Gear Review: TYR TrisuitBy Type A Girl PilotB.T.com Gear Reviewer
As if finding an outfit for work in the morning or going out on the town isn’t tedious enough, invariably, most of ladies come to the point before our first race with the question: What am I going to wear?What to wear under the wetsuit? What to wear for the bike, and for the run? Good thing someone invented the wonderful trisuit, to which we’ve become accustomed. It’s supposed to make our lives so simple. They come in the one-piece and the two-piece styles, a slick design that allows us to swim unencumbered with minimal drag, then quickly transition into riding our bike while offering adequate padding in the seat, and finally, go off on the run providing us with enough breast support. I, for one, never bought into the trisuit. Relating to the reverse order of the triathlon events, and in the order most important to me: trisuits alone lack breast support for running unless you are in the lucky (or unlucky) minority of women with small breasts. I’m the average 36 C wearer, and going without a sports bra is not an option. Secondly, the chamois padding in a tri suit seemed awfully thin, so thin that I couldn’t fathom being in my saddle for even 30 minutes wearing just that little bit of padding. Lastly, if I couldn’t run in a trisuit and had no faith in a thin chamois for a bike ride, why would I ever waste the time wearing it under my wetsuit for just the swim anyway?
Excluding discussion on my helmet and shoes, my previous racing ensemble used to resemble this: for the swim, underneath my wetsuit, I’d wear a sports bra and some kind of quick drying compression short. At T1, I would exchange my wetsuit for some quick drying shirt and pull my biking shorts over my compression shorts. At T2, I would take off my biking shorts, back down to my compression shorts, and run in those.TYR’s one-piece trisuit changed my mind. They sent BT one for me to try out, and without much time to experiment with it on long rides or runs, I bit the bullet and wore it during a half-iron event to see how it would hold up. Straight out of the box, I had no chafing issues and it literally felt as comfortable as my own skin. It moved and stretched with me, dried quickly after the swim, and did a wonderful job wicking away perspiration off of my skin on the bike and especially during the run. The elastics on the pant legs kept the shorts in place wonderfully without much irritation to my skin. One thing that I really liked about this tri suit that I didn’t have when I used to make my two changes in clothing was the Velcro pocket in the back. It is large enough for at least 4 gels and easy to access. However, I did wear another sports bra underneath it. After trying the suit, I contacted TYR and asked why it is that these trisuits aren’t made with much breast support. Their answer is that actually almost 98 percent of women DO wear sports bras underneath their tri suits! Its ¾ zipper has a dual purpose: to get in and out of it, and also for ventilation. Wearing a sports bra underneath would allow one to use the ventilating feature of the trisuit. The trisuit allowed me to comfortably ride in my bike saddle in excess of 2 hours. As when dealing with comfort issues on the bike, it is already common knowledge that you have to put in the time in the saddle before feeling “broken in”. As a previous gel-padded chamois bike short wearer, I was taken aback at how long I was comfortable in the trisuit padding and how quickly it dried. Getting used to just using TYR’s trisuit padding on my saddle would take no time at all for longer rides – but would have been very comfortable on an Olympic-distance race for the first time.For those who swear by compression shorts’ function of reducing muscle vibrations while running (thus reducing muscle fatigue), the Power Lycra that TYR uses all over the suit does just that. Not only can the trisuit speed up your transitions, but may very well also help speed up your run. Coincidentally, at the race where I tried the suit, I ended up higher in ranking among the field during the run than I normally would. And for once, I didn’t have to pick out clothes that matched for the run--it was all taken care of for me!It’s now just a question of which sports bra would look best when I’m “ventilating”.
TYR Trisuit (www.tyr.com)