I tend to research the heck out of something before I buy it. Jumping into the world of triathlon has definitely been a learning experience for me. So many different products and possibilities can be overwhelming. While some of the purchases happened early on to allow me to train, others could take place closer to my actual triathlon.
For a triathlon kit I knew I wanted a two piece outfit. A self-professed hatred of one piece swimsuits and someone with an abnormally long torso, I knew I would prefer a two piece. As I began to research the different brands I discovered that some of them were downright boring. Every girl has a little black dress in her closet that has its place. All black or nearly all black just didn’t cut it for me. I wanted a kit that would stand out, allow my family to see me and that I would love in the pictures after the fact.
That helped me narrow it down and I continued to research a few brands. The one that I was most drawn to though was Coeur Sports. This was a new company, not even a year old at the time, making products in the USA, touting great customer service and quality products.
As I researched more about the company and the products I knew I loved them before I ever even placed an order. Their entire company focuses on products for women only, I’m a big fan of companies who know to how become great at something versus being good enough at a lot of things. They also make a seam-free chamois that the people writing internet reviews truly raved about. In addition to triathlon kits, they make running clothes, bike jerseys and swimsuits. Someday I’ll own their whole line of products! Baby steps 🙂
Where they really won me over though was when they published an article talking about other companies, their competitors, doing great things. This combined with how they supported their athletes and seemed to truly care about their customers won me over.
Ordering and Shipment: Finally near the end of the summer I placed my order: a triathlon kit, an extra pair of plain black triathlon shorts for training rides and a really fun #bikelove tank top. I got immediate confirmation e-mails both when the order was placed and when it shipped that were very personalized and a nice touch.
When my shipment arrived, I even had a surprise in the package. Since it was near the one year anniversary of the company, they included a free CoeurSports visor!
The items did not disappoint. The fit of the kit was amazing. Despite my long torso the shirt covers everything, even in aero position. The shorts are cute and comfortable. The most amazing part though- the material. As a runner I’ve had different qualities of clothes for working out, ranging from Target and Old Navy to much more expensive name brands. Never have I felt material like from Coeur Sports. Think of the softest thing possible, then imagine wearing it for a triathlon. It is such a great fabric, I’m still in love with it every time I put it on.
As far as my #bikelove tank, I have gotten so many compliments on it. I was truly sad when the last of the warm days left us here in the Midwest and I had to pack it away for winter. Then I unpacked it, ha! I’ll be finding excuses to wear it all year long.
Now on to my dealings with customer service. In September I bought a new bike on a whim. My very entry level bike had gotten a lot of use over the last year and was causing me quite a bit of pain in my neck and shoulders. My local bike store was offering a special on a bike I’d been eyeballing and I pulled the trigger. The problem is the tri kit that I ordered was blue and purple and would have clashed mightily with the red and white bike I had just purchased! I contacted Coeur and they said it wouldn’t be a problem to return my unused, never worn kit and exchange it for a different one. So I exchanged for the Fleet Foxes kit, seen here. The shorts in the pictures below are actually the plain black training shorts I had ordered originally. When my new kit arrived, the shorts that truly went with this tank were too small. Although both the plain black and the Fleet Foxes shorts were size Small, there was over 2.5 inches difference in the waist and hip area when I measured them. I talked with Coeur about this and they said they had changed sizing guidelines through their first year and that is where the discrepancy came from. Again, I could return the shorts without any questions or difficulties so no big deal.
My first 70.3 took me 6:16. I had absolutely no issues with the kit. Everything was comfortable, stayed where it should and I never gave it a second thought. Except of course when other athletes were complimenting me on how much they loved it! And there were lots of them, never got old though!
Just last week I got the Chevron kit and cannot wait to race in it in 2015.
Again, sticking with my grading scale:
Functionality: A-, the only criticism here is I’d like a little more padding in the chamois
Fit: A-, I wish the built-in bra lines didn’t show through on the tank.
Customer Service: A-, they do the right thing, just understand that it takes a couple days to hear back.