Must-Have Cycling Gear for Triathletes
Fizik Tritone 5.5 Braided Saddle$200 1 of 10
A triathlon-specific saddle will allow you to ride more comfortably in aggressive, aerodynamic positions on the bike. The Tritone from Fizik uses braided carbon rails to decrease overall weight, and the nose-less design improves hip rotation so you can pedal harder while tucked in the aerobars. The extra-long rails are also a plus, allowing for a wider range of adjustment of your fore/aft position than most other tri-specific saddles on the market.
Rudy Project Wing57 Aero Helmet$500 2 of 10
An aero helmet is the most cost-effective piece of equipment you can buy to shave time on the bike. While the Wing57 from Rudy Project is no doubt one of the fastest helmets you can buy, what separates this model from others is the adjustability of the magnetic (and removable) tail and the six large vents that keep your head cool when the temperature rises. The attachable visor is also one of the best we've ever used, providing more coverage and better clarity to improve your comfort.
Easton EC90 Aero 55 Carbon Clinchers$2,400 3 of 10
These wheels aren't cheap, but in this case, you'll get what you pay for. The Aero 55 from Easton is an all-carbon clincher that isn't as deep (at 55mm) as other aero models you'll find on triathlon rigs, but it is one of the most versatile. The 28mm external rim width is the widest we've ever tested, and when you're in the aerobars, you'll notice the difference it makes on your bike handling and comfort as the miles start to pile up. The Echo rear hub is fast and durable, and the EC90 carbon rim is stiff and light enough to make it a suitable option for use on a road bike. As an added plus, the Aero 55 is also tubeless-ready, which will significantly decrease your chances of a pinch flat on race day.
Garmin Vector 2s Power Meter$900 4 of 10
Power meters are the most accurate way to fine-tune your training and measure your pace on race day. The bad news is, they can be expensive. The SRM power meter can cost upward of $3,000, and because it's built into the crank, switching from bike to bike isn't an option. Garmin's Vector 2S, on the other hand, costs a reasonable $900 (pedals included), and because it's a pedal-based power meter, use on multiple bikes is fairly painless. It measures watts and cadence accurately, and will also transmit your live data to any Garmin GPS (and Garmin Connect) wirelessly. And unlike power meters that are built into the hub or crank, the Vector 2S will work on almost any bike, regardless of your component choices.
Profile Design T3+ Aero Bars$239 5 of 10
Whether you're looking for a good pair of clip-ons for your road bike, or you just want a different option for your tri rig, the right pair of aerobars can make a big difference on race day. While wrist position might not make as big of a difference during a sprint tri, the longer the race, the more important ergonomics becomes. The T3+ puts your wrist in a neutral position that prevents nerve impingement, and the ergonomic bend allows you to choose from multiple hand positions when you scoot forward in the saddle. And for those of you who like to toy with the extension and rotation of your bars, the single-bolt bracket system makes adjustment as simple as it's going to get.
TorHans AeroZ Hydration System$69.99 (mounting hardware sold separately) 6 of 10
Hydration systems that mount to aerobars allow you to stay tucked in an aerodynamic position when you need to take a drink, shaving valuable seconds during a race. While some hydration systems can be overly complicated and hard to refill, the TorHans is the Apple of aero water bottles. A magnet at the end of the 22-ounce bottle allows you to dial in the straw position so that only minimal movement is required. The sealed top cap keeps your fluid from leaking, and when you need a refill, the clever design helps to keep spilling and splashing to a minimum.
Bont Riot TR$150 7 of 10
A triathlon-specific cycling shoe makes getting in and out of transitions that much easier. The Bont Riot TR is the one of the best value cycling shoes we've come across. It's light, dries quickly and breathes extremely well. The carbon composite sole is heat-molded, meaning a custom fit after some time in the oven. While the Riot TR might feel odd when you're standing, we haven't tried a shoe that feels more natural during the pedaling motion in quite some time. *Please note that this model runs small, so you may want to order a half size up if you order online.
XLab Stealth Pocket 300$34.95 8 of 10
The bike leg of a triathlon is a good time to top-off your energy stores. The problem is where to store all those gels. The Stealth Pocket 300 uses a bolt-mounted aerodynamic design that attaches securely to your top tube near the handlebar for quick and easy access. Storing up to five gels, the low profile of the 300 maintains its shape with an aero stiffener, which allows for tight placement against the headtube that reduces drag caused by stem and headset spacers.
Cannondale Slice$2,710 9 of 10
Tri bikes that are top performers in the wind tunnel aren't always the best options out on the road. The reasonably priced Cannondale Slice is a solid option for beginner to intermediate triathletes who want a bike that's fast without sacrificing comfort or handling. And if you have the money, an upgrade from the Shimano RS-11 wheels would make this rig rival other models that triple in cost.