110% make compressive athletic garments which have integrated pockets to hold proprietary cooling/heating pads for injury treatment and recovery. The 3/4-length Juggler Knicker is their largest piece, with seven ice pockets.
The company’s founders are rooted in triathlon and cycling, but 110% have had initial success in the mainstream sports of football and baseball, where trainers have a long history of employing heating and icing techniques in treating athletes and their muscles.
The Juggler Knickers are well built and their fabric is thicker and noticeably more compressive than any other compression wear we’ve used. As for the ice sheets, they're ingenious. They’re made of a reusable, non-toxic absorptive material that's filled with water by the user and frozen.
They then offer roughly 45 minutes of cooling, or they can also be microwaved for heat therapy use. This is possibility the easiest, most convenient way to ice or heat your muscles available. The only downside is the price – the knickers cost a rather steep US$150.
110%'s proprietary ice sheets filled and frozen (left) and new (right)
Day to day, or post training ride to post training ride, we appreciated the 110% knickers' highly compressive feel, and the support they offered to tired or sore muscle groups seemed to help us recover more quickly. There's really only one gripe that we'd levy at them: they’re knickers, so they left our calves and shins feeling, well, neglected. We'd have given them a five-star rating if they packed the same features into a pair of full-length tights.
While we used the knickers as a compressive piece weekly over the course of a two-month test period, we didn’t use the ice/hot sheets all that much – that is, until we deeply bruised one of our quadriceps on a mountain bike ride. The crash left us barely able to walk. Immediately after the ride, we eased ourselves into the 110% knickers and found some relief.
The compression fabric is thicker and more compressive than other tights we've used
Icing our wounds
Even with the ice packs inserted, 110%’s knickers are unobtrusive enough to wear under normal clothing. The ice packs – six of which are supplied with the knickers – are very thin (roughly 1/3in) and flex well enough to conform to muscles and move with you when walking, sitting or laying down.
The cooling effect lasts for about 45 minutes and there's no leakage from the packs once they warm up. They also freeze quite quickly – within an hour or so, which is much faster than water alone or any other gel-type cooling pad we’ve used – and they're relatively inexpensive, at $15 for six sheets.
The proprietary ice sheets slide right into the knickers’ pockets
The 110% gear comes packaged in insulated Mylar bags that double as ‘coolers’ for the packs and compression pieces, and are said to keep the ice sheets frozen for up to six hours, so that you can take them to an event for use afterwards.
Options and other gear
In addition to the Juggler Knickers we tested, 110% make shorts, knee, calf, elbow and full-arm sleeves; in theory you could add the calf sleeves to the knickers we tested for full leg compression, but that scenario is less convenient than our wish-for tights and pretty pricey, as the calf sleeves cost $75.