Tri-Fit EVO Next Gen – tri-suit reviewed
Tri-Fit’s Next Generation EVO tri-suit was recently awarded the Best On Test (2022) classification from 220-Triathlon. Let’s see if it lives up to that accolade.
This is a gift from the company in exchange for this review, I was researching aero fabrics and went a long way down that rabbit hole before popping out the other end with the Tri-Fit EVO.
Table of Contents (Click to Expand)
I’ve had 3 open water sessions with this, 3 runs and 4 decent bike rides. I was specifically looking for two things a) a comfy run suit and b) something that will make me bike faster on special occasions.
In terms of the performance characteristics here are the results of the bike rides
- Road bike (R5) ride comprising maximal effort of one lap of Richmond Park, London (11km) – with the suit I was maybe 5 seconds faster than a similar non-suited effort. That’s a NON-significant result that could be attributed to other factors. The suit certainly didn’t slow me down
- TT bike (P5) in full race mode comprising a maximal effort of one lap of Richmond Park – This was my best lap for a few years and according to Strava, it was the second-fastest ever (yay!) time in my age category for this starting place. Richmond Park is one of the busiest cycling areas globally according to Strava. The time was over one minute faster than on the R5.
- Road bike (R5) – A 2-hour loop from near where I live to Windsor, I do this loop fast once a month – This was one of my best 3 ever times and I had quite a few traffic hold-ups en-route, so it was pretty good for me.
- RideLondon 2022 – In the end, I decided not to wear the EVO suit as I wasn’t convinced that the rear pockets would hold enough stuff. This decision was later vindicated by some ‘stuff’ falling out.
- The swim times were reflective of my lack of swimming over the last 10 months…let’s not go there. I don’t want to embarrass myself 😉
Results – Analysis
My road bike position is not especially aggressive so I don’t think there is much to say here really. An aero(ish) suit can’t wave a magic wand in an un-aero position. That said there was something surprisingly good about my time on the Windsor loop.
The TT time was obviously good for me and I was pleasantly surprised with it. I had expected to be about 20 seconds slower than what I achieved.
My FTP is a fair bit lower than it was a couple of years ago when my times around Richmond Park were 30 seconds faster than in this TT test, albeit from different starting places. A bit more training this year and trying a bit harder could perhaps get me to within 15 seconds of my absolute best.
Q: What made the difference in the TT?
A: A lot of things!
I have some more serious TTs coming up. I was originally looking for suits that had dimpled fabrics on the shoulders. The TriFit EVO doesn’t have those. It was a tight fit for me (which helps aero) and the fabric is ridged lengthways on the back to aid airflow. I reckon the suit might account for 10 seconds of the improvement I got on the TT bike. It certainly didn’t make me slower than my other tri-suits and was probably faster than the best of my regular cycling tops.
Design Elements & Manufacturer Claims
The manufacturer doesn’t make any specific claims on possible aero gains and they have not put the suit through a wind tunnel test. The suit in no way goes close to replicating a pro’s skin suit. It’s a tri suit.
The possible aero gains from the design come in two places
- The ridged,fabric over the shoulders and down the back
- The rear pockets have side entry which make the construction potentially more aero when riding in a TT position.
The ventilation on the suit was pretty good and I liked the large amount of under-arm ventilation with the ‘holed’ fabric.
The zipped front section can be easily undone to support the call of nature and for more ventilation without coming off at the shoulders.
The pad was comfy enough and on par with other tri suits in the sense that it is nowhere near as comfortable as your Sunday morning cycle shorts or bib shorts.
Contrast Tri-Fit EVO with my Ale Maui Long Tri Suit, below. The EVO has a much tighter, smoother fit whereas the Ale has superior ventilation on the back. Different suits for different days.
Key Features – as stated by Manufacturer
- High-speed aero fabric on the arms, shoulders and back
- Premium Italian fabric on the chest
- Floating aero quick access rear pockets
- 2 x hip gel pockets
- YKK zipper with stop lock & protector
- Full front access
- Laser-cut leg hem
- Printed silicone leg gripper
- High-density foam Italian Elastic Interface chamois pad
- Underarm ventilation
Constructed from hand-picked Italian and German fabrics ensuring the greatest possible compression, flexibility, breathability, and aerodynamics, whilst also providing comfort and quick-drying properties, the TRI-FIT EVO feels and performs the way you’d expect a TRI-FIT Triathlon suit to.
The only issue I had was with the pockets. The side access to the pockets is VERY handy and easy to reach into. The pockets are bigger than they, at first, seemed. As you can see in the images above I could just about squeeze in an iPhone SE (my burner phone 😉 ), a windcheater and 5 or so gels. On other rides, I whapped some keys and a pump in there but when there was LESS stuff in the pockets that’s when I lost a couple of gels. For a short triathlon that’s no big deal but I’d be a bit more nervous about losing gels on a 70.3 where the consequences are more significant. (Yes I do have on-bike stahes too)
I like the suit and will use it on sprint and standard tri’s/duathlons unless it’s super hot. Maybe I’ll use it for TT-like efforts too?
Said negatively, “I doubt this will make you slower” and tentatively I would conclude that the Tri-Fit EVO Next Gen is a bit faster than my other tri suits when cycling.
Update Aug 2023: This remains my favourite tri-suit for going fast. It seems faster
Price: £195, women’s version also available.
Manufacturer Link: tri-fitathletic.com
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