While it’s no secret that the AG Team loves tri tech, there are certain pieces of equipment that we simply hadn’t really considered as falling into that category. Race belts were one of those things, at least until we were introduced to T1 Pro.
Truth be told, we’ve had the T1 Pro Magnetic Race Belt in our possession for quite some time. We met Brian Mansker, the founder of T1 Pro, last year at the vendor expo prior to St. Anthony’s Triathlon, and we were intrigued. We’d never even considered how something like our race belt could be stealing precious seconds from our transition times. And more importantly, we’re so accustomed to the solid click of our traditional buckles, that we wondered—would a magnetic closure be dependable enough?
Before we jump into the review, let’s talk a bit about the story behind the T1 Pro. Brian first began the journey of creating the T1 Pro back when his son started participating in triathlon. Brian watched helplessly as his son fumbled with the buckle on his race belt. This led to his son not only losing valuable seconds, but also contributed to a frustrated mindset as he left transition. That’s when Brian decided to search for a better race belt solution for his son, but to his surprise, there was none. That’s when he started building prototypes, which brings us to the current product today.
The T1 Pro is currently the only magnetic race belt available in the world, which is a pretty significant fact in itself. The technology behind the belt is found in its magnetic buckle, which uses strong neodymium magnets and can hold up to a claimed 10 lbs. of pressure. We tested the belt on several runs, and we can agree that the buckle is plenty secure.
We figured the buckle might feel a bit heavier compared to a traditional plastic snap-on versions, but we honestly didn’t feel weighed down at all. We were still curious as to the true difference in weight, so we took some comparisons on the scale. According to T1, the buckle alone weighs in at 28 grams. When we weighed the entire belt as one unit, the total weight was about 74 grams. To give you a frame of reference, a standard race belt we had on hand weighed in at 40 grams. All in all, we’re really only talking about a difference in weight that’s equivalent to carrying an extra gel with you on the run (gels tend to average about 78 grams). We think that’s worth it when you’re talking about saving seconds in transition.
When it comes to holding your race number in place, the T1 Pro has you covered. The belt comes equipped with two lace locks and nylon cords. The inside of the belt is also lined with T1 Pro’s own Polymer Gripper System to hold it in place comfortably.
Looking for a belt that can serve double duty? The T1 Pro comes in two versions— gel and non-gel. If you’re looking for some extra storage, you can take advantage of eight gel loops (four per side). But if you don’t plan on taking nutrition with you on course, go with the non-gel version. And speaking of these two options, the belts are all fully adjustable (“one size fits most”). However, the non-gel model can be sized even farther down for kids or smaller adults. Our multisport editor actually ended up preferring the non-gel belt for that very reason.
You can pick up a T1 Pro on their site for $25, and it’s available in black, pink, or (our favorite) lime green.
While we never gave our race belts much thought, we definitely appreciate how much thought was put into developing the T1 Pro. It’s such a brilliant, time-saving concept that we found ourselves asking, “why did it take so long for someone to think of this?”