My birthday suit is the Pearl Izumi’s P.R.O. In-R-Cool Tri Suit. When I say “people” have been encouraging me to participate in multisports because I am a cyclist and a runner, I specifically mean my boyfriend so I wasn’t surprised when I got a triathlon suit for my birthday. Hint? I think so.
Since I just started participating in multi-sport events I was clueless about the specialized equipment. I was getting by running in my normal cycling shorts but the chamois is so wide and thick I felt like I was running in a diaper rather than a sport garment. Plus, I’ll admit it, all the cool kids were wearing tri suits.
I birthday-suited up for the HoRa Run Bike Run. The race ended up to be a disaster but even though I had the worst crash of my life, I looked good doing it.
Triathlon suits are necessary for triathlons because a normal cycling chamois acts like a sponge in the water and you can guess how heavy and uncomfortable that would become. For duathlon, although there is no swimming component, a thiathlon suit gives you the comfort of a chamois during the cycle without the bulk of a standard cycling short during the run. I like to think the more comfortable you are with your equipment the better you can perform.
The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. In-R-Cool Tri Suit features state-of-the-art aerodynamic fabric that reduces drag, keeps you cool and provides sun protection (UPF 50). The In-R-Cool technology works to keep you cool by reflecting the sun’s rays, essentially allowing a dark fabric to act as a white fabric. The entire suit, comprised of aerodynamic grid-textured fabric, holds air against the body longer to reduce drag. If you are aero-obsessed, opt for the suit with short sleeves which covers the biceps, an area known for drag. If that isn’t enough, Pearl Izumi claims, according to their wind-tunnel testing, the suit provides just as much of an aerodynamic advantage as some deep section wheels.
The technology behind the suit is nothing short of amazing, but it’s the execution of the design that makes the P.R.O. suit a truly elite garment. Well, once I got it on. I found the sizing ran smaller than I was used to with other sports kit, even for racing gear, and after striking out with the small, I wriggled into the medium.
After I was suited up, however, I couldn’t believe how it felt when I put it on. It feels amazing. The soft, flexible fabric, that is miraculously machine washable, stays comfortably in place and moves naturally with you. Even though I was used to normal cycling shorts, the chamois was just enough to keep me comfortable on the bike and thin enough that I didn’t feel it on the run. The integrated bra did it’s job comfortably and was a welcome extra layer in nippy weather conditions before the race. The only thing missing was a pocket or two for longer events.
It looks amazing. I’m not a pro but I felt like one racing in this suit which, I’ll admit, give me a mental boost. The winning feature, however, was the durability of the fabric. The aero fabric is sleek and thin but after crashing and face-planting on the cement the fabric held strong and didn’t tear. On the other hand, the fabric didn’t take friendly to safety pins which caused some balling and fraying. Lesson learned: use a number belt and not safety pins for race numbers. Lesson two: don’t crash on your face.
Overall, I was impressed by all the aerodynamic advantages and design engineering but it was truly a winner because it held up in rough race conditions and it just feels so good I want to race just to put my birthday suit on.
Find out more at pearlizumi.com or see it in action below: