Triathlon Suit or Not?christie_zqx
The first question you may need to answer is whether to invest in a triathlon suit or not. Most high-end triathletes wear a triathlon suit because it offers a one-piece, all-purpose piece of gear that can be worn from the moment you arrive at the race to the post-race cool down. The majority of more recreational racers we observe, however, use a combo that is not as specialized (or expensive) as a triathlon suit.
A good triathlon suit is designed specifically for triathlon, and offers benefits that may help you race faster and be as comfortable as possible. It will be great in the water, providing a skin of sorts that fits well beneath your wetsuit or as your only garment in the water. It will be quick-drying so that by the time you are on the bike, you are dry enough to not chafe – this is very important. It also prevents the need for adding / subtracting clothing at a transition, helping you breeze through to the next leg as quickly as possible.
On the downside, triathlon suits can be expensive, and you can easily do triathlons without them. Furthermore, it is sometimes nice to own clothes that can double as workout clothing, and a tri suit is pretty much a one-purpose garment. We know several people who have done numerous – even dozens – of triathlons without ever owning a single tri suit.