At first I didn’t really buy into the whole compression scene – I wasn’t sure if it was simply that I thought it better to let my body recover at a natural pace, or whether I thought the whole thing was a little goofy.
But then it occurred to me… I’ve shaved my legs, I routinely wear lycra, and think a big helmet with a bunch of holes in it makes me look cool. I’m already pretty much as goofy as it gets.
With multi-day races (TransRockies) and enduro events (Giver-8-r, Superhero Enduro) on my race calendar, I felt that exploring a decrease in recovery time might be worth the money. After checking with some friends savvy to the compression gear the recurring recommendation were the Zoot CompressRx Recovery tights.
According to Zoot, there are four specific technologies at work here:
- ZoneRx – Muscle specific zones of compression stabilize and prevent post-exercise soreness;
- CRx – Graduated compression that improves blood flow back to the heart;
- SynchroRx Polypropylene and Silver tech provide moisture wicking and 99.9% antimicrobial protection;
- Dynamic X Proprioception panel provides enhanced support and body positioning
According to me, here’s how the CompressRx Recovery tights shake out:
I can definitely say that these bad boys work. I’ve compared my post-ride both with and without the tights and there is a noticeable difference. Now, I’m not saying that these provide you magical fresh legs every morning, but I found that it did manage to keep almost all soreness at bay.
Especially during the Transrockies, despite pushing hard every day, the next morning the legs always felt “fresh-ish.” Once I got back no the bike I could tell my legs were fatigued, but the soreness was almost non-existent unless I really poked and prodded my legs. To me, that’s well worth the price of admission.
Not something I had anticipated testing, since I like to keep my gear pretty clean, but the antimicrobial protection of the SynchroRx fabric must work like a charm because despite wearing these for three nights straight, there was literrally no odor after the Transrockies.
The other nice thing is how ‘supported’ you feel while wearing them. Make no mistake, these tights are… Well… Tight. It literally feels like your legs are recovering while you’re wearing them. It’s a good feeling.
While the CompressRx tights definitely perform as advertised, I will admit, they’re are a bitch to get on. I think this is probably normal for any compression gear nearing medical grade, but you need to really work at getting all the way up. If that weren’t enough, you need to be diligent to avoid getting a run in your tights (God, I sound like my mother).
With that said, the work it takes to get them on is a direct result of all that compression-ey goodness that makes your legs feel great the next day, so I’ll take it.
The only other fault I found with the CompressRx tights were the way the foot ‘stirrup’ fits. The CompressRx Recovery tights are meant to cover the entire lower body and the foot is no exception. In short durations, the foot stirrup isn’t too much of an issue, but anytime I tried to wear the Zoot tights overnight I would wake up with the fabric digging into my foot. The nice thing is that you can bypass the stirrup and simply leave it hanging – This method is pretty much the norm for me now and I haven’t noticed any real difference in the quality of my recovery.
The Bottom Line
Truth be told if you’re pushing it on your training rides, have some stage races on your race calendar, or simply like to stack epic weekend rides back to back, for $150 you can’t beat what the Zoot CompressRx tights will do for you. Combined with some light stretching and a recovery cocktail you’ll hit the trail the next day feelin’ solid.