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Progressive in Speedo LZR Racer triathlon suit development

Progressive Sports Technologies, a Loughborough University spinout company, has helped Speedo to develop a world-class triathlon suit.   Inspired by the record breaking LZR Racer swim suit worn by athletes including Michael Phelps and Rebecca Adlington to take 94% of the swimming gold medals in Beijing, the new triathlon suit is designed to be the lightest, fastest and most comfortable suit on the market. Progressive tested a selection of elite triathletes ru

27th October 2009

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Loughborough

Sports/​Outdoor

Progressive Sports Technologies, a Loughborough University spinout company, has helped Speedo to develop a world-class triathlon suit.   Inspired by the record breaking LZR Racer swim suit worn by athletes including Michael Phelps and Rebecca Adlington to take 94% of the swimming gold medals in Beijing, the new triathlon suit is designed to be the lightest, fastest and most comfortable suit on the market.

Progressive tested a selection of elite triathletes running and cycling in the LZR racer Tri-Pro suit in a controlled climate chamber.   According to Progressive, with a constant temperature of 32°C and 70% humidity, the suit’s quick dry, moisture wicking properties were pushed to the limit. Infrared skin temperature measurements were also captured, along with the athlete’s perception of comfort, fit and function. 

For Speedo, the Nottingham based brand world renowned for technical swimwear, the alliance with Progressive is ideal, as Dr Tom Waller Head of Aqualab, Speedo’s R&D arm, explains:  “Our performance wear is underpinned by extensive research with world-leading experts.  Progressive has tested our LZR racer Tri-Pro suit to the extreme to ensure it performs exceptionally across all phases of the triathlon.”

Based at Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute, Progressive works with many of the world’s leading sports brands on cutting edge research.  Current projects include the commercialisation of a garment that boosts athletic performance by training breathing muscles, which was successfully trialled by members of the GB Triathlon team also headquartered at the University.  Progressive has also developed a range of licensed fitness equipment, including an abdominal muscle training device known as the Ab-pump, which has recently been commercialised.

Ross Weir, Managing Director of Progressive, commented:  “As a company originating from within Loughborough University, Progressive benefits from excellent relationships with sports scientists and engineers and the array of elite athletes based here.  Our work with Speedo has enabled our expertise, coupled with access to Loughborough University’s facilities, to help Speedo launch a groundbreaking product.”

Progressive Sports Technologies is a sports innovation consultancy based within the Sports Technology Institute at Loughborough University.  A spin-off from the University’s Sports Technology Research Group, it provides a comprehensive range of research-led new product development services to major global sports brands.  Established in early 2001, Progressive has attracted significant government funding, boasts a growing portfolio of filed patent applications and is extremely well networked within the sports industry, the company says.

Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute is a £15M initiative to enhance research, innovation and enterprise in the sport and leisure sector and develop cutting edge technology to support future British champions.  It is home to the Sports Technology Research Group is one of the world’s leading research groups of its kind and the largest in Europe.  The Institute has established an international reputation for its work with global brands including adidas, Callaway Golf, Canterbury of New Zealand, Dunlop, Head, New Balance, Nike, Reebok, Slazenger, Spalding, Speedo and Umbro on the design, simulation, testing and manufacture of sporting goods.

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