Category Archives for "Triathlon Clothing"

Triathlon Clothing

Triathlon Clothing: The Best Two Piece Tri Suits

“What are some of the best Triathlon clothing in the market today? Read on to find out!”

We’ve reviewed 12 of the best two piece tri suits to find out which will keep you comfortable in your next triathlon.

Triathlon Clothing

Triathlon Clothing

Foor Men’s Zip Top and Tri Shorts

This may not be the most stylish or high-tech suit we’ve ever tested but it just about gets the job done. It’s all made from the same robust material that’s not especially quick drying or light. The vest top has two food pockets that you can access easily from the side, but they’re too loose, and one of our gels fell out during a run. The shorts have a nice padded insert, which is thin and dense and takes the bite out of most saddles. It also means you can run freely without feeling like you’re wearing a nappy. However, our tester thought the seams were a bit too rough and could rub during a long race. If you’re not racing too far, though, the price is brilliant for a full set of separates.

Verdict
Bargain tri separates that will see you through most shorter races.
Performance 2/5
Value 3/5
Overall 3/5

Blueseventy Performance Tri Top and Shorts

Blueseventy have been producing fast swim skins for a while, but this is part of their first range of ‘proper’ tri-suits, which also includes the high-end Distance line. It’s a great start with soft, mid-compression fabric that keeps drag to a minimum. Flat, deep grippers on the legs and bottom of the tank don’t dig in, although we found the top tends to slide up when running. The women’s tank has a croptop made from soft and quick-drying fabric, with a chestband that didn’t chafe. A generous pocket on the back of the shorts and three open pockets on the top mean you can stash plenty of gels. One quibble: we’d like a bit more padding in the shorts than the microfleece chamois here, though there’s always the Distance line.

Verdict
Great-value kit that feels high-quality but could use a thicker chamois.
Performance 4/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

Zone 3 Aquaflo Tri Top and Shorts

The material on this Zone3 suit is designed to help water flow quickly over it, with less resistance than other materials. This makes it a decent option for pool-based triathlons or open-water races where the water’s too warm for a wetsuit, although a one-piece suit (which Zone3 also make in the same fabric) may be a wiser bet. It’s a soft, comfortable suit that would be well-suited to longer races. It doesn’t dry especially quickly, and it weighs more than many of the other suits here, but it’s built to last and doesn’t rub. The zips are all backed with smooth material and the stitching in the shorts is so soft that you can’t even feel it. The fuel pockets aren’t the best though. There are two in the vest, but they’re shallow and they gape open.

Verdict
Some brilliant technical features for the price, just needs better pockets.
Performance 3/5
Value 4/5
Overall 3/5

Trigirl Radience Top and Champion Tri Shorts

The top and shorts are both made from Revolutional material, which is chlorine resistant and offers some UV protection. It’s really light and soft fabric, but we could notice some of the seams during longer bike and run sessions. Mesh panels on the legs and down the back were effective at keeping the heat off. Two thin silicone bands keep each leg in place without being annoying, but we felt the top could do with some grip to stop it riding up on the run (it wasn’t a problem on the bike as the shorts have a classic bike cut with high back). A zip pocket on the shorts, two deep, elasticated pockets on the top and a really good chamois make this set a good Ironman choice. Another good feature is the built-in Powermesh bra which comes in A/B or C/D cup sizes.

Verdict
Well-fitting women’s kit that’s good for long-distance racing.
Performance 3/5
Value 4/5
Overall 3/5

Pearl Izumi Elite Tri Top and Inr Cool Shorts

If comfort is your highest priority, check out this Pearl Izumi two-piece. It’s not the lightest set we tested, but the materials are so soft and well-made that it’s a joy to wear. The back of the vest has a super-soft mesh that’s airy and cool, while the rest of the top is made from Elite Transfer fabric that’s silky to the touch. We couldn’t confirm the aerodynamic properties of the dimpled fabric on the shoulders (in fact the more relaxed fit on our tester probably made it less aero for us) but that didn’t bother us. Even the rear pockets are brilliant – deep enough to store gels, with snug flaps to keep them shut. The quality continues into the shorts, made from InR Cool fabric, which sucks moisture away from your skin and disperses it over the finer yarns on the outside to cool you down. They have flat laser-cut seams and a wide, soft pad. We’d recommend this to anyone.

Verdict
A fantastically comfortable, techy tri-suit, good for training as well as racing.
Performance 5/5
Value 5/5
Overall 5/5
More at Best Two Piece Tri Suits Review

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Trisuit

How to Choose a Trisuit with Extended Review

“Giving you tips on how to choose a Trisuit as well as a review on the best Trisuit for 2013. Read about it now!”

We enlisted the expertise of Patrick Baum, customer service specialist for TriSports.com, to demystify the wetsuit selection process and map out the basic steps you should take to zero in on the just-right suit for you.

Trisuit

Trisuit

Assess the athlete’s build. “Proper fit is everything, so that’s where we start,” says Baum. “If it’s over the phone, we ask a lot of questions to get an idea of the person’s build—height, weight and so forth. Do they have a runner’s build, a cyclist’s build, a swimmer’s build?”

Consider swimming ability. “If someone’s not a good swimmer we try to get them into something that will hopefully get them in a better position in the water—buoyancy throughout the suit that puts them up higher in the water so they’ll go faster,” says Baum. “If someone’s a very strong swim- mer, a lot of the time they want flexibility because they don’t want anything getting in the way of their stroke. In that situation we start looking at a suit with Yamamoto 40 [extra stretchable neo- prene] in the arms for shoulder flexibility.”

Consider price point. “We get an idea of what races they are going to be doing—do they need or want a super high-end suit in the $600-plus range?” adds Baum. Or maybe they are just starting out, and need a low- to mid-range suit.”

Identify best-matching brand. “Each brand fits differently, and each has a sepa- rate size chart,” says Baum. “We try to fit the customer in the middle to bottom of the weight range and comfortably within the height range.” If they are in the store, Baum has the customer try on a suit and jump into the in-store pool to test it out. Phone or online customers can take advantage of Trisport.com’s “one free swim” policy. “We want people to get in the water, because feel in the water is critical,” says Baum. “If it doesn’t fit right in the water, they can send it back.”

Sleeves or no sleeves? “A lot of it is personal preference,” says Trisport.com’s Baum. “Sleeveless might work out when just starting out because there’s not a lot of constriction around the shoulders. If a lot of your races are going to be in warmer water, a sleeveless tends to work for the season. But having said that, you don’t see pros in sleeveless wetsuits that often—if they can get away with a full-sleeve suit they’re going to wear one. If someone is talking about wanting a versatile suit that is also very fast, you go full-sleeve.”

How’s it supposed to feel? Baum says if you can breathe OK and zip up the wetsuit without too much trouble (it should feel very tight but not constrict breathing) and you are within the brand’s sizing guidelines, the suit should work. You may not have full range of motion on dry land with the wetsuit straight out of the box, but it should feel more comfortable in the water.

Blueseventy Reaction
$395, Blueseventy.com
The draw: All-rounder

There’s a reason the Reaction is Blueseventy’s most popular suit—it has the flexibility and buoyant feel of a high-end suit without the $500-plus price tag. The Reaction suits swimmers with a decent kick, as the 4mm buoyancy in the lower legs (compared with the 5mm in the torso) doesn’t limit power derived from the kicking motion. When they updated this suit, Blueseventy lowered the neckline and decreased the bulk around the zipper, which kept testers chafe-free even after a long ocean swim. Although exit is relatively easy, liquid tape allows you to cut the leg to your desired height.

Neosport NRG Fullsuit
$200, Neosportusa.com
The draw: Most affordable full- sleeve suit

This full-sleeve suit is priced less than most sleeveless ones. It is best suited for swimmers that take long, hip-driven strokes rather than those with a hyper windmill-like stroke. Elbow flexibility isn’t the best, but solid buoyancy through the entire body makes up for it. High-cut ankles and a slick inner liner make for a quick exit in transition. Sizing is ample in the torso and shoulders, best matching an athlete with a broad upper body rather than those with a runner’s build.

Nineteen Pipeline
$280, Nineteenwetsuits.com
The draw: Starter full-sleeve

For athletes looking to get their first full-sleeve experience, the Pipeline is warm and moves with little restriction. Although the smartly crafted neck lies comfortably against the body, water occasionally enters through the rear of the neck. Shoulder construction is a bit limiting when extending for a full reach at the start of a stroke. Buoyancy is focused toward the chest, helping adept swimmers torque themselves high in the water by pressing these thick panels of neoprene deep into the water. Those highly dependent on lift from the hips might need a little more lower body buoyancy.

Zoot Z Force 4.0
$450, Zootsports.com
The draw: Durable suit that connects to the swimmer

Zoot’s newest iteration of this suit is a noticeable improvement over its predecessor. Credit goes to chest panel design. The center has great flexibility and a more evenly balanced feel. Full extension at the end of a stroke is smooth and uninhibited. Although it is slightly more restrictive than some other suits, it doesn’t feel stiff, but rather connected to the body. A bit of water was able to sneak into the suit through the neck opening. Sturdy seams and neoprene feel ready for the rigors of a quick transition. More at 14 Triathlon Wetsuits Reviewed

More Tips on Choosing the Right Trisuit in this video:

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Triathlon Apparel

Triathlon Apparel: How to Gear Up for Triathlon

“Listing down the Triathlon apparel you shouldn’t forget putting on your checklist. Read more now!”

So you want to try a triathlon—a sprint or mini, Olympic or international, half Ironman or even an Ironman. Good for you, and good luck! All triathlons consist of swimming, cycling and running, and one key to a good race is to have the right gear. Here’s an overview to get you started.

Triathlon Apparel

Triathlon Apparel

Clothing for a Triathlon

The basic need for the swimming leg is, not surprisingly, a swimsuit. For shorter triathlons, you may even choose to do the whole race in a swimsuit for quicker transitions. Many other swimmers simply pull on a pair of shorts before jumping on their bike. Still others change at each transition, especially in long races such as an Ironman, where seconds don’t mean as much as comfort.

Popular clothing choices are triathlon-specific shorts, tops and racesuits that work well for all 3 stages of a triathlon. These garments wick away moisture and dry quickly. Many offer enhanced ultraviolet (UV) sun protection. The racesuit and shorts have a chamois pad that is thinner than a regular bike-short chamois so it is more comfortable for the running stage. (As you might imagine, running in regular bike shorts would be really uncomfortable.) In general, tri clothing should fit snugly.

Tri Swimming Gear

The swim is usually the first leg of a triathlon. For this phase, a wetsuit, cap and goggles will make your swim a lot more enjoyable and efficient. If you are a minimalist or if the water temperature is above 84°F (the governing body, USA Triathlon or USAT, doesn’t allow wetsuits over 84°F), your only necessity is a swimsuit.

Wetsuit
A wetsuit increases your buoyancy and reduces drag so you can get a faster time in the swim segment. It can also be a necessity if you are swimming in cool conditions. While some water gets inside a wetsuit (hence its name), this quickly gets warmed by your body heat to help insulate you. The main downside of a wetsuit is the time it takes to exit one during the swim-to-bike transition (T1).

What type of wetsuit is best? Your choices include sleeves or no sleeves; shorty style or full length; 1-piece or 2-piece. The air and water temperatures you expect during your swim can help guide you to a suitable style of wetsuit. Keep in mind, too, that the number of zippers on a suit correlates closely to how much water is retained.

While any wetsuit should work OK, triathlon-specific wetsuits are lighter, more efficient and give less resistance while swimming. In a USAT-sanctioned race you’ll need a USAT-approved wetsuit (see this link for a complete list).

Fit: A wetsuit needs to be the right length in the arms, legs and the neck-to-crotch area so these areas do not bulge. Bulges allow water to collect, which slows you down. A wetsuit should fit snugly and have enough stretch to allow good shoulder mobility. It should not be so tight that it’s restrictive and chafes the neck. If you can’t fit into a 1-piece properly, go with a 2-piece model.

Care: After the race, rinse the wetsuit inside and out with fresh water, then lay it flat or hang it to dry. Avoid long exposure to sunlight.

Storage: Lying flat is the best way to store a wetsuit. Fold the arms to the opposite shoulder, fold the legs to the shoulders and fold the waist to the shoulders. If using a hanger, try to use a thick hanger to avoid pressure on the shoulders. Drape the legs over the hanger and you’re done.

Swim Cap
A swim cap is often provided by race organizers. If using your own, there are 3 common materials used: latex, silicone and Lycra® spandex. Those who have a shaved head can go without a swim cap. In some races, though, your race number is written on the cap, so you probably will want to wear one rather than have indelible ink on your noggin.

Tip: If using a latex cap, sprinkle some baby powder in it before storing. It’ll help keep it from sticking together.

Goggles
To swim comfortably with your eyes open, get a pair of goggles. The curved lenses also enhance your peripheral vision and filter UV rays. Your main consideration should be fit. Even though goggles are adjustable, different brands and models fit faces differently.

Fit tips when trying on goggles:

First, hold the eyepieces to your eye sockets to see if the size of the lenses feels comfortable. Adjust the nosepiece (some don’t have this) to fit accordingly. You can cut off any excess later. The strap should sit just above your ears.
If there are 2 straps, the top one should go over the upper back of your head. Adjust the straps so the goggles fit snugly and have no gaps around the edges. There should be a slight vacuum seal, but they should not fit so tightly that they hurt. Swim-goggle straps can be worn either over or under the cap. Some triathletes put them under the cap to deter someone kicking them off.

Tri Cycling Gear

Bicycle
Most types of bikes—mountain, road or triathlon-specific—are fine to compete in a triathlon. It just depends on your budget and your desire for speed. Of course, your speed also depends mightily on your fitness level.

For maximum versatility: If you want to enjoy all-purpose riding but still have good speed for triathlons, choose a road bike. You can use it for triathlons, road rides, commuting or errands. You can also choose from a huge selection of bikes and pricing. To make a road bike more efficient for triathlons, you can add components like aero bars or bullhorn bars (shown at right) and disc wheels. Your REI bike shop can order parts to upgrade the components. Shop REI’s selection of road bikes.

For maximum speed: If triathlons are going to be regular events for you and you have sufficient budget, consider a triathlon-specific bike. These bikes put you farther forward over the front wheel than other types of bikes. They are more aerodynamic and work your hamstrings more efficiently, which helps your legs in the run phase. The downsides? These bikes are more difficult to maneuver for general cycling, they don’t have drop handlebars, they can be uncomfortable for long rides and their braking is not as convenient. To see REI’s tri-bike selection, search on “triathlon bikes” on REI.com.

For trail riding: A mountain bike is slowest on the roads, but if your triathlon is on trails it becomes a necessity. For more speed on the road, you can always change out your knobby tires for slick ones.

Bike Shoes
Stiff-soled cycling shoes give you far more power than running shoes do. And so-called “clipless” cycling shoes (those that attach directly to the pedal) provide the most pedaling efficiency. For triathlon use, look for shoes that offer easy on/off for faster transitions. Shoes that have 1 or 2 hook-and-loop strap closures generally allow faster change-outs than shoes with laces. Look for a loop at the top-back of the heel—it helps you pull the shoe on more easily.

Helmet
Any helmet will do as long as it is approved by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)—fortunately, this is true of virtually all helmets sold in the U.S. these days. A mid- to upper-level road bike helmet offers more vents and is more aerodynamic—2 qualities that are useful for triathletes.

Tip: Try on the helmet with your sunglasses to make sure they’re compatible.
More at Triathlons: How to Gear Up

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