Triathlon Gear Buyer’s Guide Spring 2021

by | Jan 23, 2021

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With so many choices out there for Triathlon gear, we put together this guide to cover some of our favorite gear for your swim, bike and run.

As a companion to our “What do I need for my first triathlon?” article, these solid gear selections have gotten us through many training miles and races.

Any questions? Let us know in the comments below!

Swim Gear

TYR SPORT Special OPS 2.0 Polarized Goggles

This is a very traditional goggle with a gasket which will work for just about anyone. Good for both training and racing.

Speedo Swedish Two-Pack Swim Goggles

This is my 100% go-to goggle since I was very young. It’s lightweight, cheap and extremely customizable.  This two pack makes sure you have a back up pair, which is always a good thing.

TYR Unisex Rogue Femme Swim Mask

For those who want a fuller “mask-like” look and feel, this is a great option. It has a very wide field of view so you can get a good eye on the triathletes next to you.

Speedo Swim Goggles Vanquisher 2.0

The Vanquisher is a nice option as an all-around swim goggle. UV protected lenses block the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays making it a good choice if you train in outdoor water.

Speedo Men’s Swim Trunk Knee Length Boardshort Active Flex

If you’re going to use a board short, you may as well go with a brand aimed specifically at swimming as opposed to simply leisure wear. Here’s a great one from Speedo.

TYR Women’s Durafast Diamondback Workout Bikini

TYR is not only a great brand but they do a great job of catering to the requests of their customers. This bikini from TYR is a great option for training and racing.

Speedo Men’s Swimsuit Brief Endurance+

The OG Speedo but this one is built with Endurance+ material. I have a few of these and they last EASILY twice as long as a normal suit. Great for training and racing.

Speedo Men’s Swimsuit Jammer Endurance+

The same basic material and construction as in the briefs we showed you above only in a jammer style. This is for those of us who want a bit more coverage and comfort.

Zoot Men’s LTD Tri Tank & Shorts

Two pieces, one suit. Not only do you get to be all matchy-matchy but you have a but more flexibility and ventilation (if you want it)

TYR Men’s Competitor Short Sleeved Speedsuit

This tri suit from TYR is your all-day piece of triathlon apparel. You can swim, bike and run in it. If you like a one-piece kit, this is a must.

Speedo Unisex Swim Cap Silicone Elastomeric

The cap you’ll get (and likely be required to wear) from the race organizers will be latex and while that’s fine, this one is better. Trust me.

Xterra Wetsuits Neoprene Swim Cap

Being honest, I have only worn a neoprene swim cap one time. This is mostly because I’m not one to get super cold. However, I can absolutely attest to this being a VERY warm cap to hold in that heat when (and if) you need it.

Xterra Wetsuits Men’s Volt Triathlon Wetsuit

You can absolutely break the bank on a wetsuit but the Xterra brand is a very affordable way into one. Available in mens and womens versions. This wetsuit (the sleeveless version) is the wetsuit I wore in my first Ironman and it was fantastic.

Orca S7 Women’s Fullsleeve Wetsuit

If you think you’ll be spending alot of time in your wetsuit, you may find the moderately priced Orca S7 nice step up from other models. Also available for men.

Bike Clothing and Gear

Pearl Izumi Interval Bib Short

We already showed you the tri shorts in the swim section above. If you’re going longer, however, (like Iron-distance) then I like to wear a full-on bib short. Bibs stay up better and are super comfortable. This is a solid set of bibs from our fellow, Colorado-based company, Pearl Izumi.

Pearl Izumi Women’s Attack Short

If you’re more of a bike short wearing person (instead of bibs), Pearl Izumi also makes a full line up for both men and women.  The Attack short for Women has a wide waistband design with elastic-free front panel so you don’t get that waistband “dig in” after hours on the bike.

Pearl Izumi Interval Jersey

From the same product level as the bib shorts above, this is a do-it-all jersey. It’s full-zip – which I much prefer – so getting it on and off of your damp body is easy.

Pearl Izumi Quest Barrier Jacket

In 99% of triathlons you won’t need a windbreaker. If you do though, why not just stick with the same brand as the shorts and top above?

Garneau Tri X-Lite II Shoe

This is a triathlon-specific cycling shoe. Can it be your everyday cycling shoe? Absolutely. Do you HAVE to use a triathlon-specific cycling shoe for a race? Absolutely not. If you do though, this shoe from Garneau is a boss.

Mavic Cosmic Pro II Cycling Shoe

These cycling shoes from Mavic are some of my favorites. Lightweight and sleek without being too narrow or confining. A fantastic, all-around cycling shoe. 

Giro Zero CS Men’s Road Cycling Gloves

Years ago I used to ride with gloves that had padding. Then Giro got me into some of their gloves, the Giro Zero. No padding at all and just a smooth, supple leather to save your skin. I’ve never looked back. I know you may think you need padding, but these are something you should try.

Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm Road Sunglasses

I’ll be the first to admit that the sunglasses I wear on the bike (and run) and what I wear on a normal work day are very different. When I’m riding though, the Oakley Jawbreaker (Prizm) is one of my favorites. With field of vision and super clear lenses.

Fitletic Race Bib Belt with Gel Loops & Race Number

This is pretty straightforward. It’s a race belt. You can put gels in it. Buy it

Fitletic Neo Race Belt with pouch

A step up from a bare-bones race belt, this one from Fitletic has a pouch to store your gels and other essentials.

Oakley Aro5 Helmet

My current go-to cycling helmet from Oakley. Comfortable, breathable and safe. Honestly, from a fit perspective, one of – if not the – most outright comfort I’ve found in a cycling helmet.

Giro Aerohead MIPS Road Cycling Helmet

Want to go fast AND look like a bullet? This is the Aerohead helmet from Giro. It can run a bit warmer than traditional road helmets but it’ll also get you there faster. 

Continental Race Bicycle Tubes

Continental is my go-to for tubes. I also tend to run a bit wider road tire than some people (25mm). These tubes get it done every time.

Continental Grand Prix 5000 Chili Cycling tire

A great all around tire that will get you through miles of training and your first race.  I’ve been using these and earlier versions for years and they’ve become my “standard”.

CamelBak Podium Water Bottle

Nice and basic water bottle. Also available in insulated

Lezyne Carbon Team Water Bottle Cage

Not the exact bottle cages I use but they are almost identical. They are light and sleek – and expensive. For about $40 less per cage you can gain a couple of ounces and be fine.

Look Keo Blade Carbon CR Ceramic Road Pedals

These are one of two style of pedals I use on my road bike. These Look pedals are much more common, but I like to mix it up a bit. 

Time Xpro 10 Pedals

The Time Xpro is another type of pedal I like to use. With all the variety, try what works best for you.

ISM PS 2.0 Saddle

This is the saddle I ride (on the road) 100% of the time these days. Comfortable and protects, well, you know….

Lizard Skins DSP Handlebar tape

Bar tape is like a favorite color, everyone has their own! This is my go-to but if you like thicker or thinner, figure out which and go with it. It’ll save your hands.

Run Gear

Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show Socks

Sure they look weird but I’m telling you, Injinji’s are awesome. Don’t be hard-headed, just give them a try and I promise you’ll love them!

Lock Laces – Elastic No Tie Shoelaces

Go ahead and grab these. If you like the “speed lace” concept, you’re set. If you just want to tie them like normal laces (as I do), you’re set.

BOCO Gear Technical Trucker Hat

Great hat from a local Colorado gear company. Trucker hat style made with performance fabrics to keep you cool during your workouts and races.

Headsweats Performance Supervisor Sun Visor

Want a visor instead of a hat? Headsweats is triathlon’s go-to headgear for managing the sun and sweat.

Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm

For almost 25 years Body Glide has been the standard for anti-chafing and blisters. Buy some and apply liberally!

Nathan Trail Mix Plus Hydration Running Belt

This is a great belt from Nathan. It’s description says it’s for “trail” but you can use it anywhere. It also has some extra storage to-boot.

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