The Best Affordable Bike: Trek Speed Concept1 of 19
The Speed Concept is remarkably customizable through Trek's ProjectOne program: You can select your bike size, component spec and accessory options, as well as custom color scheme to match both your size and personality. We spent hours with the ProjectOne online configuration tool, designing our dream bike, and you probably will too. The Ultegra component package is a great value while stock Aeolus wheels on base models are race-ready.
The Best Aero Bottle: Elite CX Aero Bottle and Cage2 of 19
The Elite Kit Crono Cx Carbon cage and bottle combo features aerodynamic dimples, a membrane valve and an integrated retention system that provides a secure, positive-snap feel to let you know when your bottle is securely engaged. The 500-millileter size is perfect for sprint triathlons and doubling up offers enough hydration for Olympic-distance events.
The Best Sunglasses: ROKA SL-1X Advanced Performance Sunglasses3 of 19
The ultra-lightweight ROKA SL-1X A.P.EX Advanced Performance sunglasses feel so lightweight yet so durable. The nose and earpieces kept this performance eyewear in place during full-gas, chin-down, all-out mode. With no external frame, the field of view was remarkable. While cycling and running, the lens never fogged—not once! Consider us impressed. Best of all, the online custom design tool lets you choose a color combination to perfectly match your personal style.
The Best Light: Light & Motion Urban 1000 Trooper Light4 of 19
When testing the Light & Motion Urban 1000 Trooper light, we were told that we looked like a motorcycle with "the brightest light ever" when approaching. The rechargeable battery that powered the light lasted more than two hours in the always-on daytime setting. While using the Urban 1000 at night and on the lowest setting, we never had to recharge it more than once a week. The waterproof design offers variable brightness settings from steady to pulse. Additionally, testers were thrilled about the scuff-free retention system, which allowed the light to easily be swapped between bikes.
The Best High-End Bike: Cervelo P5x5 of 19
Storage on a long-course triathlon has been a problem for a long time, especially when figuring out ways not to ruin the aerodynamics of a $10K bike. What Cervelo has done with the new P5x is design the bike around integrated storage compartments so your gear won't slow you down. With a highly adjustable front end and a massive bottom bracket, it's definitely one of the best blends of aerodynamics and comfort that money can buy.
The Best Safety Gear: The Swim IT6 of 19
Regardless of how comfortable you are in open water, things can go south without a moment's notice. The Swim IT is a portable swim safety device (inflatable lifejacket) that attaches to the swimmer's leg and can be deployed as a self-rescue option in emergencies. It's race-legal (USA Triathlon and WTC IRONMAN), reusable and handmade in the USA.
The Best Helmet: Giro Vanquish MIPS Helmet7 of 19
Most triathletes have both a training helmet and an aero race helmet, but why not get the best of both worlds? Giro's Vanquish helmet is designed with aerodynamic cues to reduce drag without the pointy, alien-like foil off the back. The MIPS technology adds another layer of safety by reducing rotational force upon impact.
The Best Swim Gear: Nike Swim Ear Plugs8 of 19
Like hair ties, ear plugs seem to inconveniently disappear on a regular basis, and it's likely you'll need a replacement pair sooner rather than later. New for 2019, these soft rubber ear plugs from Nike feature flared ends and a double flange design that molds to the ear to provide a tight seal against leaking.
The Best Nutrition: Science in Sport GO Energy + Electrolyte Gel9 of 19
Used by Team Sky in the Tour de France, Science in Sport (SiS) creates clean, balanced and optimized gels and bars for endurance athletes. The new GO Energy + Electrolyte gel is packed with 22 grams of carbs, 118 milligrams of sodium, 9.5 milligrams of potassium and 1.5 milligrams of magnesium. Not only do they taste good, but they're also gentle on the digestive system.
The Best Recovery Tool: HOKA One One Recovery Flip10 of 19
The last thing you want on your feet after a hard brick workout is another pair of running shoes. The Ora Recovery Flip from popular running shoe brand HOKA One One features a plush yet supportive underfoot feel perfect for post-workout relief. Throw a pair in your car or swim bag for convenient, slip-on comfort.
The Best Swim Cap: TYR Long Hair Wrinkle-Free Swim Cap11 of 19
It's simple and not very flashy (as far as swim caps are concerned), but this practical swim cap from TYR features an asymmetric design that is long hair-friendly and contours nicely around the ears. It's 100-percent silicone, surprisingly durable and available in a wide range of colors.
The Best Cold-Weather Gear: Buff DryFlx Headband12 of 19
There are a lot of headbands out on the market, but none are as perfect for triathletes as Buff's DryFlx headband. It's thin enough to fit under a helmet during cold-weather runs yet warm enough to keep on during the run. The material has 360-degree reflectivity and UPF 50+ sun protection. Plus, it's quick-drying, lightweight and comes in a variety of fun colors—ensuring you'll be able to find a design that matches your bike, tri kit or running shoes.
The Best Indoor Gear: Wahoo Kickr CORE13 of 19
The Wahoo Kickr CORE has features found in direct-drive trainers costing hundreds of dollars more: through-axle compatibility, maximum resistance of 1800w, 16 percent maximum simulated grade, a flywheel weighing 12 pounds and a power meter with accuracy within two percent. The Kickr CORE connects to devices via ANT+ and BTLE and can be controlled with Android or iOS—or from an FE-C enabled bike computer. Plus, it's so quiet. The Wahoo Kickr CORE is easy to set up: We had it unboxed and assembled with just a 5-millimeter hex wrench, and paired with our phone and laptop, in less than half an hour. Although we liked structured workouts in "erg mode"—setting a specific power target so the trainer could match resistance with effort—we were quickly hooked on the Zwift experience. When paired with a Wahoo Kickr Climb, we had more fun than we ever thought possible when cycling indoors.
The Best Running Shoe: Reebok Floatride Run Fast14 of 19
Perfect for sprint- and Olympic-distance triathlons, the Floatride Run Fast is both lightweight and highly cushioned. The Floatride foam has a quick underfoot feel, is especially responsive to rapid pace changes and is supportive throughout the entire gait. The flexible upper is perfect for the triathlete in transition (it works well without socks), and the rippled rubber outsole stays grippy in wet conditions as well.
The Best Wetsuit: Xterra Volt Sleeveleess Wetsuit15 of 19
No sleeves, no problem. This entry-level triathlon wetsuit from Xterra is a fan favorite for triathletes of all skill levels. It's 3mm thick and features a low-profile collar to reduce chafing and improve mobility. Plus, the X-MAX seam-seal technology ensures waterproof seams through even the toughest conditions.
The Best Compression Sock: CEP Ultralight Run Socks16 of 19
Super popular in the triathlon scene, these new compression socks take CEP's classic 2.0 Run Socks and knock off 25 percent of their volume without compromising their compressive qualities. Perfect for warm weather training and racing, the Ultralight Run Socks are designed to help prevent muscle soreness, shin splints and other overuse injuries.
The Best Cycling Shoe: Pearl Izumi Tri Fly ELITE v6 Triathlon Shoes17 of 19
While pure cycling shoes will certainly work on race day, the time saved using triathlon-specific cycling shoes can make a surprising difference in transition. Pearl Izumi's Tri Fly ELITE v6 triathlon cycling shoes are designed to be worn sockless, and the oversized heel loop makes pulling on and off a breeze. The carbon sole is super stiff, and the EVA insole is comfortable even during the longest distances
The Best GPS Watch: Garmin Forerunner 645 Music18 of 19
If you're looking to upgrade your Garmin, the Forerunner 645 Music is the best watch for the job. Not only does it have all the functionality of a standard Garmin watch—and then some—it is also the first to come with music storage capabilities. Plus, Spotify is now available as one of the various music apps, making your listening experience during hard workouts even more enjoyable. You can download up to 500 songs to jam out to on the run (phone-free!). The battery lasts upwards of seven days in smartwatch mode or five hours in GPS mode with music and is even water resistant, making it the ideal watch for triathletes training for the swim, bike and run.