X-Bionic The Trick Biking Shirt and Bib Tights
X-Bionic The Trick Biking Shirt and Bib Tights
A review of X-Bionic The Trick Long Sleeved Biking Shirt and Biking Bib Tights
The market place of cycle clothing is immensely crowded, yet X-Bionic stands out with their emphasis on technology. Does the technology provide real benefits, or is it just marketing hype? Those were the accompanying thoughts during the test period. The additional purpose of my test is to assess the long term durability when subject to training and racing conditions.
X-BIONIC’s patented functions and used technical vocabulary is overwhelming so please bear with me. I need to explain them, since it is tough to comprehend the whole concept without mentioning them. In their 16 years of research X-Bionic have patented 200 technologies and won 560 International awards, they are far more than ‘just’ a clothing company. Firstly let me take you through the features of the ‘Biking Shirt’, or jersey.
The first technical feature to highlight is THE TRICK technology. The target is to maintain a constant temperature, and to achieve this X-Bionic embedded an insulating pad along the spine. I tried to overheat my body by submitting myself to intensive interval training. Admittedly I sweated more, but I didn’t experience any excessive overheating. That might be due to the fact that I tested it in cold temperatures. Once the air temperatures went beyond 10 C [tested in Southern Europe], the embedded pad had a hard time to keep my body temperature on a reasonable level despite not using a base layer. I’m surprised by the range of temperatures the TRICK is able to work in. I went from one extreme to the other [from -10C up to plus 10C].
These items are made from synthetic materials. That said it hasn’t been irritating when wearing it next to skin. I appreciated its elasticity though. The inserted compression contributed to comfort as well. It is not restrictive nor does it substitute for dedicated compression apparel. This feature is known as X-IMPACT TECHNOLOGY. I would rather highlight its ability to keep a ‘streamline’ posture as a result. It is reminiscent of a typical Italian race cut.
The ventilation is provided by the 3D BIONIC SPHERE SYSTEM. Moisture has been transported away rather quickly, unless the exercise intensity had been elevated or outside temperatures went over 10C. They furthered the ventilation on elbows by using a knitted fabric they call EXPANSION RIBS. The material leaves a thin film of sweat on the skin which is practically unnoticeable – they call it SWEAT TRAPS.
The Long bibs are following the same innovative technological pathway, obviously with adapted features. The Trick Bib Tights are more targeted for cold riding, and designed to ‘trick’ your brain into thinking your body is at the optimum temperature. The Bib Tights profit from “Patented Thorny Devil Technology”, a design concept based on the biology of a creature that inhabits the Australian desert. The idea is to collect and channel moisture through ‘sweat collectors’ and pass it through ‘sweat transporters’ to ‘sweat distributors’ in areas where you can most benefit from the cooling effect of evaporation. That is supposed to create a perfect condition for optimum performance.
It’s appealing to read things like “Thorny Devil Technology” associated thermoregulation, but despite sounding like a clichéd pitch, you really have to test the X-Bionic to experience it firsthand and to appreciate its attributes. The warmth-sensation was omnipresent. During high intensity training the excess sweat is transported to areas that are likely to overheat, to assist in cooling through evaporation.
Light rain showers at temperature around 3C notwithstanding, my body temperature didn’t plummet considerably. Now, I assumed, at higher temperatures and under dry conditions my body would overheat in these Bib Tights. So I tested it at 10C outside temperatures too. My body temperature rose a tad, but it was kept at a reasonable, comfortable level.
The pad is woven directly into the bib tights (The only other bibs we know of to have this feature are the Ekoi Elegance bibtights tested by Simon here). The seams are almost unnoticeable, no chafing at all. While testing it I went without chamois cream even in moist conditions. The only drawback: the pad attracted weird looks and funny questions from friends. Admittedly, took a while to the unusual pad integration. After a while though, I disregarded it and paid attention only to the superb functionality.
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