FE 226 AEROFORCE

Very top-end tri-suit rated by the new Brit/Dan­ish brand

220 Triathlon Magazine - - Kit Zone -

Fe226 is a brand new Bri­tish and Dan­ish ven­ture, of­fer­ing high-end mul­ti­sport cloth­ing us­ing cut­ting-edge fab­rics. With the ‘Fe’ rep­re­sent­ing the chem­i­cal sym­bol for iron and the 226 be­ing the dis­tance in kilo­me­tres of an iron-dis­tance race, the AeroForce shorts and sin­glet have a host of fea­tures to suit the long­course triath­lete: plenty of pock­ets (two on both the shorts and top), great sun pro­tec­tion due to Cold­black tech­nol­ogy, a full front zip­per and aero­dy­namic fab­rics. The de­sign is min­i­mal but looks cool, with a dis­creet logo and some sub­tle indigo print on the oth­er­wise stealth-black en­sem­ble.

The shorts have a slightly higher waist­line than most, stop­ping them from rid­ing up. The chamois is on the small side but dense enough to pro­vide a com­fort­able long ride paired with a tri-spe­cific sad­dle in the TT po­si­tion.

We re­ally liked the leg grip­pers, with small sil­i­con dots di­rectly printed onto size­able hems with bonded edges, giv­ing a com­pres­sive form fit. On the bike and run we had no prob­lems putting long ses­sions in, and the speed they dried out on our race-day test was noth­ing short of re­mark­able.

The top also dries very fast, and it’s made to be long in the body to avoid po­ten­tial sun­burn and chaf­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, we found the arm cut too straight where it should have been ta­pered in, and we were left with a big gap at the sides for wind to whip through. It’s a first for this re­viewer to find a tri top that’s too wide at the chest and, con­sid­er­ing the very high price point, a cut for the bar­relch­ested prob­a­bly isn’t go­ing to be right for most of Fe226’s po­ten­tial cus­tomers. We also felt it bunch­ing up un­der a wet­suit, lead­ing to some dis­com­fort on an open-wa­ter swim­ming test.

De­spite im­press­ing else­where, it feels like Fe226 have fallen short at the eas­i­est hur­dle af­ter count­less hours of aero and hy­dro­dy­namic test­ing that have gone into craft­ing the gear. The rigid­ity of the fab­ric may mean that it needs to be of­fered in a wider range of sizes like triathlon wet­suits are (small/tall, medium/short, etc), be­cause it ap­pears a sim­ple small through to XL size range doesn’t cover all shapes and sizes.

While our score comes out around av­er­age over­all, in­di­vid­u­ally we’d be giv­ing the shorts 85% and the top 40%. Al­though we can vouch for the quick-dry­ing prop­er­ties, fab­ric qual­ity and longevity, it’s dif­fi­cult to rec­om­mend the top from our own ex­pe­ri­ence, and it’s un­likely to fit the ma­jor­ity of com­pet­i­tive triath­letes.

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