The Katusha Aero Race Suit is very well made from high-quality fabrics. It isn't cheap but it does put in an impressive performance.
This is Katusha as in Katusha Alpecin, by the way, the pro team that's home to the likes of Marcel Kittel and Alex Dowsett. Whereas clothing manufacturers often go on to sponsor race teams, Katusha has done the whole thing arse about face; the team came first, then the clothing.
Anyway, back to the story... What you've essentially got here is Katusha's Aero short sleeve jersey (€160) and Aero bib shorts (€220) combined into one garment. Okay, it doesn't work quite that way, but you know what I mean – the best elements of each are put together into a single greatest hits compilation.
The lower is constructed from Schoeller Aero fabric that's designed to reduce drag. Made from polyamide and elastane, it has a honeycomb surface covered in slightly raised hexagons. It's stretchy stuff with a supportive feel.
The ends of the legs are laser cut so there's no hem, silicone gripper on the inside holding them in place against your skin. It works well and its very comfortable.
The pad is deeply cushioned, featuring an 11mm-thick layer of perforated open cell foam (90kg/m3) with 4mm-thick Poron urethane inserts, and a less dense (40kg/m3) 4mm-thick perforated open cell foam upper layer. It really is comfy whether you're sitting up in the saddle or you're down on the drops. It doesn't feel too bulky and it's surprisingly breathable.
The upper section is made of a mix of different fabrics including more Schoeller Aero on the sides, the tops of the arms, the shoulders and the upper back. It's a different weave but a similar structure to the fabric used for the legs.
The front and the lower back are made from four-way stretch materials while the panels that cover the armpits and the underside of the sleeves are lightweight mesh of a type that you might find used for baselayers. It lets loads of air through. The upper as a whole keeps you feeling cool in most summer temperatures while wicking sweat away from your body well.
The sleeves have silicone grippers on the inside to hold them in place, while the full-length YKK front zip has a puller that's easy enough to grab when you're going full gas.
Rather than open-topped pockets that might cause drag, you get two zipped pockets around the back, the zips hidden away in the side seams. The amount of pocket space is about the same as normal, although you obviously can't have anything poking out the top here.
Although black, the little logo on the lower back is reflective.
Katusha says that the fabric selection and placement has been tested in a wind tunnel and on the track, but I couldn't tell you how much difference that makes. I can say that the close fit ensures there's no flapping to increase drag and I can also tell you that I didn't find the Aero Race Suit too tight because of all the stretch in the fabrics used. It's slim fitting but I didn't find it at all constrictive.
When it comes to price you need to consider that the Aero Suit replaces both a pair of shorts and a jersey. As mentioned, Katusha's Aero short sleeve jersey is €160 while its Aero bib shorts are €220, a total of €380. Looked at this way, the €300 Aero Race Suit doesn't seem mega-expensive (€300 is about £270 at today's exchange rate).
It's not as expensive as Endura's D2Z Roadsuit (£329.99), although it is pricier than the Endura Pro SL Roadsuit (£179.99), Alé's R-EV1 Fiandre Strada Skinsuit (£180) and Castelli's very good Sanremo 3.2 Speed Suit (£225).
Overall, the Katusha Aero Race Suit is a high-quality option. The fabrics wick well and help to keep you cool, the seatpad is great and the details are well thought out. This isn't cheap but it does put in a really good performance.
High-quality one-piece with a really good seatpad
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Katusha Aero Race Suit
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
This is designed for racing, essentially, although some people prefer an aero suit to a separate jersey and shorts for day to day use.
Katusha says, "The fabric selection and placement are the result of intensive testing in a wind tunnel and on the track, the results of which prove it to be the fastest rider kit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Katusha lists these features:
* Schoeller Aero fabric on the shoulders and on the legs to reduce the drag effect.
* 4 ways stretch fabric on the front and back panels for more comfort.
* 37.5 superlight mesh under the arms.
* Lower neck line.
* Full centre front zip.
* Laser cut on the sleeves and legs hem with silicone grip.
* 2 zipped back pockets with side access.
* TM Evo pad with 3D shape and poron inserts.
* Reflective branding on the back.
The only flat seams are around the seatpad but the build quality is good throughout and the fabrics are great.
It puts in a great performance.
It's well made so I think it'll last. One issue with any one-piece garment like this is that you'll need to replace the whole thing if you wear out the lower section, whereas you could just replace your shorts if you used separates, and that would be cheaper.
It's a slim, athletic fit – it's supposed to be. There's plenty of stretch in the fabrics and the arm and leg grippers.
As ever with a one-piece, if you usually take medium shorts and a large jersey you'll have to compromise here.
Katusha has a size guide that's accurate.
The stretchy fabrics make for plenty of comfort.
The price is towards the upper end of what you'd expect to pay, although the high quality does help to justify that.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
You wash it at 30°C. I wondered whether the maroon lower section would bleed into the white upper, but that hasn't happened.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit, the fabrics and the seatpad. There's a lot to like here.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price of aero suits generally seems high, but it's easier to take when you consider that you're effectively getting shorts and a jersey (kind of!).
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Endura's D2Z Roadsuit is more expensive at £329.99, but there are cheaper options out there. Endura's Pro SL Roadsuit is £179.99, for example, Alé's R-EV1 Fiandra Strada Skinsuit is £180 and Castelli's very good Sanremo 3.2 Speed Suit is £225.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's an 8 overall. The quality is high and that's reflected in the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.