After seeing the photos of myself dressed like a blue sausage running around the Bribie Island foreshore on the day of my first ever triathlon, I had to let my burning eyes heal for a few weeks.
And once I could see properly again, it was clear that it was time to consider a new tri suit.
This purchase had been on the horizon for a while, especially since I discovered that I can’t go to the toilet in my beautiful blue tri suit without dislocating my shoulders and elbows to allow them to contort around and grab the zip, located on the back.
Plus, the suit was just slightly too see-through for my liking.
A not-very-interesting fact about me – I hate belly buttons. Even typing the words makes me want to gag. Often in the middle of a heated argument, Shane will taunt me with the threat of sticking his finger in my belly button unless I concede defeat. It generally works.
When I realised I could see where my belly button is through my blue tri suit (there’s a dark shadow there basically) I wanted out. Immediately.
Not without some regret, because I bought the suit from EBay on a whim in my first few heady moments of deciding to be a triathlete. It cost me $70, which I thought was ridiculously expensive for a piece of lycra. Now it seems cheap!
The memories of buying it, of the day it arrived in the post, trying it on and blogging about it, are all very fond memories. I also love that it is bright blue and white – nearly every other tri suit I have ever seen has been black, or mostly black. I like brightly-coloured stuff.
But going to the toilet should not be a luxury, and I want to make sure I can take a toilet break if needed at the Straddie Salute and Noosa Triathlon. Plus, let’s face it, Noosa will not be the last triathlon I ever do (I hope) so there is no need to ‘make do’ with a suit that isn’t right for me because I will get plenty of use out of a suit that is right.
Did I really need a new suit? The answer is almost definitely no – the blue suit fits, does its job and I can simply ask someone (anyone) to unzip me for toilet breaks. Considering how not-good I am at triathlons, I’ve already spent a disproportionate amount of money on this sport. I also have way too much other crap to buy – including a new pair of goggles by tomorrow’s Bribie Island Swimming Race (since my only good pair were stolen by the waves)
But , it bugged me! What can I say – I am obviously a shallow materialistic human and I wanted a pretty new triathlon suit, damn it. And if you are what you eat, then someone must have been sneaking some stuck-up moles into my lunches this week, because in the end I decided that I bloody well deserved a new suit and I could no longer be seen dead in a second-hand piece of rubbish from EBay.
The criteria for my new tri suit were demanding:
- A brand I want to support – not the brand (that isn’t named) in this post
- Looks pretty – preferably colourful
- Well made – a good material, with a quality ‘chamois’ (the nappy padding for cycling)
- Reasonably priced – preferably less than $200
- Well designed – one-piece suit, zip on the front, high neckline, slightly longer in the leg than my blue suit
So I started with the brands.
There are heaps of companies making Triathlon suits and just from following a handful of triathletes on Instagram and reading a few Triathlon 220 Magazines, I’d been exposed to many of them.
My initial problem was that most of the brands I wanted to support (ie the brands that sponsor my favourite triathletes) didn’t have many options in terms of colourful tri suits. This was really important to the aforementioned stuck-up mole inside me – I aint spending 200 bucks on something I don’t like the look of. The only time I ever wear black is to work – because it’s like attending a funeral for my happiness, I guess. I love doing triathlon and it makes me feel joyous. I wanted my suit to reflect this.
So unfortunately I immediately ruled a few out, including Foher Multisport. If you’re a lady in the market for a tri suit and you like wearing black to compete in (maybe because it is like a funeral for your pre-awesomeness days) then you should totally check them out because they do great things.
The few brands that remained on my shortlist quickly got narrowed down further, because their idea of ‘colourful suits for women’ meant PINK. You see a lot of pink workout wear for ladies and frankly I try to avoid it. I want to be colourful but I don’t really need to emphasise my girliness. Because when I am competing I am a warrior – I need warpaint and tribal colours perhaps, but not a baby pink cutesy effect.
If you totally disagree (I am not surprised, I am wrong about most things) and your strongest desire is to represent the sh*t out of all sweet girls everywhere who are killing it in triathlon, I recommend you go ahead and buy yourself a beautiful pink suit from Tri Chicks. This company also does great things for women in the sport of triathlon and have a fantastic quarterly magazine which is free online! Check it out!
The last couple of brands on the list were narrowed down to a winner easily enough; only one of them was an Australian brand selling Australian-made items. I try to source local stuff where possible, because it is the responsible thing to do… But also because let’s face it, the shipping will be quicker and my purchases will be in my hot little hands much sooner.
So let me introduce you to Scody.
Not only is Scody Australian, it is based in Brisbane – about 35 minutes from my house. Way to shop local, Lauren, you eco-superstar. I’m pretty sure that such extreme local buying totally makes up for that time when I burned 6 used tyres in my back yard for 8 days straight (joke – please don’t send me hate mail)
I’ve seen Scody advertising in a few Triathlon magazines and noticed they have some major superstar triathletes in their ranks – for instance, 3-times World Champion Mel Hauschildt, who I think is amazing. So I felt confident it was a good brand. The Scody website backed me up on this, providing extremely detailed and mind-boggling information about the materials used, the high-tech method of cutting their chamois, the innovative technology implemented etc. I was suitably impressed and mind-boggled.
As I opened up the ‘retail store’ page, my attention was caught immediately by a suit that features all the colours that make me happy – beautiful jewel-like colours without too much pink – washed around in a watercolour effect that reminded me of my Grandpa’s hand-dyed fabrics. It was perfect.
The price was right – just under the $200 mark. I double-checked EBay and couldn’t find the same suit (or indeed any Scody suit) available on there cheaper.
I didn’t jump in – I have learned my lesson from the days of impulse buying. Instead, I went back through all the sites I had ruled out and even checked on generic triathlon shop websites. I was able to confirm that the only other suit that came close to being as nice as Scody’s Aysha suit was a European branded suit at $362.50.
I slept on it for a few days. I measured myself three times to be sure I would be selecting the right size.
Then after the disappointment of my big DNF, I got online and ordered it.
The tags were impressive – especially the one that invited me to wear the suit and be part of Scody’s pursuit of higher performance. Hells yeah, I’ll be in that.
I was very pleased to see extra attention to detail in this suit, which include two nice pockets on the back (into which you can slip an energy gel) and thoughtful extras such as a bit of material that covers the top of the zip, so it doesn’t scratch on your chest. Nice.
Admittedly, when I held it up to me I worried that the suit was too small and too see-through. I know they have to make the fabric skin-tight, because you need to be able to swim fast in it so you don’t want drag. And I know it needs to be thin, because the lighter the better. But I was a bit concerned.
Until I tried it on.
I have awarded the suit a resounding 10 out of 10. I can’t fault it. It matches my flashy white and mint-green helmet perfectly – another big tick. I was tempted to wear it down to the supermarket to buy a loaf of bread.
As with my blue suit, it is super comfortable to wear. The new suit has more coverage across the chest, so that helps to improve the comfort factor yet again. And frankly, there is no denying it is very pretty. I would totally wear it to your wedding if you are having one – so feel free to not invite me if you don’t want me to upstage you.
Hooray for shopping and finding just what you want! Even if I suck at swimming, hate running and am mediocre on the bike, I will be the comfiest stuck-up mole at the start line of the fast-approaching Straddie Salute.
8 weeks to go tomorrow! Bring it on!