Best triathlon gear
Triathlon gear – Buying Guide, Ratings & Comparison
If you are considering purchasing the best triathlon gear but you have no idea what you should look for in the products you come across, you’ve ended up in the right place. After analyzing the reviews acquired by some of the popular items in this line, we came to the conclusion that the first unit you should consider is the Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Watch. It’s effective and convenient and it allows you to track your heart rate. It’s compatible with Windows, Android, and iOS operating systems, and it even includes an altimeter, an electronic compass, as well as a built-in barometer. With the help of this triathlon watch, you can efficiently track your training status. You can also use it for swimming, as well as cycling since it also tracks the stride length, for example. If what you’re searching for is a triathlon bike, then we recommend the Vilano R2 21 Speed 700c.
Top features to consider
Nothing’s easy when it comes to making your triathlon gear list, especially if you’re a beginner and you don’t know what to invest your hard-earned cash in. As you can expect, this sport involves the use of several types of equipment, since you’re going to cycle, swim, as well as run.
You’re going to test your physical strength as best as possible, but in order for you to do that, you definitely need the right gear. Let’s have a look at some of the features and benefits that you ought to have in mind when you’re on the hunt for good triathlon gear.
What you’ll wear
Although some people tend to think that the clothing matters less when it comes to getting the perfect men’s or women’s triathlon gear, the truth is that what you wear can make a lot of difference in the way of ensuring that you remain comfortable. We recommend going for lightweight fabrics manufactured of mixes of cotton and synthetic materials.
Why are combination fabrics to be preferred? While cotton is probably the best breathable fabric ever to have been invented, the fact is that it isn’t exactly durable, so a t-shirt or a pair of pants made out of just cotton will last for a couple of washes and then you won’t be able to use them.
On the other hand, wearing clothes made strictly from poly fibers or some other types of synthetic fabrics can make you sweat a lot and feel uncomfortable, therefore affecting your focus and your performance. That’s why going for cotton and synthetic is the winning mix.
Training and competition gear
While some tri-athletes prefer to use different gear when they train compared to what they use when they actually take part in a triathlon, in many cases, people will use the same type of clothing and the same type of bikes or electronics.
Naturally, using your triathlon watch to track your progress is far more important as you train for the event, but that doesn’t mean that it becomes useless once you start competing.
How to choose a triathlon bike
The golden rule to picking out a bike for triathlons is that the more expensive it is, the lighter it is. If you want to improve your times, you need the lightest bike you can afford. This is where you can really tell that cheap triathlon gear just won’t cut it at times.
To choose the perfect bicycle, you have to consider what you want to do on it (spring triathlons vs complete courses, for example), what distances you will cover, the amount of training you plan on doing, and the type of riding that you do – flat or hilly. If you have back problems, you have to go for a shorter or a smaller bike so that you are a bit more upright.
Finally, you also have to consider your budget, since we’ve already noted that the cost can make the difference between a bike you love and one that might hinder your moves and performance.
The frame of the bike can be made of aluminum or carbon fiber. Aluminum is cheaper, but carbon fiber is generally lighter.
Even triathlon gear for beginners must include quality running shoes, and that’s because if you go for the cheap stuff, you can hurt your feet. There are several features that you have to be on the lookout for if you intend to purchase comfortable shoes for running, and since you’re here, it’s very likely that you’re interested in doing just that.
The shoes must come with a moderate amount of cushioning, a good internal liner (because most triathletes tend to not wear socks), a quick-lace system, plenty of drainage holes, as well as a tongue loop.
Your triathlon equipment must also include some swimming gear. You need two major things – a pair of decent swimming goggles and the best swimming triathlon wetsuit that you can afford.
When it comes to the goggles, you should look at things such as the shape of the lens, because a curved one can actively increase your peripheral vision whereas a flat one can reduce your depth or distance perception. If you don’t have the same vision in both of your eyes, you should look for prescription goggles that come with lenses that are interchangeable and that cater to the needs of every eye in part.
The seal is also quite important since you have to pick a pair that comes with either a flexible seal placed between your face and the lens material or you can go for the less popular alternative, the Swedish-style goggles.
These rely on your face tissue and skin for sealing and while they do create a somewhat acceptable seal, they will cause various issues related to discomfort since your eyes can be sensitive to the water. We suggest selecting a pair of goggles that comes with a seal made of silicone or thermoplastic rubber because these two are flexible and do not cause any skin irritation whatsoever.
Many triathlon gear reviews suggest that the key components of a decent tri-suit are the fit, an excellent zipper, the presence of vents under the arms and sometimes on the back or hips, leg grippers, and a material that is flexible and breathable. The chamois is another part that can be extremely important, especially when it comes to the effectiveness of a suit, because you need a pad that makes it easy for you to cycle but doesn’t weigh you down.
As for materials, tri-suits are usually made out of mixes of polyester or elastane and Lycra. The comfort, the UV protection, as well as the aero and hydrodynamics all matter a lot.
Top rated products
Since there are a multitude of products available for sale nowadays, we decided we’d at least showcase some of the most popular ones below. Check out the following selection if you haven’t decided on a specific type of triathlon gear just yet.
Best triathlon watch
Garmin Forerunner 935
If what you are looking for is a quality GPS watch that can be used for a lot of different types of exercises and for training for your next triathlon, then take a good look at Garmin’s alternative since it is one of the most critically acclaimed ones we’ve come across.
It weighs in at just 49 grams, so it won’t hold you down and it will allow you to focus on your performance.
The product comes with a built-in barometer, an electronic compass, as well as an altimeter, and all of these will enable you to get your bearings in case you’re out training and you lose your way through the forest.
The unit offers you plenty of information on your training status so that you always know whether you’re undertraining or maybe even overdoing it if you’re really zealous.
Tracking your performance is quite easy since this watch can even measure your ground contact time balance, as well as your stride length.Buy from Amazon.com for ($439.75)
Best triathlon bike
Vilano R2 21 Speed 700c
While it might not be the most affordable bicycle in this particular line, the Vilano model should undoubtedly make it to your list since it’s effective, lightweight, and it will help you increase your performance in an active manner.
The frame of this bike is crafted from aluminum, so it is reasonably lightweight.
The bike also comes equipped with Shimano A050 thumb shifters and a Shimano 21 speed drivetrain that makes it more than capable of handling pretty much any type of situation.
There’s also a 700c double walled CNC machined wheelset complete with quick-release skewers, and that’s another aspect to write home about.
You need to set up the bike when you get it since it doesn’t come pre-assembled. With this product, you also get the bike pedals.
Some triathletes note that they felt the need to upgrade the tires on this bike as they didn’t think the original ones would handle the challenges of their training.Buy from Amazon.com for ($219)
Best triathlon wetsuit
Synergy 5/3mm Endorphin
Everything about the design of this product is impressive, but the technology used in its construction is what should really blow you away.
This product comes with a 5mm thick core buoyancy panel, a 3mm one on the lower legs and back, and a 2mm one on the arms and shoulders.
Thanks to its hydrodynamic neoprene construction, this wetsuit will allow you to benefit from excellent functionality.
It’s flexible and it gives you the range of motion you’ve been craving. It also comes fitted with an anti-corrode internal zipper that both reduces the drag and assures you that the item will stand the test of time.
Probably the best thing about this item is that it comes with the maximum buoyancy allowed for triathlon wetsuits. T
his one can handle both cold and warm waters, so you can use it no matter the weather. Since it’s backed by a 30-day guarantee, we suggest you give it a try and return it if you fail to be impressed.Buy from Amazon.com for ($279.95)
NeoSport Men’s John
Some wetsuits can cost a pretty penny, and if you’re just starting out with your triathlon experience, you might find it unreasonable to spend a fortune on such an item, no matter how functional it might be.
If that’s the spot you’re in, perhaps the Men’s John model by NeoSport might make a suitable alternative for you.
This product is manufactured of neoprene, which means that it ensures a soft and comfortable fit.
It’s equipped with an adjustable collar, so you can set its size as per your specific needs. This greatly reduces the likelihood of you experiencing any chafing.
It’s also worth noting that this model is outfitted with mid-calf leg openings that decrease drag and increase your kick efficiency.
The wider exit openings are capable of diminishing heel snag, and the suit removal allows you to get better transition times. For first-time triathletes, this product offers a perfect fit and ensures good performance.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Best triathlon bikes for beginners
Raleigh Bikes Alysa 4
This bike can prove its worth under a vast array of circumstances, whether you are interested in training for your next triathlon or you’re also considering getting a bicycle for your daily commute to and from work.
It’s easy to ride, it’s lightweight, and it is convenient. One thing we do have to note about it is that it is specifically made for female cyclists, but it can also be used by male users so long as they aren’t extremely tall.
The medium alternative comes with a durable high performance frame made out of aluminum.
It’s also equipped with a lightweight carbon fork, so you can maneuver it with ease. The SRAM Apex trigger 11-speed shifter enables you to ride the bike on pretty much any kind of terrain.
This bike comes with Tektro hydraulic disk brakes, which means that you get to benefit from excellent stopping power. The grips are easy to hold, and the size of the bike is overall comfortable.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Aegend Swim Goggles
You might be surprised that a pair of affordable swim goggles can be so good at what they’re supposed to do.
This product comes with a series of features that make it stand out from the crowd, and the first that you will notice is that it’s equipped with lenses that are coated with the latest anti-fog environmental treatment technology.
What that means is that you get the best anti-fog protection, and it’s also safe on your skin and eyes.
The silicone on the sides of the lenses will create the perfect seal so that you are able to benefit from perfect vision as you focus on your swimming performance. Plus, the snug fit offered by this model prevents any leaks.
Additionally, these goggles are UV-protected, so your eyes will be safe from harm.
The goggles come in a broad range of designs and colors and it’s backed by a 12-month guarantee, so do get in touch with the customer support if you encounter any issues.Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.97)
Best triathlon shoes
Pearl Izumi Men’s Tri Fly Elite v6
These shoes are made specifically for cycling, so do keep that in mind if you are considering them for your next triathlon adventure. You can’t use them for running and benefit from the same comfortable experience.
The 1:1 anatomic tri-closure that these shoes are outfitted with removes pressure from the user’s forefoot and also eliminates hot spots, so that’s something to write home about.
The unibody construction boasted by this choice makes it possible for you to benefit from outstanding pedaling efficiency, something you might not get from similar options.
After looking through several triathlon shoes reviews, we came to the conclusion that these are worthy of your consideration mostly because they come with a great 3-bolt pattern and there have been very few to no complaints expressed by buyers with regard to the sizing.
They’re light and stiff, and they fit true to size, but some users note that they would have liked them to be a bit wider.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Best triathlon cycling shoes
Louis Garneau Men’s Tri X-Speed
If you have been searching for cycling shoes that are lightweight, yet fully capable of allowing you to focus on your performance, perhaps the Louis Garneau model is the right one to consider.
It comes with a roomier fit compared to others, which means that wearing these shoes all day long won’t be something you’ll find uncomfortable.
The synthetic leather upper comes with a toe protection and it’s made specifically to ensure extra durability as well as comfort.
The outsole is well-ventilated, so you won’t have to worry about your feet getting overheated. As we have noted, these shoes are quite lightweight since they weigh in at just 272 grams.
It’s also worth noting that the steel cleats that these have been equipped with fit most SPD and major road pedals. On top of everything, the heel reflector boasted by this choice offers excellent visibility.
This unit has received reviews from triathletes that have been wearing the shoes for over six months and they’re still deemed as comfortable.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Best triathlon shorts
SLS3 Triathlon FRT 2.0
One of the aspects that should be of interest to you is the fact that these shorts come with two side pockets that you can use to store your energy bars so that you have them at hand when you need them the most.
Also, the product comes fitted with the perfect padding for both running and cycling.
The foam-cushioned pad provides support throughout your whole cycling experience without you having to experience any chafing at all.
The 7-inch inseam that this pair is equipped with reduces muscle vibration, which is known to be a significant cause of muscle fatigue.
When it comes to estimating the quality of the fabrics of these shorts, we might say that the blend used for the construction ensures plenty of flexibility and stretchiness, so soreness and chafing are actively eliminated.
Customizing the size of the shorts can be done effortlessly thanks to the drawstring boasted by the model. It also comes with an elastic band.Buy from Amazon.com for ($53.99)
Frequently asked questions about triathlon gear
What equipment do I need for triathlon?
Since triathlon isn’t like other sports, in that you’ll have to compete in running, cycling, as well as swimming, you will require several types of gear that are not necessary in other similar activities. You will need a tri-suit for running (another one for cycling, as well), a pair of decent goggles to allow you to see in the water, and quality shoes that allow you to remain comfortable as you run or cycle.
For training purposes, you might also have to purchase a beginner bike and then upgrade it as your skills become better.
What to wear for a triathlon?
It all depends on whatever you feel comfortable wearing and the weather conditions. Given that you are going to engage in quite a bit of physical exercise, we suggest avoiding wearing too heavy and possibly unbreathable clothing that might rather affect your performance in a negative manner instead of allowing you to focus on it.
Some triathletes like to wear socks while others do not, and this is a matter of personal preference, but also on whether you have a pair of shoes that fit perfectly. Keep your clothing as minimalistic and simple as possible because choosing overly sophisticated items will both cost you more and might hinder your moves.
What kind of bike do I need for a triathlon?
The short answer to this question is the kind that allows you to focus on your cycling as best as possible. You need to choose the frame in accordance with your physical attributes and power keeping in mind that carbon fiber can be more effective and lighter than aluminum, but the second is the cheaper alternative of the two.
Make sure that the bike saddle is extremely comfortable and choose the grips that best suit your needs. Some people also like to replace the wheels if they feel like the original ones of the bike aren’t good enough for them.
How to buy a wetsuit for triathlon?
Focus on the size, because wearing a tri-suit that’s too small or too big will result in your inability to feel comfortable and focus on swimming, running, or cycling. The material has to be breathable and also buoyant, but 5mm is the maximum buoyancy allowed in triathlon wetsuits.
The weight is important, as well, since you don’t want it to hold you down when it gets soaked. On the other hand, it has to ensure plenty of comfort. Look for anti-corrosion zippers.
What to wear under a triathlon wetsuit?
Many people confuse tri-suits with wetsuits, and you might want to try using the same for all of the activities at the beginning or while you are training, but that’s not something that’s recommended for the actual competitions. Underneath your wetsuit, you should wear your triathlon suit or kit. You strip it off after the swim and you put on your cycling shoes and your helmet and you’re all set to go.
It’s not necessary for you to wear underwear beneath your tri-suit, especially if you don’t plan on taking it off. Underwear might actually make you uncomfortable since it could move around as you run or cycle.
How to pack a triathlon transition bag?
Packing a triathlon transition bag is easy as long as you know what to put in it. You’ll need your tri kit, race belt, body lube, sunscreen, the actual transition bag, some energy chews or bars, your wetsuit, your goggles, a race cap, cycling shoes, a helmet, sunglasses, running shoes, as well as a watch.
Best triathlon gear brands
With over sixty years of experience and innovation, Pearl Izumi is one of the best brands that manufacturers equipment geared toward people who love to spend time outdoors exercising and want the right products for this purpose.
The brand makes everything from socks and cycling shoes to tights, baselayers, jerseys, and shorts and bibs. They also have a wide array of casual gear items available, as well as performance clothing for kids and even gifts that you can purchase from their official website.
NeoSport makes wetsuits and since the brand specializes in a single domain, it manages to focus on this a lot better than similar companies. We also like to add that some of the gear produced by NeoSport is quite affordable, especially when put side by side with that made by other brands.
Some of the company’s top sellers are neoprene socks, hi top zipper boots, five finger gloves, and vented bib hoods. These are obviously made for swimming, but the brand also makes triathlon short sleeveless wetsuits, for example, which are said to be quite comfortable.
Although not a brand you might expect to see displayed on such a list, Garmin makes high-quality electronics for those who drive and ride and for those who spend a lot of time outdoors in the wilderness. Their navigational GPS units are among the most reliable ever to have been developed, and so we felt compelled to add them to our selection since they make great GPS watches.
Some of the most popular lines designed by the brand can measure your heart rate as you train or compete and can tell you when you’re overdoing it so that you can take it easy and protect your health.
The performance gear designed by SLS3 is thoroughly tested, and that’s why it isn’t the cheapest on the market today. The company makes a lot of budget-friendly items from performance socks and multifunction beanies to water-resistant running belts complete with a smartphone pocket, but what makes them really stand out are the tri suits.
SLS3 also makes transition backpacks, hydration belts, trail running hydration vests, soft flasks, and a variety of other accessories that can make your life easier as you compete or train.
You don’t have a lot of variety if you intend to purchase your whole triathlon gear from this brand and that’s because it mostly focuses on designing the best goggles for swimming and triathlon. Nowadays, the company has branched out and it also makes other accessories such as sports gloves, balaclavas, silicone swim caps, and sports arm sleeves.
However, the area where Aegend really shines is their goggles. Many of those they make are polarized, offer you great UV protection, and come with a seal that’s extremely effective, thereby protecting your eyes more than appropriately.