I saw this vest for the first time while watching the Tour de France and then it caught my eye again on Yo’s recent post about the Olympic product overview. The riders were wearing these ice vests during their warm up to keep their core cool. A fantastic, yet annoyingly simple, innovation to sport training. One of those “why didn’t I think of that 15 years ago when I was competing” kind of things.
What I was wondering, was does anyone have the history/background on this?
i proposed this idea and a active cooling helment liner to most of the big players in 92 then atain in 2003. The active cooling liner used a back pack (ie camal back hrdration pack) as a heat sink for a salt water working fluid. The helmet liner was composed of a 25’ of small diameter thin wall teflon tubes with the same ammout inside the cammel back. Whe the hydration pack was filled with slushed sports drink, it did 2 jobs, cooled the riders head (lots of heat transfer) as well as hydrated. Was tested by noted sports MD Dr Burke…tests show it worked very very well…and…was met with resounding indiffernce.
Biking (in particular) is a game of ounces. They carry as little extra weight as possible. A hydration pack for a pro rider is non-existent. They will carry a bottle maybe two and refill it from the tail car.
What I am getting at here is what RK is saying. You have the core of the idea there (cooling the body). But you’re idea is/was missing what seems from a distance a misunderstanding of the target user and was met with resounding indifference.
Now that, my friend, is a good lesson for the kiddies.
I worked on a project last year with a similar concept – a cooling jacket for dogs. Here it is:
Unlike other cooling jackets (for dogs or people) that use water-absorbing crystals (HEAVY) or ice pack-like inserts (scary chemicals), the design is pretty simple. Just get it wet, ring it out, and let evaporative cooling take over.
We released these in April, and the customer comments have been coming in like crazy – people love them. Maybe something similar for people would make sense.
the liner was designed for the “aero” stage of the course and for iron man type events, also in mtb racing in hot climets. There were a lot of crashes associated with hyperthermia and dehydration. I did bike assessories for 12 years, know the market well but the rub on this was the nitch was too small to make it profitable for any production and I didnt want to hand make them myself. The “game of ounces” only exists if your body is working well, and with a areo helmet on your cooking BIG TIME.