Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page -

Some­times it’s the lit­tle things that make the dif­fer­ence. Once you’ve got your wet­suit di­alled in, don’t for­get to look around your local swim shop for the ex­tras that can make all the dif­fer­ence to your com­fort and per­for­mance. We have a few sug­ges­tions for you:

Blue­sev­enty Zoot Dare2tri Speedo Hy­dra-vi­sion Gog­gles

We’ve said it be­fore, but the mes­sage still works: what we’ve en­joyed about all the Blue­sev­enty gog­gles we’ve tried is that they “just work.” The soft frame tech­nol­ogy en­sures you get ex­cel­lent vis­i­bil­ity and improved dy­nam­ics in the wa­ter all in a com­fort­able gog­gle that will get you through the long­est work­outs or open wa­ter swims. You can even get a polarized lens for sunny days to en­sure you have the best pos­si­ble vi­sion of buoys to help you sight and find the best pos­si­ble line.

Swim­fit Neo­prene Cap

Early- or late-sea­son races and train­ing swims can be plenty cold and we all know how much of your body heat gets lost from your head. (Re­mem­ber all those times your mother told you to wear your hat?) Thanks to the Zoot Swim­fit Neo­prene cap that’s made of a com­bi­na­tion of two and three mm neo­prene, you’ll get some added warmth and pro­tec­tion.

3-An­gle Duf­fle

Whether you’re cart­ing your equip­ment off to a work­out, or tak­ing your wet­suit and other gear to an open wa­ter or brick work­out, the uniquely-shaped 3-An­gle Duf­fle will get the job done. There are sep­a­rate com­part­ments for hold­ing a wet­suit, shoes, gog­gles, hel­met, wa­ter bot­tle, cell phone and other valu­able equip­ment.

Huub Kick­pant

Who wants buoy­ancy shorts when you can go the whole way and get your­self the Kick­pant? De­signed to give your legs and rear buoy­ancy while pro­vid­ing ac­tive stroke cor­rec­tion to your kick­ing tech­nique and align­ment in the wa­ter, the Kick­pant does much more than sim­ply act like a pull buoy. The Kick­pant ac­tively im­proves your kick­ing tech­nique by keep­ing you aligned and hold­ing your legs straighter and with good align­ment. Thanks to the ¾ length 5-mm thick pants you get the feel­ing of hav­ing a wet­suit on while im­prov­ing your kick and tech­nique.

Van­quisher 2.0 Mir­rored Gog­gle

Whether you’re swim­ming in a pool or tak­ing on an open wa­ter chal­lenge you’ll love the Van­quisher. It has a low-pro­file de­sign favoured by pool com­peti­tors, but still of­fers 25 per cent more pe­riph­eral vi­sion than other gog­gles. Soft sil­i­cone eye seals and three in­ter­change­able nose pieces en­sure you’ll get a snug, com­fort­able fit. The mir­rored coat­ing re­duces glare, while the anti-fog lenses pro­vide UV pro­tec­tion, too.— KM

$27; $36 POLARIZED $30 $80 $250 $26

2XU Pro­pel

Thanks to a Nano SCS Coat­ing you get an ex­tra four per cent buoy­ancy, which, cou­pled with the front panel with buoy­ancy in­serts, keeps you nice and high in the wa­ter. Add in the seam­less shoul­der and arm pan­els for en­hanced flex­i­bil­ity along with the su­per- stretchy liner and thin-in- the-right- spots neo­prene and you have an in­cred­i­bly com­fort­able and speedy suit.

Zoot Wiki­wiki

A com­bi­na­tion of Yamo­moto Cell 40, Yamo­moto Cell 39 and SCS Nano rub­ber pro­vide ex­cel­lent flota­tion, flex­i­bil­ity and hy­dro­dy­nam­ics in Zoot’s top-of-the-line suit – wiki­wiki means quick in Hawai­ian, which is ex­actly what you’ll be wear­ing this speed­ster. The spe­cially de­signed arm pan­els cut through the wa­ter with lit­tle re­sis­tance, while the 5-mm think strate­gi­cally placed pan­els around the suit put you high in the wa­ter, help you float and keep you in the op­ti­mal swim­ming po­si­tion that al­lows for lots of ro­ta­tion and a long stroke.

Blue­sev­enty Ther­mal Helix

Look­ing for a suit to keep you go­ing in even the cold­est wa­ter? Look no fur­ther. The Ther­mal Helix takes all the amaz­ing fea­tures of the top-of-the-line Helix and adds a warmer lin­ing to get you through swims in wa­ter as cold as 9 C. Ya­mamoto Aerodome and 40 cell rub­ber is strate­gi­cally used through­out the suit in thick­nesses vary­ing from 1.5 to 5 mm to en­sure ex­cel­lent buoy­ancy and flex­i­bil­ity.

Dare2tri Mach 4S

The new Mach 4S im­proves on Dare2tri’s Mach 4 by us­ing a new kind of rub­ber and new SCS coat­ing – what they’re call­ing Glide Skin – to re­duce wa­ter re­sis­tance. That rub­ber is mixed in a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent thick­nesses through­out the suit to give you the best buoy­ancy and shoul­der flex­i­bil­ity. Aqua grip pan­els help keep the wa­ter un­der the arms and legs to im­prove your pull and kick, too.

Huub Al­ba­core

The lat­est premium suit from Huub adds to the fea­tures that have made their suits so pop­u­lar with some of the world’s fastest pros. A spe­cially de­signed “re­stric­tor” built into the suit helps you stay straight in the wa­ter, while spe­cial high mod­u­lus, high ten­sion neo­prene is strate­gi­cally used to pro­vide ex­cel­lent sup­port and flex­i­bil­ity. The spe­cially de­signed “bi­cep re­lease” en­sures a re­laxed re­cov­ery and catch, while the “el­bow re­lease” makes it easy to keep your el­bow nice and high on the re­cov­ery, too. The re­sult is a suit that is so flex­i­ble where it needs to be that you hardly feel like you have it on.— KM

$840 $ 750 $950 $595 $1,100

Have you ever en­vied a professional triath­lete’s re­sources to per­fect their aero­dy­nam­ics? Most of us can’t af­ford to rent out wind tun­nels to dial in our bike po­si­tion. En­ter Kitch­ener, Ont.- based STAC Per­for­mance, the cre­ators of the mag­netic Zero trainer. Their lat­est tech­nol­ogy is a vir­tual wind tun­nel sys­tem that can help any triath­lete reach their true aero po­ten­tial on the bike with­out break­ing the bank. The vir­tual wind tun­nel (VWT) “al­lows you to re­al­ize the per­for­mance ben­e­fits of rent­ing a full scale wind tun­nel at only a frac­tion of the cost.” They take scans of a rider’s po­si­tion and process them in a sys­tem that an­a­lyzes air flow around the rider and, there­fore, the drag they’re cre­at­ing. So far, the guys at STAC have put pros Cody Beals and Alex Van­der­lin­den through the sys­tem and helped each of them make sub­stan­tial im­prove­ments in their po­si­tion. The next step is to mar­ket it across Canada and make it ac­ces­si­ble to all triath­letes.

“As one of the first test sub­jects, I im­me­di­ately rec­og­nized the tremen­dous po­ten­tial of this tech­nol­ogy,” Beals told TMC, “Over the past year, I’ve been us­ing the VWT to op­ti­mize my po­si­tion and in­form my equip­ment choices for rac­ing. My re­sults were in close agree­ment with my data from a con­ven­tional wind tun­nel, which val­i­dates this ap­proach. Test­ing with the VWT is far more con­ve­nient, quick and af­ford­able than a trip to the wind tun­nel or

velo­drome, mak­ing aero­dy­namic test­ing more ac­ces­si­ble for ath­letes, coaches, bike fit­ters and prod­uct de­vel­op­ers. It’s a rev­o­lu­tion­ary step for­ward.”

How it works

Thanks to the VWT’S sim­ple setup, the ser­vice can be per­formed al­most any­where. I tested out the sys­tem in De­cem­ber at a bike stu­dio in Toronto. STAC’S An­drew Buck­rell had me set up my TT bike on a trainer. Us­ing the hard­ware for the sys­tem – an off- theshelf 3D scan­ner – Buck­rell moved around me and scanned me and my bike as I held my po­si­tion for a minute or so. The de­vice gath­ers a high-res­o­lu­tion im­age of the rider, which STAC then takes in for pro­cess­ing and anal­y­sis.

“The anal­y­sis we do is called com­pu­ta­tional f luid dy­nam­ics,” ex­plains Buck­rell. “We per­form cal­cu­la­tions that de­liver the aero­dy­namic data – how the flow moves around the rider and how much drag they’re cre­at­ing – which helps us bet­ter fit them on the bike and im­prove their over­all per­for­mance at their next race.”

Fa­cil­i­ties that of­fer the ser­vice will take the scans them­selves and then send them to STAC for pro­cess­ing. While the scan it­self is a fairly quick process, the data pro­cess­ing takes about 24 hours. STAC did three scans of my po­si­tion, mov­ing around hy­dra­tion sys­tems and mak­ing ad­just­ments to my head po­si­tion. I also had a bike fit­ter make ad­just­ments to my bike for the scans to help dial in the best po­si­tion. When cou­pled with the ex­per­tise of a good triathlon bike fit­ter, the VWT will truly give triath­letes a com­pet­i­tive edge. “With the bike fit you’re able to cap­ture im­por­tant biome­chan­ics,” Buck­rell says. “Com­bin­ing that with aero­dy­nam­ics helps us find out an in­di­vid­ual’s op­ti­mal po­si­tion.” We ul­ti­mately were able to find a po­si­tion that will save me valu­able time on the bike leg of my full-dis­tance race this sum­mer. Buck­rell says most triath­letes can ex­pect to take a few min­utes off their short dis­tance race and, in some ex­treme cases, the sys­tem can help save 10 min­utes over the course of a full- dis­tance bike leg.

Worth it for the av­er­age triath­lete?

The price point for the ser­vice right now is be­tween $150 and $300, depend­ing on the number of scans per­formed. When you take into ac­count the costs of var­i­ous aero equip­ment on the mar­ket, this is a mod­est price to pay for easy speed on the bike and, ul­ti­mately, faster race times. “I’ll be do­ing a few sep­a­rate tests with STAC this sea­son, to find out the fastest setup for me,” says B.c.-based pro Nathan Kil­lam. “I think this is one of the best values a rider can get for get­ting those last few watts of ef­fi­ciency.” Cur­rently the ser­vice is only of­fered at the X3 Train­ing Lab in Toronto, but there are plans to take it out west and ex­pand it within triathlon hubs across the coun­try.

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