The Swiss cult brand X-Bionic are renowned for developing innovative performance enhancing products that are always state of the art, thanks to all the time and money they have devoted to research and development. X-Bionic remain at the cutting edge of sports science, consistently producing unique products representing a new dimension in functionality and design. Great thought and research has been applied, not only to the technical know-how, but also the materials selected, giving today’s performance driven cyclists the highest quality and benefits. X-Bionic has been awarded more than 300 international awards and recognitions for their products and proclaim more than 200 brand test comparison victories. Should be good then!
Their latest commercial is suitably impressive…
The X-Bionic brand came about through the collaboration of two pioneering projects which were X-Technology Swiss Research and Development AG and Trere s.r.l. Hosiery Innovation. This combined garment research with a bionic twist has set about producing increasingly advanced solutions to active wear.
The brand is based at the BIONIC Laboratories in Switzerland, which is the largest textile research institute in the world. Over 12 million Euros has been pumped into these laboratories, resulting in the creation of special materials, engineering and production technology for high tech functional apparel. This is developed and immediately implemented and tested in the on-site production facility. In essence, these guys have the equipment and technical expertise required to produce some of the most innovative cycling apparel in the world.
X-Bionic has gained insight from technologies that nature has developed over millions of years of evolution and finely tuned these to develop solutions that benefit cyclists. Throughout X-Bionic, innovative product inspirations have been garnered from natures animals and honed and perfected for human use. All X-Bionic clothing offers function that is scientifically proven and truly noticeable to the user.
Through their research, X-Bionic Laboratories found that endurance athletes consume up to 97% of their energy regulating their body temperature. This shows that only 3% of your energy goes towards the actual sport and highlights the importance of cooling during physical activities. X-Bionic Fennec technology has been designed to counteract this loss of energy. Featuring a heat reflecting xitanit fibre based on the natural properties of the desert dwelling Fennec fox, this technology allows the outer surface of a garment to efficiently reflect energy from external heat sources, including direct sunlight and hot asphalt. This results in their jerseys heating up on the outside but staying cool on the interior, neutralising external sources of heat.
Here’s the Fennec Technology explained in greater depth.
The human body has no sensors for sweat. We can only perceive sweat mechanically once drops form and begin to trickle, at which point the brain will register wetness. Specially formulated ‘SweatTraps’ absorb this wetness before it is felt, drawing it away to be evaporated and disposing of it through thermal dynamics. Only a moisture film remains on the skin, one that serves to cool.
The 3D-BionicSphere System consists of a regulating system of air chambers, canals and storage niches which collect excess moisture on the skin. This leaves enough moisture behind to allow cooling by evaporation, eliminating the feeling of dampness.
This slightly longer video describes the 3D-BionicSphere system in depth.
Amphibians can breathe through their skin. This is the basis for the innovative, highly breathable weather protection membrane called Symbionic. Symbionic Technology is a revolutionary membrane permitting moisture to be absorbed from the inside layer of a garment and pushed to the outer layer where it quickly evaporates, leaving the cyclist comfortable and dry.
Recovery and compression technology has been a hot topic in recent years. X-Impact technology offers smart compression through an anatomically engineered physical support system for blood vessels. This improves circulation of performance-influencing oxygen and nutrients to a cyclists’ muscles and organs. This helps save your energy resources, ideal for conditions of high performance and recovery.
These are just several of the technologically advanced systems X-Bionic have used in their ranges of cycling apparel. The brand boasts over 20 international patents for performance-enhancing technologies, which are specifically designed to maintain a constant core body temperature of 37 degrees Centigrade or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, so that no energy is wasted in cooling the body and this also allows maximum amounts of energy to be available for your performance. X-Bionic is considered to produce some of the most advanced performance clothing on the market today.
It’s important to note that the X-Bionic and X-Socks packaging really stands out from the crowd. It really is like nothing else you’ve seen before. You might be expecting the usual plastic sleeve or a basic wrapper. However, with the box you receive you’ll probably think you’ve accidentally taken delivery of a new groupset rather than some new cycling apparel, it’s that well packaged!
Moving onto the back of the packaging, they’re clearly proud of the numerous awards and brand comparisons that they’ve won, and with good reason considering the amount of technology they’ve been able to squeeze into their products. Moreover, there’s one recurring theme which is evident when looking at the awards they’ve won, and that’s a dedication to quality and innovation.
On the front of the packaging, the X-Bionic hologram indicates the products authenticity and is accompanied by a 2 year guarantee. To reward their customers loyalty, X-Bionic will send you an X-Bionic Interface T-Shirt if you collect and register 12 of these holograms online. A nice incentive to pick up that last bit of kit if you’ve already become an X-Bionic convert!
The products themselves look and feel completely different to other cycling apparel. The pictures simply cannot do these products justice as they have to be seen to be believed! Some of the apparel will undoubtedly feel a little alien at first, but you’ll quickly adapt to the fantastic comfort and flexibility that runs through X-Bionic’s products.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the stand-out products.
The X-Socks Range:
Biking Ultralight Socks:
For starters, these Ultralight socks are made from a lightweight wicking yarn which features ‘AirConditioning Channels’, designed to ventilate and keep your feet dry and sweat-free. A key feature of the X-Bionic brand is heat regulation and these socks don’t disappoint. They have been found to have extremely effective heat conductibility, even after extensive use.
The socks also feature padded areas for the heel, toes and instep, designed to prevent pressure build up and significantly reduce any possibility of blisters and chafing. Compressive sections such as the self-adjusting cuff also provide support for the ankle. An anatomically-shaped footbed for the left and right feet ensures the perfect fit. Each sock is even marked with ‘L’ and ‘R’, ideal if you’re still recovering from a light night and haven’t quite recovered complete brain function!
The striking design is also worth noting. You’ll certainly look the part sporting these socks, with their orange detailing and funky styling. However, perhaps most fundamentally, these are extremely comfortable socks that packed full of technology designed to overcome some of the biggest issues cyclists encounter with their feet. Take it from us; after wearing these socks, you’ll wonder how you ever did without.
Bike Racing Energizer Socks:
For the avid cyclist, these Racing Energizer compression socks feature all the benefits of a sock such as the Ultralight, but manage to pack even more technology in. It’s a wonder there’s room left for your feet!
For instance, the gradual compression works against gravity, accelerating the flow of venous blood back to the heart. Not only does this have the obvious benefits of improved blood circulation and nutrient supply, it also relieves strain on the cardiovascular system and lowers the pulse rate. Basically, you’ll have more energy available during those big exertions.
The Smart Compression Zone also improves regeneration and reduces the risk of thrombosis – undeniably reassuring!
Even the protectors and cushions are refined still further, giving your feet 14-way protection.
If you want maximum performance, without sacrificing comfort or support, X-Bionic has definitely provided it with these socks.
The X-Bionic Range.
In order to maximise cooling, X-Bionic have taken it to the extreme by packing their Fennec Bib Shorts full of as much technology as you’d be likely to find in Steve Jobs’ back room.
For instance, the ‘Innerlap AirConditioningZone’ around the groin features woven mesh that has a zero insulation function, meaning that air can circulate and cooling can take place as soon as you start to sweat. Similarly, the 3D Intercooler technology on the upper thigh is designed to collect perspiration, holding it on top of the skin, allowing it to be evaporated to maximum effect. However, the technology doesn’t stop there as the Intercooler’s ribs lie in waves across the muscle, providing insulation during periods of rest, preventing muscles from over-cooling.
X-Bionic ‘Partial Kompression’ leaves blood vessels open allowing natural cooling to occur, while also reducing muscle vibration and increasing support for muscles and joints. The bib shorts are also designed to create a small amount of pressure across the body. Designed with the cyclist in mind, this pressure is at a level which stimulates feeling, without restricting freedom of movement or sacrificing overall fit. With this, movement should become more precise and effective. Blood circulation also improves, aiding nutrient supply to the muscles and ultimately increasing your performance.
Finally, let’s not forget that all important chamois. The seamless, anatomical padded seat is recessed into the bib shorts, eliminating the need for any excess material between you and the saddle. This maximises moisture transfer while simultaneously minimising the risk of chafing. Comfort and hygiene is also ensured by the bioactive effect of the materials.
So what does all this technology means for you, our cycling friends, in layman’s terms? You’ll be able to cycle faster, for longer, in greater comfort, while also expending less energy.
Fennec Bike Short Sleeve Jersey:
We thought it would also be worthwhile to mention the Fennec version of X-Bionic’s Short Sleeve Jersey.
We mentioned the technology earlier, revealing how it reflects external radiant heat back away from the wearer. You’ll really notice this over time as the shirt begins to heat up on the outside but you remain cool on the inside. In essence, you’ll stay fresh for longer and feel as though you’re cycling in the shade. Perfect for those long summer rides.
Alongside further cooling provided by the 3D-BionicSphere System, the jersey’s ‘SweatTraps’ are designed to prevent dripping and cool the underarm area more effectively than a more orthodox, traditional jersey.
The Fennec Jersey therefore uses a combination of heat conduction, sweat distribution and evaporation, as well as heat-pipe construction to provide effective cooling over the long term. You’ll probably think its voodoo, but it’s not! It’s just X-Bionic wizardry!
So there you have it. What do you think of X-Bionic’s offerings? Tempting?
Check out the full range here.