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How Tight? Examining the UCI's Clothing Rules for DH Racing

May 1, 2024 at 15:16
by Mike Kazimer  

The outfits worn by DH World Cup riders have been getting increasingly snug over the last few seasons, and that's not from them packing on the pounds in the off-season. Instead, it's related to a change in the UCI rules that was implemented at the beginning of 2023. The clothing rules for downhill currently state:

bigquotesJersey

The jersey shall be a long-sleeved shirt whose sleeves extend down to the rider's wrists. Jerseys used in downhill events should be of a type specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events. Jerseys designed for road cycling, skinsuits, or one piece suits comprising the jersey and the pants/shorts are not permitted for use in downhill events. The jersey must be either close fitting around the waist or must be tucked into the pants before the start to not cause interference.


Pants

Long pants or short pants combined with suitable knee and shin protection are authorised. Such long or short pants should be of a type that is specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events. Long pants of the type described above must be of one-piece construction and made of tear-resistant material. They should cover the entire length of both legs until just above the shoe or ankle. Short pants of the type described above must be of one-piece construction and made of tear-resistant material. They should be worn together with suitable leg protection, that covers the entire knee and the entire shin until just above the ankle.
UCI-4.3.011

Greg the Goat hurtling toward the top stepdown and top 10.
Greg Minnaar, seen not wearing a skinsuit last year.


Previously, the rules banned all "lycra elastane based tight-fitting clothing." That's no longer the case, which means we're seeing very tight fitting jerseys and pants become the norm.

This week, Fox Racing has been making a stir at the first race of the season with their new DH 'SpeedSuit,' which consists of a jersey that holds a back protector and elbow pads, combined with very snug coverall-style pants that go over the jersey. That means there's the absolute minimum amount of material flapping around, especially at the high speeds that racers will reach.

The outfit is derived from the one-piece SpeedSuit that Fox developed for their motocross athletes. The reaction in the moto world was mixed - apparently tight clothing makes certain people unreasonably angry - so it'll be interesting to see how the new outfits are received in the MTB world.

I'm sure some riders miss the days of extra-baggy everything, but while that look is fine for casual cruising, or loitering at your local Hot Topic, tighter, more aerodynamic apparel does make sense when races are being decided by milliseconds. I mean, no one seems to be pushing for ski racers to don the same baggy gear that their park rat counterparts are wearing, and you don't typically see casual skiers rocking skinsuits on a powder day - it's all about choosing the right outfit for the task at hand.

At last year's World Champs race at Fort William, only .59 seconds separated Charlie Hatton's winning time from Andreas Kolb's second place. On a course that's over four minutes long the little things add up, and it's not unreasonable for teams to be looking at every possible option for finding speed.

We'll have to wait until later in the week to see if these new outfits make a difference. In the meantime, there are bike checks, rider interviews, and tech bits on the way from Fort William.




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Member since Feb 1, 2009
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261 Comments
  • 249 0
 "apparently tight clothing makes certain people unreasonably angry"
This made me chuckle
  • 55 3
 Teenage girls mothers possibly
  • 112 1
 @Grady-Harris: Teenage girls' dads!!
  • 67 1
 Fat Bald Men
  • 41 2
 This was very controversial topic in around 2001-02 when mountain biking, especially DH, was having one of its sponsorship downturns, and people were looking for explanations. At the time, riders had been appearing in proper one piece ski racing skinsuits, notably Nico Vouilloz, who if memory serves, may have won races wearing them. At any rate, people were looking for scapegoats for the apparent downturn in the sports marketability and having guys winning in monochrome skinsuits seemed not ideal, especially from the North American perspective. I say that because moto trials riders in Europe for example were wearing skin suits at the time and in Spain that was apparently perfectly reasonable. There's no accounting for taste I guess. The no-helmet visor look was also controversial for the same reasons, and I'm not sure of the exact details but I think both were banned in DH around that time. I actually think that no one is going to be too concerned about the new rules as long as the clothing looks obviously two-piece. I'd say in the last few seasons, team gear has looked better than the very baggy looks with huge shorts of the early 2000s, which in hindsight make those riders look like Minecraft characters.
  • 20 48
flag L0rdTom (May 1, 2024 at 23:57) (Below Threshold)
 Yes, dressing like Motorcross racers in 2000 looked lame. Yes, dressing like Motorcross racers in 2020's is also lame. The sooner we stop taking cues from Motorcross and Road cycling the sooner MTB will stop being such a dorky sport. Personally I'm not losing races by tenths, so I don't really care, but I'm not excited for seeing gangly racers in skin suits, not to mention aero helmets, calf fairings, and wheel covers.
  • 6 0
 @naptime: FBM!!
  • 7 0
 The question who wears it more tight is apparently a thing in nowadays society:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qdNy_vz-gM
  • 9 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: if I remember correctly, I think it was decided by the DH teams and riders that it was in the best interest of the sport to not wear skinsuits/no visors which led to the ban. You'd have to get Martin Whiteley to fact check.
  • 10 46
flag matyk (May 2, 2024 at 4:02) (Below Threshold)
 If gravity oriented riders truly cared about being fast, they would wear tight skin suits. However, most care more about image and fashion over actual riding.
  • 3 0
 @naptime: fire beer mayhem
  • 4 0
 @nyhc00: RIP FBM
  • 18 2
 @matyk: you're an idiot.
  • 6 0
 SAM HILL 2008 VAL DI SOLE
  • 4 22
flag matyk (May 2, 2024 at 8:24) (Below Threshold)
 @OlSkoolJake: Looks like I found someone who cares more about fashion. Congrats!
  • 11 3
 @matyk: nah you found someone who thinks you're an idiot if you think WC racers care about what they wear.... Guess what... They don't have choice... Their sponsors decide what they wear... welcome to sponsorship eduction 101... idiot.
  • 5 9
flag matyk (May 2, 2024 at 9:13) (Below Threshold)
 @OlSkoolJake: I never said WC racers. I meant the stereotypical pinkbike bruhs such as yourself. Don't worry though, I'm sure your clothes look cool riding green trails.
  • 3 0
 @naptime: Ohhh, there's unreasonably high number of fat bald men rockin' lycra Big Grin
  • 2 8
flag OlSkoolJake (May 2, 2024 at 11:12) (Below Threshold)
 @matyk: Im from Vancouver Island.... Our greens are like blacks for the rest of the world, lol..... Sick burn though bro, sick burn. Also youre commenting about fashion in a article about WC.... Stop eating LSD...
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: damn, I used to ride mx and hare scrambles and then got into mountain biking and since I started I've worn full face helmet, my jersey and gloves!! Just regular shorts tho.
  • 4 3
 @OlSkoolJake: Oh wow! You must be like the purest form of the mountain biking shredding your gnar loamers! You turds from the pnw scene are just insufferable. Enjoy your cool costumes champ
  • 1 9
flag OlSkoolJake (May 2, 2024 at 12:12) (Below Threshold)
 @matyk: By purist... Do you mean... Ride a SS, rigid HT on the Shore? Then yes, by that standard I would call myself a purist... By purist do you mean... Wearing shitty band t-shirt, some ripped jeans. And a pair of old dusty Van's? Then yes, By that standard I would be a purist.... By purist... Do you mean that the ground work for all MTB that exists today... Was invents in the PNW... Then By that standard... Yes we be purists out here.... Stay mad bro.
  • 2 2
 @OlSkoolJake: Hahaha! You being a single speeder is not surprising! Are you a vegan too? Maybe even a libertarian? Please, tell me more about how you're the only reason mountain biking exists! I love it!
  • 1 0
 @OlSkoolJake: The rest of the world is very grateful for the skinnies, thank you for your service.
  • 1 6
flag OlSkoolJake (May 2, 2024 at 17:02) (Below Threshold)
 @matyk: yes I have a multitude bikes for whichever one I feel like riding. But you asked about being a purist.... yes I have pure bike...A ss rigid... why becuse they are fun....

I also have a enduro bike, DJ, BMX, bikepacking rig, commuter, trail bike, a old DH rig, blah, blah, blah... Even a parts bin with enough to cobble a bike or two together...

you think somehow calling me purist is an insult.... bikes have been my whole life for 46 years....

I'm well on my way to being the weirdo bike wizard, who has a bike shed that reads like a mtb and BMX history book.. Who all the groms and newbs come to for parts, advice, needs a fixing, or just want hear old stories over a cold one about the early days of freeride and how is currently enjoying a resurgence with new riders... who my friends with kid come to for bike realted anything for their little ones (it's about building something better for the next generation of riders).... basically I breathe,eat, and shit any and everything bicycle....

so yeah I'm the purist type.... and I ain't mad.... you sure are though..... no I'm indigenous we don't do vegan.... I work in healthcare keeping humans from dying on the daily....
  • 3 0
 @OlSkoolJake: Wow, that's quite the rationalization. Cheers to you!
  • 5 0
 @matyk: @OlSkoolJake Just get a room already!
  • 119 22
 Tahnee makes it hard to hate. As long as it's safe I say go for it
  • 48 56
flag Ar4S FL (May 1, 2024 at 21:23) (Below Threshold)
 Well, lets say it the way it Is: sexy - there is no shame in It. The guys will be looking great too. I never liked the moto-style stuff from years ago...
  • 48 21
 @Ar4S: it gad to be a german guy to be the creep again
  • 23 118
flag big-sally (May 2, 2024 at 1:02) (Below Threshold)
 The opposite in my opinion. As always with her, it's about the outfit, not the riding. Ahh well. Something to keep her in the spotlight because her results no longer do it.
  • 45 28
 @waldo-jpg:
i find it hard to not reply to this. As an adult, you should be able to take a compliment and just say thank you. I bet every downhill pro can and will do that. Without feeling ashamed or stupid. And nobody has or should feel ashamed when being called sexy. And Tahnee Seagrave sure is a more than skilled rider, i am sure she will prove it again in the upcoming Season.

Also: i think there is nothing creepy in giving somebody a compliment. Your reply just shows that you are the one who cant handle.
  • 25 1
 @big-sally: Ooh, saucer of milk for table 2?
  • 18 0
 @Ar4S: Such is the world today. Hollywood and mass media has free rein to oversexualize everyone and everything but the minute a regular person comments on it, it’s suddenly creepy or inappropriate. Or at least that’s what the majority of social media bots out there want everyone to believe.
  • 4 3
 She can wear it as tight as she wants... No complaints here.
  • 8 6
 @Ar4S: Hey we all get you, but "sexy" is not necessarily flattering is it? It needs the correct circumstances to be. We're random people on the internet, not someone in an intimate conversation or whatever - if you call a stranger in the streets sexy, have you flattered them or is it actually creepy? I think it's creepy. Let's apply the same logic when online, because it's still a human at the receiving end of the comments, and the looks might not be what they primarily want to be judged by.
  • 12 2
 @pospist: Weirdly I personally actually find it less creepy when someone says "she looks sexy and _everyone else (also the guys) will look hot too_", than when everyone knows it's being hinted at. Like here, "Tahnée makes it hard to hate" (absolutely making it about her appearance) or "she can wear it as tight as she wants..." I'm in favour of not commenting anyone's looks in such ways, in public forums or social media etc. - you can do it among your friends, but did I cringe when someone said they wanted to "reincarnate as Tahnée's saddle" when she herself posted this on Instagram), but if someone absolutely has to, I'd rather they use real adult expressions instead of trying to hide what they really mean (or just be blatantly gross).
  • 2 0
 @donimo: I don't think we're in disagreement here, I really only wanted to react Ar4S' to the claim that it was a compliment - which I still think it necessarily is not. Otherwise yeah, I agree, there are more cringeworthy comments here
  • 3 0
 @pospist: Yeah my comment wasn't so much directed at you specifically, but to the discussion in general - your comment was indeed on the sensible side here. Had some issues posting a comment once again and your latest reply button ended up being the victim.
  • 2 2
 @donimo: dont compare my comment to the other ones you mentioned with your mental gymnastics. She's aesthetically rocking it, nothing to hint there
  • 5 0
 @Ar4S: Interestingly Pompon described Tahnee as looking "sexy" in her kit during the Fort Bill press conference. In 2024 is it only okay for a woman to say it, but not a man? I wonder if people would downvote her if she posted it here?
I've also seen comments from gay men saying they find a male rider sexy get upvoted, whilst comments from heterosexual men regarding female riders always get downvotes. It's a crazy world.
  • 4 2
 @commental: The relationship between the two people (commenting and being the target of the comments) makes a huge difference, definitely more so than the gender of either of them. Commenting on strangers - no matter how well known publicly - for example online is one thing. Commenting on someone you personally know closely and spend time with - someone who you've maybe already discussed the topic with in private - like Pompon and Tahnée here is a completely different thing. Just like you can make sometimes even rude sounding but friendly comments about your close friends or family members, but shouldn't necessarily try the same ones on some random stranger you see on the streets. Shouting about someone being super hot online is really no different from catcalling them on the street - you don't know them, you shouldn't assume it's welcome. This really shouldn't be such a crazy, strange concept to grasp.
  • 3 1
 @donimo: As a counterpoint, I would much rather have some random ladies on the street tell me that I was looking great in one way or another, than have a close platonic friend or family member do the same. When a stranger offers a compliment on someone looking sexy, it is easy for myself and most people I know to either accept or brush off the comment based on their preference, whereas if a close friend or family member (who I obviously had no romantic interest in) privately told me how sexy they thought I was, it would add a very awkward asymmetry to the relationship. The comment from the stranger can simply be taken on it's own merit, whereas the comment from the friend can potentially undesirably change the dynamic of the relationship.

And as further evidence, I have heard many women recounting stories of receiving complements on their beauty from male strangers at coffee shops, grocery stores, gas stations, etc...and they universally appreciated the compliment as long as as the man did not give off a creepy vibe, nor do any creepy behavior like pestering them for their phone number. In other words, the compliment was welcome, but further pursuit of interaction was not.

I think to some degree, this is also a cultural thing. I was once in Denmark, where I met some Canadian women who recently toured through Spain, France, and Italy. They said that they were constantly complimented by men in the Mediterranean countries which made them feel very attractive, yet they had not received a single complement from men since getting to Northern Europe, which made them feel very unattractive. I am sure you will find it surprising, but they preferred to feel attractive.
  • 2 2
 @thekaiser: I absolutely agree to the part about compliments, and how they're different coming from friends, family members or complete strangers. I'd also say that comparing family members and random people on the street is really comparing the furthest points, friends falling somewhere in between. Personally I'd actually feel comments about my hotness were weird coming from either strangers or family members, whereas those some comments coming from the people in the middle, friends and acquaintances, might be very welcome and flattering.

Still, there's a difference between calling someone sexy or hot (whether using those exact words or hinting at it) and complimenting someone on their appearance - saying someone looks great, beautiful, handsome, amazing etc. Coming from strangers I personally would really appreciate the latter, but not the former. In fairness, it's possible to make complimenting something simple sound super creepy, while in the right setting calling some stranger sexy can be absolutely okay. And having lived all my life in a Nordic country I would definitely appreciate the people (personally men, but I'm pretty sure it applies to most of us) be a bit more open with these things. You can definitely enjoy your own space here, at times a little bit too much. Hell I've been in (short) relationships with guys without them complimenting my looks one single time Big Grin (I did try to lead by example.) But still I wouldn't want people on the streets telling me how sexy I look when I'm just going about my business.

So again, I'd say personal relations, time and place, context in general play a huge role in what's cool and what's not. And internet being a global playground, cultural differences are definitely one factor to consider. I'm not saying you should play everything super safe just in case, and we all know for some reason PB is a really male dominated environment, but it's something to consider.
  • 4 0
 @donimo: Which do you think Tahnee (or anyone else in her position) finds most offensive, someone commenting that she looks sexy in her kit, or someone saying she's wearing the kit for attention as her results don't achieve that for her? Asking as you've pulled the person making the one comment, which I didn't think was offensive, but said nothing about the other comment, which in my opinion was undoubtedly offensive.
  • 1 2
 @commental: The other one I find not so much offensive, but in poor taste. The other I find so ridiculous it doesn't really deserve any attention (and was beautifully ignored by most, whereas the "sexy conversation" continued). Not that these two should be compared like this, saying one is somehow better and acceptable if the other is even worse.
  • 5 1
 @commental: Gotta chime in here y’all. For what it’s worth Tahnee Seagrave is a beautiful, talented, young woman. She’s a good example and ambassador for this amazing sport as are many of her fellow riders. My 15yo daughter happens to find women like Tahnee inspiring because she is a top athlete in a very demanding dangerous sport along with being very feminine at the same time. There’s no shame in being talented and attractive. Just because you notice someone is good looking, hot or whatever doesn’t mean you’re objectifying and dehumanizing them. It simply means they happen to be easy on the eyes. Which is one aspect of their humanity. “Creepy” is in intent and context. This world needs to lighten up.
  • 3 1
 @fattyheadshok: Amen to this! My daughter is in the same boat. I couldn't agree more on this statement. I can't understand why people are offended for other people. Let's all skip the righteous BS, and just be human beings.
  • 2 0
 @big-sally: looks like you're eating all the humble pies now.
  • 89 17
 “tighter, more aerodynamic apparel does make sense when races are being decided by milliseconds”

Tighter clothing doesn’t provide any advantage if everyone is wearing tighter clothing.
  • 14 4
 exactly. Nor does aero and gaps matter if everyone is wearing the same baggies.
  • 30 12
 Also, the one example provided (Charlie Hatton winning by 0.59 seconds) proves that races *not* being decided by milliseconds.
  • 67 2
 Well that is a little thing called Game Theory. If everyone is doing it, of course, you won't have an advantage. If you didn't do it however, then you would be at a disadvantage.
  • 37 4
 @mi-bike, I used Fort William as an example because that's where the race is this weekend. At Les Gets last year the difference between 1st and 5th place was just 0.65 seconds - if milliseconds don't matter, hundredths of a second certainly do.
  • 19 0
 @mikekazimer: And Fort William is the course most likely to produce significant gaps due to aerodynamics.
  • 14 1
 @R-M-R, agreed - there are lots of wide open, high speed sections where positioning and clothing could make a difference.
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer: It's always been the testing ground for aerodynamics in DH. From the team Mojo skinsuits, to the Barel / Urge visor holes, to the super-deep-section rims that were a deathtrap in crosswinds.
  • 11 1
 @mikekazimer: Palmer literally lost to Tomac arguably because of a skin suit.

So you're most definitely right... hundredths matter.
  • 28 4
 @mi-bike: would you prefer the phrasing 590 milliseconds?
  • 16 50
flag Mtbdialed (May 1, 2024 at 18:52) (Below Threshold)
 it does make the womens racing more compelling......so there's that
  • 11 1
 Tight clothing is faster. Period. The problem with all being in loose fit clothing is trying to keep loose the sme for all athletes. It was a problem in ski cross with the odd dsq for clothing deemed to be too tight. So they’ve abandoned that rule and they all wear tight stuff now.
  • 2 0
 @st-alfie: you are correct, which means that @mikekazimer was correct.
  • 2 5
 @mi-bike: no it doesn't. The point is, every span of time can be measured in milliseconds. It is merely a unit of measurement, of which many are interchangeable.
  • 6 1
 just because something looks equally as tight doesn't mean it's equally as aerodynamic.
  • 2 1
 @st-alfie: you are correct, I said. I had just finished eating my earlier words, but just didn't spell it out.
Anyway, Danny Hart's winning margin at the 2011 Champery World Champs was 11690 milliseconds! No skin suit required.
  • 7 0
 BIke choice doesn't matter if everyone is riding a Dutch shopping bike.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: I don't remember that, but he did wear baggies and lost to to Nico in a skinsuit in Cairns World Champs... buy a bee's dick.
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: you're correct, I misread. My bad
  • 58 0
 In the mid 2000's I was racing elite bc cup dh stuff and went in an xc race... felt proud to be the only guy in the start group not in spandex; baggy DH style shorts and jersey. Then it rained, and rained, and turned to a mud fest... and my kit was hanging off of me and weighed 10lbs, my shirts got stuck behind my saddle (pre dropper posts) and I ate shit on a rooty downhill section. Was thinking the whole time tight shorts would've been nice.
  • 49 5
 On the brighter side, Spandex might get more roadies excited to watch downhill racing...like this guy:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/26582794
  • 2 0
 Haha, that's true!
  • 2 0
 Sometimes I do that while riding my mountain bike on roads when it's muddy on the trails. For variety.
  • 31 1
 I watched the Fox video and they clearly stated that their new suit was UCI legal. But they also stated that it was not available to other than their team riders. The UCI rules clearly state that the clothing must be "sold". It will be interesting how this plays out. If it is not available to any and everybody it should not be legal.
  • 4 1
 Agree, that's exactly the point. They found a loophole making it a 2-piece skinsuit, basically, BUT they do not sell it to consumers, not part of their regular product offering, so it is against the UCI rules. I am wondering what the other teams will say, guess there will be complains, for compeditors not sticking to the rules. Strong PR game, anyway.
  • 17 0
 The teams usually get 12 months from it being on the UCI list to going public to give a "professional advantage" to stop it getting copied.

They can also go down the track cycling route and charge an insane amount for it so no one can actually afford to purchase it also.
  • 1 0
 @radatabs: but how do they benefit from making it prohibitively expensive?
  • 2 0
 Specialized has said they won't be making the new frames available to the public. At least Fox is going to include the technology in their mainline
  • 3 0
 @RonSauce: In track cycling it prevents your competitors getting hold of whatever tech you think is giving you an advantage.
If you try and buy a Hope track bike, you register your interest then wait for a reply. That reply tends to take a while…
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Usually its to stop copycats but then they can make it more attainable later down the line.

"New $2000 DH skinsuit" next year they will have refined a new version for retail for $4-500 which they will say is because they have brought costs down making it available to the public.

I'm surprised it's not happened sooner or we have started to see some marginal gaining going on in DH
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: because they don't have to mass produce it and market it and send it out to shops. If someone really wants it and is willing to pay crazy money for it, it can be made to order, just as it is for the pro's. That would still make it 'sold as BMX/MTB clothing', in strict terms.
  • 1 0
 No. Regulation says "should" not "must", therefore not a requirement.
  • 25 1
 People losing their minds like Goldstone didn't wear one for most of last season lol
  • 24 3
 “apparently tight clothing makes certain people unreasonably angry.” Perfect delivery.
  • 16 0
 "Such long or short pants should be of a type that is specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events." So jeans are Illegal? Good thing the denim destroyer got away with it!
  • 19 0
 The UCI is still mad at Shaun Palmer.
  • 8 2
 Technically not? Since brands like Ripton are selling jeans marketed as for mtb???
  • 2 0
 @shredthe915: That's what I was thinking. As long as someone sells and markets jorts for mtb its still on the table. They're certainly "tear resistant" and hopefully "one-piece".
  • 1 0
 No "should" does not mean something is compulsory.
  • 15 1
 As a middle age man with a bit of a belly, I look forward to slipping into my speedsuit, choppering round the local blue trail and then sitting sprawled across a bench in the cafe afterwards with my every lump and bump proudly on display. I do this in honour of my roadie breathren. I may even take the peak off my lightweight full face helmet too.
  • 9 0
 I live in a more xc oriented region, I see genuinely fat guys in lycra all the time, nobody cares. Its like being an out of shape person at a gym, nobody actually cares. You take the peak off your full face though... thats asking for it.
  • 4 0
 @RonSauce: You say that, but imagine their surprise when they think "look at that fool with no peak" only to see me crack out my signature 15 degree bar turn to tree combo. We'll see who's laughing then...
  • 25 11
 The tighter, the better. That’s what I say.
  • 17 5
 I for one am glad the baggy clothes from the “cargo short era” have fallen out of style. The newer slim fit stuff is vastly more comfortable and looks better.
  • 13 5
 I don't see what the issue is, and never really understood the point of the skinsuit ban. They're already using bikes and set up choices that aren't "normal" amongst the majority of mountain bikers, I don't see why this wouldn't extend to clothing.
  • 28 1
 I agree with you, and can explain.

First, many racers didn't want to look like speed sausages. This was in the era of few DH racers taking their jobs as seriously as modern racers. Also, JNCO jeans were a profitable business, so the skinsuit look was especially jarring.

Second, it was a marketing issue. Brands felt the road cyclist look may reduce the marketability of the sport, but they also knew that as long as it was legal, some French* rider would put function before fashion and shave five or ten seconds off their time, so the only solution was a ban.


* Nothing against French racers, it's just disproportionately frequent that when someone pushes the limits of DH equipment, it's a French rider - and I'm all for it! Philippe Perakis, Éric Barone, Nicolas Vouilloz, and Fabien Barel made enormous contributions to DH tech.
  • 8 0
 @R-M-R: I'm just here for the speed sausage. Gold!
  • 9 3
 Much ado about little... wanting to ban tight clothing comes across a quite insecure. Tastes differ, but some of the pajama-like outfits you see in DH are so bad already that it's hard to do worse with a skin suit. Though I wouldn't put it past riders to combine the two
  • 5 1
 @Mlloyd550: much like wanting to ban helmets with no peak, full disk wheels, fairings on the forks and the new Giro aero helmet (with a chin bar of course). We all draw the line somewhere, for me in DH it's skin suits, but for others it may be shaved legs and wheel fairings over the top half of the wheel.
  • 9 0
 Cédric Gracia approves this change.
  • 2 0
 Johannes Von Klebelsberg disapproves of this change.

m.pinkbike.com/news/getting-to-know-the-unknown-denim-destroyer-johannes-von-klebelsberg.html

I don't know of any jeans stretchy or not, specifically designed and sold for BMX or MTB
  • 2 0
 @ROOTminus1: May I present to you Ripton Jorts. Designed for Gravel and MTB hipsters from the republic of Boulder Colorado.
riptonco.com/pages/about-us
  • 2 0
 @ktnkgb: They look cool!
  • 9 3
 Skin suits won't look bad because most DH riders have decent upper body muscle mass. Skin tight clothing doesn't look bad if you have muscle, no one makes fun of NFL players for wearing tights.
  • 1 0
 @Grady-Harris: er... yeah they do! All over the world NFL players are laughed at for wearing tights. Just not in the USA
  • 5 0
 "Specifically designed AND SOLD for use in BMX racing and Mountain Bike Downhill racing"

That "SOLD" leaves things quite open to protest, if any want to go there.

Not sure how protective lycra can be - well, I am sure of it's shortcomings - so I'm interested in what variety of materials are being used in terms of protection 'D3' type armour, but I'm thinking of abrasion / tearing, well, everyone will have variations of this, eventually. I've looked at the various DH type Pants with regards to them working better than MX pants with my CTIs I wear, for DH use. They, including some MX pants that are using light weight, stretch type fabrics seem so, so flimsy. And, I well remember the 'Stretch Kevlar' used so many years ago in MX pants, that was utterly crap.

I never saw a break down of the suit that Christian Craig used early this year, but it was, I think, One Piece. A lot of ridicule was directed at that, a fair bit of it through (some) peoples view of Craig himself, it has to be noted. This being 2 piece, seems far more practical. But it sure as hell won't be used by many 'Normals' out here, that don't have the finely honed bodies of an Athlete. Me, in something like that, would induce Nightmares, Boys and Girls.............
  • 1 0
 Re - the " 'D3' type armour " - I somehow deleted "I Note the" before the 'D3' type Armour. Couldn't get the 'edit' to work...
  • 5 0
 "Not sure how protective lycra can be." For some reason many people in their minds immediately pair lycra/ elastane with the super stretchy, shiny polyester fabrics seen indeed on road cyclists. (Yes, I acknowledge you've actually checked some products available.) At the same time I'm currently wearing rather thick jeans with maybe 2% of elastane in them, indeed making them stretchy while still being durable. Most of (my) MTB clothing already has elastane in it - Fox's newest (men's) Defend Trousers have 9%, which is way more than my millennial tight stretch jeans. There's cordura fabric available with elastane in it. Having some stretch in the fabric i.e. making it possible to manufacture comfortable, skin tight clothes out of it doesn't HAVE TO mean it's flimsy material.
  • 2 0
 @donimo: That is an excellent point, and you saved me the trouble of telling him nearly the exact same thing re: the effect of small % lycra content in what are otherwise quite durable fabrics.
  • 1 0
 No. Not a requirement, merely guidance.
  • 4 0
 It’s been getting pretty tight in BMX too!

m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02XvaXf7gbmw6vATo1KBREB9aoA3bLhDpDhCurybHJJtAYGsC8sDMjdon913gdE71Dl&id=100063697892160


The logos look better on more firm fitting clothes. However, I think there is a disconnect between what the pros where and what the avg rider is willing to or can wear/ fit in to
  • 5 1
 It's all about the design, Fox has done a good job making them look cool and it's not too dissimilar to the tight jersey and pants combo we see already, they have come a long way from the lycra skinsuits with unsightly crotches and no protection that got them banned in the first place, if they can be fasionable and aero then why not, just don't let it go too far and turn into giant condoms again.
  • 4 0
 It'd be great if there was some kind of middle ground... Not quite early 2000s skater/Moto style of super baggy but definitely on skin suit either but more of a casual trail gear look that just fits right... Like semi casual of MTB lol
  • 4 0
 I thought we were at that middle ground the last few seasons. Racing kits were nice and fitted but not skin tight. But as usual these kind of things usually end up in a race to the bottom and pretty soon everyone will look like stuffed sausages again.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: haha stuffed sausages ... Sadly you're right
  • 53 45
 No to skinsuits
  • 139 6
 I'm going to put something out here - and it might seem crazy, but bear with me ... We don't have to wear the same clothes as pro racers.
  • 69 44
 "No to skin suits", said every man uncomfortable with his sexuality
  • 14 58
flag jakemcab (May 1, 2024 at 16:00) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-townes: "Yes to skin suits", said every man who prefers the kielbasa.
  • 18 0
 Buffalo Bill has entered the chat
  • 19 33
flag joecrosby (May 1, 2024 at 16:26) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-townes: I’m pretty sure most people won’t want to see dh racers wearing skin suits because it looks dumb. If you want people to be interested in a sport, small things like that can make a difference in marketability.
  • 40 9
 @joecrosby: Name me one individual timed sport that doesnt eventually converge on tight clothing? Speed chess doesnt count. This is what professionals should be wearing in this sport.

this looks pro. full stop.
  • 10 1
 @joecrosby: pretty sure that's one of the main reasons skinsuits were banned, MTB had an image problem and they really didn't help.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: sort of want to support my favorite racer by getting the jersey.

I look sexy in skin tight stuff anyway. Should be ok.
  • 5 1
 @onetrykid: It will be easy enough to make team replica graphics in a more conventional model. Or you can take the "stupid sexy onetrykid" approach.
  • 1 3
 Is there a way to let them go aero wo them looking like a Johnson in a latex? If there was I'd be ok w it. Right now I think this boundary testing that we are seeing is as good as we can hope for. Teams going aero wo going full aero and looking like dweebs.
  • 4 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Pretty sure we shouldn't pretend the state of the sport is the same as it was 30 years ago.
  • 15 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: The most popular MTB discipline (by a long way) is XC and they've always used lycra and skinsuits, so image obviously isn't a problem.
  • 5 19
flag matadorCE (May 1, 2024 at 19:49) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-townes: You can come out the closet now, no need to project
  • 5 12
flag moutnbiker FL (May 1, 2024 at 19:54) (Below Threshold)
 unless Tahnee Seagrave and Pom Pom are wearing them!
  • 5 0
 People have different perceptions of what looks good and some simply prefer loose over tight clothing. I think it was nice to not have skinsuits in DH. Wearing the same baggy clothing as the average rider helps to reduce the perceived gap between recreational and professional riding. Baggies also didnt come out of nowhere. The biggest objective reasion to wear baggies over tights is improved abrasion protection when you crash.
  • 7 0
 @Planetx888: you’ve obviously never played competitive speed chess at the elite level. If you aren’t shaving your arms, you aren’t winning.
  • 2 4
 @Planetx888: automobile racing
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: it wasn't 30 years ago, it was 15. And I never said it was, it's just that's why skinsuits were banned in the first place.
  • 3 4
 @joecrosby: Safety pads and helmets just don't match with lycra. They just look dorky together. Now, if DH gear were more in the style of MotoGP leathers, or the Batsuit that might be something worth considering
  • 1 0
 My reply above was meant for @Planetx888
  • 2 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: Let us be honest here. No one is going to see this anyway. The UCI does not push the sport, video access is limited at best, and any major networks only cover road when they cover cycling. The only people who will see the difference are here and on Vital. Every one of those people will watch, if they can, because they enjoy DH. Not because they enjoy fashion choices. That is the realm of the F1 fan.

Claiming that aero clothing will stop people from watching is nonsense. First race of the season is in Scotland. Heading over to the BBC website to see if there is anything there about it. Nothing. Why choose the BBC as reference? Because they are UK based. This is the same across many other outlets.
  • 2 1
 @wburnes: Not really. Even there, clothing matters. Fire suits and helmets are designed to be tight fitting in order to allow easy ingress and egress. They are not baggy and ill fitting.
  • 2 0
 @thebradjohns: It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again!
  • 2 0
 @billreilly: It's not the most popular here on PB...
  • 2 0
 @joecrosby: this for me. I say no to skin suits because if i go to a place like whistler, you see people with cool outfits similar to what the pros are wearing. If the outfit the pros wear goes skin tight, it will be interesting to see what direction the "fast park riders" go with their outfits. Lycra isnt cool.
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: it is pretty much the only justifiable reason for banning skinsuits.
  • 3 1
 Doesn't Tanhee's outfit explicitly break the rule stating, "or one piece suits comprising the jersey and the pants/shorts are not permitted for use in downhill events."

Perhaps her shirt and pants are perfectly tucked with patterns aligned, and so I cannot see it. But it appears to be a single piece outfit, no?
  • 13 0
 No - it's a two piece. It's a long sleeve jersey with tight coverall pants worn over it. It's definitely getting close to the edge of that rule, since it's essentially a sleeveless skinsuit with a long sleeve jersey underneath.
  • 3 1
 @chacou: if it's "athlete only" as they say in the video, does that not violated the "must be available for sale for MTB or BMX ?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: if it's "athlete only" as they say in the video, does that not violated the "must be available for sale for MTB or BMX ?
  • 11 0
 @FoxRedLabs, the rules don’t say ‘must be sold to the general public’ - if a team buys the clothing from Fox, well, then it was sold for use in a downhill event.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: I really always thought, that the custom kits racers wear have to be based on styles that are available in the market for the end consumer. So same construction, fit and material, just custom graphics. And that that is the reason why they state "must be available for sale for MTB".
I mean which teams are "buying" kits, its all provided by sponors?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: wasn’t expecting to be seeing homologation special clothes any time soon. £10,000 a pop, special order. Box ticked.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: AHH I see , a useful loophole haha . Are the teams or athletes purchasing though if they are fox sponsored teams or riders ? Or are they getting it supplied as part of their sponsorship deals?
  • 1 1
 "Jerseys used in downhill events should be of a type specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events"

it's a bit tautological, it's a bit undecipherable:
- if it's sold as a dh jersey then it's legal
- if you can't buy it (even business to business) then it's illegal

Personally can't see the problem in wearing what you'd be fastest in with some rules surrounding the safety performance.
  • 1 1
 @johnny2shoes: I have no issue with it either , I was just curious as to how they have gotten it through the minefield of uci regs
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: It was designed to circumvent the rule and is clearly against the idea of this rule. If was UCI, I would not allow it. Not because I think this is bad, but it bypases the rule leaving other riders in disadvantage. Kids in Bangladesh are probably sewing similar for all non-fox teams now ...
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: I think technology exploring the limits of any sports rulebook is generally where marginal gains are made.

Plus UCI have effectively designed this outfit: it's sold as a DH jersey, it's not a skin suit and it's not a one piece
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: the UCI have to allow it, at least until they decide to tighten (no pun intended) up the wording of the rule.

The idea/spirit/whatever of the rules doesn’t cut it (see many examples from F1 with teams constantly looking for speed). If the wording allows it then that’s that.
  • 2 0
 @mashrv1: Sorry, but in my opinion this is a skinsuit. Note that in the rule they say Skinsuit OR one-piece... This is effectively a two-piece skinsuit, since it has all the properties of a skinsuit.
  • 2 0
 @johnny2shoes: This is not technology exploring the limits, it's just a skinsuit in disguise, everybody knows it there is no novelty in it, it's just a hack to bypass law.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: no need to apologise. The rule book doesn’t care for opinions though. I’m sure Fox will have studied them very carefully before deciding to go ahead
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: guess it depends what size you buy :-)
  • 1 0
 No... it is literally a two-piece.
  • 1 0
 @johnny2shoes: not at all. "Should" does not impose any requirement. If it were compulsory it would be "must"
  • 4 2
 Knee/shin protectors going down to the ankle? Haven't seen those around in DH racing for a while. They will look funny though, when worn under those speedsuits. Oh wait, it says "should be worn" in the UCI rulebook. What exactly is the purpose again of using a "should" in a rulebook? Maybe UCI can explain this? Oh wait, it's UCI we are talking about! Sorry, but the precision with which those rules are formulated is a joke. Basically you can race in anything that's not a Speedo or Bikini, as long as you are putting it to sale it and claim that you've designed it for DH racing. Come on!
  • 3 1
 In a timing sport, you should do everything possible to be faster even if it's ugly. In moto GP they don't ride with baggy leather and 30cm visors... but at the end it depends what you are looking for? winning? looking cool?
Palmer was both, but i was Palmer.
If you are not a World Cup rider it will not affect you, except if you want to look like a World Cup rider. And because you are not Palmer, you will follow the fashion as always ; )
  • 1 0
 FYI... leather motorbike suits will tear easier if they crease and catch pavement and you're going fast enough when crashing, it becomes an issue of compromising the protection before its done its job. That's a bunch of that. They're also going 200mph, not 35mph as far as aerodynamics and shit flapping on your back are concerned.
  • 2 0
 I wonder if the next step will be that team start to minmise the visor, as that is still explicity required in the UCI regs for DH (I think only BMX also has that requirement), as there must be at least some drag from having a big flap of plastic on top of the helmet?
  • 5 3
 DH literally followed MOTO's lead and went from lycra oriented skin-suits to a version of what MOTO's kit was at the time. Well guess what? Time's change, as well as fashions. Look at practically all MOTO pro kit's now. We're effectively talking about the same styles of "speed" kit.

It is what it is... They just happen to design them more aesthetically pleasing now.
  • 9 0
 Do you think moto is an acronym?
  • 5 0
 "Not a skinsuit" you keep using this word.
  • 3 0
 Thats 3 words, or one phrase.
  • 3 0
 Im surprised we don't see racers wear aero base layers or adding ribbing onto fabric for better aero like we see on the road side. Fast is faster
  • 1 0
 That's exactly what we're seeing here - check the shoulders. Whether it's oriented properly and/or effective is another matter, but at least they're thinking about it.
  • 4 3
 As someone who raced TT, everything matters. The day I went to an aero helmet, I went faster. The day I added covers to my shoes, I went faster. The day I switched from a regular bike jersey with back pockets to bibs and a smooth jersey (never bit on the onesie), yup, you guessed it, I went faster. I am sure that if someone could figure out how to do deeper dish wheels on an MTB, they will pop up.

Competition means you will want to go faster. Who cares what they wear.
  • 1 0
 History repeats... www.pinkbike.com/news/now-that-was-a-bike-yeti-lawwill-dh6.html (to be fair, they were doing 55mph in the Kamikaze back in the day, so there probably really was a sizeable aero advantage to those!)
  • 1 0
 Anyone else note that the new Fox suits are only available to the athletes and not 'sold' as the UCI rule states, and that this could potentially disqualify them from being used?
The other comment I have, with the short pants rule, why are they required to cover the entire shin? riders typically use knee guards only - meaning they effectively either need to wear full length pants, or wear knee guards that cover the entire shin
  • 2 0
 From the Cambridge Dictionary:

Skinsuit: a piece of clothing for the whole body made of a material that stretches and fits tightly to the body. It is worn especially for sports:
  • 1 0
 It's funny, as a kid I used to wear heavy, baggy MX trousers all the time and thought it was so cool. These days, I actually prefer close fitting MTB clothes, especially the trousers (not to the degree of lycra, obviously). The Leatt Trail 2.0 trousers I'm using right now is a pretty good fit, for example.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, fashion cycles are funny like that. I had the perspective of watching some TV shows from the 90's in about 2016,
and thinking how absurd the high rise oversize pants were, and the super baggy ugly sweaters, whereas when those shows originally aired they seemed normal to me. Now, I see the Gen Z / hipster kids wearing exactly those 90's styles again, so the (re)cycle continues.

It seems like it takes about 25 years before the fashions have been effectively laundered through history, and are ready for young people to consider them fresh again. We saw the same thing with how bell bottom pants/flares were popular in the 70s, and then had a revival in the early 2000s.
  • 8 5
 Bring back the hockey player look of the 90’s . And 500mm bars. And 3.0 tires.
  • 8 4
 Why would anyone care????
  • 3 3
 It makes complete sense. The tricky part will maintaining a "cool" factor for DH. As a fan it might look a bit silly, but we'll get used to it after some time. With racing getting so tight it's not unreasonable for riders to find gains that drop their time by fractions of a second. It's when aero track helmets enter the picture that things will get weird.
  • 3 1
 DH race kit has already been quite tight and trim for a while, this hardly looks any different. I don’t think most people will even notice. Riding big bikes fast over rough tracks is implicitly cool, I don’t think it matters what the riders are wearing
  • 6 2
 Bring back shorts and short sleeve jerseys in Dj racing!!
  • 4 1
 Ah, skin suits, crappy semi finals and expensive streaming services. The future of DH is looking promising........
  • 3 0
 I rate it. Although, if we can see a clear outline of ya twig and berries, it might be a bit much.
  • 1 0
 Materials that don't rip and extra padding are a bigger difference than fit, from the near naked roadie stinsuit.
I understand the aero/time differences between DH and road helmets is an even bigger difference!
  • 1 0
 Extra padding and not being destroyed in crashes doesn’t win you extra races. For punters absolutely, but that’s not what this is.
Believe snail/bullet head is still banned (sure someone will correct if wrong) otherwise we’d probably be seeing more moves there again
  • 5 0
 Sexy Flanders suits.
  • 5 0
 Stupid sexy Flanders
  • 3 1
 if you've never been up to real speed in baggies, you have you business looking down on tight DH suits. When things get flapping it's no Bueno...
  • 7 2
 yay for camel toes!
  • 3 0
 and moose knuckles!
  • 4 1
 Ban bike suits.
Bring back skin suits
Bring back shorts
Free the nipple while we’re at it
  • 3 0
 lampre guy approves. once you see it, you cannot unsee
  • 2 0
 Went to the disco on Saturday night, I couldn't dance 'cause my pants were too tight.
  • 3 0
 Long Sleeves + pants = more space for sponsors.
  • 2 0
 No more "loose material flapping around" applies to more than just clothing.
  • 2 0
 I still remember when the Cannondale team all showed up for a world cup in black skin suits and everyone lost their mind.
  • 2 0
 And then there were these... www.pinterest.jp/pin/226868899956124771 There was a shot of Gracia wearing one of these in one of the Sprung films, I think.
  • 4 1
 Rachel Atherton is super angry right now.
  • 3 0
 All I know is that Lycra is a privlidge, not a right
  • 6 3
 Does Ms. Höll look comfortable in it?
  • 1 2
 Most of the new kits look amazing. There are a couple of questionable ones though! The baggiest ones looked almost out of place. Wait until the big bearded burly blokes angry about tighter clothes find out the superstar rider guys all went through makeup for their photo shoot.
  • 1 1
 If you're going to cut away at technical parts of tracks in favor of straightaways, you send a pretty strong signal that speed is the most important consideration, why not allow skinsuits?
  • 3 1
 Are you guys really arguing about what clothing racers wear? For a second I thought it was a serious conversation.
  • 2 0
 Don't know why, I suddenly thought of this...: youtu.be/-IOMNUayJjI?si=uE3dEz4tUzWVDnjW
  • 1 0
 The jersey must be either close fitting around the waist or must be tucked into the pants before the start to not cause interference.

Interference with what?
  • 2 0
 The Fox RomperSuit. Nice.
  • 16 14
 UCI sound like a bunch of aging racist boomers running an HOA.
  • 4 2
 Being that I am an aging (non-racist) boomer who has to deal with the nonsense of an HOA, I will say you nailed it!
  • 2 0
 They sounds like my sort of people. I'll have to see if they have any jobs going.
  • 1 0
 @ThatEbikeGuy: The beauty of working in a HOA (Home Owner's Association) is that it's an volunteer position so you would be doing it just for the love of the game. The only remuneration would be increases to your ability to wield power over your neighbors as a petty tyrant, fining them for putting up holiday ornaments too early, painting their house an unapproved color, parking their work truck in the driveway, etc...
  • 3 0
 No denim Frown
  • 5 0
 Long live the Denim Destroyer!
  • 2 0
 Denim isn't banned
  • 1 0
 How tight?

Tight enough to see from a distance if they are drug free or not. 2 birds with one stone.
  • 2 0
 How tight really shouldn't even be the question here.... it's 1 piece or 2.
  • 2 0
 Lycra really gave me the edge when I was racing Cat 3 though
  • 1 0
 @fektor-b: What about your Edge wheels? I mean Enve wheels. Whoops... Amer wheels. Goddamit, PV3 wheels.
  • 1 0
 we need to draw the line that the 'un-tucked-in' mindset, must take precedence over aerodynamics....
  • 2 0
 Don't make Dak cut his hair.....for marginal gains.....
  • 2 3
 Sure looks like Tahnee's outfit is a one-piece suit, which would fail the UCI's comment of "one piece suits comprising the jersey and the pants/shorts are not permitted for use in downhill events"
  • 2 0
 it is not - the pants are overalls over the jersey
  • 3 1
 I love how angry this has made some people.
  • 2 4
 "sold for use.... one piece suits comprising the jersey and the pants/shorts are not permitted"

fails in two areas. Just because there's a top underneath doesn't mean it's not a one piece.

I think the tailored kits in recent years have been a positive step, but I think this is looking for loopholes to gain an advantage rather than genuine ingenuity.
  • 1 0
 the new fox kit is 2 separate pieces
  • 1 1
 @rjmogul: it's a sleeveless one piece
  • 3 1
 Sam Hill in baggy troylee kit ,enough said
  • 2 1
 UCI show us how well you understand DH. UCI "your clothing is too tight!!!!"
  • 8 6
 This is not the way.
  • 1 0
 What’s the pros wear….
  • 3 1
 Leggings are NOT pants.
  • 2 1
 Pinkbike doing the hard "research" for science.
  • 1 1
 One of the old forest coots at uci f*cked himself in the head while counting the excess money.
  • 2 0
 goddam
  • 1 0
 Within the rules. Who cares?
  • 1 0
 Sam Hill on 2008 UCI world champion val di sole run use a TT suit
  • 1 1
 Hardly matters what they wear now.
  • 1 0
 baggiest fit in atlanta
  • 1 1
 FK rules
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