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Triathlon Gear Upgrades to Go From Beginner to Elite

Views: 309     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-10-17      Origin: Site

Triathlon Gear Upgrades to Go From Beginner to Elite

For anyone who’s successfully completed their first triathlon, it can be easy to get hooked on the sport. No doubt about it, leveling up from beginner status requires the right gear. This is especially the case for long-course athletes who doing Ironman and half-Ironman races.

When it comes to triathlon gear, there are a few fundamental pieces to help you perform your best. Because the run leg is straightforward and requires minimal equipment, most of the triathlon gear upgrades docs on the swim and bike.

Triathlon Wetsuit

A wetsuit designed for freestyle triathlon swimming is a crucial aid for success in the water. Neoprene, the material most triathlon wetsuits are made of, provides added buoyancy and helps swimmers maintain a faster and more streamlined position. Additionally, triathlon wetsuits are designed with added shoulder flexibility for greater mobility. For related reading, check out the best triathlon wetsuits for beginners.  

Triathlon Watch

Every experienced triathlete will agree that data is key to progressing your training and racing capacity. Triathlon and multisport watches are essential tools to track and monitor key health and performance markers, like heart rate, altitude, speed, and more.

Unlike traditional sports watches, most triathlon watch models enable you to seamlessly track swim, bike, and run efforts, including back-to-back efforts like on race day. The Wahoo ELEMNT Rival Multisport watch and the Garmin Forerunner 745 Multisport watch are two great options worth checking out.

Triathlon Bike

Sure, you can complete a triathlon on any bike. But compete in a triathlon and perform your best on the bike, you’ll need a triathlon or time trial bike. Unlike road bikes and mountain bikes, triathlon bikes are designed with a specific frame geometry that positions riders in a more aerodynamic position, otherwise known as a time trial position.

At a glance, you’ll see the difference in triathlon bikes, as their frames and handlebars are more aggressively positioned and they’re often equipped with aero bars. Triathlon bikes are a steep investment, typically costing upwards of $2-3K for mid-level models. But if you’re committed to triathlon and performing your best, you’ll realize significant speed gains on the longest leg of a triathlon.  

Aero Helmet

Next to having a fast triathlon bike and aero bars, having an aero helmet is another major difference-maker in minimizing drag and achieving substantial speed gains on the bike. Also obvious to the eye, aero helmets have a unique look and design that optimizes airflow.

They often have a teardrop-like shape and minimal ventilation. Studies have shown that aero helmet’s time savings can range between 30 and 60 seconds per hour of riding. Over the course of a 6-hour Ironman bike effort, those are minutes shaved off your time.

Cycling Shoes

Cycling shoes are critical to maximizing power on the bike. Compared to using flat pedals, using clipless pedals with the proper bike shoes allows riders to utilize the full 360-degree stroke of the pedal to generate power. With flat pedals, however, riders can only utilize the push stroke or the downward force on the pedal.

This is why you’ll see all serious cyclists and triathletes with clipless pedals and cycling shoes. It’s a fundamental investment that dramatically differentiates beginners from intermediate and elite athletes. While any cycling shoes will do the job, you can also upgrade to triathlon bike shoes, which are specially designed for better ventilation and ease of entry.

Triathlon is an exciting and rewarding sport. But it’s also not a cheap hobby. If you’re truly passionate about the sport, these pieces of gear are no-brainer purchases that will last you several years.

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