General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit? Rss Feed  
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2017-01-11 7:35 PM

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Subject: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
General Question: Doing IM 70.3 Wisconsin-Madison in June this year and probably IM Louisville in October. Looking to buy a wetsuit and was just wondering if anyone had any input in regards to a full wetsuit with sleeves or full sleeveless? Any information is helpful!


2017-01-11 10:58 PM
in reply to: britz1784


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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
Originally posted by britz1784

General Question: Doing IM 70.3 Wisconsin-Madison in June this year and probably IM Louisville in October. Looking to buy a wetsuit and was just wondering if anyone had any input in regards to a full wetsuit with sleeves or full sleeveless? Any information is helpful!


In theory sleeved is faster than a sleeveless. Brenton Ford (top Australian swimmer) did a 400m test in a pool, no wetsuit/sleeved/sleeveless. The sleeved was 10s quicker than sleeveless, so roughly 50s for a 70.3 which is a reasonable amount. However a top swimmer, swimming with perfect technique in a pool isn't the same as an age grouper in the ocean with 2000 other swimmers. Plus I think it depends on the swimmer. Perhaps a BOPer with poor technique and slow stroke rate would benefit more with a sleeved wetsuit - extra buoyancy? I personally haven't noticed a difference in performance going from sleeved to sleeveless, I can feel it's slightly less buoyant, but my stroke rate is naturally faster in my sleeveless despite my sleeved not having any restrictions in the shoulder. I also feel much more comfortable in my sleeveless. To be honest, since switching to sleeveless I've gone quicker, but that's probably more down to a slight increase in training and adapting my swim tactics. So IMO very little difference between the two in performance.
2017-01-11 11:29 PM
in reply to: britz1784

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?

Wetsuits provide three things.  Buoyancy, warmth, and to a lesser extent slickness.

Full wetsuits tend to provide more lift out of the water, thus less drag, thus faster.

Full wetsuits provide a lot more warmth. Depending on your cold water tolerance, you'll want a full wetsuit below 68 degrees. Certainly below 64.  Above about 72, then full wetsuits can start feeling too warm. At 75 degrees, you don't want a full wetsuit.  You will bake.  It is much better to be too cold in the water. When too cold you can always swim harder to warm up more, but too hot you literally have to slow down to cool down.

Wisconsin in June?  Probably full.  Northern waters.  One of the coldest swims I ever did was IMCDA in June.  Mirror Lake at IMLP in July was also very cold.  I am admittedly a cold water weenie.

As for slickness, the more expensive the wetsuit the fancier they get.  Expansion zones for breathing, slick zones for speed, grippy zones on your forearms to hold the water better.  All sorts of whiz-bang-ness.  I have a top of the line Blue Seventy that has all that.  $500.  My sleeveless is more proletariat. $100.

2017-01-12 6:31 AM
in reply to: #5209963

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
I concur with the other posters. However, you don't necessarily have to drop $500+. The Xterra Wetsuits are a decent brand with entry level pricing. Additionally, if you look on swimoutlet.com or eBay or another site, you can probably find a good deal on a 2016 or even a new 2015 model.

The amount of drag I experience with a sleeveless is pretty noticeable.

Good luck.
2017-01-12 11:48 AM
in reply to: Jeff B

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
Originally posted by Jeff B

I concur with the other posters. However, you don't necessarily have to drop $500+. The Xterra Wetsuits are a decent brand with entry level pricing. Additionally, if you look on swimoutlet.com or eBay or another site, you can probably find a good deal on a 2016 or even a new 2015 model.

The amount of drag I experience with a sleeveless is pretty noticeable.

Good luck.


I, too, agree that a sleeved wetsuit is faster...for the reasons stated.

That being said, I'd say go with what is most comfortable. I use a sleeveless wetsuit b/c my shoulders feel as though they tire out quicker. I went from using a sleeved to a sleeveless and had my best swim times. I've also gone sleeveless in cold waters (B2B Full in 2013, water was around 64, I believe) and, once the initial shock wore off, it was fine.
2017-01-12 4:28 PM
in reply to: Jeff B


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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
Originally posted by Jeff B


The amount of drag I experience with a sleeveless is pretty noticeable.

Good luck.


Drag where? Doesn't that mean it's a poor fit? There shouldn't be any drag.


2017-01-12 4:51 PM
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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?

Originally posted by britz1784 General Question: Doing IM 70.3 Wisconsin-Madison in June this year and probably IM Louisville in October. Looking to buy a wetsuit and was just wondering if anyone had any input in regards to a full wetsuit with sleeves or full sleeveless? Any information is helpful!
Other options are a 2 piece setup. Desoto Sports has their T1 version but is more of a Bib and top arrangement and is pretty expensive.  Pro-Motion has their setup that is interesting, a thin sleeved top you wear under a sleeveless suit, in theory the best of both worlds.  I use to have one of their power-glide sleeveless suits when I started out (until I left it in the car on a hot day and it melted). With the sale going on you can get the dual setup pretty cheap. Oh, they had great customer service, I called as I wasn't sure on the sizing, told me to make some measurements and to call them back and they set me up.

 

 



Edited by Donto 2017-01-12 4:51 PM
2017-01-13 5:29 AM
in reply to: #5209963

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
Zedzded, my sleeveless fit well, however, I would always encounter a bit of separation under my armpit when I was extending my stroke. It was not quite a parachute effect, but enough to be annoying and create drag.

It could also have been the result that it was a cheaper brand.

Regardless, I use a HUUB full-sleeve now. Problem solved.
2017-01-13 3:41 PM
in reply to: Jeff B


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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
Originally posted by Jeff B

Zedzded, my sleeveless fit well, however, I would always encounter a bit of separation under my armpit when I was extending my stroke. It was not quite a parachute effect, but enough to be annoying and create drag.

It could also have been the result that it was a cheaper brand.

Regardless, I use a HUUB full-sleeve now. Problem solved.


That would have been crap!
2017-01-13 9:05 PM
in reply to: #5210101

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
I've always used sleeveless because the fit over every model I tried was restrictive with the sleeved version. Body type. I would have appreciated sleeves many times in cold conditions but have always been faster and freer in the unsleaved version of my Quintana Roo, Xterra, and Roka . Body proportion and restrictions should factor into your decision.
2017-01-14 12:03 AM
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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
I have had several ProMotion suits--like them as they are a local (Oregon) company and have great customer service--since trying one of their suits at an race expo several years ago. The only product that hasn't worked for me has been the top/sleeveless combo. I found the fit really problematic. It didn't work with either of the sleeveless wetsuits I had at the time (one a Promotion suit that was supposed to go with the top, and one not); either chafing or awkward overlap. Arms and shoulders were too tight in one size and way too big in the next. Customer service was really patient and sent me a couple of different sizes, even a men's model, but it never worked out, and I finally returned the products.

I currently have a ProMotion sleeveless shortie (I think it was a closeout on a discontinued model) and one of their mid-range sleeved suits. I've been very happy with the fit and performance on both of them. They seem to fit well for long, lean athletes (I have trouble with a lot of other brands) and the leg zips on some suits are a real bonus if you are one of those otherwise thin "runner" types with muscular calves who always end up with the suit getting stuck there!

Which suit I prefer depends on water temps. I'm a pretty strong swimmer and don't necessarily need the buoyancy, but am a cold-water weenie...I really like the sleeveless suit for "borderline" temps (about 70 and up) but will go with the full suit for anything colder, or in low 70's if needed for jellyfish protection on an ocean swim.

Edited by Hot Runner 2017-01-14 12:06 AM


2017-01-14 8:38 AM
in reply to: britz1784

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
I prefer sleeveless. I'm a bigger guy (weight lifter) not fat. I find full sleeve suits just aren't proportioned right and are restrictive to arm and shoulder movement. Have done some swims in 60 degree water and was fine warmth wise.
2017-01-14 9:12 PM
in reply to: britz1784

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
I prefer sleeveless. I'm a bigger guy (weight lifter) not fat. I find full sleeve suits just aren't proportioned right and are restrictive to arm and shoulder movement. Have done some swims in 60 degree water and was fine warmth wise.
2017-01-15 8:43 PM
in reply to: britz1784

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
Originally posted by britz1784

General Question: Doing IM 70.3 Wisconsin-Madison in June this year and probably IM Louisville in October. Looking to buy a wetsuit and was just wondering if anyone had any input in regards to a full wetsuit with sleeves or full sleeveless? Any information is helpful!


I am a huge sleeveless fan. I remember one year at Ironman Wisconsin, before the wetsuit temp changed again for pros, I opted for a Sleeveless because of the water temp, and a couple of my peers, that are much better than me, wore sleeved suits. When they got out of the water they were totally gassed and bright red. The fact that I could even stay with them meant to me they overheated and were slower as a result

Fwiw, I will wear a sleeved suit, but it has to be in the 60-66 degree range, otherwise, I feel like I swim better with a sleeveless. But everyone is different.

Regardless, you can always save 25% on a new BlueSeventy suit at:

http://www.thomasgerlach.com/2016/08/blue-seventy-wetsuits-coupon-c...

2017-01-15 10:51 PM
in reply to: ThomasGerlach ProTri

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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
I always go sleeveless, full sleeves make my arms tired. This has not been an issue for water 55F or warmer.
2017-01-17 8:43 PM
in reply to: britz1784


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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
I did Ironman 70.3 Coeur d'Alene this year in a sleeveless...water temp 61F. Probably wouldn't have wanted to double that distance sleeveless, but it was OK. Did a sprint a month later and water temp was low 70s but I swear that due to lack of warm-up it was tougher to get used to the water on the start.


2017-01-17 8:43 PM
in reply to: britz1784


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Subject: RE: Sleeved or Sleeveless Wetsuit?
I did Ironman 70.3 Coeur d'Alene this year in a sleeveless...water temp 61F. Probably wouldn't have wanted to double that distance sleeveless, but it was OK. Did a sprint a month later and water temp was low 70s but I swear that due to lack of warm-up it was tougher to get used to the water on the start.
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