Daniela Ryf's record-setting Kona performanceRyf is in a Class by Herself 1 of 16
In 2015, the Swiss triathlete dominated the field by what seemed an unthinkable 13-minute margin. With the pressure to repeat looming large, Ryf didn't just put down a winning performance—she annihilated the field by 20 minutes and obliterated the course record. The Angry Bird truly soars higher than all the rest.
Michael Somsan's Amazing Journey2 of 16
For any of us, it's a long way from Austin, Texas, to Kailua-Kona, on the leeward side of Hawaii's Big Island. But for Michael Somsan, it was a journey so remarkable that it almost seems impossible. Triathlete Michael Somsan was blinded by a gunshot to the head in 1995, but racing gave him a renewed sense of purpose.
Best GogglesROKA R1 3 of 16
ROKA continued to outdo themselves with the company's new R1 open water goggles. These are designed specifically for an open water application, and this is evident in their construction--their expanded peripheral window is unparalleled in the market.
Additionally, the top frame of the goggle has a tilt/angle that increases forward visibility. The thoughtful and intelligent architecture of the goggles' contoured lenses is truly one of a kind and we found this feature is a complete game changer for the mechanics of sighting and open water navigation.
The premium polycarbonate lenses are incredibly durable--the lenses have a hard coat for anti-scratch, as well as a superior anti-fog coating that holds up longer than any other goggles we've tested. The comfortable dual silicone straps lay flat on the head and stays in place well. The goggles also won a Red Dot Award for Excellence in Product Design.
Best Running Shoe for TriathletesHoka One One Clifton 3 4 of 16
Super popular in the IRONMAN triathlon scene, this update of Hoka One One's popular Clifton addresses a longstanding complaint: shoe width. A wider forefoot now allows toes to splay naturally, ultimately increasing comfort on long runs.
For a shoe with a 29 mm sole, the Clifton 3 is impressively light thanks in part to its new SeamlessSpeed frame upper. Paired with the wider toebox, previous hotspots with the Clifton 2 were a nonissue on this model update.
The Meta-Rocker Geometry helped compensate for the added volume of the shoe, and we never felt limited by the excess EVA midsole cushioning. If you are a high-volume runner, the Clifton 3 remains the gold standard.
Weight: 7.4 oz (Women's Model)
Profile (Heel/Forefoot): 28 mm / 23 mm
Drop: 5 mm
Best WetsuitROKA Maverick X 5 of 16
ROKA has broken the mold once again by designing a high-end wetsuit that centers around arm movement. The arms-up design promotes mobility and arm extension--allowing you to go long while almost forgetting you're wearing a wetsuit. The 100 percent SCS coated Yamamoto neoprene is super comfortable, durable and soft and the stretch woven textile in the forearms provides an increased feel of the water.
Although pricey, investing in a top-shelf wetsuit will pay out tenfold for any level of athlete. The X is simply the freest and fastest wetsuit on the market.
Best Cycling Shoe for TriathletesShimano TR9 6 of 16
Don't let the metallic blue color deter you; the Shimano TR9 is a top-shelf triathlon racing shoe with a mid-tier price point.
The synthetic upper paired with the 3D mesh paneling makes for a highly breathable but secure experience, and the large, asymmetrical heel loop made putting the TR9 on in transition easier.
The carbon soles were impressively stiff--outperforming other, more expensive shoes on this list. The T1-Quick Strap adequately secured the foot, but we had to significantly trim each strap to keep them from clipping the crank arms on each rotation.
Best Kit for TriathletesPearl Izumi P.R.O. Leader 7 of 16
Material: The P.R.O. Leader jersey is Pearl Izumi's high-end offering and the materials are top notch. The In-R-Cool fabric wicked moisture perfectly in the heat, and the Transfer fabric shoulder panels and Direct-Vent panels provided superior ventilation and sun protection. 5/5
Overall Fit: Race cut and true to size. Although the jersey ran short in the torso, the shoulders, back and chest fit flawlessly. The bibs were supportive, yet stretchy, and were suitable for long days in the saddle. 4.5/5
Chamois: The P.R.O. Pursuit 1:1's multi-density foams were comfortable--even in multiple positions. 4.5/5
Bib Straps: The Transfer Direct Vent mesh bib's high sides and straps wicked moisture suitably, minimized friction and were odor resistant. 4.5/5
Jersey Pockets: The standard three back pockets store gear securely and a sweat-proof pocket is included to protect valuables. 5/5
Bonus Features: Worn by team BMC, this is a tried-and-true kit that combines comfort with top-tier performance. 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.75/5
Best Bike Under $3,000Giant Trinity Advanced 8 of 16
While the Shimano 105 components on the Giant Trinity Advanced are widely accepted as solid performers, an upgrade to higher-end components and wheels would make this already fast bike even faster. The Advanced-grade carbon composite frame is one of the fastest and most comfortable on this list, making it a good choice for anyone considering long-distance triathlons. The alloy Giant base bar is also highly adjustable, which will allow you to dial in fit for optimal comfort and performance.
Best Aero InnovationQuintana Roo PR Five 9 of 16
An Interbike nominee for Triathlon Innovation of the Year, this Quintana Roo uses Shift + technology on the downtube to divert airflow away from the drivetrain to the non-drive side, where there's more clean air for improved aerodynamics. You'll also notice a big difference in the chainstays, with the non-drive side being much wider.
The frameset retails for about $3,200, and an Ultegra race build starts at $4,800, which should also rank it among the fastest bikes dollar-for-dollar that you'll find.
Best Tri BikeArgon E-119 Tri+ 10 of 16
The extremely low chainstays and extra-beefy front end certainly make the E-119 Tri+ easy on the eyes. But aside from the visual appeal, Argon claims this version is one of the fastest bikes on the road, and more specifically, that it has the wind tunnel data to prove just how much faster it is than the industry-leading Cervelo P5.
Argon has also taken things a step further with the design of their storage compartments, which were included in its wind tunnel testing. The mount behind the seat has space for three bottles and a large storage compartment which Argon says helps to fill the area of low pressure that can build behind the rider, essentially making you even faster. This combo with tri-spoke wheels and Dura Ace Di2 will run you about $13,000.
Best Saddle InnovationPrologo T Gale Pas CPC 11 of 16
This split-nose saddle from Prologo was designed with the company's Connect Power Control material, which helps to dampen vibration without adding weight, while also keeping you from sliding around. The middle of the saddle incorporates a transition hook to help you save a few seconds getting your bike on and off the rack. The T Gale Pas retails for $250.
Best Hydration SystemXLab Torpedo Versa 12 of 16
Another Interbike nominee for Triathlon Innovation of the Year, the Torpedo Versa from Xlab is one of the most adjustable, aerodynamic front-mount hydration systems on the market. It also allows you to mount a GPS or power meter display out in front of the torpedo bottle and comes in a carbon version to reduce weight. The high end 500 retails for $150.
Best Set of Affordable WheelsBoyd 90mm clincher 13 of 16
If you're looking for a wide, aerodynamically efficient wheel that handles well in crosswinds and won't cost you a fortune, this 90 mm option from Boyd is an excellent choice. The external width is 25 mm and comes tubeless ready. Pricing for the set is just $1,600, which is very reasonable when compared to other wheels in the same category.
Best New Training AccessoryOakley Radar Pace 14 of 16
The steep price tag on the Radar Pace may seem like a lot for a pair of sunglasses, until you learn how much tech Oakley packed into these bad boys. The Radar Pace features a real-time, voice-activated coaching system powered by Intel Real Speech. Although they can't help with the swim leg of your favorite triathlete's next race, these smart trainer sunglasses can coach them to peak performances on rides and runs.
Best Pool AccessoryMisfit Speedo Shine 2 15 of 16
Frustrated with inaccurate lap counting during pool workouts? The Misfit Speedo Shine 2 is here to solve that problem and more. The first activity tracker designed specifically with swimmers in mind, the Speedo Shine 2 boasts loads of cool features in addition to its industry-leading accuracy, including: A vibration motor and multicolor lights to see progress and tell time underwater; a countdown swim timer that provides a gentle vibe alert when a workout is complete; text and call notifications; and Misfit Link compatibility, which transforms the Speedo Shine out of the water into a music remote, selfie trigger, presentation clicker or button to enable a variety of smart devices.
Did we mention it tracks running and cycling, too?