Post-Season Shopping Adventures

A long-overdue update to my tri gear

In my last post, I gave some basic information on the clothing you’ll want for a tri. On a recent Saturday, armed with animal crackers and a bag of toys in a moderately successful attempt to occupy the youngest member of my cheering section, I ventured out to my local multi-sport store.

Because I generally only do one race per year, my last try gear lasted quite a while, so I wasn’t up on new trends in the past several years. The biggest surprise to me was that there are no longer built-in bras in all tops. Instead, there are tri-specific bras made of quick-drying material, though one of the store employees mentioned that regular sports bras work just fine. This opened up a range of new options for me.

Here is what I bought:

shorts

Sugoi RPM Tri Short: In what was a first and is sure never to be repeated in my life, I bought the first pair of shorts I tried. These shorts fall about mid-thigh. I appreciate that there is some elastic at the bottom of the leg, but not enough to constrict. The padding in the crotch seemed fairly minimal, but should be sufficient. These shorts also feature two pockets on the back just about the length of a credit card. You could probably slide a Gu packet in, but the pocket may be a bit short for that.

TYR Competitor Loose Singlet w/bra: As the name suggests, this top does have a built-in bra, though the shirt still manages to be pretty loose. Getting a top that does not ride up was an important factor for me, since many shirts that fit me tend to be a little tight toward the bottom over my hips. I like the breathable mesh on the back, and the zipper all the way down to around the lower ribs. The pocket on the back is huge…I am much more likely to stash Gu here. I predict that this will be my new go-to for training on the bike as well, with the combination of comfort and a cycling aesthetic. The pink is not subtle, and I preferred some of the other color combos I later found online(https://www.tyr.com/shop/womens-competitor-loose-singlet-w-bra.html).

Peal Izumi Select Tri Relaxed SL Jersey: I may start wearing this as pajamas, it is so soft and comfy. The store employee said that this can be worn throughout the race, though it seems like it could be a bit clingy coming out of the water. The material is light enough to dry quickly. This top also features a zipper down to about the lower ribs. There is no built-in bra. The back pocket is not as large as the TYR top, but should be fine for a nutrition packet. I am most excited about this purchase.

bra

TYR Competitor Racerback Tri Bra: I compared this with a couple of bras that aren’t specifically meant for tris, and preferred the lightness of this one. There is no padding or other bells and whistles: it is a straightforward pullover sports bra, though it seems to be pretty supportive.

I was hoping to try on a one-piece suit, but they didn’t have one in my size. The perils of post-season shopping, I suppose. According to the store employee, however, that may not be the way to go for someone of my height (I’m about 5’9”), and it is a feat of contortion to get into one.

All together, I spent $155. The total MSRP was $229.98, so shopping old gear seemed to pay off for me. I did find some better deals on these items for less online, but the ability to try them on, chat with someone far more knowledgeable than I, and support a local retailer was worth it to me.

Now I am itching to register for some races for next year to road-test my new gear.

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