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Zone 3 Aeroforce-X
Zone 3 and Nopinz have teamed up to produce a nice piece of triathlon kit that might save you 4.1watts or increase your speed by up to 0.3kph. They have had their claims validated and tested by Aerocoach at the Boardman Performance Centre to back this up.
I was really struggling on my bike the other day. OK, I was tired and I also had my Nike running T-shirt on for a swift 10k run when I got back home. As my Tee was flapping about in the wind my thoughts turned to aero, as they occasionally do on a meditative cycle. I remembered those golfball-like dimpled aero bike helmets and wondered why no-one had applied a similar principle to trisuits. Maybe someone has? as I certainly remember seeing a similar principle applied to a wetsuit a couple of years back (Blueseventy??).
A bit of googling when I got home found that a TT “skinsuit is 21 to 28 seconds faster on a 25-mile-time trial when travelling at around 25mph.” OK, unlike a trisuit, the skinsuit is moulded to your body and, IIRC, also assumes you are in an aero position ie standing up in it is tricky ie running in it just ain’t gonna happen.
Source: Cycling Weekly
Yet surely you could apply a similar principle to tri suits to get at least a part of that aero advantage?
I then thought of my mate who, like me, is a perennial age group triathlete who also has repeatedly failed to sneak a decent medal somewhere. Actually, he’s a good swimmer and I remember him buying a job lot of those swimsuits that were used to break all the Olympic pool records but which are now illegal. It may have been a Speedo LZR (more info: Scientific American) and you can still use them…you just can’t buy them. Anyway, he still uses them now for pool aquathlons and even for shorter triathlons in warm water when wetsuits are banned. Unlike his preparation for warm lakes, I just recall my total lack of preparation in 2018 when I racked up for my first-ever NON-wetsuit HIM which came as a total shock and I was 100% unprepared for it, rather than having the right kit I was just grateful that I actually completed the swim without drowning..bizarrely I’d never swum that far, non-stop, before WITHOUT a wetsuit…not even in a pool.
Hey, you know where I’m going with this. You know that Zone3 make wetsuits and tri suits. Let’s cut to the chase.
Zone3 Aeroforce-X Tech Details
The Zone3 trisuits that may make you faster have
- Aerostrips – aerodynamic, stretch side panels
- 3D Dimple Tech – Reduces pressure drag by disrupting airflow
- AquaZero – water-repellant coating to reduce drag when swimming
- ColdBack Tech – Temperature regulation and spf50 sun protection
and here’s what they look like.
I’ve pulled some of the data and charts from the test results. Here’s a good one, which is self-explanatory ie it’s just about the quickest and with less variability at differeing speeds.
Or if you like numbers, try this table
This is going to be one of those innovations that at least “can’t hurt“.Except in your pocket.
Whether or not you can save those 4w might depend on just how efficient your TT position currently is. Or it might be the case that it saves even more on an inefficient position, IDK. Despite some scepticism, it all sounds highly plausible to me. If I had one, I’d probably wear it outside of triathlon for my annual TT and for my efforts around Richmond Park, if it gave me 15 seconds I’d be happy as it is REALLY hard to otherwise go 15 seconds a lap faster.
I understand that there are standard-sized models and bespoke ones. A good fit is probably a great place to start.
It’s not cheap at $400 for a stock size or $550 for custom. I guess you can easily pay £100/$150 for a trisuit.