- XTERRA Vortex Wetsuit – I bought this wetsuit when I first got into triathlon in 2012. I went with XTERRA because it was by far my cheapest option. At that time it was easy to find 55% of promo codes, so the wetsuit was under $200. I cut about 15cm off the legs to make it easier to get off.
- TYR Nest Pro Goggles – I’ve only tried a few different types of goggles, but these are my favourite. They fit my face well, I haven’t had problems with leaks, and they’re not too expensive. I have both a clear tens and a tinted lens pair.
- Pinarello FT1 TT Bike – This is my first, and only triathlon bike. I bought this bike used for $1100 back in 2012. I was brand new to the sport and didn’t really know what I was doing so I got relatively lucky to end up with something that fit me relatively well and came with pretty good components. I bought this bike because it was my cheapest option. It’s a 2008 bike, so she has quite a few miles on her, but still does the trick. I had my first real problems with her this year. There was a crack near the bottom bracket that needed to be fixed. Also, the tube inside my frame to run the front derailleur cable collapsed, so I can’t run a front derailleur. This is far from a super bike, but I try to set it up clean to make it as fast as possible.
- SRAM 1x 50T Chainring – I was forced to switch to a 1x system when I could no longer run a front derailleur cable through my bike. So far it’s worked out fine. I’m currently using a 50T chainring, which is the same as my big chainring I used to run. Only on long or steep hills so I really wish I had a small chainring. On a really hilly course I have a 46T I can use instead. It gives me more low end at the expense of top end speed.
- Powertap Power Meter – A PowerTap is one of the more affordable ways to get into training with power. I started with a wired model, which I picked up laced into a wheel for under $300. I used that for a year before upgrading to the wireless version I use. I consider my power meter one of my most important pieces of equipment. It keeps my training efforts honest, and helps me pace in a race.
- Flo 60 Front Wheel – Flo was the first affordable, aerodynamically tested, wheel available. It was the first real challenger to the super expensive Zipp and HED wheels. I was able to buy one used for under $400 in 2012, and it is still serving me well.
- Rear Wheel Cover – This is a no-brainer. Turn any training wheel into a disc. I’m into my 4th season using my disc cover, and it’s starting to get a little warn, but has been terrific for me. It costs about $110, and is easy to install. I’d recommend the Flo front, disc cover rear to anyone looking for a set of race wheels.
- Latex Tubes – I’ve never seen a compelling reason not to run latex tubes in a race. They’re undeniably faster that butyl, and the old wives tale that they’re fragile has been proven false.
- GP4000 Tires – I currently use GP4000s for their mix of speed and flat protection. I’ve considered switching to a tire that is a little more fragile, and faster, but since I still have a stock of GP4000s I’ve stuck with them for now.
- Waxed Chain – It’s way easier to wax your chain than some would have you believe, and reports show considerable power savings over traditional squirt lubes.
- Garmin 500 Computer – I like using a computer on my bike instead of a watch. It’s way easier to see, there’s more fields, and can be more aerodynamic. Also, since 500 is an older generation they can be had for cheap.
- Torhans Aero 30 – I choose to use an aero bottle with a straw instead of a horizontal bottle because it’s easier to drink, which means I’ll stay on top of my fluids much better. From the wind tunnel results I’ve seen the Aero 30 is as good or better than it’s rivals, so I’ve stuck with it.
- Tri Rig Stem and Front Brake – Really helps clean up the front end of the bike. The front end is a significant source of drag, and this combo helps make my 8 year old bike a little more ‘super’.
- Bell Javelin Helmet – I switched to the Bell Javelin from the Rudy Wingspan this year. I was able to buy a new Javelin for less than I sold my used Wingspan, so I jumped at the opportunity. The Javelin is generally considered to be more aerodynamic than the Wingspan, though it’s definitely more difficult to put on in T1. Also, it have a visor, which has yet to cause any problems for me, but something that’s new. I would have liked to upgrade this year to the S-Works TT helmet, LG 09, or new Giro Aerohead, but all were more than I was willing to pay to try something new.
- Skechers Go Run 4 – These are currently my favourite shoes to run in. I’d use these shoes for everything from track work to long runs, and they’re currently my go-to race shoe. I won them at Barrelman last year, and they’re the only Skechers shoes I’ve owned. Before these shoes I was racing in Saucony A5’s. I liked the A5’s, but they didn’t last all that long. I also really like New Balance. Most of my running shoes are actually New Balance, but the Skechers are my favourite. The only shoes I’ve ever really disliked are from Mizuno. I felt clunky running in them and they didn’t seem to fit my ankle very well.
- Stroopwafles – Basically the same as Stinger Waffles, but a fraction of the price. I like them because they’re small, easily transportable, and high in calories.
- Salted Caramel Gu Gel – I used Salted Caramel Gu all of 2015, and maybe even most of 2014….I don’t remember back that far. This is my trusted go-to gel.
- Vanilla Clif Shot Gel – I recently started using the Vanilla Clif Shot gel and quite like the taste. It seems like a thicker consistency, which I wouldn’t necessarily say is a positive, but I do like this.
- Gatorade – Last year I began using Gatorade on my bike because that is what they were going to have on course in my big races. That is the case again this year. I like being able to live off the course, and Gatorade is readily available. I have considered trying Eload or Infinite, or some of the other special powders, but so far I’m still using Gatorade.
- Coke – I love Coke on the run. The same reason it’s terrible for you makes it great in a race. Lots of sugar and caffine. In a triathlon Coke will be my primary source of fuel on the run.
- Trainer Road – I’m a big fan of Trainer Road. I first tried it in 2013 and right away I noticed that the quality of my workouts improved. I was more focused in my training. Before I would watch Sufferfest videos on the trainer. They were good, but built on perceived effort, so it can be easy to cheat workouts. In Trainer Road you have specific goals and power (or virtual power if you don’t have a power meter) to hit.
- Kinetic Fluid Trainer – I bought this second hand in 2012 and it’s still treating me well. I found the Kinetic customer service to be great, I had a problem with fluid resistance unit last year and they sent me a new one. I put a lot of hours in on my trainer so it’s a very important too for me. I prefer the feel of the resistance on my trainer to Lisa’s CompuTrainer, but I don’t have the ERG option on mine.