First Look – SIX30 Cycling Compression Wear
- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 6 February 2014
You may be already know that two of the biggest names in compression wear, 2XU and Skins, both have an Aussie heritage. This “performance sportswear” comes at a price, so the Australian online retailer Velogear founded the brand SIX30 for compression gear in a more affordable price category .
The science of compression wear is quite murky; the general concept behind compression wear is that it improves blood circulation and thus better oxygenates the body before, during and after sport. There are other claims around, such as reducing muscle vibration or heightening sensory awareness, so it’s well worth researching the benefits of compression wear independently.
SIX30 Cycling Gear
Both the bib shorts (knicks) and long sleeve compression top are black nylon lycra and the visible stitching is predominantly dark grey flat lock stitching; uncomplicated, attractive and comfortable. They look the part and both the knicks and top are constructed to be form fitting and movement is not restricted.
The knicks have elastic cuffs with a rubberised lining that prevents slipping, and the braces (suspenders) include a breathable mesh section at the rear. The chamois is DuPont CoolMax Santized which is anti-bacterial and is molded on a layer of soft foam. Incidently, the CoolMax synthetic was first developed in 1986 to mimick the properties of genuine chamois leather and this marked the turning point for synthetic chamois in cycling knicks.
I usually wear a size M or L knicks, but S sized SIX30 bib knicks proved to be quite a comfortable fit. The chamois, however, was too soft for me for longer rides; I prefer a thinner more rigid chamois.
The sheen of the lycra put me into contention for membership in the Polish Cycling Team. (Just google Polish Cycling Team and you will know what I mean… but don’t say I didn’t warn you). This isn’t a big deal if you are just riding your bike, but if you are a MAMIL who likes to finish a good ride at the local cafe, spare a thought for the grannies and young mothers who you will squeeze past when you go to order your coffee. You might put an eye out.
The long sleeved top was a size M and was fitting in comparison to the knicks. I am a size M or L in long sleeve tops, the arm-length dictates my sizing selection and the size M of the SIX30 was spot on. This is a multi-sport type top without pockets, so for cycling would work best as an undergarment with a cycling jersey over the top. This top was tight and felt good with or without a jersey. The Nylon-Lycra fabric (80% Polyamide, 20% Elastane) was not as breathable as other compression wear I have worn despite the well integrated mesh section under the arms. It is better suited for cooler climate cycling as I became hot and sweaty in this long sleeve top while riding in summer.
The pricing makes SIX30 compression wear extremely attractive – the bib knicks are $59 and the long sleeve top is $49.95. The range of SIX30 wear is in a different price segment than Skins and 2XU and opens up compression wear to a whole new audience.