Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Apparel Review: De Soto Forza Trisuit

by Anna Grace, TE staff member

I knew I wanted to wear a one piece suit for the Canby Gator Grinder Triathlon to avoid having a seam at my stomach and also because I wanted it to be very very fitted, like a second skin. I tried on a bunch of suits that we have in stock. The first time I put on the De Soto Forza Trisuit, it just felt good and seemed to fit me perfectly.

When I rinsed off in the shower before going into the pool, I noticed that the silver mesh panels (on the black suit) became translucent when wet, so I could see the color of my skin through it. However, De Soto did a great job of being aware of this and the opaque black portion went over my breasts, so no worries about show-through. Also the upper part of the suit was supportive without being constraining at all. I didn't have to wear a bra (I am a small A cup) and I also didn't have any chafing issues.

I have done a time trial before at a stage race in cycling shorts and I recall that being in the aero position made my woman parts a little bit irritated and tired, so I was prepared for the same thing in the triathlon. This was not the case. I didn't even think about my clothing on the bike, except for feeling really fast in it (honestly). Wearing the one piece suit and not having to worry about a waistband was so comfortable on the bike. I can't imagine wearing shorts with a waistband again after how great this suit felt. The "Invisipad" chamois really is 'invisible'; I didn't notice any seams or edges whatsoever. It didn't hold any water at all, no part of me felt moist on the bike, and the fabric dried very quickly, which was a useful feature because it was still a bit chilly in the morning.

On to the run. Some potential issues I thought of as possibilities were that it might ride up or give me a wedgie, or that the legs might bunch. None of these things happened. The suit just came along with me and didn't fight me in any way. Again, I didn't have to think about my suit on the run, except that it made me feel really fast (honestly). The panel lines are also very flattering and outline the muscles that seemed to be doing a lot of work on the run, my obliques. The panels are very thoughtful and appropriate.

The fabric on the bottom portion of this suit, the Forza Compressor, has a large amount of compressive support. The subtle vertical line texture is flattering, the contrast stitch is just right, it feels fantastic over my lower stomach and quads, and the best part is that it doesn't squeeze my upper leg and give me an unsightly bulge.

Geez, do I have any negative feedback for this suit? Just one thing (that's unheard of from this critical gal): the extra long zipper pull flew around and was bothersome. It was great for the 10 times I had to pee before the race because I could zip my suit up myself, but what do you do with this thing while you are racing? I didn't notice it in the water at all, but it flew around in the wind on the bike. I ignored it for that part, but it really got on my nerves during the run. It was swinging around and tapping me on the back...tap tap tap. So I grabbed it and shoved it under the shoulder of the suit - not an elegant or thoughtful solution, I realize. I think De Soto should come up with a better solution for this, like perhaps it could be shorter or attach somehow. I suppose I could just take it off; I would rather ask someone to zip me up before the race then have a huge tail for the entire triathlon.

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