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For this Cyclist, Kit Happens

k-swiss tri gear


I’ve mentioned before that I’m a not what you’d call a serious cyclist. I don’t clip my shoes into my pedals, I get scared riding on the road, and, on more than one occasion, I’ve totally pointed and laughed at my friends’ Serious Cycling Outfits.

I mean, come on. They’re often obnoxiously colored and covered in logos, which I don’t even particularly like when it comes to expensive purses, let alone cycling clothes. They’re skin tight, which makes sense, but isn’t necessarily everyone’s best look. And there’s butt padding. Helpful and comfortable, sure, but it’s a bit like wearing an oversized maxi pad.

However, K-Swiss asked me if I’d like to try out some clothes from its triathlon line, to which I said, “Of course!” Training clothes don’t come cheap (each piece runs about $50 to $100), and I’d just picked up a super cute K-Swiss tri top at a race expo, so they were already at the top of my list. What I tried out, though, was nothing like my cute top. What I tried out was bright (red, white and blue), covered in the K-Swiss logo and very much like what my friends have been wearing when I’ve laughed at them.

But then, kit happened. I did not see this one coming. I tried out the full bike kit—bra, top and bike shorts. I loved it. I loved the way the top covered me comfortably without riding up during a bike ride. The short stayed in place and the padding protected my lady bits. And the bra…well, the bra did what a sports bra is supposed to do. Everything remained in place through a bike-to-run brick in what must’ve been 163 percent humidity.

I still don’t love that it’s covered in logos (although you can also get the full bike kit in the colors/flags of many different countries, too)—I feel like, if I wore it to a race, people would wonder if I was a sponsored athlete or something, and, well, I’m not. I think the light blue and white is a really pretty, less showy option, but I tend to shy away from such light colors for workout gear.

In terms of performance, however, I’m honestly in love. I’ll be sporting those shorts and the jersey for my next bike ride, and the next, and the next. I just might not plan to stop anywhere for lunch on the way home without changing until they start making tri gear that meshes a little better with my stylish sensibilities.

Have you ever succumbed to a fitness fashion you’d previously despised? —Kristen

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  1. Suzanne says:

    I’ve hated spandex shorts since high school when they tried to make us wear it on the volleyball team. A few months ago I broke down and bought a pair that’s a mid-length short and I loooove them. I don’t know how I ever ran in anything but them before. Good lesson in not judging clothes by their appearance!

  2. I am totally comfy in my Lululemon gear, but must wear kits for work at times (@RealRyder). I think the world of sporting is catching up with creating fits that work for women, but still has work to go. One of my favorites – although on the pricier side (I catch the sales) – is the Stella McCartney Adidas collaboration. She makes great pieces in terms of functionality and style. Two things I refuse to compromise on as an active woman.

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