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 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 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.
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.
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.