The other day I walked into Cahaba Cycles and saw these silver bags hanging up at the front desk. This is usually where they have a picture of me riding my bike claiming I’m one of Birmingham’s première pro cyclists of the world. But my plaque was taken down for these bags so they must have been important! I inquired and said
“what the hell!? why is my plaque gone for most awesomeness biker ever!?” “hey cool, what are these silver bags?”
I was told they were compression/ice gear for riding before, during and off the saddle. The company that makes them, 110%, claimed that whether you’re a a gold medalist, a Sunday Golger or live for sunrise runs down a grassy lane, these bad boys will make you perform better and recover fast.
Well my gold medal from Hershey is on delay from what I hear, I’m too busy with Cyclocross on Sundays to worry about golfing and I don’t live for grassy lanes but I do like the single track and it can be sunrise, sundown or night time – I like riding.
I cramp up a fair amount in my quads and calves so I tried out the gear. I have to admit, I’d not been this excited since
I scored tickets to the Nickelback reunion tour I was eligible for the iPhone 4s because I hate cramping up and I hate delayed muscle soreness as well.
…and I like shiny objects like iThings. They are pretty.
The quad and the calves fit snuggly on your legs and don’t move much which is both good and bad (we’ll get into the bad in a bit). I wore the compression socks (for the calves) during an 80+ mile ride and found them to be both cool and pleasant. The quads are great as well as they do keep all your upper muscles bunched up and compressed. I have never had issues with the heat while wearing either of them and I could tell it made a significant difference during and post ride.
Setting it up is fairly easy. Dip the ice packs in water, let them soak up for about 5 minutes and freeze. For a post ride, sliding them in is a little cumbersome but not too much. The feeling of having ice cold pads against your very tired muscles is an awesome feeling and when you remove them off your body, you feel amazing.
*update* the icepacks are to be worn before or after a ride. Not during.
My 110% gear is relatively new so nothing has given out but do know I’m putting 50-100 miles at a time on them during each ride. So they are seeing a fair amount of abuse but they still seem to keep muscles compressed. Putting them on and taking them off is an art form at times, I’ve put them on in reverse, on backwards and had trouble getting it around my legs but it’s worth the hassle.
Uh oh, no new product is without a few snafus. So let me give them to you.
The last long endurance ride for me while using the quad compression gear was a little over 50 miles and 80 gabillion feet of climbing. I did cramp up but it wasn’t the gear’s fault, it’s that my bike is extremely heavy with all it’s gear I have on it for the TNGA and the TourDivide so my body is not used to all the weight just yet and my muscles are adapting slowly to this.
The quad compression did help but where the end of the sleeve meets the back of the knee was rubbed completely raw. So much so that I was in a fair amount of pain and hurt as sweat would drip down it. I’d take a picture and show you my legs but let’s just say it looked like bite marks from a ravenous vampire and we’re not talking the sparkly kind.
I was just informed by my wife that I’ll be sleeping on the couch for the remainder of the week
I’ve got an idea for fixing the rubbing with Leukotape but that just puts me one step further into shaving my legs and my wife has threatened that if I do shave my legs, she’s not shaving hers.
The other issue is that I had an ice sheet packet pop on me while trying to remove them from the sleeves. I’m not sure if it was ignorance on my part or if it was the sheet but let’s blame the company and say they gave me a faulty icepack because the CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS KING NO MATTER HOW STUPID AND IGNORANT WE ARE!
Oh god yes, what male doesn’t want to wear black knee-high socks while biking. You look cool as hell! (Well, actually I think you do look kinda awesome with the 110% logo on them)
If you are a cyclist that is doing hard rides (Cyclocross, going anaerobic, doing a century, ultra endurance) then I’d highly recommend them. I’m not sure if you’re a weekend warrior they’d make much difference, but that’s just my opinion.
No because you look like you could kick their ass with your big huge legs
Well, yes and no. If you’ve got larger legs then you’ll have some skin hanging out on either side. If you have skinny little bird legs – then screw you.
Well they ain’t cheap. But they are really high-end and I’ve not had a problem with the material and the ice packs (save that one bursting but like I said, that could have been my fault).
Yes. They did. I’ll explain:
Miss Baddy Bad Ass herself, Grace Ragland is a big evangelist for the ice bath. I’ve done a few of these and there are all sorts of benefits to taking one (like developing Tourette Syndrome when your soft tissue hits the ice cold water) but I honestly think the 110% compression gear does the same thing and you get instant recovery while saving your junk from a Titanic like freeze.
I generally don’t like to rave about a product unless it’s really good.
110% Gear is really good.
These guys that invented this thing were onto something and it fits a need cyclists (and I guess the Sunday Golfer) have for better performance. You can get them at Cahaba Cycles at one of their four locations in the magical city of Birmingham or if you stumbled across this article on the internets, they can ship’em to you lickety split!
If you have any further questions about these bad boys, hit me up in the comments below or Facebook and I’ll be happy to answer anything I can.