Best Triathlon Battle-Tested Budget Gear

I have spent Hundreds of Hours using, researching, and testing the best triathlon gear in the market in my extreme triathlon journey (Check my bio over here ). 

These items are battle-tested and can be recommended without any equivocation. Keep in mind though, that these items are not necessarily all high-end items but possibly the best value for the money.  

The List list below is for Triathlon Gear that is priced fairly and of high-quality standards

Some of my gear exact models have been discontinued, however, I would still recommend the closest substitute with the same features at a similar price point.

I breathe, eat and sleep Triathlon, and these are the stuff that has proven to work

Best Triathlon Gear On A Budget

Running Shoe

Zoom Pegasus ( link to Amazon): This thing works like magic. I have been buying every model since the release of zoom Pegasus 34 in 2016.

I even have the trail running version. I ran thousands of Miles with these sweeties and they never failed me once.

They are available in all styles and colors. I also noticed that it’s hard to get a discounted rate. It’s as if the retail knows that people would buy them with our without a discount.

Triathlon Suit

2xu perform compression tri suit: One of my best triathlon gear picks.

This suit was my companion for many years in all my triathlon feats. Very comfy and durable. I have been using it for over 5 years and is still holding up.

Closest Substitute: 2XU Perform Trisuit Men & Women (Amazon Link)

Cycling Shoes

Exustar E-SR442: Used it for more than 5 years. Very affordable and does the job. The only downside is the strap mechanism, but honestly, it does not bother me and will unlikely bother you unless you are really very serious about the podium and willing to spend a few hundred dollars to cut down 2-5 seconds.

Closest substitute: Roydear ( Amazon Link) . Very basic, classic, good looking, very affordable, and tones of good reviews.

Curtain is a vibrant and reputable footwear enterprise that was founded in 2015 and their products are gaining a good reputation.

Bikes

Road Bikes

While the Eddi Merckx emx1 is my favorite Road bike and has been my number one companion in all of my races, anything with a similar specification will do you just fine. The benchmark here is around 2,500 USD. Beyond this limit, the gains will tend to be marginal

Closest substitute: ICAN TRIAERO A22 ( Link to ICAN) Road Bike. This one has close specifications. I do not think it is suitable for a Professional triathlete competing for the podium, but it will do a great job for Beginners and Advanced triathletes who are not planning to go Pro.

With the full Carbon Frame, 24 spokes Carbon Wheelset & Shimano 105 Groupset, this bike is set to give you top-notch performance right out of the box

Still Too Expensive For You? Here Is A More Affordable Option

Here is another budget-friendly option :

Ribble Endurance 725 Disc – SportShimano 105 (Link to Ribble)

It’s a solid stepping stone Bike to help get into the game for many years to come.

This bike reproduces Reynolds’ handcrafted steel frame and vintage styling, but make no mistake, it’s a distinctly modern road bike. For this sports edition, they integrated the ingenious and intuitive shifting of Shimano’s 2×11 speed 105 gear shifting system.

This offers a gateway to the benefits of top-notch 11-speed shifting and the greater braking confidence of hydraulic disc brakes. Mavic’s ever-reliable Aksium wheelset fitted with Continental tires round out a complete package.

Whether you want to use this bike for racing, commuting, or touring, it will do you well. It comes with a mount which makes it easier to install a pannier rack. As a matter of fact, you won’t be able to do this with a carbon bike as carbon does not like to be under consistent load which will cause it to deform.

Ribble ships the bike virtually to anywhere in the world and also allows you to modify the bike online if you would like to upgrade it. Check it out here

It is an adequately reliable option for you to access the sport and to learn about bikes, how to maintain them and what works for you in triathlons. and will work very well for your day-to-day use.

You Live in the UK. You Are in Luck!

Specialized Allez E5 2021 (Tredz Affiliate Link) is a super affordable option with as good as you can get specifications for entry-level athletes at this price point. I have only managed to find the unit on Tredz, an online shop in the UK.

Traveling with my Bike

Tri Bike Frame

My Quintana Roo Tri Bike: My advanced triathlete Option but I would recommend replacing the stock wheelset

Closest substitute: Disc Brake Time Trial Bike Frame TT016 ( Link to ICAN)

Another option is the Ribble Ultra TT Frameset ( Link to Tredz-UK)

Both options are fairly affordable carbon frames designed to deliver high performance.

Helmet

TT vs road Cycling Helmet

GIANT RIVET TT: Served me well throughout my triathlon journey and endured 5 years of harsh usage.

Closest substitute: SLS3 Triathlon Helmet (Amazon Link)

Good quality helmet and comes with a Visor, which is great. Nice to have the shield held on with magnets.

It looks cool too. It will though get a bit hotter than a regular road bike helmet, but it is to be expected from an aero helmet.

Swimming Goggles

Arena Googles - Nemesis X fit

Arena Nemeses Xfit : This thing is a hidden gem. After trying dozens of goggles, this one fits perfectly and never caused me any issues. I liked it so much that I bought half a dozen at once. I also noticed many triathletes use them. Although the exact same model is discontinued, the new version should do just fine.

Closest Substitute: Arena The One  (Amazon Link) is very similar to Arena Nemeses with tones of positive reviews

Wet Suit

Wet Suit

Orca TRN Wetsuit: Served me well in all of my cold water swims including the 5 degreed extreme cold swims of Celtman Extreme triathlon.

Closest substitute: ORCA Openwater Core Hi-Vis (Amazon link) In general, I think ORCA wetsuits are well suited for good value budget wet suits that work nicely in triathlons

Triathlon Watch

How much does a triathlon watch cost?

Coros Apex 46 (Amazon link): There is some sort of voodoo magic going on with this watch.

ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS WATCH !!! Truly A hidden gem

Very affordable, yet very capable. I used to have a Garmin finex, but when I made the shift, I was blown away.

The battery life is mind-blowing in this thing, it’s half the weight, and it seems like it’s even more accurate for a third of the price.

The watch has pretty much every sport you can think of preloaded. The Coros app is nice-looking and easy to sync. I also sync with strava

Tires & Tubes

Continentals: Amazing Reliability !! Never had a puncture with this mix. But I do change the tube every year or so.

The Continental Grand Prix 4000 Or 5000 S II Tubular ( Amazon link) coupled with the Conti Tubes (Amazon link), provides amazing low rolling resistance while maintaining a good level for traction and reliability.

Wheelset

Fulcrum Racing 5: A very effective upgrade when compared to the majority of the stock wheelsets.

After the upgrade, immediately noticed the difference. I rode faster and the ride became more enjoyable.

Closest substitute: Ribble Level 1 Disc Brake 700C Wheelset

OR If you can spend a bit more then go for

ICAN 700C Light-Weight Road Bike Carbon Wheelset Clincher ( Amazon link)

Both options are great especially if you are using a stock wheelset, you will certainly feel the impact of the upgrade.

Aerobars

Bike Arobars

REDSHIFT Quick-Release Clip-On Aerobars (Amazon link). Anice addon to your road bike for Triathlons.

What makes these special is the quick release future, which allows you to take off and put on the bars in seconds so that you do not have to pull out your tools every time you ride on the road with the group.

This comes in handy when you ride with groups that do not allow aero bikes or race a non-drafting triathlon

Saddle Post

Redshift  Switch Aero System (Amazon link)

Such a beautiful invention

This one allows you to move from TT forward position to road bike position on the fly.

This is a huge advantage as it allows you to leverage the benefits of both positions depending on the terrain and how you feel.

Honestly, I think this does give some level of an unfair advantage on a hilly course.

Energy Gels

Espresso love and Caramel Macchiato Gu Energy gel ( Amazon links) :

Works very well for me. Gives me that pump I need.

I do understand that everyone’s body reacts differently to food, however, I think it is worth mentioning and trying.

Saddle

This is really a matter of personal preference and each individual will find a different saddle that works for him or her but here is the one I use Prologo Kappa Space T2.0 Saddle (Amazon Link)

Portable Bike Repair Multi-tool

You will most certainly need one of these. The Crankbrothers M19 Multi-Tool (Amazon Link) will do you well

Pump

There are Dozens of Pumps in the market. Just get one that works for you. Here is a suggestion: BV Bicycle Ergonomic Bike Floor Pump with Gauge & Smart Valve Hea (Amazon Link)

Mini Pump

Again, Any Mini Pump will do. Here is a suggestion: Mini Bike Pump & Glueless Puncture Repair Kit (Amazon Link)

Sun Glasses

Any sunglass you can get your hand on and fits you well. Oakley is the best in my opinion but they are a bit pricy. Here is my suggested model: Oakley Men’s Oo9154 Half Jacket 2.0 XL Rectangular Sunglasses (Amazon Link)


Bonus Gear

Waterproof Swimming MP3 For Training

Sony Waterproof MP3 Player (Amazon link)

I can’t Imagine my Swim Sessions without them!

Most affordable option that works very well for a more enjoyable training session.

Helps me throughout my long swim sessions, but be careful of getting too used to it.

This is a good tool to help you with the training, however, in races, note that it’s strictly prohibited to use it or any other media devices.

Bike Trainer

Indoor Trainer

Nashbar Fluid Bicycle Trainer: A love-hate relationship. I hate indoor trainers, but when the weather is not behaving, it’s your best option.

Very cheap hack: I think smart trainers are too expensive and not worth it, so I would recommend any fluid trainer coupled with a Wahoo Blue SC Speed and Cadence Sensor (Amazon link) to connect it with zwift or your smartwatch/phone and monitor your performance.

Socks

Look for anti-blister, anti-chafing, double-layer socks. Here is my suggested socks for triathlons: DANISH ENDURANCE Quarter Athletic Socks for Men & Women (Amazon Link)

Swim Buoy

Very light swim buoy that provides a safe way to float and be visible during your swim workouts: New Wave Swim Bubble (Amazon Link)

Not sure what triathlon gear you need at this point? Then Check Out the ready-made list of what you need based on your category of where you are in the triathlon Journey: The Actual Cost Of Racing Triathlons; First Timer, Beginner, Enthusiast, And Advanced

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