Burning Question: Should the DH Skinsuit Ban Be Lifted?

Jun 2, 2018
by Paul Aston  




The 2018 Fort William World Cup marks the 10th anniversary of the Mojo Suspension racing team's PVC-coated Lycra skinsuits and the uproar that followed. Say what you want about them, but the only fact that is down in the history books is that riders Chris Hutchens, and Ben Cathro, donned the controversial catsuits for qualifying and race runs and had the best results of their careers to date: 17th and 8th place respectively.


The PVC coated Lycra skinsuit that prompted the rule. Ben Cathro at Fort William, 2008. Career-best. Photo: Phunkt
The PVC coated Lycra skinsuit that prompted the rule. Ben Cathro at Fort William, 2008. Career-best. Photo: Phunkt


A few months later, the UCI introduced a rule which banned skinsuits and 'tight-fitting clothing' plus another that enforced the use of visors on helmets. The wording of the skinsuit rule is looser than the moto-clothing Palmer used to wear. Now, I am not saying I want to see all riders wearing a silly Lycra suit onesie, but the rule was weird from day one as there were no stated measurements, I have never heard of anybody being checked at the finish line to see if their clothes are officially baggy enough. Nowadays, every rider worth their salt at the podium has stylish, tightly cut or tailored clothing, with specific fabrics that identify them as downhill mountain bike racers – not some MX wannabees in some old-fashioned moto kit.




The rule states 'Lycra elastane based' clothing as its enemy, but nowadays there is an array of materials and stretchy compositions that give a tight fit without breaking the rules. In a recent press release from Atherton Racing, they announced that they will be working in conjunction with Endura to develop race kits that will help with aerodynamics. At the end of the day, riders are racing downhill, with gravity and against the air, there are advantages to be had and surely rulings should reflect this in a way that is fair, equal, and measurable, for all competitors.


bigquotesThere is a buzz around aero gains across all tribes of racing right now and we plan to bring our proven expertise and manufacturing might in this area to bear on the downhill course.... watch this space.PRESS RELEASE: Endura Sport Ltd


For those of you thinking, "What the hell is Aston talking about?" here is a brief history of MTB clothing: Clunker riders used to wear jeans and tee shirts or whatever they wore in day to day '70s life for a bike ride. Then people wore tight Lycra-type clothing when road racing for aerodynamics and comfort, which was adopted by XC racers, who moved onto downhill racing in the early days. Shaun 'Napalm' Palmer rocked up in the mid '90's in full motocross kit and everybody loved him (Palmer lost the World Championships in Cairns 1996 by 0.15 seconds with a peak and baggies to Nicolas Vouilloz). Then, the cool kids all wore baggy clothes and helmet peaks for years, bar the occasional World Championship where governing bodies usually provided Lycra skinsuits.


Did Sam Hill blow out that last corner on that fateful Val Di Sole day in 2008 because he wasn't used to the extra speed of the skinsuit? Photo: Itster
Did Sam Hill blow out that last corner on that fateful Val Di Sole day in 2008 because he wasn't used to the extra speed of the skinsuit? Photo: Itster


Occasionally riders stepped out of line and lost their peak and found a skinsuit just in time for race runs, a finger was often pointed at 'the French,' but back then it was a guessing game as who was going to turn up to the start line in what. A gentleman's agreement was formed and signed in the interests of "the image of the sport," – basically the riders teamed up and decided that it would be better in the long-term to look cool instead of going fastest, and, if everybody wore the same clothes, they would all have the same disadvantage. In 2008 Mojo et al. broke the agreement to prove a point. Late 2008 the UCI made an official rule that has stood for ten years. Ten years on technology has improved massively, mountain bike kit is now cool in its own right, and everyone is wearing skin-tight clothing and helmets shaped in wind tunnels.

Mark Wallace didn t have too much luck in Croatia to start the season but with a 12th place last year he s a top 10 contender.
Today's top downhill racers are wearing outfits that are tailored and close-fitting as they search for any possible time savings.

We asked a few a few of the key players in this discussion, including Craig “Stikman” Glaspell from Troy Lee Designs, a brand who are behind much of the MTB image we have today, Chris Porter, the Mojo man who made his riders skinsuit-up ten years ago, Gee Atherton, the last man to win a World Championship in Lycra, and Ben Cathro who finished in 7th place with the best result of his career in Fort William








Stikman

Craig “Stikman” Glaspell – Global Category Director - Bike, Troy Lee Designs

Craig ''Stikman'' Glaspell's career has seen him go from working as a shop mechanic in Redondo Beach, California, to wrenching on the National and World Cup circuits for some of the quickest racers in the around. He's keeping things a bit more local these days, although he's still working with some of the fastest racers out there as the Global Bicycle Category Director at Troy Lee Designs.

bigquotesPart of me says ‘wear whatever you want, if you wanna look like a tool, go for it,’ but, I was around in the era of this rule being created and it was for good reasons-image for a growing sport. The sport looked pretty wank and un-cool. This sport is never going to be mainstream, nor should it be, the image of DH is good as is.

That being said, we as a brand love speed and any advantages to get the win and go faster. Troy was the first to bring fairings to Mammoth in the early 90’s, rubber suits, aero helmets, pulling visors off and sealing up all the openings. Troy and John Parker from Yeti were also the very first DH team to go into the wind tunnel to find performance advantages for bikes and equipment in the 90’s.

TLD pro Luca Shaw does have his race pants altered a bit, so they are a bit more snug than production, but still not ‘tight’, I think they still have a DH race vibe while having a ‘faster’ look. Our production Sprint pants are more tailored and ‘race fit’ than anything in our moto line, so we are already on trend for DH and BMX racing. We are also doing some innovative developments with Al VanNoy from Adidas Futures labs, and playing with different textiles for speed performance gains, while being lightweight and very durable-we always learn a lot from our Adidas friends.

On visors, we used to special cut Vouilloz visors to his specs, a bit shorter and more venting through the inside – no-one has ever asked since.

Ultimately, on kit, more race fit DH kits isn’t the end of the world, but taking the visors off would be an epic fail!




Photo by Saskia Duggon
Chris Porter – CEO/Owner, Geometron Bikes and MojoRising

Heretic. When Chris Porter showed his first Geometron to the world he was outcast as a crazy guy from the UK. Less than three years later, arguably, his influence is widespread. Every bike that comes out is accompanied by marketing spiel that echoes Chris' words: longer reach, slacker head angle, steeper seat angle, shorter stems and less fork offset. More importantly, for this article, it was probably his 'fault' that the UCI introduced the rule – in 2008 at the Fort William WC, his Mojo team riders donned a freaky PVC-coated Lycra suit and rode to the best results of their career: Ben Cathro finished 8th, and Chris Hutchens bested his 37th place career high by 20 places finished in 17th.


bigquotesIn a word, YES!… Yes, the skinsuit and visor rule should be lifted. It is a rubbish rule in so many ways on so many levels:

The wording of the rule suggests that all Lycra-elastane based and tight-fitting clothing should not be permitted. As 'Lycra-elastane' provides the stretch in almost all fitting clothing, nearly everyone who qualified for the DH finals in the last years since the rule was made should be written out of the results. Socks, underwear, compression tops, body armour, gloves (for those sensible enough to wear them), cuffs and stretch panels and even the leaders' jersey would see to that.

But….Maybe not… If you wanted to race in Lycra-elastane it really would be no problem… 'Lycra-Elastane based' suggests that the clothing is 'based' on Lycra-elastane. In most clothing the Lycra-elastane element is no more than a few percent, most of the clothing would be described by a sports lawyer as 'Polyester based'…

The visor rule is even better… No-one calls a helmet peak a 'visor'. A helmet peak is called a 'peak'. Valentino Rossi's motorcycle helmet has a 'visor.' So losing the peak and using a visor which is way more aerodynamic would absolutely not be a problem!

I guess the issue is that DH racing (for most people, some hardcore racers aside) is a fashion event and not a real sport against the clock. There are numerous ways to achieve a more aerodynamic result without having to resort to restrictive TopShop jeggings as most of the teams did last year. But the will is not there. It seems more important to do a big sideways whip (the final jump at Fort William, for example) than to freewheel around it in a tuck which is proven to be quicker!

The peer pressure in the DH fraternity is more like that found in a school playground rather than a professional sports paddock. The truth is that there probably isn't a rider who would wear a skin suit and aero helmet and ride an aero bike (even just an angled or folded numberplate for crying out loud!) with tires focussed towards rolling speed, weighted with lead and with no chain. All of these things have been shown to improve the speed of the bike/rider combo through the air and over the ground. But the peer pressure would prevent a rider from doing it, even as the stopwatch showed a winning time…

Maybe there's another element at work here? Maybe if a rider was suddenly given more free speed then that rider would simply squeeze the brakes until back at the usual 'comfortable' speed? That's probably the case… But, I'd love the rule to be rolled back so I could see how fast Aaron Gwin could really go with a bit more aero!




Atherton Racing

Gee Atherton – Trek Factory Racing

Gee Atherton was the last man to win a downhill World Championship wearing Lycra back in 2008, the fateful day Sam Hill blew out the last corner at Val Di Sole. Maybe Sam crashed because of the extra speed he carried through the air on the huge jump out of the trees? His Australian Lycra onesie taking him by surprise and missing his braking point?

bigquotesIn my opinion, the skin suit rule served its purpose in getting riders out of the horrific looking kit and into something a little more marketable, the companies and manufacturers that sponsor the athletes and events are what keep the sport alive and kicking after all.

However, that said, with the sport growing and growing, riders and sponsors alike are looking at new ways to push the sport and hunt for that extra speed. Tighter, slimmer, more efficient clothing is an obvious starting point. This is only a good thing, as we all want to go faster, and when done right, I think it can still look pretty cool, after all, there is a big jump between tight, well-fitting trousers/race top and a full-blown Lycra one-piece.

I think at the end of the day the riders and teams will use their common sense. The rule should remain to keep people out of that Lycra suit, but pushing the limits is what the sport is all about.






Ben Cathro – Sick Skills MTB Coaching

Ben Cathro has his career best result back in 2008 in the fabled PVC-suit. The giraffe-like rider nicknamed 'Hightower' by his friends, admits that it wasn't the ideal thing for a man of his stature to wear, but did give him an advantage on the day where he made a few mistakes when it counted. Nowadays, the racing has taken a back seat for Ben as he focuses on his Sick Skills Coaching, but that doesn't stop him from turning up to the occasional DH or Enduro race in Scotland and taking the win against full-time racers.

bigquotesThis is a topic that is very relevant to me as the Mojo team skinsuits at Fort William 2008 were the catalyst for the original ban. Those things were faaast! We calculated that the suits were worth about a second per minute of track which saved us five seconds total over a race run. My run at the race wasn't very good with lots of mistakes and it was still my best ever result at 8th position. Without the skinsuit, I would have been closer to 20th. I'll admit I did not make it look good. The combo of the black shiny suit and my extreme lankiness was not pleasant to look at. I'm never going to look good in a skinsuit, though, so that's not the best reference. I like the look of the current tight fitting race kit, it looks aerodynamic and rad.

Anyway, who said skinsuits weren't cool? As a kid watching the World Champs I didn't think twice about racers wearing skin suits. Surely the terrain and bikes are what made downhill recognizable and attractive, not the clothes they were wearing?

The current kits from some of the teams are skin tight. The only thing that's different from days of old is the material due to the no Lycra rule. So I guess too tight would be when the circulation starts getting cut off. The rule is more of a gentleman's agreement put on to paper, I've never seen it being enforced or checked either. My take on it is that that it's just to stop anyone riding in a 'traditional' skinsuit.

Times are getting tighter and all the teams are hunting for those marginal gains. At the end of the day, downhill is about going as fast as possible. Why plow loads of time, money and technology into everything else then slow yourself down with baggy kit? I personally think skinsuits can look awesome if done right. Just look at the modern kit of some teams as they are the modern DH MTB version.





Now I'm not saying I want to see the return of Lycra skinsuits to downhill racing, I'm simply saying the rule isn't really a 'rule' and has been out of date for ten years. Is it time for a change?

Posted In:
Industry News



260 Comments

  • 421 2
 How about they allow Lycra if you also wear a cape?
  • 11 2
 Ok I’m down for that then.
  • 9 0
 Yes, should be compulsary .
  • 14 1
 Your right, a cape would of saved Sam Hill on that last corner.
  • 4 0
 @Boardlife69: yes I think so too. Would love to see him don the cape at the whistler round of EWS
  • 47 0
 Personally, I think fatsuits are the way to go. Much much safer. So safe.
  • 17 29
flag heavyp (Jun 2, 2018 at 6:16) (Below Threshold)
 Yes the ban should be lifted in a sport that is all about speed and getting from point A to B the quickest its stupid to have a rule that may help Joe Bloggs gain that extra bit of time that maybe the difference between a top 20 to a top 10. Imaging banning skin suits in downhill skiing or athletics it would never happen, the UCI put this ban in when Minnaar joined the board or whatever it was he became as he voiced his opinion but he used to wear them so its a bit hypocritical. To ban something that can give a rider a slight advantage is narrow minded, it shouldn't of been banned because it doesnt look cool if people cant look at a guy in a skin suit without using homophobic slurs than its them they need help. The top riders get better suspension and factory support to help them gain extra seconds on the track that privateer riders on the World Cup circuit do not, so if a skin suit can help them position higher than they usually would then the ban should be lifted.
  • 38 0
 NO CAPES!
  • 15 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: thanks Edna!
  • 9 0
 @heavyp: yes but if they all get skin suits it all becomes the same, doesn’t it.
  • 8 0
 Or a tutu. AND clown shoes. On platforms. No clipping in with the clown shoes! That would be unfair.
  • 8 1
 @heavyp: top level mogul skiers are required to meet a certain level of loose-ness in their clothing... don't know the exact quantity off the top of my head but they do get checked often.
  • 14 0
 @heavyp: you're forgetting that if ALL the racers wear them that any advantage disappears and they're all on a level playing field again,, just not looking quite as dapper as before..
  • 8 0
 @heavyp: thing is, it won't elevate a rider from 20th to 10th if everyone is wearing them.
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: Yep. And ski cross too. The pants are interesting in ski cross. The lower leg is a stiff formed aero shape.
  • 17 3
 As long as the capes are no longer than 26" ...because 29ers are gay. Choose you cape size and be a d!ck about it.
  • 3 0
 Superbruni!
  • 3 0
 SUPER BRUNI !!!
  • 2 0
 you owe me a beer dude. just spat it out on my laptop! LMAO
  • 1 0
 Dudev new this post was a 10 upon hitting submit
  • 2 0
 And your underpants (pants, ,undies, gruds, tighty whities, Y-fronts or lacy nickers if you want) on the outside. That way we can see who's riding fast and who isn't - brown undies = fast.
  • 1 0
 @cyclo-maniac:

I’m down with this.
  • 355 8
 Get rid of the rule, then make the courses so gnarly that they don't help. The skinsuits were a symptom of the disease. The disease is flat 50mph tracks. Kill Lycra with gnar
  • 27 1
 Yep.

Those old enough will remember the 80s XC debate when riders turned up with cross bikes cos the XC courses were so lame. Then they just banned >26" wheels (the irony now!), but really they should have sorted the courses out.
  • 33 1
 Can't upvote this enough. UCI is bloodsucking mtb. Stupid rules all over. Dhws now and gnar. I say hardline world series
  • 27 0
 KILL IT NOW WITH GNAR!! I like that saying.
  • 22 1
 Kill Lycra with Gnar. Phrase of the day.
  • 15 1
 The riders are so fast these days that even the gnar goes down at high speed. They are hauling ass on Hard Line. Don't tell me for a second that that course isn't tech enough. And with the big airs, aerodynamics plays a big role. These guys are fighting for 1/10th of seconds. That is the game. Having fashion rules in DH is no more or less dumb than requiring CX bikes to use drop bards or roadies to wear the correct socks. DH needs more venues and fewer non racing rules.

I'm glad to see tailored racing suits vs a DH ski suit. But it is just silly to leave time on the clock due to fashion.
  • 8 2
 The rules must keep top riders and Redbull execs. in hilltop houses, driving exotic sports cars.
  • 5 2
 ^^^^^^ this guy for UCI president
  • 5 0
 I l sorry but have you seen Sam Hill s run in val du sole from 2007? Track was Gnarlier than EVERy track today and he was in Lycra
  • 2 0
 That said, if u can choose ur wheel size u should be able to choose ur clothing, whether its jean shorts, lycra skinsuit, or banner ad mtb wear. The new crop of dh pants aren't that far off from skin tight anyways.
  • 2 0
 "Kill Lycra with gnar"
@kikouman p'tit tatouage?
  • 2 0
 This guy gets it.
  • 102 3
 Couldn't really care about skin suits, even if I think they look stupid and divide racers from the riders they want to market to, by allowing them to look different to those in bike parks, it's a choice.

I think it's a classic case of the UCI interfering, and the less of this the better. In road racing there are rules on the length of socks, the color of rain jackets, the angle of saddles - in DH we've had the 'trade team' debacle, UCI rules around who can host events of the DH WC, banning of POV camera to protect broadcasters... (yet they let Armstrong and now Froome make a mockery of them for years as it keeps the marketing hype up and money rolling in.)

There are however no rules on concussion, or any mandatory concussion protocols in place to protect rider health! I heard Dean Lucas say yesterday that he couldn't remember the minutes after his huge crash (he was evacuated on a spine board, had a cut eye brow from the impact, has a blood shot eye from the impact etc)... followed by, 'but I'm going to go out and try and race on Sunday...' THIS is where the UCI should step in, not for other marketing rubbish. They are not interested in the sport or the riders - only in what will make them money.

An independent DHWS would be better for the sport. I'd love for us to ditch the UCI altogether.
  • 18 3
 Good point re concussion. And I'm completely sick of all the uci bashing, now it's mostly just pointless whingeing. Listen to the inside line on vital with Martin whitely for an educated perspective.
  • 12 0
 If Dean races in this condition I will lose any faith in this sport.
  • 2 0
 Just like to put it out there that it was actually UCI who stepped in and wouldn't let him race
  • 1 0
 @TinyTim10: Awesome!
  • 42 1
 Move to better slower tracks that are more technical and it is not an issue. Safer for riders better watch and almost no aero advantage. I dont want to watch track racing with jumps.
  • 18 0
 Couldn’t agree more. I would much rather watch them ride tracks like Val Di Sole and Champery than the newer motorway style tracks with only 1 line and everyone tucking for speed.
  • 1 0
 @Stumpy2: vds is still on the circuit?
  • 1 0
 @russthedog: yes it is . July 7-8th this year.
  • 22 0
 I mean I do like track racing with jumps when there are like 4 guys on dirt jumpers and we call it four cross
  • 5 11
flag tetonlarry (Jun 2, 2018 at 10:00) (Below Threshold)
 I agree about the "track", but I respectfully disagree about jumps. The scrubs are my favorite part of watching DH racing, and give an advantage to riders with good airtime skills. I would love to see some Fest size jumps in DH races. Slow technical riding is not better to watch.

Fast, Loose, Rough, with huge jumps is what I want.
  • 7 0
 @tetonlarry: Thing is, with jumps that big, the weather has to be good. Otherwise you could end up in the hospital. And especially if these guy are trying to squeeze every bit of speed out that they can.
  • 8 2
 @experthucker
I call this the BMXification of mountain biking. Whips are totally cool, no doubt. But making it through the gnar is far more impressive to me. Big air and whips and all that remind me too much of motocross. But this is mountain biking...
  • 35 2
 “DH” will undergo a split. One one side, a bunch of bros in t shirts and moto pants looking cool and throwing giant whips on fest style jumps. Occasionally someone will ride off a cliff or down the side of a quarry or something equally badass. They make awesome, but disposable edits that nobody remembers 10 minutes later.

On the “racing” side, a dwindling number of hardcore racers on no-holds barred racing machines will be going insanely fast in front of fewer and fewer people. People are in Lycra, bikes look nothing like today with crazy tires, weights and all the other things that Paul Aston, Chris Porter and people like that that know better than the rest of us dream about. It’s amazing from a progression stand point, but bikes are so expensive and so specialized that most people just end up “enduroing”

Enduro is bigger than ever but nobody cares because in ten years mountain biking is 90% fat Americans and skinny Europeans on ebikes on dirt roads. The remaining 10% are the hardcore rigid singlespeed types of today who have gone underground to pedal illegal trail since bikes are now banned everywhere since all the fears about ebikes and trail access came true
  • 1 2
 10% single speeders!? Ha! SS frames are almost as extinct as 26er stuff...
  • 29 1
 I don't see the point tbh, the only way it makes a difference is if only a handful of racers wear them. Once everyone does it then we are just back to normal again. Plus they look naff. Most of the racers don't wear anything that baggy anyway these days.
  • 11 0
 Exactly this, every ones speed will go up marginally together, the results will be the same, we will just get to see more camel toe and sausage.

I think the current trend for tailored/fitted kit looks good and is aero enough.
  • 26 2
 It was a ban?

I'd always thought it was a choice for the rider?

In the words of the Prophet Wiggum -
" I'd it feels good, do it."

Personally would love to see pro riders rocking flannel and hawaiian shirts, bring some fun into WC DH.
  • 8 0
 Loved it when Eddie master did this some time ago !
  • 24 1
 Now we know why Nicholi Rogatkin rides slopestyle but not DH.
  • 31 10
 It should be banned. If it results in faster times, that only benefits early adopters until everyone is doing it, then it has no benefit. Same with 29" wheels. Make the sport lose it's style and it will not have any spectator appeal.
  • 9 13
flag SintraFreeride (Jun 2, 2018 at 8:25) (Below Threshold)
 The same could be said of suspension or disc brakes. However, going back to fully rigid bikes is not on the menu. If it is faster and safe it should be allowed end of story.
  • 12 6
 Horse shit. Alpine skiing has huge appeal. Nordic skiing too in the countries that do it well. NFL. Cripes, American football players wear Lycra knickers and knee socks.
  • 5 3
 @SintraFreeride: Your logic is skewed there bud. "The same could be said of suspension or disc brakes", how do you even come to say that an apparel rule is anywhere near relative to component selection and set-up? That's like saying if it is safe and faster, running 2.2" slick tires at Leogang would be a good choice, haha. I have watched DH racing since the early days, when skin suits came in, it was a pathetic attempt to gain any sort of an advantage. I lost interest in watching because of that and I love watching and following the WC.

How about you take your logic and go try to convince moto riders they should wear skin suits... Good luck with that.
  • 7 1
 @SintraFreeride: Tell me how cross dressing would make racing safer like suspension and disc brakes?
  • 8 0
 @Someoldfart: None of those things you mention are appealing to watch.
  • 1 1
 @casman86: He says missing my point entirely.
  • 3 4
 @Drewnose: DH skiers wear protection underneath their skin suits. So you can have safety and speed together. As I recall you were the one bemoaning bigger wheels and skinsuits and how they have no propose when everyone is on it. The same could be said with suspension. How about dialing travel down to 150mm? Everyone is equal and everyone is slower and the best would probably still be the best. Motogp riders DO wear tight leather suits for aero reasons! DH racing is supposed to be about beating the clock not looking like MX racers (which are no doubt cool of course). So peakless helmets with visors al motorcycle road racers and skin/leather suits would make more sense.
  • 2 1
 @SintraFreeride: Point form to simplify it for you. It seems you need it to stay focused.

- There was no mention about DH skiers in my post.
- I didn't mention wheel size at all either.
- What is the point of dialing suspension travel back for DH racing? That makes no sense, we have spent all this time developing it to get to this point.
- Tight "leather", not Lycra skin suits.

What the f@&k are you going on about? SMH.
  • 1 1
 @Someoldfart:


American football players do NOT wear 'knickers' or 'knee socks'.
Hell, NO American wears 'em
  • 24 5
 NO. There is no market for this other than the professional riders wearing skin suits so no need to expect companies to pour money into a product that has no return (can’t imagine anyone in the real world rocking a skin suit). I have no issue seeing the pro’s wearing a well fitted jersey like Loris or Troy and the rest but give it a break with the skin suit push every other year. Before anyone mentions downhill skiing they are clocking over 100km/h so a little different to mtb speeds.
  • 7 5
 Slalom ski racing is far from 100km/h and right in line with (or slower than) the speeds these bikers are going.
  • 10 1
 @ka-brap: Skiing is sustained speed. Modern DH MTB tracks only have a few short sections that briefly allow for getting up to those speeds. The general consensus among racers and fans is that more gnarly, steep, technical tracks are what's wanted over the wide open, speed tuck tracks of the past.
  • 5 0
 @mecabeat: I definitely agree with your last statement, but the fact remains that a slalom race and a mtn bike DH race (even at the most technical track like Val di Sole) share the same need for sustained speed. If you watch Marcel Hirscher at the Kitzbühel Slalom and any past winner of VDS, you tell me who would benefit more from a speed suit.
  • 9 0
 @ka-brap: Exactly!
I'm a professional Alpine ski coach and the time difference even on 30 second courses with 15 year old's is sometimes in the seconds, in SLALOM. Its to the point that we force our athletes to train in the suits even when it is freezing ass cold because the speed they hold makes such a difference that if they are not used to it the kids blow out when they strip down for races. I cant believe the level of ignorance in the comment section here.. did anyone even read the article? Ben Cartho said it was worth 1 second a minute on a DH run.. Speed suits make a hug difference! The issue itself is a weird one though. If the powers that be really wanted all out speed and competition, then the speed suit would be legal. I think the fastest rider typically wins as is, so I'm not clamoring for speed suits or anything but living with Alpine ski racing my whole life I think I kinda find it funny how this is such a hot button issue.

If everyone is so concerned with looks why don't we just add style judges to the mix?
  • 1 0
 @elsinore: When skinsuits first happened in DH, it was a bit like the crazy expensive, high-tech swimsuits that aquatics athletes wore, destroying the competition and breaking records. The result: they were banned. Skin was slower than high-tech, ultra-slippery, extra buoyant material that only the elitest-of-the-elite had access to. However, it only makes sense that if riders have universal access to something that makes them perform at a higher level, why not?

Idea: Maybe in the future, a bike tire manufacturer will sponsor the entire series, and provide the same tires to the whole field, à la F1 auto racing.
  • 2 0
 @PinkyScar: @elsinore: As a former ski racer I can concur. The speed suits - even in 20-30 mph slalom - made a huge difference. Of course, that means everybody had to wear one to even the playing field. Could you imagine if slopestyle, halfpipe, or boarder/ski cross allowed speed suits? My god - the amplitude and speed would be nuts - and it would be safer in a way - less wind impact when airborne. The current MTB DH kits are almost as trim as the prior speed suits though. I don't want to see one-piece lycra suits and visorless helmets in MtB, but in DH racing, it would make a big difference. But as others have said - it would equalize - everyone would be doing the same.
  • 19 1
 If like me you’re old enough to remember the sight of Peaty in full Lycra you’ll understand why the ban needs to stand! Palmer brought Baggies to the sport, and it immediately attracted bigger sponsors from more diverse markets. To go back now could see a lot of that money walk, and in the current financial climate that could be disastrous for the sport.
  • 4 9
flag housem8d (Jun 2, 2018 at 4:38) (Below Threshold)
 who cares about the money, mtb is about vibes and plain fun. Pros do care about the money, that’s for sure, but that’s a part of being a 9-5 racer
  • 2 1
 Those were formative days of the sport. The number of average people riding today will assure the big money remains
  • 23 8
 DH is a time trial. It's against the clock and should simply be about going as fast as possible. Some regulations are obviously necessary, but having one that is about aesthetics seems stupid. Banning skinsuits makes about as much sense as banning certain colours. Like "no pink bikes because it makes the sport look silly".
Just get over it
  • 7 0
 A E S T H E T I C S I S K I N G
  • 11 3
 Racing. World Cup. This is not a fashion show. If you want style checkout slope style and Rampage. It’s also bad a$$. It is not racing. The racing makes DH rad. Going full tilt over gnarly teraine is bad ass. Helmet peaks and loose clothing are dumb as f for downhill racing.
  • 4 0
 @heyburn: RIP ZYZZ. A E S T H E T I C S
  • 8 0
 Faster times but the same results, the new style of fitted/tailored kit looks good and is slim enough to not be flapping in the wind.
  • 9 0
 I think you and a lot of others are missing the point of why the rule exists. It was put in due to marketability. The goal is to grow the sport, bring in more money. Everyone s always says how these guys should get paid more right? Well the only way to do that is bring in more sponsor money.

Unlike major sports where players get a salary and teams make money on ticket sales, TV contracts, etc. DH mountain biking is a sponsor driven sport and sponsor driven sports literally only exist as an advertising platform. From a business/financial perspective these riders are nothing but live billboards for products.

And some of the more prominent sponsors in the industry are apparel companies who outfit the teams. What happens if everyone starts wearing skin suits though? Riders then become useless to those apparel companies as an advertising platform and with it goes all that sponsorship money. If they can showcase their products they aren’t sponsoring any riders or teams.
  • 3 0
 @MonsterTruck:
DH clothing takes it's cue(s) from motocross, and what do they wear in MX?
MX bikes carry more speed than DH bikes-thus riders would obviously benefit more from 'aerodynamic' clothing, so why do we not see any 'skin' suits ANYWHERE in MX/SX, ANYWHERE in the world?
Answer: Because nobody will care how well you perform if you look utterly ridiculous doing it
  • 1 0
 @IllesT hits the nail on the head. It's a race, right? Well then riders should be able to wear any kit they think will get them down the hill fastest, provided:

* The kit can be obtained by anyone in the race. That is, everyone has access to the kit either through their sponsor, or through purchase.

* The kit does not artificially enhance the physical abilities of the athlete. For example, in 2008 and 2009, elite-level swimsuits were made of polyurethane that increased the buoyancy of the athlete and decreased muscle fatigue through compression. The end result was that the swimmers became human paddle boards and were breaking world records in every heat at the World Championships in 2009. I can't imagine what the mountain biking version of this would be, but that's the kind of thing you need to avoid.

As far as people wearing skin suits looking goofy, or the lack of marketability, alpine ski racers wear skin suits, but you don't see your average recreational skier out there in one. The sport is still popular. Swimming is a fairly popular sport on the Olympic level, but you don't see people (outside of Europe) wearing Speedos on a beach, and certainly not the $400 performance speedos. People understand the difference between performance wear and casual sporting wear. I don't think it would hurt.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: The comparison to alpine skiing isn't really a good one. Its an Olympic sport and carries a much wider worldwide popularity. It doesn't rely on or need the clothing sponsors. Look at the top skiers. Someone like Mikaels Shiffrin has huge sponsoship deals with not just ski companies but oakley, barilla pasta, longines watches, westin hotels, etc. Lindsey Vonn has deal with Hershey, Proctor and Gamble, and Rolex. The money is there for those sports unlike it is for downhill mountain biking, where clothing sponsors are an integral part.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: Good point. Hadn’t thought of that.
  • 20 7
 Holy $&it I’m getting so tired of Chris Porter, he is such a TRY-HARD!!! Do you even down country bro? Just cuz you do Portes du Soleil with your tuned Fox 36 every year doesn’t mean you gotta be such a Geomenaz!.... You should put your strong opinions towards politics and not friggin Mtb geo dammnnnnn chiiiilll
  • 4 7
 Just saying, but he knows more than you.
there is no coincidence that all the geo changes he's been calling for, for years (longer, lower, slacker) have been adopted by pretty much every brand. So...
  • 5 1
 Can’t give you enough props for this bro
  • 16 1
 I'm not sure I'd want to race a dh track in Lycra, imagine coming off in a rock garden you'd be shredded
  • 12 0
 Couldn’t agree more … plus loose pants and jerseys comfortably allow room for protective gear … if one chooses where any.
  • 2 0
 Yes I think riders would wear less protection because it would make a bigger difference in a skin suit
  • 2 0
 Yup! Skin suit = bare minimum protection. Is this the style we really want everyone in the sport to emulate?
  • 1 0
 @keen515: you wear pads under the lycra, as shown in photo of Cathro
actually quite effective and doesn't require a whole bunch of extra velcro straps

but what I really wonder is what is so cool about helmet peaks? (seriously)

how about this? a Moto GP helmet with backwards peak
www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/agv-pista-gp-r-carbon-helmet?kclid=19f96553-037f-4dee-837b-c664d8740cf4&gclid=Cj0KCQjwxtPYBRD6ARIsAKs1XJ6OJnU1EtFcC-wmPzfGFdkerugUHK9avjjQWU2yP2UQBbd2-yd3U1caAjY7EALw_wcB
  • 22 11
 I always wear lycra road shorts when I mountain bike. They are just the most comfortable and I don't have to worry about them getting caught on the seat or anything else. Usually wear some short of fitted jersey with it and g form knee pads. With those, my fox proframe, and my trek fanny pack I ain't picking up any chicks in the parking lot, but I feel great on the trail
  • 64 5
 You go girl!!
  • 6 1
 Ergh you shouldn’t even joke about that.
  • 1 0
 I've seen you before....let me think...ahh, IG's shit_mtbers_wear, that's where I've seen you.
  • 21 10
 Chris Porter: whips are the reasons we do dh ... if you want a curved number plate and think style is unneficient and unnecessary ... there is road bike for that
  • 13 1
 Dh is about speed riding dh as fast possible. I don't understand why they whip. To me it means they know they won't win.
  • 11 1
 @vl95: chris Porter always talks as if everybody else, apart from himself, is as thick as fxxk. I find it very difficult to take anything he says seriously because of this. Maybe in person he's not so arrogant but he definitely comes across that way in any written articles I've read.
  • 4 2
 @chrismac70: You don't know why they whip? Then you obviously can't whip.
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: to be fair Nino throws whips during XC races, and wins.
  • 10 1
 His comment is the most narcissistic thing I've ever read in MTB.

"...with tires focussed towards rolling speed, weighted with lead and with no chain. All of these things have been shown to improve the speed of the bike/rider combo through the air and over the ground."

This alone is enough to prove he is genuinely lacking some sense. He's first talking about gaining advantages on present-day tracks, and then goes on to claim taking the chain off bikes will decrease everyone's times. He also thinks all the testing that goes into DH tires is done by people who don't know what they are doing...? He also claims weighting bikes will make them faster across the board. His bikes don't work as well as others and is compensating for poor kinematics with with weight and claims it's the future. Put one of your bikes on a modern podium before making completely empty claims. THEN the "it's called a PEAK, not a visor." Apparently the language he uses is the correct language and motocross terms- the origin of the damn thing he's talking about- became wrong? Drop the "I'm a genius and you're all stupid" act and have some respect for your peers in the sport.

Got more flustered than necessary here but this attitude only hurts DH as a whole. In fact based on his opinions, maybe he would be happier in a different sport altogether.
  • 3 0
 @special-jLeslie: I tried to gain membership into the Chris Porter fanboi club but was denied because I refused to angle the nose of my saddle way the fck downward like a Joey.
  • 8 0
 Keep it as is, right now everyone is in similar clothing so no one has an advantage and the kits are looking awesome. I've definitely purchased jerseys because I associated them with a personal favourite rider, that wouldn't be a thing with skin suits.
  • 8 2
 Road racing has resisted disc brakes, one of the reasons is that whilst it increases speed, it would do so uniformly, therefore just increasing the risk without making the racing any more exciting. The same could be said for skin suits in DH. Gwin maybe 3 seconds faster, but so would everyone else. Mountain bike fashion is pretty dire as it is. Personally I'd like to see a little more individualism in the clothing within the sport. Lose the moto style huge logos and get some actual nice designs you could wear in the street. Both snowboarding and skateboarding have had trends for clothing and equipment that actively hampered performance, but mountain bikers often look so awkward by comparison. Clothing is a huge part of these sports and yet it's easy to buy nice stuff without huge logos and writing all over them, so I can't agree with any argument that sponsors wouldn't get the exposure. Skin suits are a step in the wrong direction in my mind.
  • 4 3
 Everyone need to wear dharco clothing because it actually looks good and rides well
  • 2 0
 @BrianRichards: seems like only the women's line is available in the UK oddly. Really nice stuff though, actual design and thought put into them rather than just the company logo in different fonts.
  • 7 1
 Ah, c'mon that's not a burning question at all Luke warm at best. Rider's seem quite at ease racing in their jim-jams, golly, next there'll be a push to make DH acceptable and have it in the ollyimpics.
  • 4 0
 The team wasn't that hot on us calling it "Mildly Interesting Question" though.
  • 6 1
 Downhill mountain biking is a lot different from downhill skiing … skinny suits need not apply. The race tracks are getting too fast anyways. Like someone already mentioned, the speed suits will just elevate the risk factor. It’s supposed to be a DH MTB course by the way, not a speed track.
  • 10 4
 I think it needs to stay banned for no reason other than safety. Rock gardens and spandex should not be allowed to mix.
  • 4 1
 Also
I recently asked some BMX Racer friends if 'Aero' plates where still a thing. The race number plates with a grid pattern instead of being a solid board. Surely they would be a lot better aerodynamics....
The answers I got was, no because of sponsors logos on number boards........
I wonder if that's a contract or contingency thing or cook how pro I am with all these sponsors "???
  • 5 2
 I grew up ski racing so I understand why they were used but I don’t miss wearing a speed suit at all. Didn’t know any mountain bikers ever used them except the folks going after the speed records ,either way I could care less
  • 1 0
 Same here brother...
  • 5 1
 Are some of you are worried that if you wear lycra, people will be able to see the size of your genitals?

Are some of you are worried that if you wear lycra, people won't be able to see your genitals at all?
  • 5 0
 nope... but the fat... ooh the fat.
  • 2 1
 Nah - they're worried some other guy's package will put theirs to shame
  • 3 0
 Regulations are required in current day dh. It is human nature to seek out marginal gains when there are big prizes to be won! The problem is that when everyone starts doing the same it goes back to a level playing field but unfortunately you may have pushed the sport in a slightly less enjoyable/marketable direction. Not that many people that I know prefer the fun of wearing a skin suit or even the feeling of riding a 29er?
Use a few rules sensibly and you can keep racing fun, which has to be right up there in our priorities... right?
  • 3 0
 Mountain biking is about fashion. If you're not dressed right, then you are not part of the accepted fashion show and therefore not cool. You may only dress 3% differently than your bros because you're so wild.
Funny that people comment that people look gay because they're not DRESSED right. Yeeeaaaa.
  • 3 0
 I've been free riding and racing all my life since I was 12 and now I'm 40 and I'm still shedding just as hard even slopestyle and even after sevre workplace injury were I smashed both feet like glass I was in hospital 5 months wheel chair for 4 of those months still on crutches and now I'm shredding again so super dedicated to shredding and let me say not world cup guy but I think when it comes to racing it should be as close to how you shred on a normal ride and how many shredders to you see at your local trails on a normal day wearing a skin suit see road guys and cross country ride and train in a skin suits but nobody I know normally goes for a shred in a skin suit keep it close to how guys normally ride
  • 6 1
 Bring back the skinless muscle skin suit! Even one loves a rider who looks like he's just out of a horror movie!
  • 1 0
 goo.gl/images/3s7ywF

Looks fast standing still
  • 7 2
 First 29"wheels and now lycra. My sport is dying. Let's take a minute of silence #R.I.P.
  • 2 0
 They shovin clown wheels down our throats and Lycra up our asses now.
  • 5 0
 I can't be bothered reading all the comments above... Long live Tomac and ban the UCI.
  • 2 0
 If they were worried about rider safety they would make rodies wear something protective! They are going 50 mph, packed like sardines and all they have is a thin layer of lycra!! Lol wtf... they bitch about disc brakes, which are a million times better and safer yet they look a blind eye with what they wear. Its lunacy. The uci needs to go.
  • 5 0
 Enough talk about spandex and speed suits. Hawaiian shirt race day.... period.
  • 3 0
 I don't understand why there are stricter rules on suite then on wheel size?! If someone wants to wear a condom like suit because they feel like it gives them an advantage... let them!
  • 2 0
 mountain biking was so fashion conscious and clicky back in the late 90s and early 2000s it made me sick. i think the worry about appearance no doubt put a lot of people off. it seems alot more at ease with its self now. which is nice.
  • 2 0
 Do it the the same way FIS did it in Skicross! Then nobody has to wear tights but every racer can go to the limit inside the rules. Ban the fabrics you don‘t like and make some standard measuring points of a maximum „tightnes“!
  • 2 1
 Exactly SXQC. All the riders are pushing the so called “baggy clothes” rule as it is now. If that rule existed for safety reasons I could support that but the rule and the peak/visor rule was all about image. It was stupid then and it’s stupid now. There are no style points awarded. The goal is to get to the finish line the fastest.
  • 3 0
 Because we all know that FIS DH skiers have a image problem... they are racers, whatever makes you faster should be all that matters. You race to win not look a certain way, leave that crap to pop stars and Hollywood.
  • 2 0
 If faster speed through aero is the goal, why stop at the clothing? why not choose only riders that have a small profile so that you end up with a bunch of chipmunks on bikes. To me DH is tackling gnarly technical terrain, not just a pure speed test.
  • 1 0
 Soon they'll be DH jockeys, not riders...
  • 3 2
 The Athertons are working in conjunction with Endura to develop race kits that will help with aerodynamics? That's interesting as Rachel appears to be dead set against them... when it suited her?

1.bp.blogspot.com/_5KYGhBEHwmg/SrzUeWBdqpI/AAAAAAAAAME/GnOxMZBoq8E/s1600-h/Skinsuits_Suck.php

If they are allowing all wheel sizes, let riders where what they want, was a stupid ban then and still remains a stupid ban.
  • 3 0
 Yes, I've never forgotten that. Thought she was a bit hypocritical when she talked about using her number to pin her jersey tighter. And she's another one who suit is as tight as it can legally be.
  • 3 1
 Wow she really did that!? This just confirmed why i dont like her.. when she said she cant be friends with any of her competition was the start of it.
  • 3 2
 The outfits have become increasingly form-fitting anyway they’re really not that far off. While they’re currently as slim as I’d personally like them to go, why shouldn’t someone willing to wear lycra be allowed? I’m trying to think of a sport where image is more important than performance? I like the rule but think it’s a bid ridiculous.
  • 8 1
 Because if everyone did it, it has no advantage. So only negative consequences to the image and no benefit. Very simple really.
  • 2 0
 @casman86: unfortunately some people’s lifes revolve around silly pointless arguments. NEXT #rideyourbike #imakookWith1x10 #minionswith20psi
  • 1 0
 @jeremiahwas: there is another sport that had a rule on clothing because of image - beach volleyball. Originally both men and women had maximum sizes for their outfits to make sure players' bodies were on display. Those maximums have been relaxed in recent years.
  • 5 0
 @casman86: Why is it "negative" to want to go as fast as possible? Isn't that a racer's job - go as fast as possible?

As I posted elsewhere, if Palmer had worn a skinsuit like Vouilloz at Cairns then Palmer would have been world champion.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: Well, he didn't and he his one of the top riders and revered for the style he brought to the sport. Not wearing lycra may (maybe partying less) may not have brought him the title??, but he is still one of the greatest, and if he didn't win and was on lycra like the others he would have just been another face whose name you can't remember that raced bikes back then in a terrible party costume.
  • 3 0
 @Ricardo-Sa: In 19 events that Vouilloz and Palmer raced, Palmer was faster in only 2.
What is the greatest at?
DH needs to get it's head out of its arse, its about going fast. If that means no visors and skinsuits then so be it. It's such a niche sport anyway. Not many people holding down a normal job can go spend their weekend competing at 100% without having some serious doubts in the back of their head (in terms of getting injured).
  • 3 0
 Well, the riders wearing über-fitted kits already have an advantage and no one is complaining.
I’ve been aware of this rule for years and have noticed the outfits getting tighter and tighter - a clear advantage to riders NOT doing it, yes? What’s too tight? Is a specific fabric going to be ruled too slippery (air resistance)? Is there a limit on how short a visor can be?

The closer these riders get to skin suits, the more the rule seems a little ridiculous.

Also, it’s not stock car racing - it’s not meant to be a completely equal playing field. Use a 26”, 27.5” or 29” - your call. Use VPP or FSR - your call.

Personally, I really hope skin suits are never allowed, I just can’t really justify that position when I see every rider tailoring their outfits to be ever-tighter.
  • 1 0
 ..
  • 1 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: There is cheesy 80's bad taste pop and there is Rock'n'Roll. That is lycra vs loose Moto fitting. Palmer brought the cool to the sport. DH is supposed to be cool. I am sure this can be combined with racing.
Go tell off-road motocross racers to use lycra so they go faster Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • 11 7
 Hahah troy Lee talking about looking like a tool wearing skin suits. I thought wearing troy Lee made you look like a tool.
  • 6 5
 When GMBN has old footage of the Don or Peaty in those horrible old kits the size of boat sails or tents, I cringe. They truly looked awful. Athletes work hard for their physiques. They should be on display, not hidden in bags
  • 3 2
 Admit it you just like the shape of dudes nuts in Lycra. Or at least it sounds that way.
  • 5 5
 @jflb: I am not a homo, not that it would matter if I were. I am into body building though, and I spend a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror. I also spend a lot of time in the gym looking at girls' arses. I appreciate athletic aesthetics. Also I appreciate well fitted clothing, which highlights the shape of the body, rather than hiding it. Now this probably sounds gay, but it isn't gay at all. Muscle is cool. Flab is not cool, and also scrawnyness is not cool. Just ask Hollywood if you don't believe me.
  • 4 1
 @jaame - the thing I like about you most is that you never try to win a comment popularity contest. You never suck the dick of the collective. BTW I agree with you. Cheers!
  • 2 1
 @jaame: agreed
  • 1 1
 @jaame: Narcissistic mountain bikers aren't cool, whatever their physique.
  • 2 1
 @PinkyScar: how much understanding of psychology of narcissism and the ways it is being manifested do you have?
  • 2 1
 @PinkyScar: not being narcissistic but well fitted clothing looks better then baggy
  • 2 1
 Pro roadies have horrible bodies for the most part. Ten inch arms should be hidden at all costs. If you've worked hard on your pipes, shoulders and V taper, you have earned the right to show them off. Leave the bags in San Quentin.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: i dont like the skinsuits and no way in hell will i ever wear one.. but i like were we are at atm with well fitted kits like bruni and fins as a example and i think thats how it should stay.
  • 2 1
 @andydhteam: me too Andy. Watching the ft William practice, almost everyone is wearing fitted kit now. Trousers are getting a bit too tight though!
  • 2 1
 @andydhteam: I read an article about twenty years ago about American vs Italian male fashion. It surmised that the Italians were trying to look stylish with nice fabrics and tailored fits. The Americans on the other hand were purely trying to not look gay. Not trying to look good, just trying to not look gay. Hilarious! Baggy jeans, square cut t shirts a size too big, etc. Like it really matters if someone thinks you "look a bit gay" when they see you walking down the street!
  • 3 2
 U@jaame: you are a genius! But I also think that most people who call others narcissists or posers, it’s their way to cope with not taking their bodies and looks into their own hands. They are just lazy on that fromt, feel guilty because of that and need to project that anxiety on others. My dad who is exactly that: I don’t need to look good as long nobody thinks I look like a jerk, he’s been raving lately on how stupid are all people who go to the gym and try to eat healthy. It’s a glorification of mediocrity
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Go ahead, take the bait and answer your own question.

Flabby and scrawny bikers just want to be cool. Mountain biking needs more Hollywood.
  • 2 1
 @PinkyScar: To each their own, but I personally am a fan of muscle on display in athletic competition. Sprinters, race horses, lions etc... lean muscle looks awesome. If you don't have it, don't hit it; but anyone can get it with effort. For those who don't care about being buff, fine. Keep wearing the bags. Just don't pretend they look better than a proper fitted top, that accentuates the shape of the body and lets the beef shine through!
  • 6 2
 Keep the lycra ban, todays race gear looks professional, & nobody in the real world would wear it!
  • 1 0
 The thing we should be asking is do downhillers ever look cool to those outside the sport because of what they wear, not what they do? The current trend that Palmer started way back of the moto look has developed into something that is only really ever marketed to bikers. Other smaller sports have had mainstream fashion acceptance, surfing and skateboarding for example but I doubt any form of cycling ever will.
  • 2 1
 I was wondering when this was coming out.. their suits are getting tighter and tighter. There is a reason why people love DH MTB, and it is the attitude, the style. Changing it would be an even faster way of getting the sport to decline. As we all know when things change at the pros 1)everyone copies, 2) the industry will push endlessly for people to buy new kit. I will definitely not be using tight clothing for MTB - can't think of anything less comfortable (maybe for a road cycle ride makes sense since you are pedalling constantly on road and drag does add up to tiredness).

DH is already inaccessible to a load of MTDikers, making it look like lycra-roadies will definitely put some people off and make enduro and trail riding event greater again when ridiculous outfits are not necessary.
  • 3 0
 I think the real question in this article should be, What's with Cathros eyes? why so much photoshop
Oh and no to skin suits.
  • 3 2
 All the top riders already wear very tight clothing. I'm not sure what constitutes a "skinsuit", but the top rider's kits are all form fitting enough to to clearly see the contours of their pads and muscles underneath, which is surely pushing the limits of what the rule originally intended. The days of "baggy" clothing in WC DH have been gone since 720 bars, and rightfully so. Leave it in the 90s trash bin along with horrible punk music and carpenter jeans.

Not sure the rule needs to be repealed since teams get away with *almost* skinsuits today anyway, and visor rule could be seen as a safety rule. I think the UCI should focus regulations on the dirt jumper and slopestyle crowd instead. A couple of years wearing those ridiculous skinny jeans and you probably give up your chance to have kids.
  • 1 0
 I'm wondering how small visors can be and how vented they can be
  • 5 1
 yeah so I have never in my life heard a helmet visor called a "peak" chris porter
  • 5 1
 Porter is stuck in his own bubble. It is very commonly known as a visor in North America. I also have a sun visor in my car - not a peak!
  • 1 0
 Theres no need for lycra now, the well fitted pants and tops are as efficient as a lycra suit at 40mph. Keep the tracks steep technical and theres not even an issue about the peak on the helmet. Who wants to look like a joey with a skid lid anyway..
  • 1 0
 I don't think we need full skin suits, but if you want a tighter, more tailored fit, brands do you like Seven does in the moto world. Their kits are pretty tailored, next to skin, but still look like a normal kit rather than an aero suit. I noticed my Fox flex air kit has a more tailored cut as well, and it feels great while riding.
  • 4 1
 American Football is wildly popular and that's a sport where giant men run around dressed like ballerinas with helmets on....
  • 1 0
 true that!
  • 2 1
 I'm laughing my ass off at the guys screaming "NOOOOOOO!" from the back of their closets. If you're REALLY uncomfortable with seeing another man in skin tight clothing you should probably get some professional help and/or come out of the closet and accept yourself for who you really are. Everyone will be better off that way no matter what kind of clothes or sex they happen to like. Wear whatever the hell you like and don't worry about what others are choosing.
  • 1 0
 Mandatory white skinsuits. 40mmx 90mm square area for single sponsor. All other graphics banned. Visors and peaks worn in reverse. Shoe colors are mandatory, and limited to 2 pantones of pnk and orange. Gonna be so good for DH.
  • 3 0
 A helmet peak lol.... what the hell is that porter? Leave the kits how they are.. they are tight enough and you can still fit pads underneath.
  • 2 0
 If they lift the rule everyone will have to wear them. No reason for skinsuits. Different times but same time differences. Why make everyone look horrible just to shift the times a little. Racing is racing.
  • 1 0
 What's the point of aero? Everybody is wearing the same kind of clothes at moment, everything is fine because it's same for all. They can wear bmx skinny jeans if they want, but let these damn stupid plastic shinny suit for winter
  • 2 1
 Hey pinbike I wrote a message yesterday commenting on skinsuites I get freedom of speech but what is up with all the homophobic comments made me sick to my stomach isn't there a way to maybe weed out all the stupid idiots who think a forum for mountain bikers and cyclist alike should be a platform for hate I think there must be away to weed out the idiots drives me mad that a few assholes choose to use this amazing platform to give our community a bad name so I hope someone at pinkbike headquarters reads this and responds i would be glad to help figure out a way to stop the hate let's keep it about shredding maybe pinkbike could be a pioneer in stopping hate speech on public forums
  • 1 0
 So, skin suits where banned even though they are faster as they looked Gay!!!!
Now all the pro riders are wearing such tight kit to be aero dynamic they may as well wear skin suits!!!!!
What the hell
Has gone in with DH?
Johnny Tomac got a penalty at the 1993 Worlds for wearing a skin suit over Lycra (if you find he footage Rob Warmer is racing in Lycra on Clip pedals)
Skin suits are faster as proved by The Don on GMBN:
If DH are going to 29er wheels as they claim they are faster why are Skin suits Banned!!!!!!!!
The UCI need to look at the sport more and don’t get me started on the new start list for race runs lol
  • 10 5
 Why not see through PVC?
  • 6 2
 A question that should never be asked.
  • 6 1
 No, just no.
  • 5 1
 as a woman, I would say yes Wink
  • 2 2
 #clickbait

Let me get this straight. If everybody is on the same playing field, does is it even matter? Will GM go faster than AG on a pure bred stallion? Lets keep DH stylish and avoid being confused with swimming/dh skiers/ triathletes (no offense)

Pinkbike, can you please write about trail conservation issues instead? It might attract less attention but we’re not kooks. Stop being so competitive ffs
  • 1 0
 didn’t mean to knock on those other wonderful sports but DH mtb has always seemed to be a relaxed sport prioritizing fun & friends. Let’s keep it that way..
  • 1 1
 Image of the sport is important. It's a big part of why people get so exited of this sport or snowboarding for example. Loose riders, having fun. Yes, sign me in. At the other side are those road or XC cyclist. Men with a lycra, that's just disguisting. Women however...
  • 6 2
 Should have banned 29 inch wheels instead.
  • 1 1
 Hell no! Skin suits look shit! so what they are going to be faster on the straights but that’s not anymore interesting to watch And yea once one person does it everyone will have to follow suit wether they like them or not.
  • 1 0
 "follow suit" heh heh
  • 2 0
 Please, why is this even being discussed. I don't want to see guys riding around with the shape of their nuts in lycra at my local DH races.
  • 3 0
 I do not want to SEE this change. It's bad enough to see it when I ride. Coin purses and grape smugglers.
  • 2 0
 Ah, they're considering lifting bans? Good. Lift the ban on dissimilar wheel diameter front and rear in UCI racing. Then we're talking.
  • 1 0
 Skinsuits should be legal. By putting it on instead of a proper race kit, you will get soooo much more road rash and burns/cuts when you crash. Choose between safe or what, a quarter second faster?
  • 1 0
 In the article Ben Cathro said one second per one minute of track, so Fort William is about five seconds faster, so he came eighth instead of 20th. So for those in the Top Ten, that's podium-or-not.
  • 3 0
 Maybe we can ban the use of the word “kit” when referring to cycling clothing.
  • 3 0
 Or more importantly, ban ‘colorway’.’
  • 2 0
 funny you ask all the industry guys, but don't post a poll for the average joes. Not that I care, really, one way or the other. There's bigger fish to fry...
  • 3 3
 Hey the guy who said the homlord comment just cause your a bigit doesn't mean everyone wants to hear you bigotry I am straight guy with a beautiful girlfriend but its comments like that gives the riding community a bad name and maybe if your making comments like that you should question your own sexuality my girl thinks you have issues aswell people who are homophobic are probably homosexual themselves so don't give the riding community a bad name cause you have issues fine you don't like skin suites I don't like them either maybe you can't stand the fact you have a small dick and can't stand seeing another guys junk cause every other guy on earth has a bigger dick than you but some asshole like you brings it to that kinda place grow a dick be a human and in a look in mirror
  • 2 0
 They've been given a little time out.
  • 2 0
 Visorless helmets with skin suits-- the kookiest combination known to mankind. This is a sure fire way to reverse the progress mtb has made into the mainstream.
  • 1 0
 Do they not wear it now ?the new equipment it’s almost like it ,I’m not against it may look strange and maybe take some youngsters from that sport ,but it might get them in the realm of free riding.
  • 2 0
 Damn people are really hardcore believers/nonbelievers in skinsuits. Is it really worth getting pissed of at someone for saying they don't/do like skinsuits?
  • 2 0
 I'd everyone wears a swimsuit, it's not a competitive advantage. The event will be over quicker and we'll get to watch less racing
  • 2 0
 Keep the ban only if it's to keep some sort of style in the sport. Nobody wants skin suits outside the time bonus factor.
  • 2 1
 Ban it and wait for it to become the new trend. Please,no dh skinsuits. Please no more neon power ranger costumes in dh. Dh is an amateur sport and always will be.
  • 3 1
 We didn't have a bro code for changing up to 29ers, so why bother with the skinsuit rule? Let them look silly if they want.
  • 1 0
 There should be a poll on who we, the electorate would allow in lycra and who we wouldn't. And this should be enforced by the UCI at races.
  • 1 0
 FREEDOM! Rules should only be for protection purposes.
UCI should worry with more imortant things than being fashion police, who is to say what looks cool?
  • 2 0
 John Tomac , only rider to successfully wear a skinsuit and have it look good , Giant Bikes 1990,s era .
  • 2 0
 Is there a protective gear requirement? It might lead to riders forgoing more safety gear.
  • 2 0
 So the smurf suits the Athertons are wearing are not skin suits? Coulda fooled me.
  • 2 0
 double voating with the gnar thing!
PS: If skinsuits are that fast, why MX don't use it?
  • 1 0
 Fox Airprene pants are pretty much as tight as can get. I hope we don't get rid of peaks though. I can't stand looking like Dumb & DUMBER.
  • 1 0
 In the near future, everyone will look like Eric Barone and all the tracks will look like the mountain he sets his world records in.
  • 3 5
 Yes
Wouldn't wear it my self but ten I'm not racing for hundredths of a second.
Take a look at the clothes racers are wearing at the mo.... Hardly that far off skin tight are they..
An to out right ban something???
Don't wanna wear it? Then don't wear it but don't bitch, moan an ridicule when another rider takes advantage of a tech that's legit in every other speed based sport but DH, because "it looks a bit gay"
Grow up
  • 2 2
 All the dirt jump guys wear skinny jeans because of fashion. Baggy clothes look shit. Remember the old baggy rugby shirts? Making fat men look fatter!
  • 2 0
 @jaame: there you go again.
  • 6 5
 People still watch ski sports and most (all?) of their athletes wear "lycra" clothing
  • 3 1
 Can’t wait for an overpriced, 650€, onesie. Seems like the trend
  • 3 0
 NO
  • 1 0
 Why are helmet peaks cool?
Skate style helmets or Moto GP helmets don't have them
  • 2 0
 Skin suites, aero wheels are next!
  • 1 0
 If someone wants 2 look a cock it’s their choice.

That said, pay me enough I’d ware one!
  • 1 0
 Black rubber suits and chains, please - just like my girlfriend wears. Visors should only accompany ball-gags.
  • 2 1
 This thread is hilarious and pushes the stereotype that DH fans are drunken frat boys. Nice flat brim, brah.
  • 1 0
 Allow any level of duct tape streamlining. Won't look fashionable, but would reflect the spirit.
  • 1 0
 Anyone notice that photo of Ben Cathro has the eyes popping from too much photo editing...
  • 1 0
 No spandex. You gotta keep some of the freeriding in downhill otherwise it's like a roadie sport.
  • 2 2
 As a guy, I feel like road cycling is the, "laser beam"; and mountain biking is the, "thor hammer".
  • 1 0
 Lycra skinsuits only allowed if you wear pants on the outside.
  • 2 0
 No!
  • 1 2
 It has to be a little disheartening to lose by a fraction of a second knowing that had you put down the same run in marginally tighter kit you'd have won.
  • 4 1
 Wouldnt matter tho if the guy that beat you was wearing tight cloths aswell tho would it?
  • 1 1
 oohhh dear,oohh dear, oohh dear,all of palmers hard work undone in one post!!,he will be turning in his cocktail bar!!!
  • 2 1
 And he woulda been world champ if he'd worn a skin suit.
  • 1 0
 Are you a man or a cupcake .
  • 3 2
 If Serena Williams can pull it off,,,,, why not !
  • 6 7
 Shes a tranny...
  • 3 1
 @panzer103: I think you mean, "it"
  • 3 3
 No, just no. No one wants to see grown men (unless ur gay) riding in skinsuits, NO SKINSUITS!!!!!
  • 3 1
 Skin suits are lame
  • 1 0
 What a pointless discussion! Clickbait at his finest.
  • 1 0
 Gear nowadays is nearly as tight, no reason to go back to skin suits
  • 2 0
 No way, that’s Jenner
  • 1 0
 Lycra in DH. Consider the shark jumped.
  • 1 0
 The UCI should be banned!
  • 2 1
 I ride in spanx.
  • 1 0
 Where's the poll?
  • 3 4
 Never heard of anyone winning a 3 minute race cuz of less clothes drag, just saying
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