Study of cyclists’ skin deformation for compression skinsuit design

Qiu Qiong SHI, Jiao JIAO, Kristina SHIN, Hung Kay Daniel CHOW, Newman LAU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-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. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4548-4561
JournalTextile Research Journal
Issue number19-20
Early online dateJun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


Shi, Q. Q., Jiao, J., Shin, K., Chow, H. K., & Lau, N. (2023). Study of cyclists’ skin deformation for compression skinsuit design. Textile Research Journal, 93(19-20), 4548-4561.


  • Motion capture
  • Skin deformation
  • Cycling
  • Compression
  • Skinsuit


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