It’s a new year, and even though Christmas just passed, I’ve got a long list of gear I’m looking to purchase for the upcoming season. Now, triathlon has to be one of world’s most expensive sports. Think about it–you combine all the individual costs of swim/bike/run gear, plus races, travel, bike shipping, nutrition and training fees. Marathon entries go for $80 to $120 (sometimes more), but tris range from around $100 to $575 for an Ironman.
[insert choking sound here]
But you have to do what you have to do, and for my first season I tested the waters using only what I already had or could borrow–my road bike, shoes and helmet, old swimsuits and tri shorts and my regular running shoes. I supplemented a bit with a race belt, extra tubes and a basic bike computer, along with a borrowed wetsuit and aerobars, but for the most part purchases were minimal.
This season I’m dreaming big.
I received a Cyclops Fluid2 stationary trainer for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!) and am in love. It’s just too damn cold and icy to ride outside during a D.C. winter, plus I can catch up on TV episodes and Netflix movies while getting a great workout.
Since I started attending Sat. morning spin sessions at Conte’s in Arlington (more on that later) and realized my old Polar HR monitor had died, I decided to go ahead and splurge on the do-it-all training tool I’ve been coveting: the Garmin Forerunner 310XT. This thing is amazing. It’s GPS-based and tracks every stat you could ever want or need. I also bought the matching HR strap and cadence meter. I’m in love.
Now for my wish list:
Road ID: If I’m going to be doing long rides and runs, often by myself and at all hours, I need some sort of identification. Not saying I’m expecting to get into a tricky situation, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Helmet: My current helmet is a Trek model that was on sale for $30 at my local bike shop back home. I’d like to get a nicer one, maybe a Giro, that’s sleeker and has a better fit. It’s not just a vanity thing, I promise. Maybe someday I’ll be legit enough for an aero helmet?
Wetsuit: I will absolutely need a wetsuit for many of my races this season. I like 2XU but have heard good things about BlueSeventy. Then there’s the question of sleeveless versus full sleeves. As a swimmer, I imagine I’d feel constrained by having my shoulders covered. To be determined–my first open water swims are months away.
Tri shoes: Right now I’ve got Specialized road shoes for my bike. They’re fine, but tri shoes have fewer straps and are easier to take on/off in transition. They’re also lighter weight. I have my eye on the new model of Sidi T2s. They’d be a huge splurge, but go big or go home, right?
MY TRI BIKE: I’ve been saving for this investment for months, and as soon as it’s warm enough to ride outside, I’ll be ready to bring it home. I tested a number of models a few weeks ago–the Felt B14, Cervelo P2 and a Quintana Roo–and think the P2 is what I’m shooting for. The other frames were a bit too aggressive and the components one step above what I really need. I’d originally planned to look at the P3, but again, I’m not at the level that would make the extra cost worth it. The great shop staff explained the reason the P2 is so popular is it fits almost everyone and is comfortable and simple enough to adjust to individual needs. Plus, the 2011 model is $400 less than the 2010 model and has better components. A little part of me wants the B14 because Felt is predicted to take over the market in a few short years, but I’ll make sure I do my research and a few more test rides before making a final decision.
Needless to say, spending on tri gear requires most of my extra cash, so I’m going to maximize the use I get out of it this season and for many more!