Study of cyclists’ skin deformation for compression skinsuit design

Qiu Qiong Shi, Jiao Jiao, Kristina Shin*, Hung Kay Chow, Newman Lau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Skin deformation during cycling is an important factor when designing a performance cycling garment, as the space between the body and the garment creates aerodynamic drag and a subsequent negative impact on the cyclist’s performance. Thus, skin deformation has been studied for an aerodynamic skinsuit via a three-dimensional (3D) body image. An understanding of skin deformation during cycling, especially in the torso and thigh areas, is essential for cycling suit design and pattern making, and there are few studies investigating this.

This study aimed to analyze cyclists’ 3D skin deformation during cycling captured by a motion capture system. Eight healthy male amateur cyclists were invited to participate in this study. The trajectories of 68 reflective markers on the skin were continuously captured during cycling. The mean values and standard deviations of the eight participants’ skin deformation were analyzed against the static posture skin data. The results showed that the anterior torso skin was contracted by 0.3–22.3%, while most of the posterior torso skin measurements were expanded by 6.7–32.0% during cycling in a bending posture when compared to a standing posture during cycling. The skin deformation value of the torso was stable after the first bending posture during cycling. The thigh skins were deformed from –14.7% to 7.6% during cycling. The results can be used as pattern adjustment rate for compression cycling skinsuit design.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTextile Research Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jun 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Polymers and Plastics

User-Defined Keywords

  • compression
  • cycling
  • Motion capture
  • skin deformation
  • skinsuit


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