Scottish brand Endura have launched their new Endura D2Z range, a collaboration with wind tunnel experts Drag2Zero, which they say includes "the world’s most advanced aero clothing and helmet".
Endura worked with aerodynamicist Simon Smart of Drag2Zero at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 wind tunnel in Brackley, Northamptonshire to optimise their high-end aero kit designs, before making it all 350 miles further north in Livingston. A previous iteration of a Drag2Zero skinsuit was worn by Alex Dowsett when he broke the hour record back in 2015, and the Movistar pro team have a long-standing partnership with Endura and Drag2Zero.
The Encapsulator skinsuit (above) is optimised for speeds at 45kph or over, meaning this is aimed squarely at lightening quick time triallers. It's got Endura's 1000 series Aero chamois pad, specifically shaped for more aggressive riding positions, which is fast-wicking and has an antibacterial finish. The pouch for sliding your race number in at the rear was initially banned by the UCI before eventually being accepted, and eliminates the issue of causing your suit damage through having to attach safety pins. The suit has five different fabrics included within it to provide the best possible fit, durability and aerodynamics.
Endura tested the Encapsulator against a 'baseline' suit, their own 2013 Endura skinsuit, and five other competitors including Assos, Nopinz and Castelli: at various speeds and wattages Endura claimed their suit came out on top, with a 33.3 watt saving over the baseline suit and 21.6W over the best competitor at 50kph. Over a distance of 40km at 350 watts, Endura say the Encapsulator saved 100 seconds over the baseline suit, or 1.7kph.
Endura also have a trickled-down skinsuit in the new range, the Roadsuit, aimed at "the passionate rider looking to gain extra seconds on the local race circuit, hit ambitious targets on a big Gran Fondo and set new PB's". This one has short sleeves and loses the rear race number pouch, but Endura still claim it nets substantial aero savings verses various bib and jersey ensembles. If you just don't think you can rock a skinsuit, you can also get D2Z bib shorts and jerseys.
Endura's Aeroswitch helmet has been causing a bit of a stir since it was first unveiled (read our first look from Corebike back in January) due to its two-in-one design. It has a removable tail so you can use it as either a TT or aero road lid, and this can be mounted or removed in seconds. The same goes for the visor, which is held in place by magnets. Endura have used a 'Koroyd' core which is said to provide market-leading impact protection, while its tubular construction keeps the weight low. in terms of aerodynamics, Drag2Zero worked to reduce the negative effect of increased yaw angles, and claimed watt savings over six competitors at speeds of 40, 50 and 60kph.
Extraordinary performance claims of course mean some pretty extraordinary prices too: The Encapsulator skinsuit is an eye-watering £429.99, the Roadsuit is £329.99 and the Aeroswitch helmet is £349.99. If that hasn't put you off, all the gear is now available to buy via Endura's website.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.