I have been pretty excited since Stacey Miller first told me about Coeur Sports in August.   Coeur, which is French for heart (yes I have a thing for companies with French names, see e.g. Oiselle)  is owned/designed by Kebby Holden, who is well known for her work with other female-centric triathlon clothing companies.  Coeur officially launched at Interbike last week and my pre-ordered kit (triathlon top and triathlon shorts) arrived yesterday.  I know lots of people where really curious about Coeur, so I thought I’d do a review and let people know what I thought. 

ETA – Several people have asked about sizes and measurements.  I ordered both the top and bottoms in Large (which is my “normal” size right now).  Here are my current measurements:

Height – 5′ 8″
Inseam – 33″
Under Bust – 34″
Over Bust – 35.5″
Waist – 32″
Hips – 43″ (I am extremely “hippy”)
Sternum to Belly Button – 14.5″

The Shorts

The shorts are super soft.  They may be the softest tri shorts I’ve ever felt.  They’re made of a front panel, a chamois panel (more on that later), two side panels, a double back panel and a yoga waistband with no draw string.  The double lined back panel is really nice because they stay opaque even in a bright color like red.  The yoga waist hits just below the belly button (take a look at he lovely bathroom mirror selfie below to get  better idea) and narrows in to the waist, which means the shorts stay up and stay secure (I really appreciated this when I got back from running and REALLY had to go to the bathroom.  It was nice not to have to fumble with a knot).

The best part of the shorts has to be the chamois panel. Rather than use a chamois pad that inevitably causes friction/ingrown hairs/saddle sores where the leg and pelvis meet the chamois panel goes all the way down the leg of the short.  It feels absolutely awesome.  Plus the fleece on the panel is light and soft.  Its like crossing really good bike bib shorts with tri shorts.  All of the protections, none of the bulk.

The shorts also feature three small back pockets that are big enough to stash gels or chews and secure enough that the gels / chews do not bounce. The shorts themsleves are mid length and passed the fingertip test (when I put my arms at my sides they cover up my legs down to the tips of my fingers). ETA – I measured and the inseam on the shorts in 7.5″.  They provided ample leg coverage for me (as you can see from the full length pictures).  

The Top

The top is a racerback with accent side panels and a mesh back panel to help with cooling.  There is a built in shelf bra that I found to be more compressive / structured than most built in shelf bras.  While I found the shorts to be true to size (or maybe run a tad bit big) I found the top to be a little on the small side.  I like tight / compressive tops, I think it has to do with squeezing into competition swim suits for years, but if you don’t like tight, you make want to size up. ETA – I measured the top and it is 21″ from the neck line to the bottom and provides full coverage in the back and front. 

The top also have two pockets (yes, there are lots of pockets on both the shorts and top) which were a little bigger than the shorts pockets and tight enough not to bounce.

The Test

I wanted to give the top and shorts as good of a test as possible so I decdied to wear them for my 1:15 bike (on the trainer) / :40 minute T run this morning.  I still want to try them out for a long trainer bike but that will have to wait until next week. ETA – I used them to a 3:30 trainer ride. Normally I do trainer rides in bib shorts as the extra padding makes it more comfortable.  3:30 on the trainer went by without any issues and no need to change shorts or re-lube.  I was really happy with how good the shorts felt over the long ride.  

The shorts were awesome on the bike (I did lube them up with DZ Nuts Bliss chamois cream). They stayed put (no riding up of the legs, no wedgies and no hot spots). I absolutely loved the chamois panel, soft, no chafing and it did not get too hot. If fact it felt like nothing, which is exactly how it should feel. Getting off of the bike there was no adjusting needed on the shorts, no hiking of the waste, no picking of a wedgie and no need to pull down the legs. The are comfortable enough that you could even use them as lounge shorts.

The top also worked really well on the bike. Its long so even while in aero position it fully covered my back (no strange tan lines on the bottom of the back). For reference I am 5′ 8″ and not small so there is a decent amount of space to cover.

Everything also worked really well on the run (it was cold out so I did throw a long sleeve shirt over the tri top).  Shorts stayed perfectly in place, no adjustments needed (I still can’t get over how well fitting they are and I am not an easy body type to fit — smaller at the waist, very hippy and a bubble butt).  The bra on the top worked really well, no bouncing whatsoever (I am a B cup so those blessed with large chests may still need additional support).  Although it probably had noting to do with the kit my run this morning was my fastest training run since foot surgery in August. 

Altogether I found only two small drawbacks with the kit.  First the bra in the top and my heart rate strap did not get along and I did have some heart rate strap chaffing.  I’m pretty sure some body glide and better placement can alleviate this issue.  Second the Coeur label on the shorts and top is screened, not sublimated.  I’m a little worried that the screening may crack with repeated wearing and washing, but overall its not a big deal.  I’m just really excited about the kit and I think I’ve found what I will be wearing at Ironman Florida in November. 

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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / witsup.com writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05


Kristen L · September 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Nice review! I’ve officially decided I need to earn some extra cash to buy one of these tri kits. Or maybe one of everything….all the outfits look awesome! 🙂

Amanda · October 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Great, honest and helpful review! I love love love their line so this is awesome to see how it fits. Thank you so much for posting.

Leana · March 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Perfect review, thank you Kelly! I’ve been having issues with a hot spot with pretty well all of my bike shorts lately. I don’t know if the padding is just bugging me all of a sudden or if they are bagging out a little not fitting so well. My tri shorts seem to do a bit better, but still not perfect. When I saw that these have chamois down the inside of the leg I figured I need to try them. The fit review really helps as I wasn’t sure what size I needed!

OK, now to place an order… Will these be my IM Boulder shorts?
Did you wear these on the bike at IM Florida?

Sarah Keller · September 23, 2014 at 12:51 am

Fantastic, candid review- thanks so much for sharing! Photos & sizing info will help me a lot, as I have a butt! Was worried about fitting for shorts, as many Coeur models seem pretty ripped/ not so fluffy…. Thx again!

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