By Tom Demerly for TriSports.com.
Blueseventy’s TX2000 trisuit shows what happens when an aquatic based brand segues into all-event triathlon apparel. The result is a strong offering in a one-piece trisuit especially for non-wetsuit legal swims when you are swimming in just a trisuit.
Blueseventy got their start in 1993 as a swim company rooted in triathlon. Their primary product category was- and remains- wetsuits and swim skins. The brand got a huge bump with the emergence of the swim skin, a hydrodynamic one piece swim suit for men and women that improves swim speed. Top Olympians and Kona Ironman competitors who aren’t allowed to wear buoyant neoprene wetsuits have used Blueseventy swimskins with success. Blueseventy’s movement into all-event triathlon apparel seemed like a natural evolution for the brand.
A factor that set Blueseventy apart in the early swimskin and wetsuit days was well conceived design. Because they are a swim company at their core (the name “Blueseventy” refers to 70% of the the earth being covered in water) their designs usually include a swim emphasis. The TX2000 trisuit is no exception. Even with the swim emphasis the TX2000 has very impressive dry land run and bike features.
The Blueseventy TX2000 starts with gossamer weight 210 gm per square meter UVX fabric. The four way stretch fabric was completely opaque on our testers, even fair skinned models wearing dark colors in bright sunlight. You can’t see through the fabric when wet and stretched. Part of the reason for the great modesty characteristics is a fabric process called “calendaring”. Blueseventy passes the fabric through a series of heavy cylinder presses, or “calendars”. This calendar pressing flattens the polymer/synthetic based fibers increasing the effective density of the fabric and pressing fibers together. Another benefit of calendared fabric is less water absorption and better hydrodynamics in the swim and improved aerodynamics on the bike.
Calendaring does make a given fabric less vapor permeable, so it does breath less. Blueseventy countered this by arranging stretch mesh panels in the back to facilitate cooling and using Schoeller Coldblack fabric finish. Coldblack by Schoeller is a breakthrough in temperature control for fabrics. It reflects infra-red radiation and produces a claimed 5 degree Celsius (9 degree Fahrenheit) reduction in skin temperature under the garment. We’ve tested Schoeller Coldblack in Louis Garneau triathlon apparel in the Tucson, Arizona desert with a noticeable reduction in our perceived heat level on very hot (100 degree Fahrenheit+) days.
Another holdover from Blueseventy’s swimskins in the TX2000 trisuit is incredible fit. The fabric has remarkable 700% elongation meaning it can stretch and fit precisely. This skin-tight fit improves swim performance but is also a significant benefit in aerodynamics on the bike. The women’s version has enough support for braless use up to a “C” cup and features a secure feeling racer back design also borrowed from Blueseventy’s swim legacy.
Seams on the Blueseventy TX2000 are oriented along the length of the body, not horizontally, for better hydrodynamics in the swim and better aerodynamics on the bike. A striking feature is the complete lack of seams running across the front of the body. This not only improves swim and bike performance it feels better running and looks more sleek. Blueseventy built two swimmable, hydrodynamic cargo pockets into the back of the suit. The pockets placed over the kidney area have reflective trim fulfilling the reflective requirement some ultra-distance races have. A stretch flap covers the top of the pockets to prevent trapping water when swimming but makes for easy access to pocket contents on the bike or run. Blueseventy mentions the pockets have “triple pocket orientation” which we found curious since there are only two pockets. Perhaps this refers to their excellent design across all three events.
Blueseventy built a stretch, endurance pad into the saddle area of the suit that is quick drying and features a narrow contour in the forward portion to avoid feeling the pad during the run. This molded, seamless pad offers plenty of comfort and protection for Ironman distance bike rides if your bike position is good and you are saddle acclimated. The pad absolutely vanishes on the run.
Leg length on this suit is 12″ (30.5 centimeters) on a size medium measured from the center of the crotch to the bottom of the leg. The leg openings use minimal grippers in the form of dots. Our male photoshoot model did not have shaved legs (see our photos) and we had no issues with hair pulling or the legs not staying in place.
The entire suit uses different stretch densities for graduated compression but has forgiving leg openings that don’t bind or constrict. The back panel uses Velo Mesh four way stretch mesh for ventilation. The men’s suit uses a 10″ (25.5 cm) front zipper and has a draft flap behind it to reduce water entry, prevent it from pulling hair when zipped up or down and features a soft YKK polymer pull tab that does not rattle when running and won’t poke your neck or helmet chinstrap on the bike- a thoughtful detail from Blueseventy. The women’s suit uses a high, hydrodynamic and aerodynamic neck design to prevent the front of the suit from scooping water in the swim and air on the bike in the aero position. The larger bust a triathlete has the more benefit so this is a thoughtful detail on the women’s version that also adds to support.
At $170 MSRP the Blueseventy TX2000 competes with a number of high end trisuits but has a strong feature list including the hydrodynamic/aerodynamic seam orientation, Schoeller Coldblack fabric cooling treatment, calendared fabric finish, thoughtful zipper details, good pocket design, high end saddle pad and sleek precise fit. This is a strong option for triathletes who do occasional races where wetsuits are not allowed in the swim. It isn’t as fast as Blueseventy’s swim-specific “swim skins” but it incorporates many of the design elements in an all-event trisuit that is less expensive and you don’t lose time removing it in T1. This is a strong choice for distances from sprint to Ironman and is a versatile one-piece wardrobe you’ll appreciate race after race.