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The Nopinz Pro-1 Road skinsuit is a brilliant race-day option for the privateer racer. It's easy to get on, comfortable for hours at a time and the close fit should give you decent aero performance. The Speedpockets for race numbers (a no-cost option) are brilliant, too.
For years I have bought (or been given) a rather expensive skinsuit at the start of the race season, then spent the rest of the year slowly destroying it by poking safety pins through the material.
Number pockets aren't a new concept – in fact, NoPinz became popular by retro-fitting their pockets to other brands' skinsuits. It was mostly the time trial crowd that was interested, but now you'll find NoPinz number pockets on the skinsuits of road racers.
I have to say that sliding a set of race numbers into these pockets is a fair bit easier than pinning them. There's no chance of the number flapping about, and you don't have to go around the car park asking strangers to do it for you.
While the clear pocket feels a little delicate, it has held up perfectly over the test period, and though the plastic material is a bit sweaty in warm weather, you'd have a number on your back anyway – which does the same thing.
Away from the pockets, the Pro-1 is a very comfortable skinsuit. There's loads of stretch in every part of the garment, and that ensures the close fit never feels restrictive. I've happily worn the Pro-1 on some of my longer rides; four hours in the saddle poses no problems.
The stretch also makes getting the thing on nice and easy. When you've got to change in a Ford Fiesta, this is much appreciated. It's not something that every brand gets right, either. Rapha's similar skinsuit requires a helper to haul the top half over my shoulders.
Inside the Pro-1 you'll find a dense and comfortable pad with a very soft surface. It feels like there's extra padding towards the front of it, which is odd, but for me it gave brilliant cushioning when I was plonked on the nose of the saddle, chewing the bars and trying to stay on someone's wheel.
The cut of the skinsuit is very good, with a very close fit. The legs are quite long which isn't to my taste from a style point of view, but I'll duck for cover now as the aero-obsessed tell me it's faster to have skin covered.
The arms are easily pulled down to the elbows for a similar effect.
There is one spot where I don't like the finish. The zip cover at the neck is a bit rough and irritated me whenever I wasn't riding. As soon as I got riding and had a hillclimb effort to do, or a wheel to follow, I forgot about it.
At £149.99, the Pro-1 skinsuit is brilliant value. The Castelli Sanremo 4.1 I usually race in is £260 with no number pockets, while the dhb Aeron LAB Raceline is £190 – again with no number pockets. The Rapha Crit Suit option mentioned above is £210 and does include number pockets, but they're not that see-through and I found some fit issues.
All in, this is a comfortable and well-fitting skinsuit that has the bonus of functional and easy-to-use number pockets (though if you don't want them, you can just have the feed pockets). The price is brilliant and aside from the cover for the zip, there's really nothing to dislike.
Great fit, very comfortable and the number pockets are brilliant. At this price it's the easy choice
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Nopinz Pro-1 Road Men's Skinsuit with Speedpockets
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
"A suit with a Grand Tour stage winning pedigree it's comfortable but above all, it's FAST. Speedscalez™ for the shorts and our 'Pista' fabric on the arms make it super-slippy, while massively breathable 'Chrono' fabric on the torso keeps things dry and cool. A full zip, a quality pad, and cool colourways only add to the appeal.
"Common question: does the suit come with number pockets, feed pockets, or both? The simple answer is it's up to you! If you want Speedpockets for carrying a race number (select yes) then you will have number pockets with feed pockets underneath. Otherwise, the suit just comes with two feed pockets."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Comfortable and aerodynamic.
A mix of Pista, Chrono, and Speedscalez fabrics.
Low profile silicone gripper bands.
Lightweight and breathable.
Teosport Armadillo Chamois.
Pre-dyed shorts for longevity.
YKK Soflex zip for comfort when standing.
Two rear feed pockets.
Available with or without Speedpockets.
Made in the UK
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I washed at 30° and never tumble dried it.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. It gives a close fit that isn't restrictive and, with no flappy bits of material, it should be relatively aero too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The number pockets are just so useful for the privateer racer.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The cover for the zip at the neck is annoying when you're not riding.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Beats pretty much everything else I've seen.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The number pockets are really good, and help you not destroy a pricey bit of racing kit. The rest is good too. The fit, comfort and pad are all great. That's a lot to love, especially at this price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!