Before competing, professional cyclists jump on a trainer and ride to warm-up, but muscles can lose this heat if there's a time delay between the warm-up and the start of the race. In an effort to plug this gap and gain the tiny advantage that's so critical in top-level sport, adidas has created ADIPOWER muscle warming garments - a pair of track pants with a battery-powered heater, helps keep muscles at the right temperature.
Members of the British Olympic cycling team will wear the ADIPOWER warming pants before the track bike events on Thursday of this week, including the men's and women's Team Sprint and Team Pursuit races. Great Britain track cyclists including Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott were each specially fitted for a pair, which they quickly nicknamed "hot pants."
The "hot pants" look like a padded pair of tracksuit pants. A battery pack powers heat filaments within the pads and a "quick release" opening along the outer seam makes it easy for the wearer to take them off just before the race.
"I have definitely been feeling the benefits of the 'hot pants,'" said Sir Chris Hoy. "As soon as you take them off immediately before you do your standing start or flying effort, your legs feel like they are ready to go. You feel like you did at the end of a warm up but not out of breath or fatigued from it. It gets you in the optimum state for training and competition."
The ADIPOWER warming garments were developed in collaboration with British Cycling and Loughborough University.
"The aim of the muscle warming garment is to hold onto muscle temperature following the warm-up to ensure the cyclists get onto the start line with a higher muscle temperature than their competitors, which we know is important during elite track racing," said Jonathan Leeder, physiologist at English Institute of Sport and British Cycling.
British Olympic cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott talk about the ADIPOWER "hot pants" in the following video from adidas.