You’ve got the swim suit, bike and running shoes, what more could you need, right? Not quite. Here, Brittany Olsen, retail manager at Athlete’s Lounge in Portland, Oregon, recommends eight items that will help round out your triathlon gear bag.
#1: Tri-Specific Clothing
The first thing any new triathlete should add to their triathlon gear list is tri shorts. They look like cycling shorts but they are much thinner and a lot less bulky. Tri shorts allow you to transition from swim to bike to run without changing outfits.
More: Tri Shorts Vs. Bike Shorts
Consider investing in a tri top, too. It’s not as important as what’s on your bottom half but the quick-dry fabric and pockets for nutrition are convenient on race day.
Athlete’s Lounge Recommends:
- TYR Men's 9 Inch Tri Short, $74.00
- TYR Men's Tri Tank, $68.00
- TYR Women's 6 Inch Tri Short, $70.00
- TYR Women's Fitted Tankini, $70.00
#2: New Helmet
All races require the use of an approved helmet for the cycling portion of the race. But that dirty old helmet in your garage likely won’t do. Believe it or not, helmets have expiration dates. The foam interior breaks down over time leaving you more susceptible to injury should a crash occur. Do your head a favor and put a lid on it.
Note: Helmets must be approved by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Athlete’s Lounge Recommends: Bell Lumen Helmet, $65.00
More: Buy the Bell Lumen helmet online.
#3: Speed Laces
Don’t waste your time tying laces on race day; use speed laces. Speed laces are essentially small elastic cords that thread into your running shoes in place of standard laces. Once you set them to your preferred tightness, they slip easily on and off your feet, ultimately saving you time in transition.
Brands Vary, $8-20
More: 6 Ways to Develop Fast Transitions
#4: Race Belt
Triathlon rules stipulate that athletes put their race number on their backs for the bike and in front for the run. This could be complicated, requiring several safety pins and a change of clothes. Enter the race belt: Race belts have easy-to-use clasps that hold your race number securely in place while allowing you to turn it easily from front to back when you transition from the bike to the run.
Brands Vary, $6-8
More: 11 Things Triathletes Can't Live Without