blueseventy Apparel (2013)
Written by: Greg Kopecky
Added: Thu Aug 08 2013
What are we talking about today? Triathlon clothing and goggles from blueseventy. Before someone calls me out, yes, the Ďbí is supposed to be lower case.
blueseventy Triathlon Clothing
You might not know it, but a couple years ago blueseventy started making actual triathlon clothing. It seemed like a logical step to me Ė after all, most of their competitors make both wetsuits and race apparel.
I donít know about you, but Iíve never been a fan of most triathlon race wear. It sure is convenient to be able to swim, bike, and run in the same outfit, but thatís where this love story ends. Theyíre not very comfortable. The legs are too shortÖ or theyíre too longÖ or the chamois isnít really a chamois. The most common problem, however, is that the overall quality is very hit-and-miss. Often times, the material is thin, the grippers either fail or are non-existent, and logos come off.
Going in with that low expectation, the newest products from blueseventy blew me away. The stitching is robust. The material is thin and comfortable, but also strong. The chamois is a real, actual chamoisÖ and it doesnít feel like a diaper when you run. I donít want to jinx myself, but I havenít had a single chafe with it, either.
TX3000 Tri Suit - $240
The TX3000 Tri Suit is the first piece of blueseventy clothing I tried. It is their top-end suit and sells for $240. That price is near the high end of the spectrum; the 2XU Dark Shield Trisuit retails for $260, but Zootís top-end Ultra Tri Racesuit sells for $200. It seems that most high end single-piece kits are somewhere in the $200-250 range, so Iím not going to nickel and dime here.
My favorite thing about this suit is the feel of the fabric. If it makes any sense, it feels about twice as thick as it actually is. Iíve used competing suits that cost the same, but fall apart in less than one season Ė usually failing at a stitch (e.g. where the chamois is sewn into the suit).
Some of the newer suits seem to go for the look and feel of the old Ďpaper suitsí from the 90ís. The theme Iím seeing is that leg grippers are going away. Companies use various high-tech methods to laser-finish the legs, or otherwise finish the fabric end so it doesnít fray. When Iíve tried this type of suit before, they felt cheap. They felt insubstantial. And Ė these were also the suits that fell apart the quickest.
The TX3000 has a unique take on the situation. If you look on the outside of the leg, itís hard to tell if there is any seam or gripper:
From the second-tier TX2000 line, Iíve used the Tri Singlet ($85) and Tri Short ($99).
The only downside is that Ė if the swim ends up being non-wetsuit Ė you need to use a swim skin on top to avoid a hydrodynamic penalty.
The TX2000 seems to be very close in quality to the 3000-series; the stitching is the same and the chamois is the same:
Overall, I think the TX2000 line is a great value; it looks and feels almost like the TX3000. I havenít tried the single piece TX2000 suit yet, but if the singlet and shorts are any indication, itís probably the best quality-per-dollar single-piece suit that they offer.
At this time, blueseventy does not offer custom clothing, which may be a limiter for them (their sponsored athletes have screen-printed suits). Most of us donít need logos on our kits, so I have a feeling that blueseventy will start to see more product in the field as time goes on.
The only oddity with blueseventy seems to be the sizing. In almost every other brand, I wear a medium or medium-tall (@ 6í1Ē, 170lbs). Every wetsuit Iíve owned has been a medium-tall.
In blueseventy apparel, I wear large. Either my scale is lying and Iím gaining weight, or the clothing runs small. If youíre shopping in-person at a retail store, this should be a non-issue; online shoppers beware.
Vision Goggles - $20
Until about a year ago, I had no idea that blueseventy even made goggles. Well, they do. They sent along a pair of the Vision goggles to me, which are meant for open water swimming.
I donít know how blueseventy does it, but their lens does not just make it dark. It looks almost like itís boosting the contrast in your field of vision, similar to what you can do to a picture in photo editing software. The field of vision is wide, and it is very easy to see where youíre going. For someone that is easily disoriented in mass-start swims, I have to think that a good goggle is about the best piece of equipment they can buy.
The potential downside with the Vision is that the nose piece is not adjustable. Personally, I prefer this type of design, and just test-fit in the store. The adjustable nose pieces always seem to be a source of trouble and/or early failure. I donít have eyes that are particularly close together or far apart, and the Visions fit perfectly. If I had a pair with non-mirrored lenses, Iíd use them in the pool in a heartbeat.
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