Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Gear Review: Sugoi Velocity Tri Suit and then some
Status Post Boulder Peak Triathlon, thanks to Outside PR, I have now become a tri suit convert. Cold turkey switch. I mean it. I will never go back to a two piece again.
This suit rocks.
The Velocity Tri Suit has mesh Zone construction and an 15" front zip. These Tri Suits feature two back "quick draw" fuel pockets and reflective accents for visibility. The suit also features a Women's TriLite Chamois and Hydro-Shifter fabric. It is a stretch woven product making the suit super smooth and aero/hydrodynamic.
Pre-race Impression: the fabric was super thin. Somewhat like tissue paper with a bit more give to it. I was nervous and had visions of the suit tearing, exposing my lady bits, as I stripped off my wet suit. I actually packed a back up shorts and shirt in my transition bag in case my fears were confirmed.
Post Race Impression: although the fabric was thin, it was effective and stronger than expected. No tears, no delicates exposed, and overall extremely comfortable.
Swim- the suit laid flat inside my wetsuit creating almost nil bulk. The seams were flat and smooth = no rubbing or chafing. I felt as if I was practically naked under my wet suit. This suit would definitely be sleek and highly functional on its own without a wet suit. It did not add to the constricting nature of the wet suit as did my other previous attire during tris. As I stripped off my wet suit I had no worries that any of my clothing was going to peel off with it. I have previously had to wrestle with my tri shorts adhering to and getting rolled up in my wet suit- not funny in the least bit. The tri suit was a winner in my eyes from that point on, case closed.
Bike- The chamois was thin but not too thin. I felt that the suit dried quite quickly due to the fabric's thin nature and the chamois dried out with it. No squishy wet feeling "down there" and no annoying rub. I took into account that I was actually doing an Olympic tri and not a Sprint tri- which is what the suit was more designed for. The chamois was quite thin for the Olympic distance and I did start to feel soreness in my sitbones during the last 7 or so miles (note- I also had new non-broken in bike seat). For the Sprint, the thin chamois would be completely appropriate for its distance and not out of the question for an Olympic. I would not, however, suggest it for any longer distance.
Run- I felt that the suit's wicking ability was outstanding. Being that it is Colorado and is notoriously dry here, it is very difficult to figure out how dehydrated you are until it is too late. This is really an ok thing for me as I know how often and how much I should drink as I am fully aware of how sweaty of a girl I really am. The suit sucked the sweat off my body and let it evaporate quickly into the air as I ran. It was a phenomenal cooling system and I wasn't ever wet in spots with sweat. I even had a volunteer throw a cup of water on me as I ran through an aid station to see how long it took to evaporate! Minutes. I was bone dry minutes after the soaking!
I mentioned previously I was long waisted. Therefore, although I normally wear smalls, for the suit I had to step up to a medium to fit. After the water dried on my suit it was just oh-so teensy baggy on me but I know that is a flaw of my own body, not the suit. Also loved the half zip at the neck for cooling down.
I didn't chafe one single bit and the thin chamois made it very comfortable to run in without feeling like you're wearing a diaper. The leg holes clung nicely to my quads without digging in like most short's elastic. The entire suit fit like a glove without bunching or gathering in odd places. No odd puckering and with flat seams the design was very streamlined. The black and white combo looked fast and professional without gaudy flowery fru-fru combos as seen on a handful of other "women-specific" clothing lines. I really liked the small reflective logos and the small gel pockets on the suit.
Gear Improvements/Recommendations: I actually have no complaints against the suit but I do have a few recommendations that would be nice to see.
1. Color: I would like to see more color choices, however, as the only ones available are black/white, or 100% engine red (looks like an orange-red on the site and too much of one color- what about a black or white stripe?). As I was browsing the vendors at packet pickup my eye caught on an ORCA tri suit which was candy apple (or shimmering cherry) red with white along the sides. It was extremely attractive, sporty, and slimming. I think Sugoi should offer that color and maybe also a deep navy/white. I would definitely buy those two colors. Anything else would be a bit much or too see thru with the thin fabric. (My eyes have been assaulted one too many times by athletes wearing grays and pastels. When these fabrics get wet you see EVERYTHING. And that shit is nasty- especially riding behind a sweaty ass crack clydesdale. You need no more motivation than that to spank him...and by spank I mean pass, not the other spank. gross)
2. Style: Although I really don't have any complaints to this suit, it would be nice to mix it up a bit and have a tri suit with short "crop" sleeves. Just little half sleeves like the stretchy under armour shirts have. That would be a very good look on a tri suit.
The chamois should be offered in two different thicknesses so it can be used for longer distance races. Also, the suit gave me an ever-so slight camel-toe, so moving the chamois just slightly forward or elongating it to pad that sensitive area a bit more would be nice:)
3. Additions: what about adding two small sturdy loops to the lower waist area of the suit. Something to pin or secure your race number to? My race belt kept sliding all over the place on my suit due to my lack of major hips and the slippy-ness of the fabric. I finally just ignored it and left it hanging out at the top of my rib cage. It would be nice to have some sort of very small loops or tabs to hang your number bib onto- completely eliminating the need to even have a race belt.
After the race and a nice hot shower, I slipped into my new pair of Sugoi Moxie shorts.
I don't normally like short-shorts but these babies are adorable and cozy!
They come in three colors: gunmetal, H2O, and Lichen (all very sweet) and have a mesh liner with gusset. The waist band is flat, wide, and non-constricting. It sits low on the waist providing a very comfortable wear.
I found myself initially wearing them around the house to lounge in but eventually took them out for a run. They performed well, but not as well as my current running shorts. They were a bit heavier and bulkier than my TNF shorts.
I would wear them to the gym for weight lifting, walks or short easy jogs, everyday wear, tennis or basketball and similar sports.
Only complaints? The "pockets" in the front really aren't very functional. I would have rather they be faux pockets as the extra fabric isn't necessary (but the design or look of the pockets looks cool). The pockets are too shallow to safely put anything in them other than maybe a peice of gum without it falling out or tugging the shorts down by the weight.
Overall rating: 4.0/5.0 for function, style, and comfort
Thanks Outside PR for the ability to try out these Sugoi products and make my race a memorable one!
Lastly, Zensah Compression Sleeves:
I picked up a pair of these prior to the Boulder Sprint Tri. Based on rUntoNamAste 's review on compression sleeves I decided to try them out.
Zensah running leg sleeves fit tight without binding or marking and only cover from below the knee to ankle. I tried on the Skins version and was not impressed with their compression strength nor the fact that they have a little ankle strap to go under your foot. That would aggravate me over time.
I wore the sleeves the morning of the race and then almost immediately after the triathlon. When my body was going through its normal inflammatory response- i.e. flu-like feeling, my calves felt like they were swollen and tight. With the sleeves on and intermittent elevation, I could feel the sleeves' compression snug against my legs. I was thinking of leaving them on overnight but the upper band felt too tight against my legs- affirming my swelling. I removed them while I slept and put them back on during the day. As reported previously, I have suffered no leg or foot soreness except extremely mild quad tenderness from the bike hill climb. Calves feel great!