Skins TRI400 Men’s Compression Shorts
Through the summer months I’ve raced in a Skins Tri-Suit (see HellRider report) but with autumn and winter multi-sport looming, warmer layers on top make separate shorts a more versatile option. I also realise that, even for summer races, not everyone wants to rock the mankini look.
For any race involving both cycling and running elements, forego padding at your peril on the bike but a full cycling pad will have you waddling like a duck and potentially have catastrophic chaffing consequences on the run. You also don’t want to be having to change between disciplines so triathlon shorts, with a slim-line but still effective pad, offer the perfect solution.
I’ve really put these shorts from compression pioneers Skins through their paces over the last month or so. I’ve mountain biked, fell run, road cycled and completed brick sessions involving multiples of the above in them and they’ve really impressed.
The fit is spot on. You have to spend a bit of time on the site inputting height and weight but it’s well worth the effort. Despite early misgivings about there being no waist drawstring or silicon grippers around the legs, there’s absolutely no riding up or slipping down, even when the shorts are soaked through. They dry super quickly too, obviously important in a triathlon but equally key in typical adventure racing conditions.
They feel great to run in, with zero chaffing issues and a genuine sense of support for your muscles. They extend right down to just above your knee providing support and warmth for your entire quads. You don’t notice the lightweight chamois when running but, once you’re on the bike, you’re certainly grateful of it.
They’re holding up well to off-road abuse and my local super abrasive gritstone mud has yet to wear them down despite numerous liberal applications from the rear wheel of my mountain bike. They’ve kept their shape and compressive feel despite multiple washes and I’m confident they’ll see me through my winter racing schedule.
The jury is still out on the benefits of compression clothing during exercise but, from personal experience and I accept it could be placebo, I feel I suffer less fatigue and can go harder for longer. That aside, as a pair of multi-sport shorts they tick all the important boxes and any performance gains they give would just be the cherry on top of the cake. Their only drawback is obviously the price but for nether region comfort and chaffing free racing, I don’t reckon £60 is too big an ask.
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