I am new to the club and am looking to get club tri shorts and a tri top to race in next year but was wondering if there was some way/place to try stuff on to see how it fits. Is there any local shop that carries the gear (or at least the brand) so you can see how it fits before ordering? Also interested to know if there is much difference in padding between the tri short and the long distance tri shorts.
Unfortunately, no places around here (that I know of) carry Champion Systems stuff. The club gets samples from CS at times for members to try on, maybe once a year or so. We had some samples earlier this year. Maybe again soon? This was our thread on the matter:
I bought a bunch of stuff from them, so I'll try to help you out.
To give you a frame of reference, I'm 5'8", 32" waist, broad shoulders/chest. Here's what I wear comfortably:
Tri top: Medium (fits very snug, even in the water - a large has a LOT of drag in the water as the material stretches out a lot). Fits well.
Cycling Jersey (long sleeve): Large. Fit is okay.
Tri shorts (Regular and distance): Medium
*note: both have the exact same chamois. It's decently comfortable. Shorts are fairly comfortable overall.
Cycling shorts (bibs): Medium - however a large may be a little more comfortable for larger thighs or over tights in the winter. Really not the most comfortable, but satisfactory for rides. Maybe I need a large.
Running singlet: Large, though I probably could go for a medium. There's a little more in the stomach than I'd prefer, but fits the upper body well.
The product descriptions on the CS website leave a lot to be desired. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions, as it would be a pretty pricey mistake.
If you're larger than me, I have an older jersey, size Large, that I can sell you on the cheap, as well as a Large "distance tri top" in the new style and colour - wore in a race, but a little big for me.
Good rundown by Trevor.
We'll probably get our hands on the Champion System sizing kit again early next year, in preparation for our offline club gear order. Stay tuned...