Huub Heated Trousers
Could the Huub Heated Trousers be your cyclo-cross secret weapon?
Trawling through the internet for ‘cross ‘stuff’ I came across HUUB’s Heated Trousers. My first thought was “battery-powered warm-up trousers, that’s what I need!” Many of you will have seen or used warm-up tights before a race; the ones you whip off Full-Monty style. These allow you to warm up, ride your sighting lap and endure the gridding wait in the cold. Then, just before the 30-second warning, you whip them off and throw them to your willing helper.
Warm-up trousers are great, I have a pair of Nopinz’s Warm-up leggings and they have made life much cosier. Not only do they keep your legs warm before the start, they’re also nice to slip back on afterwards. Could they be improved though?
Well HUUB’s Fellowship of Speed reckon they could; by adding heating elements to them. These are the second version of the original Heated Trousers, but the idea remains the same. HUUB designed the original trousers to allow Olympians to compete at the highest level. They knew that warm muscles are more aerobic and elastic, allowing them to perform better.
Steve Faulkner (Sports Engineering & Physiology, Nottingham Trent University) proved that 43 degrees is the optimal temperature for increased blood flow. This leads to increased performance and injury reduction. His tests showed that the Heated Trousers maintained “elevated muscle temperature post-warm-up, leading to a 9.6% increase in cycling power compared to a control group“. So in sports where you warm up and then have to wait for your event to actually start, these will give you an advantage.
After your event using these trousers will also help with your recovery. According to HUUB this is done by “stimulating area-specific blood flow, therefore, increasing blood lactate removal, reducing inflammation and fluid build-up.” They also talk about how using them is good for morale; warm legs equal happy riders!
Eight heating elements
The heating elements are placed so as to warm your calves, quads and glutes. They have full-length zips to allow for easy removal. The battery pack can be removed from its pocket to charge and two buttons control each leg. While the Heated Trousers can be used outdoors, my question would be whether they would be ok to use in the rain? It might be that you would put them on while you were waiting, but ride your sighting lap in your normal tights.
Of course these aren’t a ‘cross specific item of clothing, but they would be a really useful item to have on a cold start-line. That start-line could also be at your local track league, some of those velodromes can get cold when you have to wait between events. You could also take them for early season races, where the weather can be less than balmy. We’ll have to see if we can get a pair to try out over the coming season. If we do we’ll let you know how they perform; whatever you do, just don’t call them hot pants!