Backed by the might of Wiggle, in-house brand dhb’s range of tri-suits has always been, for us, a solid and affordable (if uninspiring) choice for race day. That’s all changed for 2017 with the launch of their stylish new Blok and Classic tri range aimed at ‘intermediate triathletes’, comprising vested, two-piece and dhb’s first sleeved tri-suits.
The Blok Short Sleeve (£76) has continually impressed us on dry land and even in the pool. Clear attention to detail is evident. We get the sense these suits have been designed and tested by people that actually do triathlon. There’s a full-length zip guard to stop the zip rubbing on the chest, something oddly neglected by many brands. The thin silicon leg grippers are something we’d expect on suits twice this price (see the Sailfish Attack), keeping the legs securely in place but not restrictively.
We’ve seen plenty of unsuccessful experimentation with pocket shapes and positions but the Blok keeps things simple and reliable, with two well-positioned lower back pockets on the left and right that are smartly sized for energy gels, chews and bars, and are easy to access.
The 13cm-wide perforated pad, meanwhile, is quick to dry after the swim leg and achieves the balance of bike comfort for short-course racing while remaining invisible on the run leg. Ventilation is provided by a smartly-placed panel that runs the length of the spine. And there are plenty of additional flourishes on show, including the striking aesthetics and the Xtra Life Lycra that’s resistant to suncream and chlorine damage. We could give or take the slight compressive properties in the thighs, however.
The two-piece Blok Short Sleeve Top (£45) and Classic Tri Shorts (£42), on the far right, offer many of the same benefits as the all-in-one version. The top stayed low thanks to the internal silicon hem, the drawstring waist keeps the shorts in place and the rear pockets are just about big enough for drink tabs, coins and a key.
Our major issue for the shorts comes in the slender pad, which is used across the whole new line. Two-piece suits, for us, are for long-course convenience and comfort, yet we personally wouldn’t want to race longer than 40km in these and even dhb themselves market these for Olympic-distance racing.
They did, however, reveal that a new Aeron Tri Suit is arriving next season aimed at long-distance triathletes. And if it matches the style, affordability, performance and smartly-crafted features of 2017’s Blok and Classic range, we’ll be snapping one up.
Verdict: Comfy, easy on the wallet and eyes. A major statement of intent from dhb 92%
Buy from www.wiggle.co.uk