The right stuff–equipment I use

Back about a month ago I got an e-mail from a reader regarding what equipment I use day to day in training and racing.  I ended up putting together a quick hit-list at the time, but didn’t really do it justice.  I often talk about specific solutions – such as my rear rack/hydration system, but haven’t talked holistically about all the junk in the trunk.

As anyone who ventures into the sport knows – triathlon is neither cheap, nor minimalistic when it comes to equipment.  You feel like every time you go to train you’re packing for a month long trip with a minivan full of kids.  It’s crazy!  So all the more reason to post all the deets.  Note that I’m not sponsored by anyone, so all the things I use because I like them – not because someone wants me like them.  If it sucks, I say so – and if it’s great…I’m still using it. So here it goes…

– Goggles: Whichever pair I haven’t lost yet…though usually the Speedo Vanquisher
– Swimsuit: TYR Nylon Team Trainer
– Wetsuit: Blue Seventy Reaction Ironman Full Length Wetsuit
– Technique Toys: TYR Paddles, Speedo Pull Buoy, Finis Swimmers Snorkel, TYR Split Swim Fins

– Bike: Cervelo P3 (was a Cervelo P2C until recently)
– Training Wheels: Standard manufacturer wheels that came on/with bike, plus the tires that came on it
– Race Wheels: HED H3 Tubular’s
– Race Tires: Vittoria Tubular Corsa Evo CX
– Power Meter: Quarq Cinqo Compact Edition
– Cadence Sensor: Garmin GSC-10
– Hydration: Inviscid Design SpeedFil Hydration on the frame for water
– Nutrition: EFS Liquid Shot Gel for nutrition
– Rear Mount System: Beaker Concepts Hydrotail H.5
– Shoes: Shimano Triathlon Shoes
– Socks: I use (and LOVE) Balega socks.  My favorite thing ever.
– Bike Shorts: A pair of Chipotle bike shorts, along with a few Pearl Izumi pairs.
– Helmet: Simple $40 Bell Alchera Road Helmet
– Race Helmet: Giro Advantage II
– Bike Computer: Garmin Edge 500
– Sunglasses: Pair of Oakley’s, they’re old…no idea what kind :)
– Repair Bag: 2 CO2 cartridges and controllable valve, small bike hex wrench

– Running Shoes: New Balance 817’s (increased stability)
– Socks: Balega socks (did I mention I love them?)
– Running Computer: Garmin Forerunner 310XT
– Running Shorts: Nike Dri-Fit running shorts (love them, get them at the outlet stores though cheaper)
– Running Shirt: Any dryfit/tech race shirt I have handy to run in (generally washed…)
– Hydration: Camelbak (Fairfax Model)…or just a simple water bottle if loops/track…filled with water.
– Nutrition: EFS Liquid Shot for nutrition
– Footpod for treadmill/cadence: Garmin ANT+ Footpod

Triathlon Travel:
– Primary Hardshell Bike Case: Performance Bike Team Case (it sucks, don’t recommend it, doesn’t last)
– Secondary Softshell Bike Case: Aerus Biospeed Bike Case (love it, but know it’ll get crushed on a plane, so bus/car only)
– Transition Bag: Extreme Terra Bag (no longer made/findable)

Other Training Gear:
– Primary Trainer: RacerMate CompuTrainer
– Secondary Trainer/Brick Trainer: Performance Bike Travel Trac Fluid Trainer

There ya go – a complete list of all the gear I use!  Note, that I’m generally not too picky when it comes to the gear I use – most of the time I use something simply because I’ve stumbled on it and it works.  Which – is all that should honestly matter when you choose gear.  Especially if you’re training for a longer event such as an Ironman.  Gear comfort is the number one thing that can make or break your day.  Good luck!


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  1. The way you said Chipotle bike shorts, it sounded like you were riding in a burrito!!! lol!

    Thank you for sharing your weapons of choice!

  2. cool post.I was wondering what bike computer you used and what your wore on your wrist during a race.

    Now I’m just imagining how you reconcile the post race data and what type of analysis you do.

    Blog is Fantastic, as always.

  3. Shane W

    How about a race day tri-suit? Did I miss that in there somewhere?

  4. Cheers Ray – That was way more detail then I asked for – but that was expected.

    Tim in Vancouver

  5. Thanks for posting the list, it was helpful, especially since I’ve started looking at bike travel cases.

  6. Thank you so much for this beautiful Article

  7. What is so awesome about the balega socks? Is there something special about them?

  8. Anonymous

    How hard is it to take a bike apart and put it in a bag? How long does it take to put back together? Is it difficult? Thanks

  9. Anonymous

    How hard is it to take a bike apart and put it in a bag? How long does it take to put back together? Is it difficult? Thanks

  10. Bike Bag-

    It’s super easy, I can do it in about 5-7 minutes…but I’m also pretty quick at it because I do it so often. Most folks about 10-15 minutes though.

    Tri Suit-

    Good point, need to add it. I use a 2XU both one piece, and also have a two-piece. I also have a long sleeve white one for really hot long races, similiar to what you see some folks at Kona doing. Works rather well for hot long races.

    Balega socks-

    To me, I just love that they are soft and squishy, but not too much. And they last forever. Years of pounding, thousands and thousands of miles of running and cycling.

  11. Shane W

    Thanks for the update!

    FYI – when looking at the running shorts on Amazon, the list of “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” is all items right off your list here. Looks like you’re sending some traffic their way!

  12. IronUmp

    Hey Ray – Just curious, since I have the same bike shoes, do you really wear socks with them? Wasn’t a selling point that you don’t need socks?
    One other question: why not use an aero bar hydration system instead of the HydroTails? I’m new to aero, so looking for for advice.

  13. Hey Ironump-

    RE: Socks

    I do wear socks, only because I put them on then instead of pre-run. I need them on the run, so it’s really half a dozen either way. I find that since I’m already spending more time in transition anyway in T1, I might as well get it over with then. Plus, protects my feet a bit more during the run in T1.

    RE: Hydration

    I use the Hydrotail for just holding bottles. Though, this year with doing sprints/oly’s, I’ve actually removed those cages (well, technically, I broke them off on accident). I’m currently using the Speedfil system on the downtube, which has a straw up to the aerobars. I’m mixed on it right now. Previous to that I used the Podium Quest Bottle – which works great. I may go back to that due to some frustration with the Speedfil.

  14. Went back to look at this and realized you must be riding a bike with no saddle you don’t mention it haha.

  15. Ricky

    DC Rainmaker,
    Hey one quick question. I am in the market for new race wheels for triathlons (short course up to ironman). What would you recommend as the best aerowheel (clincher)?

  16. Possibly a simple question but here goes:
    Which Tacx Trainers can be used (upgraded) with the Tacx Trainer Software, and which (if any) include the software and dongle ?

  17. SeanS

    Hi just wondering if you have an update to this? Curious mainly on what devices your using. Thanks for all the in depth review have been invaluable.

  18. George

    Maybe the “The 2015 Swim/Bike/Run Gear I Use List” is what you’re looking for?
    link to