Patent application title: Sports Suit for Cycling
Roger Maier (Carona, CH)
ASSOS of Switzerland S.A.
IPC8 Class: AA41B900FI
Class name: Union type bifurcated underwear
Publication date: 2009-06-25
Patent application number: 20090158491
A suit for cycling, having a top part suitable for performing the function
of underwear, and a bottom part suitable for performing the functionality
of cycling tights.
1. A skin-tight sports suit for cycling, comprising a top part for
covering at least the upper body part of an user, and a bottom part for
covering at least part of the legs of said user, the suit having fabric
portions with a different degree of breathability in selected portions
corresponding to selected body parts of the user, the top portion of the
suit being suitable for performing the function of a first-layer
underwear in direct contact with the skin, and the bottom portion being
suitable for use as cycling tights.
2. The suit as in claim 1, where the different degree of breathability of said selected, portions are obtained by making said portions with different materials or with the same material having a different thickness and/or subjected to different processing.
3. The suit as in claim 2, said top part comprising portions having greater degree of breathability than said bottom portion.
4. The suit as in claim 3, where fabric portions with a lower degree of breathability are positioned in the bottom part acting as trousers, and at least partially in the top part, corresponding to the torso and arm which during the use are most exposed to the outside air and require greater thermal insulation.
5. The suit as in claim 1, having portions with different weight.
6. The suit as in claim 1, comprising at least one padded area at the crotch, wherein said padded area is obtained with at least two shaped pads associated with the suit and, positioned symmetrically with respect to a middle sitting line.
7. The suit as in claim 1, the top portion of the suit being adapted to fully cover at least the torso and back of the user.
8. The suit as in claim 1, the top part comprising a portion extending from the hips to the shoulders and covering the middle area of the torso and back, two portions wrapping around the side part of the torso and the back, a collar portion, armpit portions, sleeve portions respectively covering the inside and the back of the arm, joined along a seam, and shoulder portions.
FIELD OF APPLICATION
The present invention refers to a skin-tight sports suit for cycling.
Known cycling garments, are made in various types that comprise summer shorts with suspenders; long trousers with jacket for the winter, and others. A pair of cycling pants with suspenders is for example disclosed in US 2006/0277645. Cyclist trousers are also described in EP-A-1834532.
In cold weather conditions, the conventional cyclist garments always require the use of an underwear piece of cloth. Said underwear is for example a T-shirt adapted to be in contact with the skin, and is made of a so-called "thermal" material, i.e. capable of protecting from the cold by maintaining a suitable thermal comfort. The underwear, being in direct contact with the skin, is called "first layer". The next outer garment (e.g. a jacket) is called "second layer" and acts as thermal insulator and/or barrier against atmospheric agents. According to weather conditions; more layers can be used if necessary. An external piece of cloth is also defined as "shell" or "outfit".
The first-layer garment and the second-layer garment, in the prior art, are different garments with different features. The first layer, or underwear, is required to satisfy some technical requirements, including maintaining the skin temperature and a certain ability to absorb sweat and keep the skin dry (absorbent material). Such requirements are generally not met by the second-layer garment, especially a winter shell required to protect from cold and/or wind.
The underwear, however, generally does not have the same features of the second-layer garment in terms of elasticity and skin-tight fit, and tends to form creases or wrinkles more easily.
Perfect skin-tightness is an extremely important feature for sports use, where the smallest crease or wrinkle can rub over the skin causing discomfort or even pain. Garments for athletics, designed for very high performance, needs a perfect skin-tightness also to reduce the aerodynamic drag.
For these reasons, a sports garment and especially a cyclist sports garment is the subject of an accurate study, with a careful choice of elasticised materials and distribution of the padding, so that it almost constitutes a "second skin". These features are important in achieving high technical performance, and are being more and more appreciated not only by professionals, but also by amateurs.
Hence, the problems in the prior art can be summarized in that the second-layer garment is not generally suitable for direct contact with the skin, requiring the use of an underwear or first-layer piece of cloth, while the first-layer cloth tends to nullify some of the advantages of the skin-tight outer garment.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention is aimed at a sports garment, in particular for cycling, capable of overcoming the above drawbacks of the prior art, ensuring an excellent fit and thermal comfort without the use of underwear, in a simple and effective manner.
This aim is achieved with a skin-tight sports suit for cycling, comprising a top part for covering at least the upper body part of an user, and a bottom part for covering at least part of the legs of said user, the suit having fabric portions with a different degree of breathability in selected portions corresponding to selected body parts of the user, the top portion of the suit being suitable for performing the function of a first-layer underwear in direct contact with the skin, and the bottom portion being suitable for use as cycling tights.
The different degree of breathability means that selected portions of the suit, corresponding to selected regions of the body of an user, have a respective breathability index (or level), whereas other selected portions of the suit have a different respective breathability index.
Hence, a suit according to the invention has at least two different levels of breathability, in predetermined portions corresponding to selected regions of the body of an user. According to preferred embodiments, there can be two or more than two levels of breathability at different portions of the suit. Such differences in the degree of breathability are obtained according to the invention, with different materials or with the same material having a different thickness and/or differently processed.
In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the suit has first portions having a first breathability index, and second portions having a second breathability index, said second index being greater than the first. Low-breathability portions are positioned in the bottom part, and possibly in the top part, at the areas of the torso and arm most exposed to the outside air and that require the most thermal insulation. Portions with higher breathability are in the top part of the suit, adapted to operate as a first-layer or underwear piece of cloth.
An appropriate first-layer material, for example polyester or polypropylene-based material or a mixture thereof, is used for the top part, and specifically for the portions intended for contact with the skin and having the function of underwear. Any suitable material can be used for the bottom part, for example a three-layer fabric (coupled with a membrane) or a polyamide/elastan mixture or Lycra or another per se known material.
The suit can be made in specific versions for different seasons and temperatures, in particular in a cold-season, long-trousers version and in a lighter shorts version. The top portion can also be more or less heavy by adopting a suitable type of fabric or by making long or short sleeves.
In one embodiment, the suit is an all-in-one item with long sleeves and long trousers, thus covering practically the whole body of the user. In another embodiment, the suit has short sleeves and short leg portions, thus being more adapted to intermediate weather conditions. In still another embodiment, the top part can be made with no sleeves, but covering the body of the user, i.e. at least the torso and back, acting as a first-layer underwear.
According to another aspect of the invention, the suit is characterised by portions having differentiated weight, i.e. portions that are more or less heavy, respectively, for the bottom tight part and for the upper, underwear part.
Reinforcements and/or padding can be provided according to the needs, for example at the shoulders, elbows, crotch, etc. In a preferred embodiment, a padded crotch area is obtained with at least two shaped pads associated with the suit and positioned symmetrically with respect to a middle sitting line.
The invention provides a single-piece suit which is a garment combination, namely a complete and integrated suit with an upper part, covering the torso, having the functionality of underwear, and a lower part, covering the lower-body part and the legs, having the functionality of cycling tights.
As the top part of the inventive suit is able to perform the function of underwear, a separate underwear piece of cloth is no longer necessary. The top part of the inventive suit, in fact, is adapted for direct contact with the skin. The advantage for the sportsman is to wear a single piece of cloth instead of two, with a much better fit compared to the ensemble of two different garments, still currently used. The improvement in terms of skin-tightness and fit is substantial; the suit of the invention remains perfectly skin-tight, eliminating the problem of creases formed by the conventional clothing with two different garments, for example underwear plus jacket.
The better fit gives a better technical performance especially in terms of following the cyclist's movements, in particular pedalling, without forming potentially uncomfortable creases as the origin of rubbing against the skin. Moreover, the complete skin-tightness improves the aerodynamics and reduces the drag force to minimum.
An advantageous feature, in particular, is the provision of portions with differentiated breathability, corresponding to selected body parts. Hence, the technical features of the suit, such as breathability and weight, are distributed according to a body-mapping criterion.
The use of the so-called "thermal" underwear T-shirt is no longer necessary thanks to the invention. An external jacket can be used, in addition, if necessary especially for protection from the wind.
Another advantage is the use of a single-piece, all-in-one garment instead of two, for example jacket and trousers, or tight, as in the prior art.
Further features and advantages of the invention shall become clearer from the following description of the preferred embodiment thereof, given for indicating and not limiting purposes with reference to the attached drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 schematically represents a front view of a cycling suit according to the present invention, and
FIG. 2 represents a rear view of the suit of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
With reference to the figures, a single-piece cycling sports suit comprises a top part 1 with a jacket and underwear function, and a bottom part 2, with trousers function.
The top part 1 is shaped to cover at least the upper body part of an user, and the bottom part 2 is shaped to cover the lower-body and at least part of the legs of the user. The top part 1 is adapted to direct contact with skin, thus having the functionality of underwear, and the lower part 2, integrated with the top part 1 in the same suit, has also the functionality of cycling tights, i.e. of a cycling pants.
The bottom part 2 is made from a suitable elasticised fabric, for example Lycra, preferably of greater consistency than the fabric used for the top part 1, and comprises leg portions 20, which constitute the trousers, and end portions 21 with an underfoot elastic strap 22.
The top part 1, in a preferred embodiment, comprises: a portion 10 shaped like overalls or braces, extending from the hips to the shoulders, covering the central part of the torso and of the back, and preferably equipped with microfibre mesh; two portions 11 extending between the waist and the area beneath the armpit, wrapping around the side part of the torso and of the back; a corresponding collar portion 12; armpit portions 13; sleeve portions 14 and 15, respectively covering the inside and the back of the arm, joined along a seam 16; shoulder portions 17; advantageously equipped with padding made with inserts made from soft material, according to a per se known technique.
At least some of the above disclosed portions 10 to 17 are made with a higher breathability than the bottom trouser part 2; such as to allow the top part 1 to also perform the function of an underwear piece of cloth, or first-layer, suitable for direct contact with the skin.
The portions with higher breathability are selected according to a body mapping design, corresponding to selected body parts when the garment is in use.
In the crotch area (FIG. 2) there are two pads 23 made from a soft material like expanded polyurethane, foam rubber, gel or similar. The pads are preferably shaped and arranged symmetrically with respect to the middle sitting line 24; they are associated with the garment through sewing, taping, coupling, heat-sealing, laser stitching, ultrasound stitching, gluing or similar, which are per se conventional.
Alternatively, there can be more than two shaped pads, preferably four; two front and two rear, arranged mirroring one another.
Advantageously, the inner side of the pads, which is in contact with the skin, is processed with a technique selected from the group of scraping, raising or grinding, the most preferred being the grinding. Said processing obtains fluffing, making the inner side of the pads soft and comfortable, with the typical effect of a "pile" fabric. This provision is advantageously used above all in the crotch area, exposed to contact with the saddle.
With reference to FIG. 2, areas 25 have differentiated elasticity with respect to the trousers portion 20; reference 26 indicates rear sewing of the trousers in the leg area.
The suit can be made in a short-trousers version suitable for intermediate temperatures and possibly lightened in the top part 1.
The invention reaches the above disclosed aims, providing a garment combination, having the functionality of underwear at the top part, covering the torso, together with the functionality of cycling tights.
Patent applications by Roger Maier, Carona CH
Patent applications by ASSOS of Switzerland S.A.