We are not here to write about how good our suits are or anything like that, we want to give you an informed explanation on how to chose the right triathlon suit or shorts and singlet for you.
There area few things you should look for when choosing a triathlon suit.
Sleeved or vested
There has been an increase in availability of sleeved suits of recent, with long-course athletes in particular adopting them for their drag-reducing benefits. Sleeved suits have now caught on over all race distances, backed further by the ITU allowing them to be used in competition in 2016.
A vested suit has slightly less fabric and with bare arms it will keep you cooler if you really struggle with overheating. You’ll also get more freedom of movement, particularly useful for pool triathlons where you don’t have a wetsuit over the top. A sleeved suit will have drag reducing features and will be better for longer distance, where skin protection from sun is an important factor.
There is no right or wrong with choosing between the two style of suits, it is primarily down to preference and which you will be more comfortable racing in.
Suit or Shorts and Singlet
Most elite racers chose to wear a suit over triathlon shorts and a singlet and this is mainly down to the fact that it allows a more streamlined approach and means the top does not ride up during the race. If you do race in warmer conditions where you do not need a wetsuit you can swim in the triathlon shorts and then at the first transition put the triathlon singlet on for the cycle and the run. Again this is entirely down to preference but most people chose to opt for a suit as it saves time having to put on a top at the first transition.
Level of Padding
Some suits have thicker padding than others and dependant on the race distance and the length of the bike portion the thickness of padding should be taken into account. If you are competing in a long distance race where there is a long bike portion, a thicker chamois pad is perhaps better even though it may not be as streamline in the water and as comfortable on the run. The bike segments can take its toll on your derriere. If you want an all round suit for both long and short distance races then finding a suit with medium thickness for the pads can be a wise idea.
Some suits do have pockets and some don’t. The benefits of no pockets is that it limits drag in the water and potentially on the bike. However if you are racing with a wetsuit this should not be a problem and the pockets are usually tight enough on the bike segment to reduce any drag. Having pockets for a long distance race can be a great place to keep any energy gels, repair kits or food for the race. Most suits have small tight rear pockets and we are a fan of them but again it is down to preference.
The Right Fit
In regards to fit it is essential that you get a suit that is the right size for you. If it is too big then this can cause drag and also friction or irritation. If the suit is too small it can prove to be difficult for flexibility on the swim and getting in an aero position on the bike. Finding a suit that is the right size is essential so check the measurements first.
These are our top tips for choosing a triathlon suit and if you are looking for a new suit, then please take a look at our latest award winning Agility pro triathlon suit.