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The 2013 Swim/Bike/Run Gear I use List

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It’s that time of year again – the “Swim/Bike/Run Gear I use List!”.  Like previous years, most of the items haven’t changed or shifted a ton.  But, I went through and updated everything that has been tweaked (no, not twerked…totally different).

I’ve divided it up into the three main sports, plus a random section at the end.  Obviously, I don’t use all this gear at the same time.  For example, cold-weather swim booties are reserved for those hideous cold weather triathlons that I’ve succeeded in avoiding this year.

As anyone will tell you – there’s a lot of gear to be had for triathlon, and there’s unfortunately simply no getting around that.  I’m typically not one to buy the most expensive piece of fashionable stuff – and brands don’t tend to mean a lot to me.  I just buy what works for me.  None of these brands sponsor me or anything here.  It’s just what I’ve bought myself and use day to day.

Swimming:

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Perhaps the easiest category, simply due to the least amount of stuff on one’s body.  At least most of the time.  I start off with the three basics, and then the drill stuff – and then the open water swimming pieces.

Swimsuit: Nike Team Core Jammer: I know, I do dabble in the shorter square leg ones as well, but this is mostly my go-to suit.
Goggles: Speedo Vanquisher:  For the most part, it’s whatever I haven’t lost recently.  At present, this is what I bought the last time I bought three pairs, down to one left. Goggles are like socks in the dryer around here.
Swim Cap: Random Race Caps – Essentially whatever I pull from the massive Ziploc bag of past race caps.
Swim Watch: Garmin Swim – From a slimness standpoint this is really the best option out there today, and functionality wise it’s the most full-featured.  Plus, I love that with a 1 year battery it just sits in my swim bag constantly (and wirelessly uploads to nearby computer).
Drills – Pool buoy: Speedo Pull Buoy – Really, it’s a pull buoy, just ensure it’s big enough to fit.
Drills – Swimmer Snorkel: FINIS Swimmer’s Snorkel – This is useful for balance drills primarily, allowing me to focus on position (looking at hands, etc…) without having to come up for air
Drills – Paddles: TYR Mentor Hand Paddles – Various drills.
Drills – Fins: TYR Split Fins -  Note these are longer fins, primarily used for balance drills and not at all used for extensive propulsion.
Openwater – Wetsuit: Blueseventy Helix – Though, my only complaint is that I don’t like as much the zip-down wetsuits (to close), because I find them a pain to get closed up when solo (compared to traditional zip-up to close).
Openwater – Booties: Blueseventy Swim Socks – For 60*F and below water, I use these booties to keep my toes warm.
Openwater – Swim Cap: Bluesventy Skull cap – Again, for super-cold water (looking at you, Boise 70.3), I use this swim cap – but I cut off the annoying chin strap (most people do).
Openwater – Anti-chaff: BodyGlide – To prevent any wrong rubbing of the wetsuit near my neck.  Works well, every triathlete should have it in their swim bag.
Openwater – Visibility Buoy: Safer Swimmer – When swimming in openwater by myself, I use this to be seen by boats and the like, for example, during these swims.
Swim bag: Alternates between one of those generic purse-string type swim bags you get at most races these days, or a duffel bag I got at Target for $8US.
Openwater Swim Watch: Garmin FR910XT – There’s really only three options in this category.

Invariably, a strictly pool swimmer will say that’s a lot of gear – but if you divide it up (normal, drills, openwater), it’s really not that much stuff…especially compared to cycling.

Bike:

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The Triathlon Bike: Cervelo P3C – This just happened to be the bike that fit me best.  I use all the stock components.
The Road Bike: Trek 1.2 – I know, it hasn’t quite debuted here on the blog…shortly!  I’m mostly going to be using it to test road-bike only products (i.e. mounts that only work on road bikes and not triathlon bikes).  Thus, I’d expect 95% of the time I’d otherwise be riding my triathlon bike.
The Commuter Bike: Trek Belleville: Here’s the whole backstory on that bicycle.  Though, I could also probably put the Paris Velib bike in this category too, I ride that more often actually.
Power Meter: Quarq Riken & PowerTap G3: I actually own a lot of power meters, but these are the two that are on my bike pretty much all the time.  I previously had the Quarq Cinqo and it was swapped out for the Riken.  I’m sure going forward I’ll have a pair of Vector pedals on there too.
Race Wheels: PowerTap G3 Carbon 46mm Wheelset: I’ve been riding variants of these for a while.  I also still own a pair of HED 3’s Tubular.  And, should I veer back to long-course racing, I suspect the HED’s would have better aerodynamics, but for the shorter-course stuff, I’m more than happy with the integrated PowerTap wheelset.
Bike Pedals: Shimano PD-6700 Ultegra SPD-SL – I also have a slightly cheaper model as well that I use on a road bike. (Though, right now I’ve got Vector pedals on there.)
Water bottle cages: Elite Custom Race Cages – Honestly, I’ve tried a number of them, and my only goal in life is that they don’t pop bottles, nor snap easily.  These ones mostly work.
Rear rack system: Beaker Concepts Hydrotail H.5 – This is to mount said water bottle cages on, as well as where I place my CO2 Kit.
Front hydration system: At present, I’m not using any – and am just doing the bottle thing.  On the bike above at top of post, you see the Speedfil – which I found painfully annoying on many levels.
CO2 Kit: This little kit from Performance fits right into my rack system so perfectly you’d thought they were made for each other.
Regular Helmet:  Giro Aeon (Matte Black)- Woot, and upgrade a few weeks ago!  So much lighter than my previous helmet.
Aero Helmet: Giro Advantage 2 Helmet – Some of the newer helmets have better ventilation designs – so I probably wouldn’t choose this particular model again.
Bike jerseys: It’s really whatever’s around.  No particular brand, plenty from races/events/cities that I select from.
Bike shorts/bib: Louis Garneau Pro Bib Shorts – I love this bib, but I only have one pair from them.  So I also mix in some random bike shorts that I picked up, including the old school Garmin-Chipotle ones with a big chili on the back that says ‘Hot’…on my ass.  Last month I also picked up a Pearl Izumi Elite Bib that I’m already loving as well.
Bike Shoes: Shimano SH-TR31 Triathlon Shoes – These have served me well over the years.  Not as pretty as new shoes, but, they keep on ticking.  I have the slightly older model of these.
Cold Weather Long Sleeve Jersey: Pearl Izumi Long Sleeve Jersey: This is for in-between days.
Cold Weather Bike Top: Gore Men’s Contest SO Jacket – I layer this over a long sleeve bike jersey.
Cold Weather Bike Tights: Gore Bike Wear Vista Tights – These work well, and are windproof and reasonably water-resistant – which is sorta the basic requirement for me.
Bike Case: Aerus Biospeed Bike Case – Here’s a bit more in-detail on the case, and how I use it while travelling.  Unfortunately, the Biospeed model isn’t made anymore, but, a new case that appears to be exactly the same is now out (links in that post).  I’m talking with that company to get a test case to validate it.
Bike Trainer: Wahoo Fitness KICKR: This is the trainer that I’d ride if it were my choice anyway.  Currently The Girl has pushed forward an “Occupy KICKR” movement that has left me back on the CompuTrainer.  Though, that’s also in part because the CompuTrainer gives me a bit more flexibiliy when doing power meter testing (since I don’t have to remove the back wheel, allowing me to keep the PowerTap on there too).  If you’re buying a trainer, I’ll have a 2013 recommendations post up the first week of October (like last year’s post).
Bike Computer/GPS: Edge 800/Edge 810: With the new-cycling-product season largely over, I’m pretty much back to my usual, which is generally either of these two Edges.  Right now I sorta have five head units on my handlebars for power meter testing.  I like the Edge 800/810 here in Paris because I’m trying to get out and explore new routes each week – so the mapping is ideal for that.
Speed/Cadence Sensor: Bontrager Speed/Cadence Sensor – This quick-release version pops on and off the bike in two seconds, making it awesome for moving between bikes should you need to.
Heart Rate Strap: 4iiii’s Viiiiva – I like this strap simply because I do a lot of testing with Bluetooth only apps as well as ANT+, so this makes it easy to do both at once.
Garmin Mount: Barfly TT mount – for a TT bike, no mount beats this. I love that I can swap between the Forerunner’s and the Edge units without a screwdriver.

I should mention that I rarely wear arm warmers, and they are just a pair that I picked up at some random demo day somewhere.  In my little mind, if it’s cold enough for arm warmers, it’s cold enough for a long sleeve jersey.  And vice versa.

Run:

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Running Shoes: Asics Gel-DS Trainer 17: I switched this up this year, after The Girl convinced me to try them out. Much lighter than the previous New Balance model I was wearing.
Running T-Shirt: Whatever technical t-shirt I grab out of the massive drawer of dozens of them.  If you don’t have any running t-shirts, you’re not doing enough races. ;)
Running Shorts: Nike Dri-FIT running shorts: I pick these up at the Nike outlet stores when I go, but they last forever.  I haven’t bought new pairs in 4-5 years.  I’m sure at some point they’ll die…but today is not that point.
Running Socks: Balega – No questions, these socks…forever.  So soft, just love them.  I’ve never had blisters with them.  Ever.
Running Watch: Like the other watches, this is a never ending swinging door of watches to review.  In general though, if I’m doing a triathlon race, it’ll be the Garmin FR910XT.  But if I’m just running straight-up, it’s usually the Garmin FR610.  I connect that to the standard Garmin ANT+ footpod for indoor training (currently I have the Suunto ANT+ pod, but any of them will do, whatever is cheapest that day).
Long Run Hydration: CamelBak Fairfax – I use this to hold enough for all but the very hottest and longest training runs (22 miles), and even then – I can usually refill along the way around mile 18 or so.
Place to stick stuff on runs: Spibelt – Most runs, I don’t bother with anything.  But for some longer runs, this works as a great place to stick house/car keys, credit cards, or even gels.  I’ve tried a few brands, this one just works the best for me.
Cold Weather Running Top: Quarter-Zip North Face fleece (can’t find it anymore).  Sometimes I’ll layer it on top of a long-sleeve technical shirt from a running race.  In general though, you’re pretty much set for any DC or Paris weather with that combo.  You don’t need to bulk up too much as you’ll get warm pretty easily.  Here’s a post on all my cold weather running thoughts.
Cold Weather Running Tights: Sugoi Midzero tights – These are my favorite.  I’ve only got one pair, and use them religiously in cold weather (below about 42*F).
Cold Weather Running Gloves: $1.00 race expo gloves – That’s it.  It’s easy.  I almost never throw them away, I feel guilty.  So I use a few rotating pairs, all from expos – some even free!  I’ve got a pair of no-brand mittens that I toss on if the weather is super-cold, but like running tops in cold weather, you’d be surprised what your body is fine with once it’s up to speed.  All you folks in Minnesota though shouldn’t adhere to this section.  Just go to the Artic section of REI instead.
Ice Running: Yaktrax – There’s no better way to run on compact snow and ice, albeit not much of that in Paris (I did use them about three times last year though).  Deeper snow though, not as useful/necessary.

Nutrition/Random/TriSuits/Etc:

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Here’s a few random things that didn’t fit above.

Bike/Run Nutrition: PowerBar Energy Blasts – I continue to import into France these little things for my nutrition.  I was thinking last night that I like that if I don’t finish a packet I just wrap it up and save it for later  But, I’m kinda finicky when it comes to nutrition.  I move around a lot as my body tends to get sick of things easily, especially on race day.  Btw, I like the Strawberry & Raspberry ones, The Girl likes Cola.  I tolerate Lemon.
Training/Racing Camera: Panasonic Lumix TS3 – I use this for taking all of the swim/bike/run photos you see here showing day to day training.  I almost never stop to take a photo, so everything is taken…well…on the run.  It’s waterproof and can go down fairly deep depth wise.  It’s what I used during Alcatraz.  For all my other photography stuffs, see my photography page.
Training/Racing Video Camera: GoPro HD Hero 3 – While I’ve had some minor troubles with my Hero 3, it’s what I continue to use.  I’ve also got a Contour (out of business), but it’s nowhere near as flexible as the GoPro system.  Again, the GoPro just works when and where I need it.  I’m looking forward to getting more hands-on time with the Garmin VIRB though in the coming weeks.
Weight Scale: Withings WiFi Scale and FitBit Aria Scale – I use both, it just depends which bathroom I’m in.  It’s that simple.  You step on it, it wirelessly uploads via WiFi, and you’re done.  No advanced/complex thinking/setup required.
Race belt: FuelBelt GelReady Race Belt -  For races, to put your number on for the bike and run.  It also holds gels, though, not as well as I’d like.  Better just as a race belt for the number than a storage platform.
Triathlon suit: Desoto and Orca: I have two, a blue one-piece from Orca, and a second red one-piece from DeSoto.  Unfortunately, the exact model names have rubbed well off though.  I like them both.  My only recommendation on tri suits is ensure it has at least one, if not three back/side pockets.  Absolutely critical.
Transition Bag: Extreme Terra Bag (no longer made/available) – I use that bag occasionally for transitions, but as more and more races go towards ‘clean transition areas’, I’ve simply moved to a generic REI backpack.  As long as it has places to clip stuff on the sides, you can carry a lot with a little creativity.

Summary:

As you’ve seen, not a lot of changes from last year.  Little items here and there.  I tend to be a person that sticks with what works rather than re-invent the wheel.

Obviously that’s a lot of gear, but that’s primarily because you’re training and racing in three different sports.  Actually, it’s sorta like 4-5 sports, with openwater swimming and pool swimming both having different requirements (i.e. wetsuits), plus you have specific gear you’d use in triathlon that you don’t use in road cycling (i.e. bike rear cage/hydration systems).

It should be noted that none of the stuff seen above is stuff that I’m trying out for reviews.  Every single item above I’ve bought and use in my normal day to day training.  Obviously, you see me use gear outside of that in testing – but this is what’s left after you peel the testing and reviewing away.

As always, if you utilize any of the Amazon or Clever Training links – magic happens and you support the blog (and with Clever Training you get 10% off your order, and free US shipping for orders over $75US).  Your support is always appreciated around these parts.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. – Stay tuned for tomorrow when The Girl’s “Gear I use” updated list will be published (here’s last year’s)!

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99 Comments

  1. That is just way to much stuff, but then I’m a runner and I run without a shirt, so most of my runs are just shoes (NB Minimus or 5 fingers) what-ever socks I grab, and tights (NB short compretion tights). Oh and Ms 310xt is alway on my arm to record every step I take.

    One day when I’m big I’m going to have lots of toys to run with just like you!!!

    Reply
  2. Nathan

    Hi Ray,

    How do you hydrate during a marathon? Do you carry water or gels or wear the above CamelBak?

    I am doing my first in Melbourne this year and still tossing up whether to just carry gels or the FuelBelt Revenge 4-bottle which was kind of recommended by The Running Company in Geelong.

    I am not sure what to do. What do others use or think?

    Thanks
    Nathan

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I’ve been doing gels (well, those little gummy things) lately – including for the marathon this past spring.

      Personally I prefer to minimize as much as possible what I carry. I have however in the past taken a Camelbak with me on the marathon in the Ironman – simply because it actually forced me to drink.

      Reply
  3. Mans M

    Ray,
    Extensive list!
    Wish you could mount a powermeter to the velib and see how much it let you suffer ;-) As you mention race wheels, do you also have training wheels? which tires are you using?

    (cervelo p3c url = 404)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, I just use the same PowerTap wheelset 99% of the time.

      Reply
    • Bikesharer replied

      I second this. Is there any way to mount a power meter on a bike share? Are the pedals removable? Maybe velib or another bike share would work with you as a promo. I would love to see that after riding the DC Capitol Bike Share.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, I don’t think the pedals are removable with a standard pedal wrench (at least on the Velib bikes here). Though, I have seen the odd Velib without a pedal.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Thats what the heart rate powercal strap is for

      Reply
  4. retrac1324

    Openwater wetsuit link is broken.

    Reply
  5. Moh

    Ray, did you try the Mizuno Wave Sayonara? It’s a brand new line from mizuno and it blew my mind away!

    I used to run on an ol’asics show, then moved up to Mizuno Wave Inspire, Mizuno Wave Elixir and now I just can’t get the Sayonara off my feet!

    Reply
    • Randy replied

      I went from Nike Pegasus, to Saucony Ride’s, before settling into the Mizuno Wave Rider’s (13, 2×15, now 16), ASICS in general always felt to pillowy to me. I got to try out the Sayonara’s at an event Potomac River Running and Mizuno did last night, 4 miles of SPEED! They were great. Depending on if I need a pair before the Wave Rider 17 comes out I’ll probably go them.

      Ray have you tried Mizuno?

      Reply
  6. Thanks lot. (again)

    One thing that I am really interested in: What kind of software (apps, Mac software, online services) are you using?

    Reply
    • Miguel replied

      +1000

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I primarily use TrainingPeaks for my day to day analysis and my ‘complete’ training log.

      On the side, I use Garmin Connect as a repository for all my Garmin files (even if I don’t really analyze them there). And then I upload some rides and some runs to Strava (but not all).

      Reply
    • Fabrice replied

      Hi Ray,

      May I ask you what you like/features you need on TrainingPeaks over competitors ?

      Tried it several weeks ago, but was quickly dissuaded (surely too quickly…) by the horrible, old, and too slow (that’s only my opinion) interface. I’m surely wrong somewhere if you choose it.

      I’m using Garmin for main repository, Strava premium for analysis (thank you for letting me know garminsync.com on your blog !)

      Thank for your answer, but more globally thank you for your blog, your gear reviews (bests I ever read) and all the hard work. Always a pleasure to discover a new post !

      Cheers,
      Fabrice

      Reply
    • Fabrice replied

      Just give a deeper look at the possibilities and it appears TrainingPeaks was made for the mens while Garmin Connect and Strava are for the kids… ;-)

      Anyway what an horrible interface isn’t it !!!

      Cheers !

      Reply
  7. “if it’s cold enough for arm warmers, it’s cold enough for a long sleeve jersey. And vice versa.” Nononono! :) Going for a 4 hour or longer group ride starting at 8 am during autumn of spring, it might be so chilly that you want arm warmers and a vest, but two hours later – especially if it is sunny – the temperature might have risen enough that you can ride in a short jersey. Or, climbing / descending: on the ascent you will die in a long sleeved jersey, but on the way down, especially if it is something longer / from a higher altitude, you might want to put more clothes on. For these rides, arm warmers are the perfect piece of kit! Also, they are a traditional part of a cyclists wardrobe ;) For triathlon, I see that it is probably less practical / necesary…

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Ahh, I see you’re issue: You’re waking up early enough that it matters.

      I fixed that problem.

      Reply
    • Tyler replied

      I like the Gore Phantom jacket with zip off sleeves for this situation.
      link to amazon.com

      I do all of my rides at sunrise, and use this jacket exclusively year round in a 4-season climate with hot summer and cold winter.
      Needs a tight undershirt on the coldest winter days, and is a little warm on the hottest summer days, but tolerable, especially if you’re frugal.

      Reply
    • BikingBrian replied

      LOL to Ray’s reply! But seriously, I use a cycling vest for the reasons you mention, but the arm warmers are too warm for me in that scenario. So mine normally go unused….

      Reply
    • Mr Nofish replied

      The strong point of warmers is the flexibility they offer in dealing with changing weather conditions, regardless of the time of the day, the season or the altimetry profile of your ride. Also, a great tool for anyone who might be space or budget challenged, such as people new to cycling.

      Reply
  8. Jakob Hansen

    I’m interested in why you find the Speedfil system annoying.
    I had more or less convinced myself it would be the best solution for me, now I’m not so sure :)

    Maybe we can convince you to do a review at some point?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Unfortunately I got rid of it, sorry!

      Reply
    • Jakob Hansen replied

      Ok, but do you remember why it was so annoying?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      A few things:

      I didn’t like the bottle itself. It’s a pain in the butt to get in and out of the cage (you have to loosen a screw, pry it out). And then when you do get it out it’s a mess to clean if you’re using a typical endurance sports sticky/messy product.

      I found the straw a bit awkward, not really staying where I wanted it to stay.

      Perhaps you’ll have better luck, but for me I just found it a pain.

      Reply
    • Jakob Hansen replied

      Thanks!

      Amazing site you’ve got, keep up the good work!
      It’s really appreciated.

      Reply
    • John replied

      Hi Jakob and Ray,

      On my speedfil bottle, I never even bother to screw the cage. The bottle stayed pretty well without the screw. I only use it for water, so I didn’t have to deal with cleaning inside. I do agree that the straw is a bit awkward. But I also use the front hydration system and I push the straw through the front hydration system and it stayed on pretty good.

      I used XLAB for the front hydration system.

      Reply
  9. Terry

    Unless I’m missing something, the CleverTraining free shipping deal only applies to the US?

    Reply
  10. Wahoo Mike

    How can we take the “Occupy KICKR” movement from one apartment in Paris to every cyclist household in the world? I think The Girl should be the spokesperson.

    Reply
  11. Guillaume

    Regarding the Yaktrax, do you simply use that over standard running shoes?

    Been looking for options to run in winter here… Although with the amount of snow (along with very slow snow removal), Sorel boots are often the only option :|

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      They wrap over your shoes. See some of the photos in these past posts: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
    • Matt replied

      The other alternative is a pair of MicroSpikes – a bit heavier but they have slightly better grip I think, and you can whip them off in literally a second for any long cleared sections. I’m guessing Ray probably just runs the cleared bits with the Yaks still on.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Indeed, you can run pretty easily with them on no problems on normal pavement.

      Reply
    • Ben replied

      I have been running in the Kahtoola microspikes for the last two Yukon winters and they are the bomb. I’ve tried Yaktrax but they don’t give enough lateral grip on sheet ice and don’t hold enough snow when it is around freezing and very slippery. I run in the microspikes on steep pitches and across frozen lakes near my house, at everything up to and including -42C and they allow me to put my feet down without hesitation. The grip is actually better than most pavement on a sunny day and on climbs they’re just like crampons so you can fly up stuff you had to walk in the summer. The one drawback is that you need a shoe with some structure or the tension of the spikes will bunch the shoe. I run in a track flat style in the summer but a bulkier shoe in the winter so that I can get the microspikes on comfortably. It’s cold anyhow, so you can use the insulation.

      Reply
  12. Terence Young

    Great post Ray. I’m a runner first and I too use gels. I’m a big fan of Hammer Gel. They work great for me on my long runs because they go down so easy. I recently switched from Brooks to Asics for my shoes and I feel the Asics are lighter. Haven’t ventured out into getting a wet suit yet but when I do will take your advice.

    Train Healthy Be Wealthy

    Reply
  13. Camille

    Hi Ray,

    As you saw in the recent bike case ST thread, I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts about the pikapackworks case: link to pikapackworks.com

    It looks like an interesting alternative to the now discontinued aerus.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  14. Dirk

    Is the raod bike the really good offer from the hamburg cycling expo?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It’s the same model, but I ended up getting it from my LBS here in Paris instead, cost 100 euros more, but at least I didn’t have to deal with it on the plane coming back from Hamburg, and, this way I support the local guys here I like.

      Reply
  15. Joe

    I’d like to hear from someone that has used the bontrager speed trap that can be installed into the trek 1.2 fork. Have you delved into that yet with your new road bike?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I’m picking up the speed trap tomorrow. Honestly, I think it’s kinda pointless. Why on earth they stuck it on the front wheel is beyond me. That means it’s useless for trainers. Sure, you can use it with things like the Bontrager Node (non-GPS), but these days GPS units are almost as cheap as the Node 1/2.

      Reply
    • Chuck Wolber replied

      I use the speed trap on my Madone 3.1, and I agree it is useless for trainers. When I have the bike mounted on the trainer I zip-tie the speed trap to the rear stay (non chain side). I tend to get a lot of drop-outs when I do that and finally resorted to moving my Garmin 800 to the seat tube :(

      I suspect that the speed-trap is really only designed to transmit over the short distance between the fork and the handlebars.

      The current situation is sufficiently annoying that I am considering getting a standard speed/cadence sensor just for use on the trainer.

      Reply
  16. Shannon

    Any comments on compression gear, socks or leg sleeves in particular? I’ve never seen you wearing them in your pics or discussing them in your recovery, have you tried and didn’t like, or just never tried?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I’ve used them sparingly. I just don’t like wearing them that much, purely a comfort thing. The Girl loves wearing compression gear however, and has some in her post tomorrow.

      Reply
  17. If what you’re looking for in a swim watch is slimness and a long-lasting battery, my PaceWatch actually outperforms the Garmin Swim. Now, it’s certainly not as high-tech or feature-laden as the Garmin Swim, but the Brilliant Swim PaceWatch does fill a particular need and does it well. I’ll send you a production unit to review later this month, or early next month, if you’re interested.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Phillip-

      Thanks, interesting concept. Definitely poke me when you’re ready!

      Reply
    • Jon Niehof replied

      Actually, Ray, I’d love to see a swim watch comparison article. I looked at your review of the Garmin swim and you don’t even have one of your comparison tables *gasp*! You’ve got the Swimsense/Swimovate comparison but it’d be awesome to do something like your power meter roundup with the Swimsense, Swimovate, Garmin Swim, 310XT (sort of the crappy baseline…), 910XT…

      Y’know, just to always ask you for more work ;)

      Reply
    • Jon Niehof replied

      Argh, NOW I see the comparison table *headdesk*

      Reply
  18. Peter

    So, Aero Helmet-wise, what would you pick today?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, I honestly haven’t looked at the current offerings too much to make a good opinion there.

      Reply
  19. Michelle Moore

    Do you wear anything over your cycling shoes on cold days?

    Reply
  20. Love the blog and keen to send you samples of our all new natural guarana shot used by a number of pro athletes in Europe and starting to get traction downunder. Cyclists and triathletes have seen great results using it. Contact us if interested and happy to run through it with you. Good luck with training and comp. Will

    Reply
  21. philippe marc humbert

    I suggest finding some newer cycling shoes. You’re losing a lot of efficiency by using several year old shoes.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      How so?

      Reply
    • philippe marc humbert replied

      The uppers wear out and stretch, even if it isn’t visible, after 10k or so miles, even on fine quality shoes. I bet the soles on your shoes are also pretty rough by now, which isn’t conducive to efficient pedaling when in the pedal.

      Reply
  22. William

    Ray, I am interested to know what you use to hold your phone when running, and what headphones you use.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I use the cheap Wahoo Fitness iPhone holder to hold my phone when I run (I don’t always bring it, perhaps only 20-25% of the time). I have a giant stack of other iPhone cases I’ve been playing around with, but just like the simple and clean nature of this one.

      I don’t use any headphones while running.

      Reply
  23. oldSAP

    how about your bike tires Ray?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      So, bike tires. Right now I have on there Vredestein Fortezza SE’s, but I’m going to swap them out in the coming days because I’ve just had too many flats lately. I picked up a pair of Conti Grand Prix 4000′s, which is what I’ve ridden a bunch in the past and have been more realiable.

      Now, to some degree my Fortezza problem may simply be because these tires are past their prime (well used). But the other challenge is that Paris proper just has tons of glass all the time on the streets (people like tossing wine bottles, it’s actually more a problem then you’d think).

      Reply
  24. Arend

    Do you still get away with avoiding bike fees with the Biospeed? We used ours for the first time last week (after they sat in the basement for over a year…) and at the first airport one of the security guys spotted it as a bike as we walked in the door and at the second the checkin agent knew right away as well.

    Reply
  25. JCampos

    Hi, congratulations for your post and blog. Nice work!

    Do you have a Triathlon Bike and a Road Bike. Can’t you have only one? The road bike can’t be used on triathlon? On which do you train?

    Regards.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, not for long distance triathlon (iron-distance races), you really need something more appropriate to triathlon from a fit standpoint.

      I train purely on the triathlon bike. The road bike I’ve historically used mostly just for testing random road-bike only products (mounts for example). Additionally, some triathlons here in Europe are draft-legal, and thus don’t permit long triathlon aerobars.

      Reply
  26. Rob

    Hi Ray,

    Any thoughs/suggestions on running glasses?; and is their a real difference between ”cheap/mid-range” and more expen$ieve glasses.

    Thx,
    Rob

    Reply
  27. shandy

    What about Triathlon specific shoes? (Specifically for hot weather events where drainage is critical)

    Reply
  28. Brian Comiskey

    Ray: I am swimming Alcatraz on 9/29 with my son and plan on bringing my TS3. Any advice on how to get it into the wetsuit for the swim? I was thinking of maybe using a SPIbelt as my wetsuit is pretty snug.

    Reply
  29. Joe

    Hey Ray

    Question regarding the bontrager speed/cadence sensor:

    I currently am using the Wahoo speed/cadence sensor because I use the wahoo fitness app and therefore am currently operating with bluetooth connectivity. Given that the wahoo sensor is set up with very, very similar magnets to that of the bontrager/motorola, could I possibly place the bontrager near,under, or somehow around the wahoo unit in order to share the signals from the same magnets? I have a 310xt and would like to incorporate it into my trainer rides along with the bluetooth setup, hence my sparked interest in the bontrager sensor. I thought if anyone has somehow stacked two cadence/speed sensors on their bike before, that it would be you haha.
    Any thoughts would be great.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, you can. In fact, I have done so on my trainer. It’s a bit finicky though with them doubled up, so I’d be a bit more careful outside until you’ve done a bit more testing with how secure they are.

      Now it’s a bit tricky in that you have to have two wheel magnets, but you can share the same cadence magnet.

      Of course, if you’re using the KICKR, then you probably don’t care about the speed sensor for the Wahoo one, so you can just go ahead and not bother there and in the Wahoo App set the speed to use KICKR instead of cadence sensor.

      Reply
  30. Dan

    What software do you use with the Computrainer? Do you recommend TrainerRoad?

    Reply
  31. maarten

    Hi Ray,

    Do you use any specific safety reflection items for running when dark?

    KR,
    Maarten

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I use a little blinky magnet light sometimes (clips on both sides of clothes), thought not always. The streets of Paris are incredibly well lit, and I’m generally running on sidewalks.

      I occasionally use a reflection band, but haven’t done so in a long time here.

      Reply
  32. Tom

    Hi Ray, could you include the new Elite Turbo Muin trainer in your trainer buying guide please? This one really caught my interest at Eurobike.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I’ll be checking it out at Interbike this week and see how it looks.

      Reply
    • Tom replied

      Thanks, that would be great.
      It actually looks like a copy of the KickR but with an apparently much lower price point (40% lower actually). Also, they told me it was much more quiet than the already quiet KickR because of their fluid resistance. Besides their very high quality Real Videos (tehy were shown at the booth) they were talking about introducing an app to upload your own videos like Kinomap. The biggest problem with Kinomap is the lack of high quality videos I heard.
      In short, a copy of the Kick’R but definitely interesting to have a look at.

      Reply
  33. Trevor Williams

    As usual your blog is my “go-to” for just about anything training related! When I read this post, I was hoping you may cover software too. I recall you used some stuff in an article a while back, I am looking for something as an interface for Garmin connect and hopefully able to sync with services like strava etc too.

    Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I primarily use Training Peaks for most of my day to day analysis. I upload to Garmin Connect more as a ‘backup’ than anything, and then I occasionally post to Strava for fun.

      Reply
  34. Steve

    Ray,

    Great stuff, as always. I was wondering what software you use with the Kickr? TrainerRoad, Kinomap, or something else. Debating what to buy a subscription to. Thanks!

    Steve

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      With the KICKR I generally just use the default Wahoo Fitness app to set a wattage. With the CompuTrainer I use the TrainerRoad app, primarily to set the wattage and relay ANT+.

      I’ll be covering the different software options for trainers in the first 1-2 weeks of October, as part of my trainer recommendations for the winter.

      In short though, TrainerRoad and Kinomap are sorta different coverage areas. TrainerRoad is more about structured workouts, whereas Kinomap is more about keeping you entertained or re-creating a given route.

      Reply
  35. Guillaume

    Would you be able to recommend a headlamp for running? I tend to run in the evening after work, and the track I run is rather dark, and getting darker every day in the fall. Something that wouldn’t bounce too much (not that I care much about bouncing light, just that I don’t want the lamp to go flying while I run).

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Sorry, I don’t unfortunately have any recommendations there – just don’t have any that I use. :(

      Reply
  36. Imran

    Hi Ray,

    Do you recommend any energy gel and protein bar?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Not in particular. I just use the little gel thingies noted above, but that’s it. I don’t do any sort of protein bars otherwise.

      Reply
  37. Carl

    Does the Gore Men’s Contest SO jacket fit on small side? One review on Amazon suggested that an XXL was appropriate for a Large person.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It is a bit snugger, I would agree with that. Though, that’s generally the case for a lot of cycling stuff aimed at the roadie crowd versus say a more casual user.

      Reply
  38. Claire

    You ever reviewed open water safety devices? I love open water swimming, but a “moment” last summer could have resulted in a nasty accident if a buoy hadn’t been within arms length. As it’s not possible always to swim with someone, I need a device for keeping me afloat for future

    Reply
  39. Tip

    I wonder if you have any running jacket recommendations for rain/cold (the ur-weather in the Pacific NW). I read through your cold-running post, but I’m looking for something in the 30-45-degree range when it’s truly raining (currently my gear is a cap and warm top, but eventually it gets uncomfortable).

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, I don’t have much there. It’s basically the same crap weather in Paris, and I just simply get wet. I’ve got a marathon finishers jacket that kinda works, though on long 2hr runs I still end up drenched. :-/

      Reply
  40. Fran

    Apparently the Hydrotail is not available anymore, it has been replaced by a new model – the Speedfil – R3.

    The older system you have looks better to me.

    Reply
  41. Tyler

    A likely dumb question: Ever competed in an (outdoor) triathlon that started with a lap pool swim? Normal transition (don’t get the 5-10min transition times of an indoor tri), so can’t rely strictly on a jammer, yet the pool doesn’t quite call for an open water suit (plus that’d be…awkward). Could a tri suit take a dunk in the chlorine? Or put on a tri suit over the jammer in T1?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, a number. No problems with wearing any tri suits in a pool – virtually all companies have athletes test them in pools, and it’s what I do as well. Cheers!

      Reply

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