Assos unveils Fenoq skinsuit ready for Paris Olympics

New skinsuit has been made available to the public for the first time but already appears to have been used by pro athletes

Clock05:15, Wednesday 31st January 2024

© Assos

Assos has made the Fenoq available to the public

With the Paris Olympics now just months away, the tech arms race continues to rumble on. Assos has become the latest brand to release a product with the games in mind in the form of the Fenoq chronosuit, more commonly known as a skinsuit, which will be used by the Switzerland team.

When we say released, it has been advertised to the public for the first time on the company’s website but will have been available since the beginning of the year in line with Olympic rules, which dictate that any equipment used on the track must be commercially available by 1 January of an Olympic year.

It will have already been tried and tested by pro riders on the track too, as per the UCI regulation 1.3.006, and may have also been tested on the road by the Swiss team whose skinsuits in the time trials at the Glasgow World Championships bear a striking resemblance to the new Fenoq. That’s both in terms of the colour design and the vertical aero panelling along the sleeves which, on closer inspection, is actually a grid pattern.

The Fenoq is the latest in a line of tech releases ahead of the Paris Olympics, including Team GB’s new 3D-printed bike, and there are likely to be more in the future which are already hidden in plain sight.

What do we know about the Fenoq skinsuit?

Assos gives little away about the new skinsuit on its website, which isn’t too surprising considering its clear focus on the Olympics. Like most brands who are designing products for the games, it clearly doesn’t want to let any of its secrets out.

Some of those secrets won’t come as too much of a surprise, namely that the design was honed in the wind tunnel over multiple years. Assos has also drawn on other areas too, including body mapping technology which is significant as each suit is completely bespoke to an athlete and “is cut and sewn for riders’ unique physiques and riding positions”.

Customised skinsuits for athletes are nothing new but this extends to anyone who buys the Fenoq as Assos says that it has created a platform that will allow them to customise the skinsuit for any customer.

Most of the current aero gains for clothing are made from the specific texture of the fabric and this is the final area of development Assos cites. Essentially, the texture of a jersey can be used to alter airflow over a rider, which in turn can make them more aerodynamic. Brands have been grappling with different designs for many years now, with some falling foul of the UCI in the process.

For the Fenoq, Assos has settled on a grid-like pattern, although from a distance it takes on the appearance of vertical panels.

Speed doesn’t come cheap

As you may expect, an Olympic-quality skinsuit doesn’t come cheap, far from it.

According to the Assos website, prices for the Fenoq skinsuit start at £5,670/€6,500/$7,040, although you can’t buy it directly on the website and have to contact them. There is also another Feno skinsuit available which is labelled as “custom-made” rather than the “100% custom” description provided for the Fenoq, suggesting this one won’t be made to fit. The starting price for the Feno comes in significantly cheaper at £2,180/€2,500/$2,710.

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