Belgian brand Bioracer are new to these pages but are celebrated for their aero expertise in the world of cycling, having long scored success on the track and in the peloton. That cycling influence looms large over the Speedwear Concept tri-suit on test here and it feels like a hybrid between a time-trial and triathlon suit, featuring lengthy pinstripe arm sleeves, smooth seams and the brand’s own Speedsilk fabric, yet lacking any form of pocket for carrying race fuel.
Once on, it’s that Speedsilk fabric that draws the attention. Created from a hot-press treatment, it’s utilised on the front torso, the side panels and the legs and is said to be aerodynamically swifter than regular Lycra. The aero appeal is continued with the pinstripe fabric woven into the arms and back in an effort to create the turbulent ‘golf ball’ aero effect to reduce drag. The race-day comfort continues with a long zipper guard, secure leg grippers and a spongy chamois
that has endurance appeal.
We analysed the Speedwear Concept at the Boardman Performance Centre’s wind tunnel in Evesham under the watch of Boardman’s head of science and technical development, Jamie Pringle, and it posted very impressive results at the 0° yaw angle (simply, the direction of wind on the bike) especially, figures that put it ahead of many £200+ tri-suits we’ve tunnel tested. For £25 extra, Bioracer also sell ‘Aero Tube’ calf guards for those searching out every possible watt reduction and a wealth of custom kit options.
It’s the lack of pockets that’ll divide opinion, however, and is something we saw in last issue’s Ironman tri-suits test in the form of the Orca RS1 Dream Kona. So is it worth the fuel-carrying penalty for the aero gains and enhanced, non-wetsuit swim hydrodynamics?
In our separate wind-tunnel tests at the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub conducted by Stephen Roche (thebiketailor.co.uk), adding two energy gels to each of the Huub DS tri-suit’s back pockets in the tri-bar position while riding at 45km/h added 31:08secs at 0° yaw angle or 46.42secs at 5° yaw to a 180km Ironman bike leg, which is certainly something to be considered by the elite and top, top-end age-group long-course whizz kids out there.
For many (definitely this back/midpack triathlete), however, we’d rather have the option of using pockets on the run and in training, even if we don’t utilise them on the bike leg when racing. So, personally, we’d prefer to use the Speed Concept for short-course racing only, but there’s much to admire here for the multisport speedsters out there and anyone racing non-wetsuit swims.
Verdict:lacking pockets, but a speedy, smooth and swim-friendly suit 85%