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The Nopinz Pro-1 All Season Skinsuit is brilliant for cyclo-cross racing and will cover you well for early-season time trials and circuit races. The Lycra is heavier than typical and just warm enough to see you through the initial chill of the start of a race, and the price, number pocket and fit are all highlights.
It's a brilliant bit of kit for those of you who like to race your way through the winter months. For cyclo-cross it's been a godsend and not just because of the little bit of warmth provided by the heavier material. The fit, the pad, the number pocket and the grippers down at the wrist are all great. If you're a privateer and you want a suit for cooler days, this is a great choice.
Cyclo-cross rarely takes place in conditions that you'd call pleasant. The races are all held in winter and that means cold, and mostly also wet and windy. This requires a bit more than the standard summer skinsuit, and if you're taking to the start of an early-season time trial or road race then chances are you'll be experiencing similar.
My first cyclo-cross race in the Pro-1 All Season came towards the end of January, and with windy weather and temperatures just above freezing, it was the perfect chance to test the lower end of the skinsuit's temperature range.
Seeing as the strong winds were adding to the chilly temperatures, I opted for leg warmers and a thermal long sleeve baselayer. The material used for the upper section of the skinsuit is just slightly thicker than you'd usually find, and it gave just enough protection from the cold to keep me from freezing on the start line.
Once you get going in cyclo-cross, you generally warm up very quickly as there's no easing into most races. For the whole race I was perfectly comfortable and didn't overheat despite the full-gas effort.
I would like to have seen a windproof material used for the chest and shoulder sections, as this would have made the skinsuit better for the higher speeds of time trials and early season road races when you could feel the cold. That said, pair it with a Spatz BurnR gilet and you'd be toasty.
One thing I will note is that you might get a bit sweatier than usual, simply because of the slightly thicker fabric being less breathable. During a race that isn't too much of an issue, but when you stop it's best to have a warm top quickly to hand so you don't freeze.
While skinsuits are primarily designed to be fast – and Nopinz uses its Aerostripe fabrics to help there – they've also got to be vaguely usable. By that, I mean that I've got to get into the thing without removing a limb, and generally this act happens in the front seat of a Ford Fiesta.
Thankfully, the Pro-1 All Season is one of the easiest I've put on, with plenty of stretch in the fabric really helping. And the ease of use doesn't stop there. Race numbers usually need pinning, which isn't difficult, but unlike a pro racer, I'm not getting my skinsuits for free, so poking them full of holes isn't what I want to do.
The Nopinz Speed Pocket is just a clear square of lightweight plastic, behind which sits a pocket that is accessed from within the skinsuit. Before putting the skinsuit on, you simply slide your race number in and you're set.
This works best with the robust numbers that you usually get at the local time trial or road race, but if you go to a fancy race with paper or fabric numbers then you can simply pin the number to the inside of the pocket (the fabric bit, not the plastic bit) and it'll stay in place.
I really get on with the pad that Nopinz uses in this skinsuit. It's the same one as you'll find in the regular Pro-1 and it offers great support for riding in a racer's position.
In terms of sizing and fit, I had the small and there is plenty of length in both the legs and sleeves if you're long of limb. These also have good grippers to keep everything in place, and while the skinsuit is tight fitting, as you'd expect, the stretch in the fabric makes it very comfortable.
At £149.99, this is also one of the more affordable skinsuits that you'll find on the market, especially when you consider the included number pocket. The dhb Aeron LAB Raceline Long Sleeve Speedsuit is £220, while the Le Col x McLaren Project Aero Speedsuit is £350. Neither of these comes with a number pocket either.
All things considered, the Nopinz Pro-1 All Season is a brilliant skinsuit for racing in cold conditions. I'd say that it is better suited to the slightly slower speeds of cyclo-cross, as it is lacking a bit of windproofing for higher speeds. But the number pocket and fit are brilliant, making this a much better option than significantly pricier options.
Great fit, useful number pocket and far cheaper than anything else out there
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Nopinz Pro-1 All Season Skinsuit – Men's
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Nopinz says, "Based on our race-winning Pro-1 Speed Suit but with updated materials to meet the rigours of all-year-round racing. This suit is equally at home in both on and off-road events. This suit is warm, comfortable, and most importantly fast. The hydrophobic fabric repels water and mud, is stain resistant and warm, enabling you to perform at your best whatever the conditions! Available in bright colours to make sure you are seen on those gloomy, colder days."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hydrophobic and Aerostripe fabrics.
Teosport Armadillo pad.
Low-profile silicone grippers.
Nopinz Aero Speedpocket as standard.
Flexible YKK zip.
£150 – as opposed to £220 for a dhb equivalent, or £350 for a Le Col.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple: wash at 30 and line dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well. It is comfy and just warm enough to take the sting out of chilly start line waits.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
What you get for your money makes other skinsuits seem horribly expensive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I would have liked a windproof material on the chest for faster events.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Much, much cheaper than options from dhb, Castelli, Le Col and everyone else.
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 a comfortable, great fitting skinsuit for cold weather events. The number pocket is brilliant, and the price is far better than any else out there. I'd have loved to see a windproof material on the chest, but overall it's excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 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!