KIT ZONE

It’s cer­tainly sleek, but how does Santini’s suit per­form in our test?

220 Triathlon Magazine - - Contents -

S an­tini’s third ver­sion of the Sleek tri-suit has got even sleeker for 2018, get­ting an un­der­stated look with a mostly grey and black front and a red mesh back panel. You can also get a blue, yel­low and black ver­sion with slightly brighter colours.

We tested the Sleek 777 both at home and in warmer climes at Iron­man 70.3 Colombo. Dur­ing open-wa­ter swim­ming and when worn com­bined with a swim­skin we did feel some re­stric­tion across the shoul­ders, but cer­tainly no worse than sim­i­lar slim-fit­ting tri-suits with sleeves. On the bike and run the suit is flex­i­ble and breath­able, and the fab­ric across the chest and arms is pos­si­bly the most com­fort­able we’ve come across in a speed suit. It’s al­most cot­ton-like, very quickdry­ing and fits like a sec­ond skin (and Santini guar­an­tee that the wa­ter-re­pel­lent treat­ment works for at least 80 cool washes).

There’s a good-sized hous­ing at the neck­line, and we ex­pe­ri­enced no chaf­ing or ir­ri­ta­tion in this area. Santini tri-suits never have the plush­est pads in our ex­pe­ri­ence, but for us the slim and light GTR chamois is worth it for the ex­tra run com­fort. It’s also very wa­ter re­pel­lent while be­ing com­fort­able enough for longer races if you’re used to long days in the sad­dle. The large grippers on the arms and legs give a well-con­toured fit, with no loose parts like you can get on some over­sized grippers where the elas­tic isn’t strong enough.

Where the suit falls a lit­tle short is with the pock­ets and lack of front pouch. The small ‘in­vis­i­ble’ pock­ets are lo­cated ei­ther side of your lower back and are dif­fi­cult to ac­cess. Stuff­ing more than one small gel in each is go­ing to prove tricky, too. The Sleek 777 doesn’t have a full front zip open­ing for toi­let stop ac­cess ei­ther, so we’d be hes­i­tant to use it for the 180km Iron­man bike leg.

While you’d pos­si­bly get more breatha­bil­ity from ad­di­tional mesh on the front, Santini’s use of ‘Aquazero’ ma­te­rial – cour­tesy of Ital­ian fab­ric ex­pert Si­tip – is about as good as it gets with­out one, and this also means bet­ter sun cov­er­age. Fel­low pasty-skinned triathletes will be pleased to know the Sleek 777 does a fine job of pro­tect­ing against UVA and UBV rays.

Over­all, the new Sleek suit has mass ap­peal across most dis­tances. It’s not ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive, looks good and is very com­fort­able. It’s just the small, fid­dly pock­ets and lack of front pouch that make it less suit­able for long-dis­tance rac­ing, un­less you’re of an elite stan­dard and pure speed is your over­rid­ing pri­or­ity. JS zy­rofisher.co.uk

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