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Product Reviews
ELEVATING THE SENSES
By Tom Barry


The feel of the cold water as a galloping herd of athletes rushes from the beach to start a race. The sound of the crowd cheering you, at last, to the finish line. Triathlon can seem like a sensory overload at times, with the long miles of training and racing making you acutely aware of your body and its place in the world. Here are a few products designed to help you make sure your senses are operating at their peak come race day.


 
RUDY PROJECT RX SUNGLASSES
(WWW.E-RUDY.COM; PRICES VARY)


RP SAYS: Available in a variety of lightweight frames, Rudy’s prescription sunglasses are made with the same quality materials and scientific backing that goes into their non-prescription line. Designed to fit just about any face, the fully adjustable nosepiece and temple arms of these frames ensure a secure fit and help facilitate proper ventilation to prevent fogging. All models tested in the line come with quick-change lenses.


TESTERS SAY: Brock tested three frames, the Rydon Carbonium, Spinhawk Rx and the Agon. Prior to trying out prescription lenses, “I was faced with a dilemma every time I ran: skip the glasses and run with fuzzy vision or wear my glasses and suffer through the uncomfortable bounce and unnecessary wear.” But running with Rudy’s prescription line was “truly a revelation.” The Rydon and Agon frames provided a snug, comfortable fit on the trail, with the ImpactX photochromic lenses adjusting seamlessly through variable light conditions. The Spinhawk frames offered a more casual option but were still up to the test during runs due to the impressive overall fit of the frames. Brock reported that the prescription lenses offered great optical clarity with enough frame and lens combinations to suit even the most fashion-conscious athlete.


THE GIST: A great option for athletes who can’t — or would rather not — wear contacts, Rudy Project’s line of prescription shades fully lived up to the high bar that athletes have come to expect from the brand.


 


BOOM! NUTRITION ENERGY GELS
(WWW.BOOMNUTRITION.COM; $34.80 FOR 24 GELS)


BOOM! SAYS: Made from real fruit concentrate and purees, Carb Boom! Energy Gels offer athletes a palatable consistency without the sickly-sweet taste of some traditional gels. With just two grams of sugar per gel derived from real fruit without artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, Boom’s fruit gels provide an effective, easy to digest alternative to traditional energy gels. Available in a variety of fl avors, including Grape Pomegranate, Banana Peach and Vanilla Orange.


TESTERS SAY: True to their claim, Shane loved the fresh variety of fl avors available from Boom’s offerings, and commented that from the first one he had during his long weekend ride “you could immediately tell that it’s made with real fruit. It’s sweet, but not like most other gels that taste like boiled down corn syrup.” Riley agreed, adding that the slightly thicker consistency felt more substantial than traditional gels, and she appreciated that the complex carbohydrates provided a steady release of energy during her long weekend trail runs. Favorite fl avors among the group were strawberry kiwi and grape pomegranate.


THE GIST: A refreshing shot in the arm for the energy gel market, which has historically endured products that seemed to view flavor as an afterthought.


 


EVOFIT ENSO ROLLER
(WWW.EVOFITFORLIFE.COM; $79.99)


EVOFIT SAYS: Completely customizable, the enso roller provides both deep-tissue and low-impact area massage to meet each athlete’s recovery needs. By using the roller’s adjustable discs, athletes can choose either area massage or the option to pinpoint problem spots.


TESTERS SAY: With an adjustable aluminum tube capable of accommodating up to four large and four small discs, testers were spoiled for massage options. Using EvoFit’s helpful configuration suggestions, Tom “felt like a whole new person” after using the “spine channel” setting following several hours in the saddle on a long ride. Athletes also like the leg and calf configurations, both for recovery and, occasionally, as a quick warm-up prior to heading out on a run. Haven loved the adaptability, using it as both a traditional muscle roller and as a handheld massage tool, and the variety of different configurations were easily tailored to each user.


THE GIST: While not the lightest or most compact model out there, the enso roller is a great deal for athletes seeking a durable, easily adjustable, all-in-one massage tool. (A smaller, lighter travel size is also available.)


44 USA TRIATHLON SPRING 2015

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