As a long-time triathlete myself, I find numerous people asking me the same questions over and over about Triathlon gear.
It is true that the list of triathlon gear is endless, but one should know exactly which gear they need and how to buy the one that meets their Triathlon goal needs.
Also, if you are just starting your triathlon journey then I am sure that this FAQ will come in handy.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions on triathlon gear answered, but first make sure to check out our post on Basic Essential Triathlon Gear Listed (A Brief & Complete Guide),
Triathlon Bikes are designed to be more aerodynamic than typical road bikes, giving them some edge, however, triathlon bike position is known to be of less comfort to the rider, more expensive, and do not work well in a hilly or maneuvering course.
Triathlon wetsuits differ from those surfing and diving wetsuits by being design to provide maximum comfort in a swimming position, improve the swimmer efficiency, and easy to take off for quick transition.
Check out Triathlon Vs Surfing Vs Diving Wetsuit; Can They All Be Used in Triathlon? How To Pick One
It is widely recognized that the aero position provided by triathlon bike is not the most comfortable, yet the most effective in reducing drag, however, with proper bike fit and proper practice, this discomfort gradually fades away.
Like any bike, triathlon bikes can climb hills but with lower efficiency than a typical road bike as a result of their heavier frame which is design to give an aerodynamic advantage. For more on this, check out our post on How Much Should A Road And TT Triathlon Bike Weigh? Does It Even Matter!
Depending on the number of rear cassettes, Triathlon Bikes have between 18 and 24 gear combinations. The number of gear helps the athletes by providing additional resistance options but does not mean that the bike is faster.
Triathlon Race Organizers do not provide bikes for the participants. Every athlete must their own bike. In some cases, organizers or organizers partners may opt to lease bikes to the participants but it is a very uncommon practice.
Any bike in working condition and more importantly with working breaks is allowed in triathlon with some exceptions. Fixed gear bikes (fixie), Ebikes, and Tandem bikes for nondisabled participants are not allowed in triathlons.
Running Shoe (Check out Can Men Wear Women Running and Cycling Shoes and Vice Versa? How Are They Different)
Wet Suit (Only in Extreme cold)
To know more about what you need and do not, check our List of Triathlon Gear You Do Not Need; & What’s Actually Required!
Any bike you can afford will do. The only rule is to try to make the most out of the money you spend. Start with the bike you already own, then maybe upgrade to a road bike, and from there if you are getting serious about triathlon, then start browsing Triathlon bikes.
Nobody checks this but generally, you must check which third party entity has approved the safety of the helmet and double-check if the race organizer requires the helmet to be approved by a certain entity.
Triathlon Suits have thin padding, thinner than cycling padding, design to allow for a convenient experience though out all triathlon race disciplines.
Just like triathlon suits, triathlon shorts have padding that will enable the athlete to transition throughout all disciplines without the typical discomfort of the cycling short padding.
Triathlon suits are commonly made of neoprene which stretches to some degree to fid the body and contour of the athlete. Note that the wet suit stretches more if the neoprene used is of a higher grade.
When trying the suit on land, the suit should be tight but not restrictive. In water, the sure should not be very loose allowing for a lot of water in, and should not be too tight that you can not breathe.
Triathlon Shorts should be tight but not too tight that it blocks blood circulation. Note that triathlon shorts should not be loose either.
A bike shoe should allow for even pressure on your foot and should not press on the end allowing for some space for your little toe while holding the forefoot stable without squeezing it.
You will have to pick between one or two-piece triathlon suits, and sleeve or sleeveless wetsuits. It will eventually come down to what you can afford and which do feel more comfortable wearing. To know more, check out How Much Does a Triathlon Suit Cost? Options, alternatives, and what to look for
Triathlon-specific watches allow for multi-sports function, allowing the activity to transition from one discipline to another without having to pause and start a new activity. To know more check out How Much Does A Triathlon Watch Cost? What Matters The Most!
The best triathlon suit is the one that you can afford and fits you well. Also, make sure that the thickness of the wetsuit is suitable for the water temperature you are going to swim in. Usually, a 3 mm triathlon wetsuit works for most, however, options vary between 1.5 to 5mm wetsuit.
Check my recommended Best Triathlon Battle-Tested Budgeting Gear for some guidance on specific models
Typically wetsuits are allowed in triathlons where the water temperature is below 25 degrees celsius ( 78 Fahrenheits) and are mandatory for temperatures below 14 degrees celsius ( 58 Fahrenheit)
In general, triathletes do not wear socks in short-distance triathlon races such as super sprint and sprint. Professional triathletes avoided wearing socks in all triathlon distances, however, many mature triathletes are fine sacrificing a few seconds for the convenience the sock provides in longer distances ranging from Olympic to Ironman Triathlons.
Check out the List of Triathlon Gear You Do Not Need; & What’s Actually Required!
Tri suits are designed to allow the athlete to swim, bike, and run with it.
For more on what to wear, check out our post on What To Wear For Any Triathlon? A Brief & Complete Guide