Whether you’re trying triathlon for the first time or you’re a seasoned professional, owning a comfortable triathlon suit is essential. This key piece of kit is undoubtedly faster than the alternative of changing what you’re wearing in transition.
Triathlon is an expensive sport with lots you can invest your hard-earned pennies in – however, a tri suit should always be your first port of call.
Finding the best one isn’t easy, so the founders of TRI-FIT took things into their own hands by designing a completely new suit that pushed the boundaries of triathlon gear. Today, they’re a huge success with their double award winning EVO tri suit.
Leanne Kelsall caught up with Dan Evans, co-founder of TRI-FIT (alongside Simon Bennett), to hear the brand’s story and find out exactly what sets them apart.
Luxurious Magazine: How did you come up with the idea of launching TRI-FIT?
Dan Evans: TRI-FIT has had two launches, to be honest. The first was as a strength and conditioning group fitness facility on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The second was as a clothing brand.
Simon first started TRI-FIT in Manly, Sydney, after spotting that there was an increasing number of endurance athletes turning to strength and conditioning to improve performance and limit injuries. TRI-FIT gained an enviable reputation as a top-level fitness facility; however, Simon quickly realised that he was the glue that kept it all going, and it wasn’t so much the gym that people wanted, but it was him as a coach and guide through their fitness journey. It put massive pressure on Simon’s time. So much so that he decided to sell the gym but keep the TRI-FIT brand to be used later, as he knew triathlon was a sport that was on the up.
A couple of years passed, and after a few conversations with me, TRI-FIT, the premium triathlon clothing brand, was born. The initial conversations started after I had completed my first few triathlons, including Ironman Dubai 70.3. At the time, I was wearing what was regarded as the best triathlon suit on the market; however, I hated it and thought that I could do better. This led to the resurrection of the TRI-FIT brand with the release of our first product, the TRI-FIT EVO, and this high-performance suit has been the cornerstone of our offering ever since, scooping 220 Triathlon Best on Test 3 years running!
The idea with TRI-FIT is to produce top end, premium triathlon clothing using the latest cutting-edge technology and fabrics sourced from around the world. Clean, modern design, coupled with functionality and race winning performance. Triathletes wear different brands for swimming, cycling, running, training and racing because there isn’t a brand that makes top level products for all these sports. We aim to change that and be that brand.
LM: What are your favourite pieces from the TRI-FIT range and why?
Dan: That’s a tough question as I am so heavily invested in each garment we have produced. I have to say my favourite piece will always be the TRI-FIT EVO triathlon suit. This was our first item, I designed it with my daughter’s crayons in frustration after a race at what was available in the market, and the name “EVO” has been my nickname for as long as I can remember. It has won multiple awards, plus scored Ironman Pro Victories and will always be the suit that made us the brand we are today!
LM: What sets TRI-FIT apart from other brands that create cycling and triathlon gear?
Dan: A few key things set us apart from other brands. Our 1% for the Planet membership is the first thing to mention. This is very important to us as a brand. We are by no means perfect; however, we realise the importance of trying to create a better world for our children, and this is something we will always strive to do.
We also don’t just make products for the sake of making products. Every single one of the products that we sell is high performance, well thought through, meticulously designed and a premium product. That is all the way from our range topping GEO tri suit to our Performance Socks. We see a lot of companies now just slapping logos on substandard products just to try and make a few quid; that’s not us.
We are also in the unique position that the business is split between Australia and the UK; this gives us the enviable position to be able to develop and test our items in a wide range of environments all year round.
Lastly, I would say that because we don’t come from a cycling or triathlon background, this gives us the ability to think outside the box and create products with a fresh set of eyes. For example, the side access floating pocket on our EVO tri suit, the leg pockets on our EVO and LIBERTY, or the double layer pocket on our SYKL PRO Jersey. These are all things that companies were not doing until we did them, and they came from a fresh view of what was needed in these types of garments.
LM: You say your brand values are: Strength, Energy and Performance. Can you explain how these translate into the apparel you design?
Dan: Strength, Endurance and Performance was something that we carried over from when TRI-FIT was a fitness facility. We always loved these keywords and how they resonated with triathlon, and we keep them at the forefront of our minds when designing all our products. If our key products don’t assist you in one of these key areas, then they won’t get made.
For example, endurance is key to a triathlete who likes to race in longer distances. However, we found that companies were not designing products to assist athletes for these distances.
Firstly, suits were very hard to get in and out of for toilet stops; we solved this with the front access opening. Then gel storage and nutrition access, essential for longer distances, was seen as an issue for many, so we put mesh leg pockets on our EVO and LIBERTY tri suits, which people love, which help athletes go for longer, thus adding Endurance.
LM: How and where are your products manufactured?
Dan: I’m very happy to answer this question, and the answer may open a few people’s eyes.
All our garments are produced in China. When we were looking at different factories in various locations across the world, there were a few criteria that we needed. High level of worker skill, the ability to apply the technology required to produce the level of garments we wanted, companies that look after their workforce and take pride in their work, a factory that we could grow with and a factory that had the ability to produce more than one range of garments.
Producing in China carries a lot of stigmas; however, the factories that we work with, and have personally visited, are unrivalled in their size, technology and skill sets. I am not going to sit here and say price doesn’t come into it, as it does, but we still use the finest fabrics from Italy, Germany and other countries and produce high-level products.
These are not cheap products we are producing, so we always have to be confident our factories can produce to the level required. At the end of the day, it is our reputation on the line with these products and that is something we take very seriously.
LM: Finally, if you had one piece of advice for a newbie triathlete or endurance athlete, what would it be?
Dan: My first bit of advice would be to visit our website and kit yourself out in our award-winning products, but after that, it is such a cliché, but just have fun. Triathlon and endurance-based sports are so tough; you will very quickly lose interest if you don’t have fun.
As a whole, triathlon is a very inclusive and positive sport to be involved in; you will meet people that are going after their goals and achieving them, plus doing it with a smile (sometimes a grimace) on their faces, and that is what it is all about.
Putting the effort in, trying your best, achieving your goals, and doing it all with a positive outlook and a smile on your face.
TRI-FIT Premium Triathlon Clothing – Where and How?
You’ll find all the pieces in the current triathlon range at https://tri-fitathletic.co.uk/, where you can purchase them too. There’s also swimming and cycling clothing.
Read more exclusive interviews here.