General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Tri top -- elementary question, but important none the less Rss Feed  
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2018-07-04 7:25 AM


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Subject: Tri top -- elementary question, but important none the less
I borrowed a Tri top, fabric feels funny, but worth it if it does it's job.

What is its job? I could not care less how it looks, if it matches; who cares about that on race day?

I want to not be soaked with sweat while I am racing (ie, plogging along).

So on a hot VERY humid North Carolina day, temp = 90+ and humidity to match, I wore a friend's not so comfortable Tri shirt for the first time instead of my regular polyester $12 Target very comfortable top that is literally soaked when I finish.

The Tri top was better than my Target to in terms of wetness, but NOT spectacular. I was still very wet front and back, which disappointed me.

What can/should I expect from using a Tri top over a regular and more comfortable Target top?


2018-07-04 8:35 AM
in reply to: nathan_strahl@yahoo.

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Subject: RE: Tri top -- elementary question, but important none the less
You'll be wet anyway in a triathlon, since the first event is the swim! Yes, they should be made of some kind of sweat-wicking fabric, but between swim, sweating on the bike and run, and probably pouring water over your head on the latter, it's not realistic to expect that you'd finish a normal triathlon in any condition other than pretty thoroughly wet! The main point of a tri top is that it's more form-fitting and so hydrodynamic and aerodynamic. In other words, it allows you to perform well in all three events without drag on the swim and bike, but not so tight it affects your breathing on the run. That can sometimes be a hard balance to find.

But if you do find the Target top more comfortable, there's no reason you can't do the swim in tri shorts, then just pull the top on for the bike and run. Just won't be quite as aerodynamic for the bike, but that wouldn't be a big issue for most beginners. I did my first dry in a pair of men's fake Speedo jammers from a supermarket in Vietnam (note--I'm the female in the profile pic), a sports bra from Walmart, and a quick-dry T-shirt, probably from same or similar, that I pulled on after the swim. I was second overall. Clothes don't matter that much.
2018-07-04 6:15 PM
in reply to: nathan_strahl@yahoo.

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Subject: RE: Tri top -- elementary question, but important none the less
The main benefit of a tri top and tri bottoms is that you can wear them through the entire event without changing. This saves you time. I come from a running background and was used to loose fitting tops so it has taken me a while to get used to snug fitting tri clothing. Tri shorts and shirts are designed to dry quickly from the swim and allow you to zip through T1 and T2. However, there are people who will change into different clothing at T2 for the run. I am debating this for my 70.3 in September. I may doff the tri top and don a normal run shirt.

As far as sweat and clothes being soaked, that's par for the course. Especially in humid areas. I live in Central Georgia, there aren't any clothes that aren't going to be soaked with sweat at the end of a bike or run. There is too much moisture in the air for your sweat to evaporate which leads to your clothing becoming more saturated with sweat versus running on a dry day.

Also, not all triathlon clothing is created equal. If you aren't satisfied with one brand, then try another.

Good luck!
2018-07-05 8:22 PM
in reply to: nathan_strahl@yahoo.

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Subject: RE: Tri top -- elementary question, but important none the less
A tri top should be comfortable through all three sections and hug your body so you don't have wind resistance during the ride. Any garment that does that is good.
2018-07-10 10:01 AM
in reply to: nathan_strahl@yahoo.

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Subject: RE: Tri top -- elementary question, but important none the less
I good triathlon top (kit, suit, etc) should not hold moisture in. It should allow the moisture to evaporate as if it was coming off your skin. That's how how our bodies are made to work to cool off by sweat evaporating off our skin. If your clothing holds that moisture on your body, you will not cool off as effectively. Not to mention the chafing from wet fabric... so you want a fabric that has moisture wicking properties to get the sweat from the inside of the material to the outside as quickly as possible.

Even better are the materials that have UV protection as well.
2018-07-10 11:20 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Tri top -- elementary question, but important none the less
Originally posted by Hot Runner
note--I'm the female in the profile pic

What? You're not Macca? #disappointed


2018-07-10 7:23 PM
in reply to: kalish

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Subject: RE: Tri top -- elementary question, but important none the less
Believe it or not, more than once, people have assumed from the profile pic that I'm a guy! Macca must not be as well known as I think.
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