In my first few races I never even had heard of a race belt. Normally you’ll get safety pins in every race pack which you obviously use to pin the bib to your jersey.
But this had me wondering…shouldn’t I swim and cycle in the same thing? Then does this mean I’ll pin it to my tri suit and swim with a race number pinned to my back? And doesn’t it have to be on the front for the run? So I’d have one pinned to the front while I swam and cycled, too? Or do I not pin it to my suit before the run, then pin it on during the first transition?
I can’t recall how I made it through my first races without a race belt, but I do know I did not swim with the number pinned to my suit!
A race belt serves a few purposes. It allows you to don the bib for the bike quickly. Since it connects to the bib (not your tri suit) you can set it up the day before, and not have to fiddle with any pins ever.
And since you can slide the belt around your body – to the back for cycling or to the front for running – it solves all your bib needs.
So buy a race belt. Test it beforehand. And then use it in your race. No pins, no day-of-the-race setup, no hassles.