Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Race Belts - a product review of sorts

I will presume that most people who stumble upon this blog are aware of what a race belt is. If not in a few words it's a little elastic belt that holds your race number for the run portion of a duathlon or triathlon. It is a time saver in the sense that it takes less time to grab this and clip it around you than to pin a race number to your shirt mid-race.

Also, everyone at the races has them. It's one of those things that you immediately feel you "need" to have. And they aren't expensive.

I have two. Neither of them is perfect. In fact they each have the same flaw and to be honest I'm perplexed.

My first race belt I picked up for I think $.99 in the sale bin while picking up my race packet. It's made by Zoot and its pink which is sort of my race go to color. The nobbins that hold on the race number are secured by little slip gizmos that have to be completely removed and rethreaded to put your race number on. Then those strings bounce around and scratch you during the run. Ouch! Also the space between them is about 4 inches wider than my race numbers. In other words - it doesn't work. I pinned mine to the racebelt with safety pins. I also only used this belt one time.
Zoot racebelt - fail
At the next race I picked up another race belt. I don't remember what I paid for this maybe $5 - maybe more. They aren't very expensive. This one is by Garneau. It has two fixed snaps for the race numbers. It's black. My brother and I both got one. When we got back to the house we learned that this racebelt also doesn't fit the race number. The snaps are too close to fit the holes in the number and they cannot be adjusted. You have two choices that I know of to make a new whole in the number and snap it or use a safety pin. The bibs are made out of a pretty strong water proof material (think fedex envelope) so I go with the safety pin.
Notice that the number is about 3 inches too wide for the snap.

A close up so you can see the snap and the number or bib extending past.

Lastly my super crafty solution. The safety pin.

What is the "deal-e-o" here? Is this a Miami thing? It's not exclusive to Miami because it also happened to me with my one out of town race: Trinona in Minnesota.

Am I missing something super basic? This happens sometimes so I'm not so superior that I rule that out. Was there some sort of recent revolution in race bib numbers sizing recently so that the race belt sizing just hasn't caught up?

I wonder.

In the grand scheme of things this is not a huge deal but still it seems very silly that nobody has fixed this. I mean I would think that making one of the snaps adjustable would be fairly simple. But I'm not a clothing manufacturer so what do I know.

If there is somebody out there who has answers to this speak up bc I'm curious.

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