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Where To Buy Triathlon Gear

Having the right gear on race day can make a big difference in how you enjoy the race. Some gear will make you faster, while others will increase your comfort. I listed below 20 essential gear ordered by when you will need them on race day.

where to buy triathlon gear

Depending on the race distance and your personal preference, there are different types of tri suits (one-piece vs. two-piece, sleeve vs. sleeveless). I explained those in an article where you will also find a filterable list of tri suits; check it here.

Whereas triathlon watches are not a must-have for beginner triathletes, they become really helpful once you are more into triathlon. I use mine every day for training but also on race day. I use my watch for the entire race, which is helpful to check my power, pace, and HR and analyze my performances afterward.

Whereas renting a triathlon wetsuit is a good option for your first race, it definitely makes sense to buy one at a certain point in time. Not all wetsuits are equal, and the most expensive ones are not always the best ones for you.

Triathletes have mainly two options on race day: invest in a triathlon-specific bike or use a road bike with aero bars. The choice will depend on your budget and where you are usually training and racing.

A helmet is simply mandatory in all triathlon races. Expect to pay anywhere between $50 to $100 for a standard road helmet. If you are after time, an aero helmet will make you gain roughly 40 seconds over a 40km distance (wind tunnel analysis from Specialized), but it will cost you anywhere between $200-$400.

There are a couple of options to carry a bike repair kit: in an integrated storage place found on some triathlon bikes, in a specific bottle that goes into a standard mount cage, or in a small saddlebag.

It might be a simple piece of gear, but it is worth taking your time before buying a pair. Ideally, make a foot analysis and buy a pair that fits you. Most pros and top age groupers are now using carbon plate shoes. I have yet to try it on race day.

I hope this article gives you a better idea of what you need for race day. It might be daunting when you see all gears experienced triathletes have but keep it simple: invest in what you can afford and upgrade over the years.

Some triathletes choose to do the whole race in a swimsuit for quicker transitions. Other swimmers simply pull on a pair of shorts before jumping on their bike. Still others change at each transition, especially in long races such as an Ironman, where seconds don't mean as much as comfort.

While any wetsuit should work OK, triathlon-specific wetsuits are lighter, more efficient and give less resistance while swimming. In a USAT-sanctioned race you'll need to make sure you're using a USAT-approved wetsuit.

For maximum versatility: If you want to enjoy all-purpose riding but still have good speed for triathlons, choose a road bike. You can use it for triathlons, road rides, commuting or errands. You can also choose from a huge selection of bikes and pricing. To make a road bike more efficient for triathlons, you can add components like aero bars or bullhorn bars (shown at right) and disc wheels. Your REI bike shop can order parts to upgrade the components.

For maximum speed: If triathlons are going to be regular events for you and you have sufficient budget, consider a triathlon-specific bike. These bikes put you farther forward over the front wheel than other types of bikes. They are more aerodynamic and work your hamstrings more efficiently, which helps your legs in the run phase. The downsides? These bikes are more difficult to maneuver for general cycling, they don't have drop handlebars, they can be uncomfortable for long rides and their braking is not as convenient. To see REI's tri-bike selection, search on "triathlon bikes" on

For trail riding: A mountain bike is slowest on the roads, but if your triathlon is on trails it becomes a necessity. For more speed on the road, you can always change out your knobby tires for slick ones.

Some glasses have interchangeable lenses for different conditions. You just have to plan or guess what the weather will be on the ride and run when setting up your gear. If you don't want to take any chances, look for sunglasses that have photochromic lenses. These automatically transition from light to dark conditions.

You're going to have a lot of gear to carry to the staging area. There are triathlon-specific carrying bags, but a duffel bag or backpack also works well to carry everything. Just make sure the duffel bag has a strap you can sling over your shoulder so you can maneuver your bike at the same time.

Triathlons are often long and demanding. To increase your comfort, lubricate your body (and/or any gear that may rub against you) with an anti-chafing product. Do this during each stage of a triathlon. In a short event such as a sprint, lube may not be as necessary, but for all longer races you will definitely appreciate it.

Bike phase: Use a chamois cream on the pad of your shorts or directly on skin, and use an anti-chafing product on the bike seat, shorts, your thighs and/or any skin where there can be friction. If you go sockless, lube the shoes beforehand and lube your feet.

It takes discipline to train for a triathlon. Triathlons consist of three combines sports of swimming, cycling and running. In addition to the swim, bike and run, the transition between each leg requires preparation. For a successful race, it is important to have the right gear. Here are some pointers of recommended gear.

There are many variations of triathlon race options. For a first triathlon, sprint (or mini tri) may be a good option. Sprints generally consist of a mile swim, a 6-10 mile bike ride and a 5k run. Competing in a Sprint is a good introduction to triathlons and will help you gage on your ability and what it will take to move up to the next distance you choose. When you feel confident about going further you can try Olympic, Half Ironman, and full Ironman distances.

For most efficiency and ease, triathlon specific clothing is your best choice. Triathlon specific clothing includes shorts, tops and racesuits. They are designed to wear throughout the whole race, including the swim, bike and run. The shorts or racesuits have tri specific chamois that are designed to provide comfort on the bike leg, but not soak up much water during the swim or provide discomfort during the run. They use fabrics and materials that dry quickly and provide excellent moisture transfer and breathability for temperature regulation. Some triathlon clothing options go even further to provide compression to increase blood circulation and muscle support. A pure cycling short chamois will asbsorb too much water and is too big to wear while running. Tri specific clothing should fit snugly as to prevent drag and to limit stretching from water during the swim portion of the race. Although tri specific clothing is a better choice, it is not required to use in a triathlon. This would require changing during the transitions between the swim to run and for the bike to run transition.

If you were to choose just one tri specific clothing piece, the triathlon-specific short ( tri shorts) would probably be the most critical choice. Triathlon LAB carries the top triathlon clothing brands including shorts by 2XU, Zoot Sports, De Soto, Orca, Sugoi and Louis Garneau.

Most triathlons begin with the swim. This gives you time to put on your wetsuit if you are using one, and to get in the water to get accustomed to the temperature without rushing. Typical gear for the swim include: Triathlon or swimming wetsuit, goggles, swim cap, anti chafing stick, anti fog, ear plugs, and nose plugs. For colder swim races swim socks, skullcaps and thermal swim gloves may be advised.

Depending on the water temperature, a triathlon (Or swimming) wetsuit may be advised. Please note, a wetsuit for surfing or diving may actually slow you down due to the loss in flexibility and slickness, so it is highly recommended to only use a triathlon wetsuit which is specific for swimming. In general, wetsuits will provide warmth in cool water conditions, add bouyancy, and reduce drag to improve swim time. In warm water conditions above 84F, wetsuits are not allowed by USAT. There are many types of triathlon wetuits and varying types and thicknesses of neopreneused to achieve different technical aspects of the wetsuit. Sleeveless wetsuits are available for warmer water swims and for those that prefer completely free arms. Long sleeve wetsuits will provide the swimmer with added warmth and added bouyancy.

Proper fit is essential to have a good experience using a triathlon wetsuit. Too big, and the wetsuit will fill with too much water and slow you down. Too tight and it will be uncomfortable and restrictive. Different brands all fit differently. Some brands are suitable for larger frames and some seem to suit slighter frames. It can be challenging to put on a wetsuit as they need to fit very tight. Be prepared to spend a little time putting it on correctly. A wetsuit should be as tight as possible without being restrictive. Almost like a second skin. There should be no gapping in the crotch or under arm regions. Your breathing and arms stroke motions should not be restricted. Even with proper fit, some people may get chafing on the neck or arm hole (Sleeveless), so it is advised to use an anti-chafing product such as Bodyglide or Trislide. Also, keep in mind that the triathlon wetsuits have more delicate neoprene than traditional surf wetsuits and care should be take not to tear with sharp objects or fingernails. Please see this helpful video on how to properly put on a wetsuit.

Goggles are an essential item for triathlons. Goggles will enable you to see better under water and with more comfort. Goggles will also will provide physical and UV ray protection for your eyes. Goggles are designed for different light and water conditions. Swimming in the ocean where you will be required to go through waves will benefit from hybrid or mask style goggles. The larger surface will disperse the pressure from the waves over a larger surface area, and are less likely to be knocked of your face. Smaller size goggles are suitable for pool and lake swimming. Light conditions should be considered when choosing the lens. For low light conditions, clear lens work well. For outdoor and sunny conditions, choose goggles with light tints. 041b061a72

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