Skin suit vs bibs and Jersey

I’m interested in trying at least one skinsuit for events where I really care about every little aero advantage I can get. I’m a somewhat-overweight intermediate-level rider doing three-hour rides, for reference.

  1. What brands/styles should I evaluate?
  2. What should I know before shopping, like what’s the difference between a 2-in-1 and a “true skinsuit”?


The San Remo is a two-in-one design with a full zip in the front…but any tight fitting piece of clothing is going to be a struggle to get on when you are soaking wet.

2 in 1 is a short sewn to a jersey around the back of your waist but the two pieces are separate in the front. It has pockets in the back (Castelli’s San Remo has 3). It has a full length zipper in the front. It’s basically a replacement for a bib+jersey. Aero advantages are not tremendous. It’s a direct replacement for longer rides when you need to carry stuff and may need to go #1 (and have male plumbing).

An aero skinsuit has the two pieces completely sewn together all the way around your waist. Typically no pockets, or just a pocket for a race number. Has a measurable aero advantage. For TT, crits and events where you will not need to carry anything in back or get off the bike.

So which type you should get depends on your goal. I like Castelli’s San Remo (2 in 1) but I’m biased since they are a team sponsor.

The main recommendation is that you find a shop that lets you try on before you buy and sit on a bike in it. An aero skinsuit (Castelli body paint) may feel uncomfortable when you pull it on because it’s designed to fit right when in the aero bars, typically.

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I’d bet that the aero drag on a “2 in 1” is a lot closer to a TT skin suit than it is to a typical jersey and bibs. I can’t speak for the San Remo, but I’ve got a couple of the specialized GC skinsuits (with pockets) and the smooth fit and lack of seams is impressive. I’ve got some nice tight fitting jersey’s, but they don’t fit anything like the GC skin suits. Specialized had them on special before x-mas for under $200 (cheaper than a nice jersey and bibs), I wish I had bought more. More comfortable and faster, it’s a win/win.

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Sorry, but that is not accurate. Loads of data out there indicating that there is a big advantage to this style suit.


I’m in SanRemo for everything. Full on skinsuits can get hot in summer.

I haven’t used many skinsuits but the Castelli Free Aero kit that I use is tight (no ripples in the fabric) and feels very slippery. Costly but worth a look.

Is a 2-in-1 the one where the top and bottom are connected, but still has bib straps?

I have a Pactimo insulated skin suit and don’t love that it is maybe a fraction too long up top… I assume that could be addressed with custom sizing

I wonder how bibs with no jersey would compare to a skinsuit, its a great look on the trainer in the paincave, imagine how great it would look on the road!! :smiley:

I think It would be highly dependent on the wookie factor.

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I feel like this is directed towards me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Shhhh… you’re not supposed to tell everyone :slight_smile:

Generally not. The jersey part is responsible for holding the shorts in place. Though, I’ve not tried every brand out there.

really . harder than a jersey and bibs ? I have been wondering how long until skin suits loose their stigma . we went from bike shorts to bib shorts … why such a leap to skin suits ? the suits have come a long way and I believe much more comfortable … just my opinion .

It’s tighter than race fit and unless you have a race/really long ride or other purpose, it’s an overkill. Plus you have to be close to race weight not to look like stuffed sausage wearing one.

Yes…in terms of getting it back on. Getting it off to drop the deuce isn’t that hard, but trying ot get it back on when you are wet and sweaty? PITA.

Did IM 70.3 World’s in Chattanooga…hit the portapotty in T2, thinking I was just gonna pee. Hit me suddenly that it was more than that!! Getting the suit back on was a struggle.

Half way through the run, same problem and stopped again…this portapotty was in the sun and the stop took…errr, longer. Came out soaking wet from sweat and getting the suit back up was damn near impossible.


Any recommendations on skinsuit companies? Looking for bright colors and won’t break the bank.

Velotec makes some less expensive suits in neon yellow if thats your thing.

Giordana FR-C Pro Doppio Suit in Lime. I’ve found good sales on this suit but unfortunately never in this color.

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Good prices but I’m seeing minimum quantity of 10? Where did you order from?