Tag Archives: Equipment

8 Last Minute Triathlete Holiday Gifts, & Won’t Break Your Budget

Did you wait until the last minute to buy something for your beloved triathlete, and now you have no ideas? Or are they just really difficult to buy for? Don’t sweat it. Here 8 gift gifts you can get last minute, and make you look like Kona Claus?

gels1. Energy Gels/Bars – Your triathlete is training all of the time, and they get hungry during workouts. Find out what they favorite brand and flavor is and get them a whole box.

Availability: Easy  Price: $1-$2 each


2. Socks – I know this sounds like a lame gift, because you hated to get socks as a kid. I’m going to tell you that putting on some fresh high quality socks to train in is heaven. If it gets cold in your area consider get them some performance wool socks to their feet warm and dry.

Availability: Easy  Price: $5- $20 a pair

gift_certificate_m3. Gift Certificate to a local bike shop – Find out what bike shop they frequent. It’s probably a sponsor on their jersey, and get a gift certificate. Triathletes always need tires, tubes, repairs, or fancy weight saving parts. If they don’t need something right now, they can use the gift later. Also the local shop picks up a little extra business. Win-Win.

Availability: Easy   Price: Depends on your generosity. 

castelli-chiro-due-gloves-11-zoom4. Gloves – Keeping your hands warm when running or riding in cold weather, is a constant battle. It never fails on the morning of a 15 mile run the temp. will be 30F, and I can only find one glove. The other glove ran away with a sock, and now I have one cold hand. You can get nice cycling gloves from a bike store, or just a bunch of cheap gloves from the dollar store for running. In the cold you can never have too many pairs.

Availability: Easy   Price $1 – $40


5. Race/Storage Belt – Is you triathlete tried of pinning numbers to their expensive kit? Or does their current race belt turned white from the salt stains? Consider getting them a new race belt to reduce transition times. Some belt even come with a pocket for storage to you they and pack a few of the gels you bought from them.

I personally like Spibelts, Lightweight, Water resistant and have lots of storage.

Availability: Online quickly  Price: $20 – $30

(No Photo the massage photos get weird)

6. Massage Gift Certificate – Ah a luxurious massage! Triathletes are are sore most of the time. There nothing like a massage to loosen things up. Massages also help with recovery, and injury prevention. Look for a studio that does sport massages, as they will know what type of treatment an athlete will require. Your triathlete won’t normally treat themselves to a massage, so it’s a great and welcome surprise. .

Availability: Easy  Price: $40 – $??


7. Goggles – Goggles wear out quickly. The seals leak, the lens get scratched, or the straps break. Find out what kind of goggles they use and get them a couple of back ups. Just ask what they like, because athletes are very particular about goggles. No two faces are the same, and when you find a comfortable goggle you stick with it.

Availability: Easy – Sporting goods store   Price $20 – $60

RUN_GREY_Race_MI_tcm137-567638. New GPS Watch – If you triathlete likes electronic toys, consider getting them a GPS Watch. For a triathlete it needs to be a multisport GPS watch that is water resistant. A GPS watch tracks distance, speed, time, and many other data points. There are lots of options depending on your price range.

Here are a couple of options:

rf-lgGarmin 910xt

Tom Tom Multisport (Picture above)

Availability: Online or Sports Store   Price: $100 – $300

Happy Shopping, and Happy Holidays!

Ahhh, That New Bike Smell – Tips on buying a Tri bike

Bike wall

You raced a few triathlons, and you are hooked. Its time to trade in that beater bike for a fast new time machine. Before you pay out the GDP of an island nation on a new tri bike, here are some things to consider.

*legal notice – Always inform your significant other of these large purchases. Don’t try to sneak a new bike in the garage hoping they won’t notice. Believe me it won’t work.


Have you caught the triathlon bug? Do you see your yourself progressing in the sport, and riding consistently. A Tri bike is a big expense, so let your commitment drive your investment. Garages and Craigslist ads are filled with lonely Tri bikes bought with the best of intentions. The owners raced a couple of Tris, and in the euphoria of finishing, plopped down a wad of cash on a shiny new bike. Then life/kids/job/injury/beer got in the way, and the shiny new steed went unridden.

If you are getting consistent workouts in, and a new bike will take your racing and training to a new level, now is the time to purchase that new bike. A new bike is a great motivator to get you out there riding with great excitement. Its like getting a new car, but you don’t have to ride everyone around the block when you bring it home.


Let’s get this out of the way, Tri bikes are expensive, and in some cases ridiculously expensive. Consider your budget and weigh your options when choosing a new bike. My advice is to get the best quality bike you can afford. A well made bike that is properly maintained can last 10 years.

Here’s the main items that drive the cost of a bike:

  • Frame Material/Design – Carbon fiber bikes are the most expensive, Aluminum and steel bikes cost less.
  • Components – (Shifters, Brakes, Derailleurs, etc.) Each component manufacturer produces different groups on different price ranges. Components on entry level Tri bikes are more than adequate. The difference with the higher priced groups is normally weight.
  • Wheels – Here’s where you can save some money. Entry level tri bikes will come with decent wheels. Eventually these wheels will wear out, or you will want lighter race wheels. Save money on the front end and get standard wheels, as it is easy to upgrade later.

Many bike manufacturers offer the same frame with different components. If you are on a budget choose the cheaper components. This way you are still getting the great frame, and you can upgrade the parts as you want.

Base Model Triathlon Bikes:



This is the most overlooked, but most important factor of choosing a new bike. You can max out your credit card with a $10k carbon dream machine, but if it doesn’t fit, you won’t go any faster.

My advice is to go and test ride some bikes. Have a person from the shop spend time with you seeing how the bike fits your body. A good shop will put you on a trainer and make adjustments to see if the bike will fit you. This is time well spent. If the shop to go to is not willing to take this time, then run away. It is not the shop for you.


We are all a little vain. If I am throwing out a wad of cash on a new bike, I want to feel like a bad ass on my new rig. Some bikes are just plain sexy. They have great lines, a killer paint job and scream to be ridden. The more sexiness the higher the price. Be sure the bike you choose works for your eye, and makes you feel fast.

Bonus – Purchasing

When purchasing a new tri bike, I always recommend going to your local bike shop. If it is a good shop, they will get you fitted, and provide you maintenance and service. You may save a some money going online, but the value provided by a good shop will far outweigh those savings.

Used – If you are on a really tight budget a used bike might be great option. this is a buyer beware situation. I would recommend purchasing a bike that you can actually see in person. Take someone with you that knows bikes, and can help you out.

Used resources:

Hack a Triathlon: Get started under $100

Do you want to race a triathlon, but you are on a tight budget? There’s no doubt about it. Racing triathlons can get very expensive. Super light carbon fiber bikes, and high tech training tools add up quickly. You don’t have to be tech millionaire to get started. In this post, we will show you how to get started with the right equipment, without emptying your wallet.

swim goggles

Swim – $25

Swimming should be cheap right? All I should need is myself and a swim suit. You’re pretty close. You need a swimsuit and a pair of goggles. Women typically have a one piece suit they can wear. For men, I suggest training in trunks, but racing in your bike shorts.

A decent pair of goggles should cost around $25. Here’ a link to some Aqua Spheres for $20.


Mountain bike in garage

Bike – $65

A bike is the mostly costly piece of equipment for Triathlon. Triathlon bikes can get crazy expensive.  A full carbon race bike with aero wheels will easily take a couple months of your salary. I recommend using the bike you already have. If you have a geared bike of any type, that will be great for your first race. This includes mountain bikes, road bike, or a hybrid. I don’t recommend beach cruisers, as they don’t have hand brakes, and can be dangerous at speed.

What if I don’t have a bike? Ask someone to borrow one. Many people buy great bikes, and the bike sit in the garage unridden. After you tell them of your plan to race your first triathlon, they will be happy to help out.

Besides the bike, you need a couple more items. First, you need a helmet. Triathlon rules state you wear a helmet at all times when you are on a bike. If you are racing in warm conditions, you want a helmet with good ventilation. Here’s a link to a Giro helmet for $30.


Also, I recommend buying bicycle shorts. Bicycle shorts have padding in the seat, and make riding much more comfortable. Also you can wear them as your race bottoms for the whole event. Here’s a link to some Canari shorts, that will work nicely:



Hit the Road, Runner


Run – Maybe $50 or $0

Here’s where the cheap skates can rejoice. We’re going to assume you are still clothed from the bike leg, so all you need is a pair of running shoes. You probably already have some running shoes. If not, check some deal sites to get some really great deals on running shoes. If you are not sure  what running shoe is best for you, go to your local running store for a consult. They will happy to help you out, even if you don’t buy there right now.

Here’s some sites with great deals on running shoes:

Joe’s New Balance Outlet

Running Warehouse

Now go and scrounge up $100

There you have it. If you have a bike to use, and some running shoes sitting in the back of your closet, you can be training and racing for under $100. The expense of triathlon shouldn’t hold you back from trying something new and exciting. Once you get hooked on triathlon, then you will need that second job. Happy Training!

For tips on choosing your first race. Click Here