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First Tri Suit

Afternoon everyone,

I'm just about to buy my first tri suit on Sunday and I was looking for a bit of advice. I'm going to the local Start Fitness branch and I've seen three different Orca tri suits that I like the look of, but the prices of the cheapest and most expensive range over about forty pounds.

Baically I was wondering if all tri suits are born equal and the prices just reflect the latest model and the older stock, or whether it does make a lot of difference? I'm doing three sprint triathlons this year so it's not going to be used for major distances yet.

I'm also trying to mentally prepare myself for the sight of all that lycra looking back at me from the mirro but can see it being a bit of a shock.


  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Be wary mate, not all tri-suits are the same and the sizing can vary from manufacture.

    you want the suit to be as tight fitting as possible, quick drying and not hold water. If its holding water then you poss could be looking at dropping down a size. Hence why its important to get the fit right.

    Orca, not sure which one it is but one the suits has graphic which don't really stand up to the test and the eventually peel off. If you are doing sprints only then prob a tri-suit with very little in terms of pockets, this again is where you can create drag when swimming. The pockets are just a little storage space for gels etc which you need going beyond sprints.

    It all depends on what you want, you can get the new 2xu tri-suit which really doesn't hold much water but is justifyable for a sprint where the gain is say 20s? Prob not.

    One other word of warning... you will see lumps and bumps which perhaps were not noticeable in the first place!!!
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144

    You will see the difference when you are there. I dont know about orca but when I was looking at Trisuits the material quality changes with the price. I looked at Craft, 2XU and a couple of others Ironman I think.

    I did notice that some of the suits had b obbles on them from people trying them on so they are not going to last.
    I ended up with a 2XU compression suit and its great, fits a charm and doesnt make me look as lumpy and bumpy as some did.

    Dont be scared of the lycra just embrass the experience and make sure you dont get carried away and spend a fortune on other gear.
    May the force be with you on your trisuit quest!
  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Generally, the more expensive suit in the range from the same manufacturer will have a better quality pad in it. The better pads are generally more suited to longer distance racing. So if you're going long, or want more comfort, then you'll probably need to pay more. But if it's sprints you're mainly doing then the cheaper ones should suffice.

    I'm always wary of using an expensive suit in a pool based sprint, as I know that the chlorine does attack the fabric.
  • mickwoodmickwood Posts: 93
    Well, although I've not raced in it yet I opted for the 2XU enurance trisuit (http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/triathlon/10/2XU_Mens_Endurance_Tri_Suit/5360041454/) and it fit's really well! I've biked 20 miles in it and the pad was good enough for that. A lot of people have them and all rave about them and I figured that the tri suit is the one thing you wear the longest so money invested in a good un is not wasted!
    It was a hard thing to spend that much money on it but I think I made the right decision...except, it does make me fat - but then again that may have nothing to do with the suit!
  • hitman786hitman786 Posts: 37
    I would advise you to not to go for more expensive suite as this one is your first tri so you may not be able to take all benefits from that suite. But must give a try before buying.
  • I'd suggest a Team Laws Tri Suit.

    Nuff said.

  • 2XU shorts are my favourite piece of tri kit, so so comfortable.
  • Cheers for the advice guys, I'll make sure I shop around properly before I buy one. Both events I've got planned include an open-water swim so the chlorine issue shouldn't be a problem, and both are sprint distance which should also help. Thanks again!
  • Just a word of caution about Orca, as already mentioned. They don't last very long. The graphics peel off after only a couple of swims and they lose their elasticity after less than a season. I'd suggest 2XU, but bear in mind they are a size small so you would need to go up a size.
  • I have had the same dilemma and couldn’t find a tri suit to fit properly. I have a few extra pounds around the middle but by no means a fat bast**d, but large enough meaning I had to go for an XL suit (I couldn’t actually get into a Large suit). Problem was that XLs were baggy around the arse and legs but really tight around the chest, shoulders AND stomach

    I spent about at least an hour messing around trying on suits and top-bottom combos from Orca, 2XU and Craft until I found a pair that I think is going to work for me. I went for a 2XU large shorts and XL top, both of which fit nicely and don’t make me look a complete fatty. I am looking forward to giving them a proper test at the Durham Duathlon next weekend.

    Initially I was just going to have a quick look in the shop and then buy online to save a few quid, but given the shop (TriCentre in Edinburgh) let me mess about for so long without bothering me I thought I would buy from them.

    As for the quality of the suits, if you feel the quality of the fabric and the chamois of the cheapest suit in manufacturer’s range compared to the most expensive, you can see where the extra money is going. In all honesty I wouldn’t want to do a sprint tri in a cheap tri suit - there is basically no padding in arse!
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Have you thought about going for seprates? I have a 2XU top and shorts which if you aren't in a pool sprint should be fine to get seprates - and if you need to make a quick pit stop along the way its much easier with seprate shorts! Re the cost, i had the cheapest ones i could find on wiggle from 2Xu and the chamois is fine - i've used it up to Oly without problem and for 2+ hours on the turbo, i wouldn't want to go much longer than that i don't think but it isn't too bad.
  • I might got for seperate ones after all; I have a pair of Orca tri-shorts that I always wear when I run and I'm using them with my running club vest for an Aquathlon on Sunday so I know I can run and swim in them alright. Considering getting a number belt for it as well, to see if that'll save any seconds during transition as well.

    The two sprint triathlons I've entered for the year are both open-water with wetsuit so I'm still guessing the trisuit will be the easiest/quickest option them although I'll do some decent shopping around before I finally decide which one to buy. I should have enough time to drop that last half stone by the time the first one comes around so hopefully that'll be less of an issue!
  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    I'm making a move from one-piece to two-piece this season, only because I'm stepping up to HIM/IM distances, so ease of removal for personal reasons. I've decided on sticking with 2XU kit, which has served me well so far, and going with Endurance shorts, with pockets, and Endurance Top, again with pockets. The top will only be used during the run leg, and for the bike I'll be using a sleeveless jersey. Hopefully pick it all up over the weekend, so I can start training in it.
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