I am looking into going into triathlons and I was wondering wearing a trisuit improves your performance in triathlon.
I would suspect the primary benefit is time saved in transition. Usually shirts are required in races, so after the swim you have to do something to cover up. (I suppose you could wear stuff under a wetsuit, but I do not use wetsuits).
If you do not have to change anything in transition it can help. Other than that, I suspect it is comfort.
One of the advantages comes in the swimming leg. Depending on the quality of the suit, it may have less drag in the water than the normal human body, theoretically increasing your speed. Many high-end suits advertise this advantage: http://www.trisports.com/trspsu.html
As for disadvantages, I don't see many.
I'd sum this one up as it's an advantage if it saves you time, and it's a disadvantage if it doesn't:
- If you're uncomfortable and it rides up or leaves you constantly adjusting the fabric, then it's going to affect your times on the bike and the run even if it saves you time getting changed in the transition.
- If you are comfortable in it, then you don't have to waste time changing clothes in transition and you're probably wearing a well fitting suit that will result in less drag so you'll be a bit faster.
All my experience is in warm sub-tropics so NO WETSUIt swims. I imagine I'd stick with just tri shorts for wetsuit swims anyway but a tri suit under the wetsuit is sure to have some advantages.
Adv - don't have to put on a T-shirt or singlet after the swim - this takes me 3 secs and while many quibble over 3 seconds in transition I find the 3 secs gives me time to get my breath back after the swim hell.
Disadv - why part with $80 - $160 for something you wear a couple of times a year.
6 years ago, very few people were wearing tri suits. I have recently returned to the sport and think out of 60 in my age group, I and one other are not in tri suits.
Just remember, this industry is all built around money..... tt bikes, tri suits, gu's are a marketer's dreams.