Body paint - when racing naked is illegal
The discussion over the effectiveness of fabric verses bare skin in races against the clock is never-ending. It's been proven, by the numbers, that certain textures of fabric placed across the direction of wind flow are more aerodynamic than bare skin, but that's only if they have been engineered to conform to the body like a second skin. If you are wearing a dimpled, sharkskin suit, but it's baggy, you're better off racing nude. But because racing your bike in the nude is not UCI-legal, Castelli developed the next best thing — body paint. This technology isn't just for its Garmin -Sharp riders either. The same skinsuit is available to non ProTour riders. Don the Body Paint 3.0 Speedsuit and be prepared to fly.
The Body Paint fabric is in fact a barely there layer designed to fit like a second skin. It isn't happenstance that the skinsuits are so tight, it is the intent of the design itself. In fact, every aspect of the design works to make the fit as precise as possible. This way, by eliminating fabric bunching and pulling, airflow can pass over the suit more freely. Integral in this concept is the fabric selection itself, in this case a lightweight Lycra that can only be described as soft.
Furthering this attribute is the seaming of the Speeds Suit. If you've even the suits used by swimmers, you'll notice some similarities in seaming. Essentially, the design keeps the intended shape of the suit intact, and by doing so, reduces your aerodynamic footprint in the saddle. But, what is the intended shape? Well, the answer is both simple and complex. In its most simplistic form, the answer is to go fast, but to so fast, there's a lot of complex design to address. Castelli has worked extensively with Team Garmin-Sharp in order to absorb rider-feedback, tunnel test, and to achieve real world race experience. As a result, the cut, shape, and elasticity of the Speed Suit have been scientifically and methodically dialed-in. It has been designed to be worn while in time-trial position and as such is not your day to day training suit.
This brings us to the suit's aerodynamic benefits. Hesjedal rode to a Giro victory in this same suit, overcoming a 16 second podium gap. And while the speedsuit doesn't claim all the credit, after all, he's just fast, how do aerodynamics translate to rider speed? Well, it all comes down to managing airflow. The human body accounts for over 90% of aerodynamic drag on the bike. To mitigate this, the suit has been made to be what Castelli calls 'slippery.' Essentially, by combining a virtually zero-seam design with a low-profile, compacted thread Lycra, airflow remains attached to the body as it comes off of the helmet and front of the bike. Through this, turbulent air is controlled, and your drag numbers decrease. Amazingly, Castelli claims that this suit will save you 12 watts over 40 kilometers compared to its closest rival.
And for the third iteration of the Body Paint, there's even more features that have been added to the suit. Now, the back and upper arms have a mesh zone to aid in cooling, better managing your core temperature and thermo-regulation. Castelli has kept a back flap to pin your number on — after all, the Speed Suit isn't intended for base miles. Lastly, you'll now find that the wrist is tapered towards the palm with a subtle and comfortable loop system at the thumb webbing that secures the fit and position of the arms.
Rounding off the suit is Castelli's most innovative chamois, the Progetto X2 Air. The Progetto's surface uses a skin-care layer comprised of a seamless bacteriostatic fabric that conforms to the body without folding. The material supports airflow, and aids in evaporation. The second layer is multi-density foam with variable thickness paced where you need it, not where you don't. The comfort level is also aided by Castelli's Viscous comfort inserts; a perforated padding added to the highly-sensitive ishial and perineum pressure regions.
The Castelli Body Paint 3.0 Speedsuit is available in six sizes from Small to XXX-Large and in the colors Black/white and Black/white/yellow fluo. It should be noted that the suit is very form fitted and will pull if you try to stand upright in it. In fact, you'll find that if you're going to warm up in it on the rollers, you'll want to roll the top down for comfort.
- Form fit
- Body Paint Lycra
- Mesh zones on back and upper arms
- Thumb loops to secure arms
- Back flap to pin your number
- Progetto X2 Air chamois
View more Men's Bib Shorts
- How to Measure:
- For best results, take measurements over your underwear.
- Measure under your arms, around the fullest part of your chest.
- Measure around your natural waistline, keeping the tape a bit loose.
- Measure around the fullest part of your body at the top of your legs.
- Using pants that fit well, measure the crotch seam to the bottom of the leg.
Reviews & Community
Will there be an xs coming in stock any time soon?
This thing is sweet, feels fast, tight
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Bought this in a small. Im 5'7 , 139lbs during season. Medium build i guess for background. With a 34" chest.
I considered buying this for time trials. I also own a Assos cS.Uno Skinsuit . The castelli piece is tighter than the assos skin suit for sure. Both hunch you over while standing which is neat. Meant for time trial position not walking around. The castelli piece also has mesh on the back which i noticed is really awesome and wards off thermal stress. I rode the castelli in training on a 58F deg day and was legitimately feeling 'chilly'.
I don't have any data to support how fast this skin suit is, but i FEEL fast while wearing this thing....and feeling fast is part of being fast. I won the first time trial i rode with this. So it worked, duh. Will be keeping this piece for a long time!