Triathlon equipment includes swim equipment, bike equipment, and running gear necessary to get started in the sport.

It just amazes me to see all the equipment options available to the triathletes of today. When I think back to the early days of Ironman there sure were limited choices.

It makes sense I suppose because what manufacturer back then would take a chance on a sport that was so new?

For instance how could they possibly know how important aero-bars, titanium, trisuits, or triathlon wetsuits would become? Who would ever think they would one day become essential triathlon equipment?

When I took the plunge(so to speak)and entered Ironman Hawaii in 1984 on a hope and a prayer it was pretty well impossible to find any triathlon equipment here at home in Calgary.

As a matter of face it was pretty well impossible to find triathlon equipment anywhere in the world.

I bought my very first pair of tri-shorts from a guy from the U.S. who was selling them out of his hotel room in Kona. That was two days before the big race.


I remember going into one running store and asking if they had any triathlon shorts and they looked at me like I had an eye in the middle of my forehead.

Basically they had running shoes and running tops and shorts, but had still not caught on to this new sport called triathlon.

Triathlon equipment

You could always find running shoe

There simply was no running gear yet manufactured with the Ironman or triathlon in general in mind.

So basically it was hit or miss trying to find triathlon gear for racing or training, but today it’s far different and there are many choices when it comes to triathlon equipment.


Wetsuits were another huge problem, especially if you happened to live in a colder climate. Usually it meant doing the majority of swim training in the pool.

The wetsuit hadn’t really been invented back in the early 80’s and the best you could expect to find in a scuba shop was a “dry suit” that weighed about 80 pounds.

Triathlon equipment

Plenty of wetsuits around now

Then of course there was something called the “Farmer-John” suit that some water-skiers wore but they offered pretty much zero protection from the cold.

I’m not really sure what their function was if they never helped you stay warm.

Today a triathlon wetsuit sale can always be found somewhere and many online stores specialize in triathlon wetsuit reviews and explaining the difference in the different brands of wetsuits and finding quality swim equipment is no longer a problem.


It didn’t take all that long to find out about the triathlon bikes on the market back then because like most other triathlon equipment there were none to choose from.

Basically you got yourself a road-bike that weighed about the same as a Volkswagen.

Aero-bars? Forget it.

There were no aero-bars, clipless pedals, bike computers, titanium, or any other little extras that come with most basic triathlon bikes these days.

Today there are stores full of triathlon-specific cycling gear and a person can spend anywhere for a few hundred dollars for a much used triathlon bike up to thousands of dollars for the best the biking world has to offer.

It can be a daunting task to wade through all the bike-equipment choices available today.



There are several things to consider when picking out your first triathlon bike. First of all, most people do not realize the subtle difference between a road bike and a triathlon bike.

triathlon equipment -triathlon bike

They are configured differently and today’s triathlon bikes are more for straight ahead riding as opposed to a road bike that is much more forgiving when it comes to cornering and over-all maneuverability.

A specifically designed triathlon bike might not necessarily be the best choice for the novice triathlete who is new to biking.


While you are in the process of finding yourself a triathlon bike don’t forget about proper bike fit.

Regardless of how much you spend on a bike it’s ultimately how well it fits you that might well dictate how well your training and racing goes.

If it costs a bit extra to have a professional fit you properly to the bike of your choice then consider it money well spent.

A proper bike fit will do wonders for your your triathlon training, racing and recovery.


Cheap triathlon bikes are different things to different people.

Cheap does not mean poorly constructed in this case. It means cost-effective.

Trust me when I say that you can do just as well in a triathlon of any distance with a used triathlon bike as you can with a brand-spanking-new state-of-the-art titanium-framed Italian bike with a name you can’t pronounce.

There is an old saying that is powerful and makes a solid point:

“A good carpenter doesn’t blame anything on his tools”.

So it might be wise to at least consider cheaper triathlon bikes if you are just starting out in triathlon or are on a tight budget.


It’s not always possible or time-efficient for many people who want to take up triathlon to find time to bike outside.

Many city-dwellers have to load up their bikes and head out of the city to somewhere with less traffic to do their bike training.

This does not have to mean that you can’t take up the sport.

Do what many triathletes choose to do and set up your bike in your home on a wind-trainer and do your bike training when it’s most convenient to you.

Triathlon equipment -triathlete on a windtrainer

Bike Train at Home

A bicycle indoor training stand or windtrainer as they are normally called might be the perfect alternative if you are short of training time or a bit self-conscious about your biking skills.

Training indoors is a great way to get started and there’s plenty of time to take your new-found biking skills outside once you are more comfortable with your biking ability.


Actually, there’s so much different triathlon gear for triathletes to choose from these days that I can see where it can be a bit much for the first time triathete/Ironman when it comes to making the right choices.

The best the world has to offer in the lightest, fastest wetsuits, state-of-the-art bikes, and high tech nutrition is at your finger-tips.

Although it can be a bit overwhelming just do your homework when you’re looking to gear-up and be sure to make full use of the internet when searching out your triathlon gear.

There’s some excellent deals out there and knowledgeable suppliers who will give you great service.

You can get as fancy and expensive as you want.

The sky’s pretty well the limit if money is no object.

It’s up to the individual just how much they are comfortable with spending on their triathlon racing and training gear.


The sport of triathlon is so huge and growing every day by leaps and bounds that pretty well everyone who is not involved in triathlon in some way most likely knows someone who is.

If that’s the case then it’s always important to know what to buy that person when it comes to Christmas and birthdays.

You can’t really go wrong by visiting your local triathlon shop.

Gifts for triathletes can come in so many forms. They can be anything from a great triathlon book to a new bike computer and everything in between.


What to look for in a triathlon bike (youtube)

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