WHAT IS IT? EC3D (Engineered Compression, 3-Dimensional) is a seamless orthopedic compression garment with medical and sports benefits.
WHAT’S IT COST? $150 (full-length compression tights), $150 (long-sleeve compression top).
CONTACT? www.ec3d.ca or (866) 528-4655.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with QSD’s EC3D compression garments.
(1) Background. QSD originally made postoperative compression garments before expanding into medical solutions for sports injuries, musculoskeletal problems, degenerative diseases, posture issues, poor blood circulation and other conditions.
(2) Material. The EC3D material boasts a claimed 50 percent more spandex than its competitors. It also uses 70 percent polypropylene and an antibacterial silver treatment that’s permanently applied in the yarn extrusion to eliminate odors.
(3) Circulation. Blood returns to the heart through veins on the surface of the skin as well as deeper internal blood vessels. Based on the premise that the internal vessels are more efficient, a compression suit improves circulation by forcing the body to use the more efficient internal vessels. Compression of the outer surface of the athlete’s skin also reduces blood pooling and helps flush out lactic acid.
(4) Seamless zones. The EC3D focuses on specific zones of compression around the muscles. These zones trap muscles in an effort to reduce the muscle oscillation that results in micro tears as riders bounce around the motocross track. The EC3D garments are tighter at the extremities and gradually become looser toward the heart, encouraging circulation. These factors make sizing very important.
(5) Posture. There is a large “X” on the back of the compression shirt that is made from stiffer and thicker material. It improves posture and balance by pulling the shoulders back while creating a pressure point in the center of the back (using proprioception).
(6) Comfort. The EC3D is literally twice as tight as an off-the-shelf compression garment. Some MXA test riders adapted to the squeezing immediately, while others struggled. Quite difficult to get into, the garments didn’t restrict movement and bunch up. They did, however, make it slightly more difficult for the chest to expand for deep breaths.
(7) Testing. QSD and Zoot (which has its own version of the garments) did testing with Montana State University, triathletes, cyclists and motocrossers. Many Tour de France riders wear compression pants after the race, but not during. We could only judge feel based on feedback from three MXA test riders over the course of a month. We couldn’t feel any improvement on the bike, but we did feel an improvement in recovery and on a 13-hour flight to Europe.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We had some complaints. (1) Although QSD claims that skin temperature is actually cooler underneath the garment, our testers felt warmer. When the weather was cool or the wind was moving, heat was a non-issue. But on hot days, testers wanted to get out of the suit. (2) Extra time. At least 20 minutes of warmup before exercise is needed to allow your body to become accustomed to using its inner vessels. The suit should be worn continually between motos and for two hours afterward to receive the benefits of recovery.
The complexity of design and the science behind the EC3D garments is impressive, but the benefits are difficult to measure. Compression garments have a great reputation in other sports, but the technology is new in motocross. It has a valid scientific base, but needs tweaking for motocross.