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How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka)
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Hey guys,

I’m gearing up for St. George next month and am trying to get my tri suit fit down (first triathlon season for me). I’m 5’8” and 142 pounds, but have broad shoulders for my height, which has always made buying clothes a bit of a challenge.

I picked up two tri suits to start, one from Roka (their Gen II apparel) and one from Pearl Izumi. I know Kiwami, Desoto and Castelli all come highly recommended on here, but ruled them out for one reason or another.

Pearl Izumi suit went right back. Size small felt way too short on me (was pulling down hard on the shoulders) even though I’m smack in the middle of their size chart.

I was hoping to get some advice on the Roka suit. The problem is I’m just not sure how tight the chest / upper body is supposed to feel. I know it’s supposed to be compressive and tight, but the Roka suit feels constricting in the chest (feels like the zipper could pop at any second) and also feels a smidge “short.” Is this how it’s supposed to feel? I’ve read in previous threads that it’ll loosen up a bit in water, but I’m not able to test that without being able to return the suit. I’m wondering if I’d be better served getting a tri top / short combo, even if the size charts indicate this size should be a good fit on me.

Here’s a photo for reference: Updated pictures here.

Any advice / thoughts would be super appreciated. Thanks, fellas.
Last edited by: JonathanNYC: Apr 16, 18 14:52
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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The fit looks good to me. It may even be too "loose" in that it wrinkles at the armpits when you're in aero. I don't swim with my LG M2 zipped up around the shoulders because I find it constricting. I just pull it on in T1.

Coach at TriForce Triathlon Team: https://sellergren.net
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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Do you have a pic in the aero position, how do the shoulders look? I usually unzip the front of my suit on the run to give me a little more room. Otherwise it looks good.
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [EnderWiggan] [ In reply to ]
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Very interesting. I assumed you guys would say that it was too tight, given that it feels a little constricting. Didn’t think about the fact that it could be unzipped a little during the run.

Good point on the aero. I’ll snap a picture in a little bit! Thanks for the help, guys.
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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Tight is good.

Wrinkles = bad.

How does it feel when you run?
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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I definitely size myself to unzip the front a bit on the run. If when you’re standing straight fully zipped it’s a little tight that’s probably about right. Once you’re in the aero position on the bike the tightness sits just right and keeps anything from hanging loose or ballooning. Or at least that’s what works for me.

If you french fry when you should have pizza'd, you're gonna have a bad day...
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
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davejustdave wrote:
Tight is good.

Wrinkles = bad.

How does it feel when you run?

I actually haven't tried to run with it on or do much more than walk around a bit - want to make sure I'm respecting the return policy. :) But I think that it should feel fine on the run if I unzip the front a bit as the other guys suggested!

trihawg wrote:
I definitely size myself to unzip the front a bit on the run. If when you’re standing straight fully zipped it’s a little tight that’s probably about right. Once you’re in the aero position on the bike the tightness sits just right and keeps anything from hanging loose or ballooning. Or at least that’s what works for me.

That's a very fair point. I just hopped on the bike with it on and it does indeed feel much better.

As you guys suggested, I took some photos of what it looks like while on the bike (see here). There's a lot of wrinkling in the sleeves from the front. Keep in mind this is without me adjusting it for the photo - just wearing the suit as I would and getting down into the aero bars.

Not sure if I should rule out this suit based on the wrinkling - what say you guys? Can I realistically expect a better fit by trying out some additional suits? And assuming I found a suit that had less wrinkling, are we talking a 2w advantage here or 10w?

Thanks again for excellent advice!
Last edited by: JonathanNYC: Apr 15, 18 16:41
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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That looks fine. I wouldn't obsess over those few wrinkles. While you don't want the suit to be too tight, it should be a very snug fit, and it'll feel a little looser once the suit is wet from the swim and sweat.

Another issue to test is whether you have the shoulder mobility you want for swimming.
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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I have been struggling with Roka's fit lately. They seem to run a bit small in general. I am a solid M in most things. 5'8" 168-170lbs. I have a Maverick X wetsuit in M and it fits fine. Snug but seems to loosen up in the water. I just bought their shorts and man they are snug. They fit but I feel like maybe I had a few too many twinkies when I put it on.

As far as your fit, it looks like the zipper is pulling down a bit which is creating that V. That is a non-starter for me. So uncomfortable. I fell in love with Kiwami because they separate the top and bottom at the front on their LD Aero one piece. This relieves any of that pulling that I hate so much. To each their own.
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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PM TriBryan from 'Wurf - poor clothing choice thread'
He is an expert on Roka tri suits...
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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OMG Sham..haha..beer out the nose....you rock!

Shambolic wrote:
PM TriBryan from 'Wurf - poor clothing choice thread'
He is an expert on Roka tri suits...
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [EnderWiggan] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you
Does that make you a Castelli and Shambolic fan boy?
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Dude, if you made trisuits I’d did buy one! Probably save me a billion watts.
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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That’s not much wrinkling really. Unless you’re willing to go through TdF levels of clothing fitting, it’s unlikely to get better than that. Keep in mind that you’ll be coming out of the swim and either ripping a wetsuit and/or pulling up and in to the top half. The wetness will likely make it more flexible than it feels dry.

You definitely want to figure out if you feel good wearing it up during the swim or would rather roll it down and pull it up on the way to T1. FWIW, I race in a De Soto Flisuit and it’s plenty flexible for me swimming with it up under a wetsuit. Just don’t show up to race day without having tried it both ways.

If you french fry when you should have pizza'd, you're gonna have a bad day...
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [trihawg] [ In reply to ]
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trihawg wrote:
That’s not much wrinkling really. Unless you’re willing to go through TdF levels of clothing fitting, it’s unlikely to get better than that. Keep in mind that you’ll be coming out of the swim and either ripping a wetsuit and/or pulling up and in to the top half. The wetness will likely make it more flexible than it feels dry.

You definitely want to figure out if you feel good wearing it up during the swim or would rather roll it down and pull it up on the way to T1. FWIW, I race in a De Soto Flisuit and it’s plenty flexible for me swimming with it up under a wetsuit. Just don’t show up to race day without having tried it both ways.
Perfect, I'll keep those tips in mind. For the uninitiated, where exactly does the top sit inside the wetsuit if you roll it down? Do you just bunch it up in the back?
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Re: How is a tri suit supposed to fit? (Roka) [JonathanNYC] [ In reply to ]
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That’s what I do, just make sure the sleeves are right side out, and rolled nicely into the bundle. Haven’t had a problem to date, full disclosure I’m a little slower running to the bike while pulling it up but not by much.
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