose and it might be worth a go - anything to help me get through three consecutive days serious riding!

A couple of weeks before the event, I did a bit of looking around at what's available and, on recommendation, got hold of some SKINS RY400 Compression Long Tights and a RY400 Women's Compression Long Sleeve Top, both for recovery.  I also got some of their Cycle Pro Women's compression long tights for wearing on my remaining training rides, as my only pair of long tights were winter weight and too warm, but it wasn't quite warm enough for shorts yet. 

Buying kit on line can be a bit of a nightmare, especially for a lady with curves.  However SKINS are very precise in their sizing - they've done a whole heap of studies, including body scans of hundreds of active women - and their unique sizing system (which takes into account weight, height and body shape) meant that my new kit turned out to fit me perfectly. Not too tight - which would cut off blood flow - or too loose, which I'm guessing would defeat the object - if it's not compressing it's not working!

pro longs
The Longs Are Comfortable and Tight!

I started off with using the Cycle Pro long tights on a couple of training rides.  Unsurprisingly they're a little tighter than I'm used to, which felt a little strange to begin with but I soon got used to them. The fabric is really not very thick, and when my knee is strapped up you could see that through them, but I am assured they're not translucent where it might be an issue.  Although there are various panels and seamed contours to them, for very technical reasons I'm sure, nothing chafed or rubbed, and (very importantly) the chamois pad was really comfortable.  They're one of those bits of kit that you pretty much forget you're wearing, so you can just get on with riding. I've worn them quite a lot now, as they're so comfortable on, and if they're helping me perform better too - result!

skins top
Tricky To Get On But Worth It

On to the big guns though. I saved the RY400 recovery wear for the big event itself, a bit like how you save wearing a new bit of kit for the first time for a special ride.  It all helped with the feeling that I was prepared for the event.  With three sportives back-to-back, a positive mental attitude is important.

So how was it? Well I put both the recovery tights and top on straight after each days' riding. They're a tad tricky to get on, being as tight as they are, and I won't go pretending it's a good look if, like me, you're less than physically perfect, but that's not really the point. They have to be tight, they feel fine once they're on, and they're thin enough to wear under clothes, so it's not like anyone can see them anyway. I wore them on the drive home, put them back on after I had showered, and I slept in them, as recommended. It was a tiny bit boil-in-the-bag overnight, but that's a price I was happy to pay if they were going to make the next day's ride easier.

Every day I got back on the bike and rode all day, and although my legs were inevitably a bit tired by the end of the third day, I didn't have any of the kind of problems with sore, achey legs that I was expecting from that kind of riding.  I wore them after day three too, and I was back on the bike a couple of days afterwards.  It may not be scientific, but I'm pretty sure they helped!  

I've just done the Quebrantahuesos. I didn't get to put my recovery kit on until bedtime, and that evening my legs and shoulders definitely hurt. So when I got in, post celebration, I put both bits on, slept in them, and by the next morning, I was feeling pretty much back to normal again. I think it's fair to say I'm a convert to compression wear! I probably won't be wearing them after every training ride, but I will be after every event. Well worth the money.

Long Tights: £85.00, Long Sleeve Top: £75.00

Where to buy:

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