Electrolyte-infused Bikewear!

Electrolyte drinks are so last year. At least now that you can get the same effects from the apparel you wear while riding. Huh? Italian bike-clothing company Nalini has introduced its summer 2010 line, and with it comes a strange twist on cycling apparel. Items like the company’s Vite Bibshort are built from an “active treatment” fabric that is touted to be absorbed with electrolyte nutrients and vitamins. These electrolytes can be released into your body during exercise, the company claims.

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Nalini Vite Bibshort

No more need for electrolyte supplements? The company says wearing its Protego Active-treated garments provides riders with “improved sport performance, as well as better comfort, muscle tonicity and a lower need to drink.”

The secret is a proprietary formula that uses nanotechnology to let particles pass into the skin. At present, according to fabric-maker GIANIS, the Protego Active material is used in sportswear only. But the company is studying products for the medical and drug industries. There is an explanation of the process here: http://www.gianis.it/eng/active.php

The “enhanced” apparel like the Nalini Vite Bibshort and Olivo Jersey go for $165 and $195 respectively. Like all cycling clothing, this gear has to be cleaned, and it’s in the washer water where some of the magic happens: Just add the company’s “recharge kit” at the beginning of a wash and new nutrients and vitamins will be added in, reactivating the garment as it is cleaned.

—Stephen Krcmar lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

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