The TYR Tracer Light cost me $344.00 out the door. It was not a gift, a loaner, nor a sample. I paid for it, I own it and I am glad I bought it.
- I set two personal bests out of three individual swims; (the 50-free and the 100-free. In the 800-free relay I swam near my best 200-free time.)
- The suit is remarkably light as in lightweight.
- Good swim technique maximizes your results GREATLY!
- Unlike the Chloroprene suits, it is best raced when dry - I like that.
- The craftsmanship is evident upon inspection
- Easier to put on than a LZR , it still takes 10 minutes to fit into it well
- Sizing is critical - TYR sizes are accurate so size down at your own risk!
- For $344.00 it needs a case or at least a special, mesh, protective "baggy" like a good set of swim goggles provide but then again, does any speedsuit come with a case?
The bottom line with a speedsuit is that you must swim faster. If you are still swimming the same times you were prior to any speedsuit purchase, then you better, at the very least, look like a snappy dresser because that is a lot of money to spend on no results.
The verdict is in and I did swim faster right out of the box as they say.
I swam five events at the 2008 SPMA Short Course Meters Championships; two of the events were relays.
I set the personal bests in the 50-free and the 100-free. In the 800-free relay I swam a second best time.
My Short Course Meters 50-Free Time Progression:
28.54 Tracer Light
29.01 Nike Hydra
29.09 Nike Hydra
29.17 Nike Hydra
29.40 TYR Fusion Briefs
29.55 TYR Fusion Briefs
29.72 Speedo Fastskin Leggings
These times are listed in the USMS database if you want to validate them.
The suit is lightweight
I took my Nike Hydra and my Tracer Light to the post office to weigh them. I was going to take a photo but post 9/11 the public service sector is a bit irrational when it comes to photographing objects and/or locations such as the post office. We live in a very fearful country. That is why we out spend all of your countries combined when it comes to defense. (Can you tell I am mad that I could not use my camera in a post office?)
The Nike Hydra is the lightest suit I have ever worn, it weighed in at 8.5 ounces. The Tracer Light came in at a meager 6.9 ounces! That's almost 20% lighter than the Hydra.
Good swim technique in a Tracer Light maximizes your results GREATLY!
During the 800-free relay, I never really nailed my turns on the "odd numbered" walls. Those who have swam short course meters at the Belmont Plaza know why. Since the pool uses a bulkhead system, you pass a "T" at the 25-yard mark, swim up to the next "T" at the 25-meter mark. Then there is a third line which probably represents the half way mark in the pool and consequently one's timing, or an idiot like myself, will produce sketchy turns in a pool like that.
When I would nail my turns on "even numbered" walls, I felt like a needle when I went into my streamline position. (It doesn't mean I looked like a needle but rather I felt like one.) When I would pull off a sloppy my turn, I got no advantage from the suit whatsoever. I felt the same way I do in workout when someone is directly behind you and you are trying to be polite and get out of their way.
When my catch was strong during the first 100-meters of that 200-free, the Tracer Light gave me the same sensation I feel when I shave down. I feel more efficient in the water and that the effort of my catch is delivering.
With that said there was that second half of the race: During the last 10-meters of the race my quads, forearms, and triceps felt like that were filling up with "battery acid." I was fighting hard trying to keep them from going spastic. During these 10-meters the Tracer Light gave me no advantage whatsoever. It only delivered the same momentum that I was putting out. In other words it wasn't magic.
The Tracer Light will allow you to maximize the momentum that you have the ability to create; it will do nothing more. It will allow the swimmer to express their true abilities, not give them super powers or an advantage
Race the suit dry!
I like that! I like coming to the blocks dry and my muscles warm. That is why the blueseventy was off my radar. That suit races best when wet whereas the Tracer Light is hydrophobic and the drier it is the longer it will stay that way when submerged. I know that what I said just now seems like an oxymoron but the suit repels water for minutes at a time. It almost feels like you are surrounded by oxygen.
The stitching looks like a robot sewed it. The seams feel solid and way better sewn than any wetsuit I have owned.
Don't size down!
TYR is religiously accurate with their sizes. I got my correct size and it is tight. I spend 10-minutes putting on the bottom half then I walk around a bit to warm up the material. Then I spend 5 minutes putting on the top. Never once did I feel I was going to rip it but when I pull on the fabric I would be sure to pull on the seams since they look so strong and durable.
The Tracer light comes in a box and that's it. When I take it off I feel like I am looking at $344 artifact or more accurately a fabric that is more than a days pay, hence, I don't want to place it loose in my bag.
So here is what I would do, I would put it in zip lock baggy and then lay it out to dry when I got home. You would think speedsuit manufacturers would hook you up with a mesh bag or something to keep it warm and safe. It' not like it's a disposable diaper or something and I want this little puppy to last me till next Fall!