Why Are So Many Companies Only Making Skinsuits for Men?

Why Are So Many Companies Only Making Skinsuits for Men?

Here’s the deal: It is wildly frustrating how few options are available for women unless you decide to go custom. This just plain sucks, and it’s incredible to me how brands who make men’s skinsuits skip the women’s side altogether—even the big ones like Rapha that are otherwise doing awesome things with women’s clothing. My personal speculation (and what I’ve heard from some manufacturers) is that women are rarely racing seriously enough without a team to want to get a skinsuit, while men are more inclined to race solo for longer. This is a crappy reason, and hopefully as more and more women enter the sport, we’ll have more options for women’s skinsuits widely available. But for now, we’ve pulled together a few great options from brands who do understand that women are just as entitled to excellent racing gear as men.

Any Advice for While I’m Wearing It?

Two tips: First, apply chamois cream directly to your nether regions rather than putting it on the chamois, otherwise you’ll likely end up with it all over the place. Second, when getting ready to race, have someone help you pin your race number to your skinsuit while you’re wearing it and bent over in your aero position (make sure you trust the person to not stab you with a safety pin!), because pinning it before you put it on inevitably leads to ripping your number or the material.

How We Selected

As someone who got her start in triathlon and eventually fell in love with cyclocross after a quick jaunt in the crit racing world, I consider myself a bit of an expert when it comes to riding around looking like you’re wearing a pair of onesie pajamas. You’d be surprised how much cycling kit has evolved in the last 15 years, since the day I first pulled on a tri suit (backwards, oops) to now. I’ve raced and worn a skinsuit in everything from a boiling hot Ironman or a ’cross race in a blizzard, so I know what I’m looking for in a skinsuit (and what to avoid).

As I evaluated the best skinsuits available for cyclists, I factored in a few things. Primarily, I looked at the overall fit and comfort, the durability of the fabric and the zipper, and the general aesthetic. That little extra “something” didn’t hurt either, whether it was a bonus pocket, a design detail in the fabric, or a particularly grippy-yet-comfortable silicone band on the legs.