lRapha Team Sky Road Race Mesh Skinsuit Sheds Heat, Drag & Humility Rapha Team Sky Road Race Mesh Skinsuit Sheds Heat, Drag & Humility

Spandex in and of itself is already pretty revealing. One of the first things beginner cyclists have to learn is how to be comfortable in the stretchy pants – and your own skin. The Rapha Road Race Mesh Skinsuit has taken that to the next level. One step short of nearly nude, the skinsuit is built for the hottest days on the bike in places like Australia, Qatar, and Oman. Most of us mortals would wilt under the heat of the desert sun just watching the race, let alone performing at the levels of Team Sky. To help ensure their athletes stay as cool as possible, the new skinsuit helps shed the heat, while leaving little to the imagination.

All is revealed after the break.

Chris Froome Mesh Skinsuit twiter

The skinsuit made quite a ruckus after a certain rider by the name of Froome posted his racy pic on Twitter. Judging by the number of retweets and favorites, the public was quite entertained.

Rapha Team Sky Road Race Mesh Skinsuit Sheds Heat, Drag & Humility Rapha Team Sky Road Race Mesh Skinsuit Sheds Heat, Drag & Humility

From Rapha:


The Road Race Mesh Skinsuit draws upon Sky’s experiences from both the 2013 Tour Down Under and the 2013 Tour de France. In Australia, feedback from Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard on our Summer Bib Shorts resulted in the creation of a mid-season, second-generation Summer Bib Short, which was later used at the Tour de France. In France, the Team also had development prototypes of the Mesh Jersey, though on time trail days when aerodynamics trumped all other factors, the choice was for a more traditional skinsuit. During shorter distance stages, the bulk of the peloton, including Pete Kennaugh, started using skinsuits for aerodynamic advantage.

Innovation and Specifics

These traditional skinsuits, however, lacked airflow and required temperature management. Observing this, Piers Thomas, the Rapha Team Sky Design Manager, returned from France with a plan to make a garment that would be both cooling and aerodynamic.  He started by connecting the Mesh Jersey with the second-generation Summer Bib Shorts. Working with the Rapha product development team to refine this concept, the design evolved into the 2014 Road Race Mesh Skinsuit-  a 196.6-gram one-piece suit (size Medium) for the hottest racing days.

Technically, the mesh structure and material are similar to that used in the Rapha Pro Team Baselayer. The mesh upper and front thigh sections allow for maximum airflow and evaporative cooling while the panels in the shorts rely on our tried-and-tested coldblack® for additional comfort.


There are no plans for Rapha to sell the Road Mesh Skinsuit in 2014 as part of the Sky range, though there will be a Team Sky Mesh Jersey available mid-summer that features many of the same insights from the riders in its construction.

Rapha Team Sky Road Race Mesh Skinsuit Sheds Heat, Drag & Humility


  1. I also wonder about the UV protection it will provide. Considering what happened to Jen Voigt last year with a bad sunburn from his mesh jersey; UV protection would be at the top of my list as a their Product developer.

    For our, Steen Wear’s, Summer Jersey and the back panel of our Pro Jersey in our custom line I searched high and low for a UV protectant mesh, but the problem is the more open the weave, the less protection you can receive. We finally found a supplier that uses a specially treated thread that has UV protection built into it to give us an UV rating of 25 on unprinted white. This is about the limits of what we were able to find for fabric in similar look of open-ness to the Rapha one used.


  2. Years ago (circa 1990) Jacquie Phelan raced in a skinsuit with a mesh top and a black sports bra underneath. She told people “you wear just the skinsuit for bedroom sprints.”

  3. problem is not just the UV attacking the skin. Is the heat that sun light brings… In hot sunny summer in south spain, you better wear a jersey rather than been topless. This skinsuit makes no sense. It would work only in very cloudy and hot days, which is a very rare weather…

    Happy to see Rapha is actually just for posers… LoL

  4. so for the premium Rapha charges- you get even less clothing and a healthy dose of skin cancer to boot!

    sounds like a deal to me.

  5. @satisFACTORYrider They are all pervs at Rapha.

    Is team Sky also going to be riding in Rapha’s Yak leather cycling shoes? It seems like the ridiculousness would reach its zenith then.

  6. yeah, what on earth are they thinking? Cipollini couldn’t wear his ‘anotomically correct’ printed skinsuit, but this one flies under the radar? not only is it non-functioning, it’s just wrong. black, no UV, and lacking privacy. I didn’t think I was a prude, but whatever. Rapha found a way to maximize their dollars / g for fabric. Being british, I suppose that would be pounds / g and that’s just too confusing.

  7. I see an obvious benefit to these suits…

    If you had to wear one, you’d wanna be so fast that you didn’t get beat up when people see you wearing some weirdo clothes. *Gosh* Does it come with bra and panties too???

    Weirdos. 🙂

    Don’t use cycling as an excuse, people who like this kinda stuff would do it anyway.

What do you think?