Posts Tagged ‘gear guide’

Tri Shorts

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Guides, Tri Shorts
Tags: ,

Do I need tri shorts? What tri shorts should I get? As a beginner you might have asked one of these questions. Here’s a list of tri short considerations and guides that I’ve come up with.

(Update: to get the latest version of this article please visit another blog I contribute to called Tri Gear Reviews)

Why Tri Shorts? – Most coaches that I’ve run into in the past have all said if you buy one thing triathlon specific then it should be a pair of tri shorts. I would tend to agree as it’s likely the most important thing that sticks with you throughout the race. I think it’s important to get a comfortable good quality pair of tri shorts. This doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive pair but I wouldn’t skimp in this area. There are plenty of good tri shorts at around $60.

Considerations: There are a lot of things to consider when buying tri shorts. I’ll try to list all of them here:

  • Length – Inseam length is a common consideration for people mainly because of comfort in the past 6″ shorts were the most popular. Nowadays 9″ and longer are more common. The most important thing here is to get something you are comfortable with.
  • Pad – A good pad is a common desire of people who know their tri shorts. The most popular tri pads are the ones that have a little bit extra padding but not so much that it adversely affects the swimming and running portion of your race and training. You will generally pay a little more for these pads. Traditionally tri pads are a black, very thin, quick wicking, synthetic sponge like material. The newer pads are usually differentiated by being a different color, generally red. The best way to tell what will work for you is to just feel the difference. All pads are not created equally.
  • Pockets – Some tri shorts offer 1 or more pockets to store small items like a gel packet. In one case it’s a nice feature to have if you want a gel in your pants. On the other hand you may not really need pockets if you have a race belt and pouch on your bike. Again this is a preference thing. A lot of people like the pockets. I don’t really use my tri short pockets. I tend to use my jersey pockets.
  • Compression – This is a very popular consideration nowadays. People are leaning towards the benefits of compression and even buying compression tri shorts. There’s a lot to learn about compression so I’ll leave that for another time.
  • Material – Tri shorts are made out of all types of materials. It’s an impossible balance to make a short sturdy, comfortable, fast, fast wicking, cool, and warm when you need it. Just know that you won’t be able to find an all-in-one-tri-short-that-does -everything. The best you can do is focus on comfort and maybe a couple things.
  • Price – I already touched on this but I don’t think it’s a good idea to skimp here. You will be in your shorts for a long period of time. There is a lot of motion going on down there in the swim, bike, and run. A number of reputable brands have good tri shorts around $60 you can probably spend a little less or a little more for something
Tri Shorts – Click on this link to see a huge selection of tri shorts.
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