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The dhb Aeron LAB Raceline Long Sleeve Speedsuit is one of the most comfortable that I've worn and makes a great plain option for privateer racers. There are no tight spots and the materials are very soft with a close but unrestrictive fit. I do feel like number pockets would have been a more sensible addition over the three small jersey-style pockets on the back, though.
As luck would have it, I got the dhb speedsuit in for testing in the summer of cancelled races. If you're wondering why that's an issue, speedsuits aren't usually the comfiest garments, often favouring a very close fit in an aero position over any sort of give. There are also often sniggers should you arrive for the group ride in such a garment. Speedsuits are best saved for races, where comfort and looks are trumped by going fast. As a result, I'm reviewing this from a racer's perspective.
When I say that the dhb speedsuit is comfortable, I mean that it doesn't squeeze you like a sausage casing. There's quite a bit of give in the various materials used and this allows the speedsuit to conform to you.
One of my favourite features is the plain design. The minimal logos and all-black colour scheme will make this an ideal choice for the privateer racer. British Cycling has a rather archaic rule that racers above cat. 3 must wear club/team kit, but I've only ever seen this enforced in a select number of road races. So cyclo-crossers and lower category racers, you'll be fine in this.
With the popularity of the NoPinz pockets growing at all levels, I'm a bit disappointed to see this speedsuit go without some form of number pocket. They save you from pinning your race numbers on, which can easily ruin a speedsuit (or add ventilation holes, depending on your view) and I don't see a massive need for three rear pockets here. On the short sleeve version that is more of a day race suit, that's another matter, but here I think dhb has missed a trick.
One thing dhb has nailed is the comfortable chamois pad, especially when tucked down in an aero riding position. I didn't find any creasing here and the material is very soft. Top marks for the Elastic Interface pad.
The question of 'is this speedsuit a fast speedsuit?' can be answered with a simple shrug. dhb says that it has been in a wind tunnel where data influenced the placement of the seams, but there's no hard data on the product page. I can't say it was holding me back, but other speedsuits have hard data showing that they make you faster.
The fit is very close and I didn't find anywhere where this wasn't the case. Getting my hands through the wrist openings was a tad tricky due to the tightness and silicone gripper on the cuff. You just need to be careful to avoid tearing this if you're a bit late to the startline.
The legs are cut quite long, presumable for our old friend aerodynamics. On me the material stopped just above the knee and was perfectly comfortable. The speedsuit I have here is a small and that's what I'd usually wear, so I'd say that the garment runs true to size.
One feature that I love is the low-cut neckline. While this reveals the chest hair when stood up, it fits perfectly when you're tucked down in the drops, allowing you to do the zip up fully and leave no material flapping in the wind.
The Vislon zipper is very good when you need to half unzip on a steep climb. Given the tension in the surrounding material, it locks into position impressively.
There's also a radio pocket should you find yourself in a race where they're allowed.
At £190, this is one of the cheaper long sleeve speedsuit/skinsuits on the market, but it's in a minority that don't feature a pocket for your race number. You've got a lot of speedsuit options, though we've tested none of the following: BioRacer's Speedconcept TT (£209), the Castelli Body Paint 4.X Speed Suit (£225), HUUB's 4Zero9 Speedsuit (£299), the NoPinz Aerocoach Flow (£334.99), Assos' Equipe RS Rapidfire LS Chronosuit S9 (£390) and Endura's D2Z Encapsulator (£429.99).
For a great day race option, Castelli's San Remo 4.0 is £250, or there is the short sleeve version of this dhb speedsuit at £180. I'd say these short-sleeve skinsuits would be better if you're road racing, with the long-sleeve options above better for time trials and cyclo-cross.
If you're looking for a long sleeve speedsuit with a plain design for racing, dhb's Aeron LAB Race Line Speedsuit is a very good option. It is comfortable and fits well, but I wish a number pocket had been included in place of the standard three rear pockets.
Comfortable and close-fitting speedsuit ideal for privateer racers, but a number pocket would have been great
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron LAB Raceline Long Sleeve Speedsuit
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, 'Refined in the wind tunnel and victorious in the professional peloton, if you have a need for speed dhb's Aeron LAB Raceline Long Sleeve Speedsuit is the answer.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
dhb lists these 'top features':
Developed and worn by champions
High-performance aerodynamic outer panels
Superlight, highly-breathable inner leg fabric
Custom Elastic Interface® seat pad
Vislon® zip from YKK Group
Integrated leg gripper
Three rear pockets
Low neckline for aggressive race position
Inserts: 76% Polyamide(Nylon), 24% Elastane(Spandex)
Main: 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane(Spandex)
Short Panel: 58% Polyamide(Nylon), 42% Elastane(Spandex)
Three standard rear pockets instead of a race number pocket feels like an oversight
Leg and arm lengths both seem right on this size small which is what I'd usually take for a speedsuit.
One of the cheapest: you can pay £209 for BioRacer's Speedconcept TT, right up to £429.99 for Endura's D2Z Encapsulator.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
In with the rest of my kit at 30°C and then line dried.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The fit is close, leaving no material flapping about in the wind.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Given the very close fit, it's very comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No dedicated number pocket, but there are three standard pockets. For a garment designed for time trials and short circuit races, this choice feels like the wrong one.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
In terms of speedsuits, we haven't tested any. We have tested Castelli's San Remo 4.0 which is more tuned to road races. That's £250, but both are great options.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very comfortable.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, it'd be ideal for cyclocross.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a winner on price and design, making it great for a privateer racer, but a number pocket would have been a sensible addition in place of the three rear pockets.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!