220 Triathlon Magazine - - Start -

Okay, they look cooler, but what are the ben­e­fits of a short-sleeved tri-suit over the tra­di­tional vest? Here’s what to look for when go­ing for race-day sleeves...


Short-sleeved suits are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar for long-course rac­ing, so pocket choice is key if you’re opt­ing to carry nu­tri­tion in the suit in­stead of/as well as on your bike. Look for eas­ily-ac­ces­si­ble pock­ets that are size­able enough to se­curely hold gels and en­ergy bars.


Re­search from 2010 re­ported a sav­ing of be­tween 45- 67secs over the course of a 90km bike leg if you choose a dim­pled short-sleeved suit over a vested tri-suit. But more im­por­tant is fit, with any wrin­kles in the suit a huge aero­dy­namic hin­drance.


Leg grippers have im­proved in re­cent times, with the gen­tly com­pres­sive elas­tic bands (as seen here) largely re­plac­ing the re­stric­tive sil­i­con dot/polyester com­bos, which gave rise to the sausage leg phe­nonemon.


As op­posed to a rearzip ITU-style suit, a front zip is eas­ier to get on/off, and gives you the chance to lower it for ven­ti­la­tion. But check the race rules on how low your zip can go, with many races set­ting the ster­num as the limit. No one wants to DNF for in­de­cency!

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