Aerodynamics and Drag
The Fastest Silks on the Planet!
Aerodynamic drag has a much, much greater effect on the speed of the horse than a lot of people realize. The horse has to work much harder to overcome wind resistance than it does to overcome the inertia of its own mass.
What is Aero Dimplex?
Aero Dimplex is a unique, patented synthetic fabric that’s dimpled to reduce aerodynamic drag.
All Speed Silks products are made entirely of Aero Dimplex.
Aero Dimplex is dimpled like a golf ball, and those dimples are what give Speed Silks its aerodynamic properties.
Aero Dimplex is already used by competitive cyclists, speed skaters and runners. It’s rated as the world’s fastest fabric between 14 and 47 miles per hour (22 kph and 75 kph).
Are Speed Silks comfortable? Do jockeys like wearing them?
Unlike spandex (lycra) or old-fashioned nylon colours, Speed Silks are extremely lightweight and breathable. Jockey feedback has been almost universally positive. The Aero Dimplex fabric is thin, flexible and very stretchy; it also wicks moisture away to help keep you cool.
Speed Silks are form-fitting, and you’ll find they fit and feel much like today’s compression-style athletic wear, only lighter and more “airy.” They’re much more comfortable than the old Spandex “aerodynamic” silks you’ve seen before.
What should I wear under my Speed Silks?
Generally speaking, the same thing you wear under your other silks.
If it isn’t cold outside, wear what you would normally wear under your vest. We suggest you wear compression shorts underneath Speed Silks pants.
But if it’s cold outside, we recommend a warm layer underneath. Since Speed Silks are thin and breathable (much more so than traditional gear), they help keep you cool in hot weather. But that means they won’t keep you warm in winter.
Many major athletic wear brands sell thermal compression-style undergarments –both tops and pants– that are designed to keep you warm.
How do I care for my Speed Silks?
- We recommend you periodically treat your Speed Silks with Scotch Gard Fabric & Upholstery Protector (in the red and white can). It will increase the life and protect the appearance of your Speed Silks gear, and doesn’t affect its comfort or breath-ability.
- Machine-wash your Speed Silks in cold water with laundry detergent and let them air-dry. And don’t iron them; as Speed Silks are form-fitting, the wrinkles will disappear when you put them on.
- Do not wash your Speed Silks with chlorine bleach.
- Keep your Speed Silks away from Velcro. The “hook” half of hook-and-loop fasteners like Velcro will stick to and damage Aero Dimplex. You’ll notice that Speed Silks have no Velcro, no zippers, no snaps…no metal or plastic fasteners of any kind. That not only helps reduce weight, it also doesn’t provide anything for the Aero Dimplex fabric to snag on. Do not wash your Speed Silks with other garments that have zippers, Velcro or any metal fasteners. In fact, we recommend you play it safe and wash your Speed Silks gear only with other Speed Silks garments.
Do Speed Silks require any special care?
Yes they do, if you want to extend their life. We won’t be shy about this: Speed Silks are not as durable as the old-fashioned nylon silks you’re used to. But remember: Speed Silks are designed for performance, not durability. One of the keys that make Speed Silks work is the Aero Dimplex fabric; it’s not as durable as nylon, and there’s no way around it. But we have always believed that’s a very fair trade-off.
Speed Silks were designed from the ground up with a single purpose: to reduce aerodynamic drag as much as possible, and that meant constructing them out of Aero Dimplex. Two unintended advantages are that they look great and are comfortable to wear, but the unavoidable trade-off is that you need to give them a little extra TLC.
We don’t want you to think that Speed Silks are fragile, because they’re not. They’re just as durable as any other type of modern synthetic athletic wear you’d find at a store. Here’s what we ask you to do to extend the life of your silks:
- You’ll receive complete care instructions with your Speed Silks, plus a mesh wash bag personalized with your silks pattern. On raceday ask your jockey to throw the Speed Silks in the bag before he throws them in the wash pile.
- If you don’t think your jockey will use the wash bag to wash your Speed Silks on raceday after rides on wet days or on muddy tracks, have him turn the Speed Silks inside out before washing and drying. This will keep any snags on the inside of the garment where they can’t be seen (Aero Dimplex fabric will snag on things like Velcro and zippers).
- We treat your Speed Silks with Scotch-Gard before we ship them to you. Re-treat with Scotch-Gard every few washes for maximum life.
What do Speed Silks cost?
A Speed Silks jacket is US$259; helmet cover US$40. The set; jacket and helmet cover US$299. Jockey pants US$115, US$136 or US$158 subject to style and customization. Boot sleeves US$19/pair.
Darby Racing Technology do not charge any design or setup fees; there is no tax outside the USA. You only pay for the silks.
Can you create my specific silks pattern with Speed Silks?
Yes. All Speed Silks products are completely customized, and whether you have a traditional silks pattern with simple markings and just a few colours, or a more complex modern design, we can give you exactly what you need. Take a look at our gallery and you’ll see just what we’re capable of.
If you’re creating silks for the first time, we’ll help you through the design process and ensure your new Speed Silks meet all regulations for the jurisdictions in which you race.
Do Speed Silks really make my horse go faster?
A lot of customers ask, “Do they work?” The question behind the question is probably, “Do they make my horse go faster?” Speed Silks don’t make the horse go faster, any more than aerodynamic uniforms make speed skaters skate faster…what they do is reduce the amount of energy your horse has to expend in order to achieve and maintain speed.
In that respect, the correct answer to, “Do they work,” is: Yes, unless your horse can violate the laws of physics, they work.
But you’re still probably wondering how well they work, specifically, how much faster your horse can run if his jockey is wearing Speed Silks.
We can’t answer that question yet, because we haven’t gone so far as to wind tunnel test a racehorse, but we can tell you what the manufacturer of our Aero Dimplex fabric has to say: Aero Dimplex is the most aerodynamically efficient fabric between 14 and 47 miles per hour (22 kph and 75 kph), which is why we chose it for Speed Silks: because nothing else works better. And DRT is the only company in the world that make jockey silks out of it.
We’ll see you in the winner’s circle!
Speed Silks® are a product of Darby Racing Technology, LLC.