Friday, January 19, 2018

Gear Reviews

On Cloudracer

IN DEPTH: On Cloudracer

On is a relatively new name in running shoes. However, a single glance shows that they are not just another trainer-clone, but are based on a different approach to how the foot strikes and then pushes off from the ground.

Put simply, the trainers have lugs on the bottom of the sole that are designed to deform on impact with the ground. Sounds similar to systems like those of K-Swiss and their blades? Well, yes and no.

The lugs – or as On calls them, CloudTec Elements, are designed to first deform (thus cushioning the vertical impact and also providing a more gentle horizontal deceleration) but then ‘teeth’ on the insides of the lugs lock, giving a more powerful push off forwards (think about it, without the teeth, you would lose energy as the lugs deformed in both directions from the strike to the push).

110% Play Harder compression & ice

Compression gear for post-race or training recovery is nothing new. The likes of 2XU, Skins, Compressport and others have been adorning the legs of triathletes for a number of years now.  I admit I’m a bit of a walking contradiction – I’m open about not being totally convinced by the claimed benefits of compression, yet I own several types of compression wear, from calf guards to full tights.

Zone3 Vanquish

The Zone3 brand was started at Loughborough University by elite triathlete, James Locke. Since 2008, it has developed a growing range of tri-related apparel including wetsuits and tri suits.

I was keen to try a Zone3 wetsuit as I had heard good things about them and I was looking for a new suit that would suit my particular style of swimming (good powerful upper body, but heavy and largely ineffective legs).  On paper, the Zone3 Vanquish seems to fit the bill – a super-flexible shoulder area, thicker ‘aerodrome’ impregnated neoprene on the legs, 3D forearm catch panels to help with pull etc.

Drip Drop Sport

When it comes to choosing a sports drink to prepare you for, and sustain you through, a race or hard training session there’s certainly no shortage of choice! The chances are that, like me, you’ve tried many different offerings from a wide variety of producers.

A new entrant to the UK market is Drip Drop Sport (also available in the US as Drip Drop) which claims to be somewhat different to other solutions.  The powder was originally developed as an ‘Oral Rehydration System’ for famine-ravaged countries but has recently made the jump across to the endurance sports market.

Lake TX312 Tri Bike Shoes

For most of us, the bike leg of our first triathlon or duathlon is raced either wearing trainers or perhaps if you’re an experienced cyclist, a pair of road cycling shoes.  And doing that we learn a valuable lesson – triathlon-specific bike shoes are a real time-saver!

If you know all about triathlon-specific bike shoes, skip ahead. If not, here’s a quick description of the key differences.  First and foremost, triathlon bike shoes generally have just one main fastening, making them quicker to get on and off, whether pre-clipped onto the bike pedals or donned when off the bike.  Second, they usually have more ventilation than most cycling shoes, as they are designed for warm weather racing where your feet are wet from the swim.

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