Though weight-loss and an overall approach to healthy living undoubtedly has long term financial benefits (think health-care), it can be a short term financial burden, as in having to buy new clothes.
About two months ago my bicycling bibs and most of my jerseys had become too loose. So I did some shopping around and choose the Louis Garneau Neo Power Bib and a Lemmon Jersey to go with it.
You can check out the above links to get the skinny on the fabric technology and why LG thinks that theirs is better than the next guy's. To be honest, I think most "legitimate" technical fabrics work as advertised - they stretch, resist odor and/or wick away moisture. So I don't pay too much attention to the science. I do, however, pay attention to fit and comfort.
The bike stuff is great...
The LG cycling stuff is great. The bibs have a great inseam length. The leg bands work perfectly. All the seams are on the outside and flatlocked, so there is no potential for odd abrasions. The chamois pad is the perfect size and thickness, and I haven't had a single issue with any binding or discomfort.
The jersey is just as good. Simply put, it fits well. The pockets are deep. The gripper is just as good as the bib's leg bands. The full length zipper is of very good quality. There are strategically placed mesh panels along the sides to help with airflow. And it's the perfect weight for summer.
So when it came time to replacing my tri-suit a few weeks ago, I went with Garneau because it seemed like a no-brainer. I ordered the Pro Suit so I'd have it for the San Diego race.
The tri-suit is not so great
Unfortunately, the tri-suit wasn't even close to the quality of the cycling clothing. I knew this the minute I put it on. Hell, I knew this the minute I opened the box. I should have just returned it. But I didn't because I was up against the race. I had to hope that some magic transformation would happen when I put it on for real.
No magic happened.
I realize that there are purpose specific differences between cycling and triathlon apparel. But I also know enough about apparel manufacturing to know that there is no need for the specs to be this different. The arm and neck openings don't need to be as tiny as they are. They could have used a better zipper. The leg don't have binders - and as a result the where riding up my legs during the run. And the chamois might as well been emery cloth, that's how bad the irritation was.
Here's what I think it must be like at the Louis Garneau corporate office. When you walk into reception, there is a really long hall to the left and another really long hall to the right. The cycling apparel designers work at the far end of the right hall, and the triathlon apparel designers work at the far end of the left hall. My guess is that they each have their own bathrooms, water coolers and snack machines. Maybe they are not allowed to speak to each other. Maybe they have their own seperate holiday parties. Because there is no way they are working together.
Needless to say I'm a little disappointed. It's odd that Garneau managed to pull off such a 180 between the two product divisions. The bike stuff seems really good. The tri stuff seems really bad.
Just thought I'd put this out there for you guys.