I'll admit the timing of this post is highly suspect. In my last blog, I basically went off half-cocked about the new FS3 system and the havoc it may wreak on this coming championship season. You may not believe me about the sequence of events that followed. Later that day, I got a letter, dated January 12th. It was from blueseventy, offering me an advance trial of their new racing suit, the Nero XII. They offered to send me one, and although they didn't say it, I'm sure they hoped I would write about it in my blog. That's my first disclosure.
My second disclosure is that I am predisposed to like a blueseventy product. I loved the Nero racing suit (yes, the full body, now banned one) from 2008-2009. I was given one during my time at floswimming and I still wear it. I loved it for a lot of reasons- it was significantly faster than the LZR bodysuit and a lot easier to lay your hands on than a Jaked or Arena.
With that out of the way, let me cut to the chase: this suit kicks ass. With men's suits now reduced to textile jammers, there is a lot less room for variation from suit to suit. The two most important factors to me in a jammer these days are fit and compression. The Nero XII excels in both.
The first thing I noticed after putting the Nero XII on was how comfortable it felt. This is a family blog, I know, but just how good the fit was needs to be discussed. Every jammer I have ever swum in gave me the feeling that my crotch was being bisected. This suit doesn't feel that way, and made me question why jammers haven't always taken this into consideration.
Another aspect of jammer construction that has annoyed me in the past has been how tight they are around your knee. As a breaststroker, I felt like my range of motion was sometimes limited by the jammer grabbing at the back of my knee. The Nero XII was snug but didn't feel like it was inhibiting me at all. Again, I wondered why this wasn't always a consideration.
In terms of compression, I didn't measure my thighs before and after or anything but I definitely felt "compressed". Actually, the suit made me a little-self conscious because despite being comfortable to put on and not feeling too tight, wherever the suit ended I had considerable "muffin-topping".
I put the suit on as well as a dome cap and some racing goggles and set about warming up and doing some sprints. I train myself and don't have anyone to time me- but I was pleased with my results judging roughly from a digital pace clock.
Blueseventy didn't pay me anything to write this- just gave me a free suit. I'm going to race test the suit on one of my swimmers this weekend, so check the comment section for an update later!