The 2012 swim/bike/run gear I use list


A few weeks ago a reader reminded me that I hadn’t updated my previous gear list in years.  And while many of the core foundational items haven’t changed a ton – I figured I’d give the most comprehensive and updated list I could.

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.  And the same goes for other cold weather gear.

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.  Obviously, none of these brands sponsor me or anything here.  It’s just what I use.



Perhaps the easiest category, simply due to the least amount of stuff on ones 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 – It used to be the Swimsense, but I just find the Garmin Swim display so much cleaner, plus with drill mode, I’m set.
Drills – Pool buoy: Speedo Pull Buoy – Really, it’s a pull buoy, just ensure it’s big enough to fit
Drills – Swimmer Snorkel: FINIS Swimmers 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.
Swim bag: Alternates between one of those generic swim bags you get at most WTC races these days, or a duffel bag I got at Target for $8US.
Openwater Swim Watch: Garmin FR910XT – There’s really not a lot of choice 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.



The bike: Cervelo P3C – This just happened to be the bike that fit me best.  I use all the stock components (including wheels).  I’m not stuck on the brand, and honestly in the future I may go the Trek Speed Concept route due to sensor integration.  But only if they make good, call me back and fix The Girl’s bike so she can ride again.
Power Meter: Quarq Cinqo – I bought both myself one, and The Girl bought one as well.  Obviously there are many good PM’s out there, but these were just the units we bought first years ago.
Race Wheels: HED 3’s Tubular– I like that I don’t have to worry about the spokes, especially with all the travelling I do.
Bike Pedals: Shimano PD-6700 Ultegra SPD-SL – I also have a slightly cheaper model as well that I use on a road bike.
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 bottles 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: Bell Alchera Road Helmet – Probably not the prettiest helmet, but it works.
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.  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.
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 this.
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.
Bike Trainer: A lot of them: At the house currently I have I think six, if not seven trainers.  I use them all.  I’ve bought a lot of them (the others are temporary trial units), and the CompuTrainer is the workhouse that ‘always works’, but it’s not my favorite, and not what I’d recommend as of September 2012.  If you’re buying a trainer – wait a month for my trainer showdown.
Bike Computer/GPS: A lot of them: Like the trainer, I’m perpetually in review bike with bike computers.  Just got another one on my doorstep today actually (crazy, it was couriered to me same-day in a gift bag of sorts).  If all of them disappeared, I’d probably just use the Edge 500 or Edge 800.  But the Joule GPS is pretty solid too.  I connect that to the Bontrager Speed/Cadence sensor for indoor training.

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.



Running Shoes: New Balance 817’s – Like most runners, once you’ve found a shoe that works, you don’t change.  Ever.  I’ve ordered the same shoe for years now, always in two sets.
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 Drifit 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, probably the Garmin FR610.  I connect that to the standard Garmin ANT+ footpod for indoor training.  Actually, at the moment, it’s the Timex branded variant of that.  Either way – same exact model from the same factory, just different logos.  Get whichever 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.  Deeper snow though, not as useful/necessary.



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

Bike/Run Nutrition: PowerBar Energy Blasts – Right now, I’m loving these little blobs (seen above).  I could eat these all day and night (ok, I have once had them for breakfast just cause).  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 2 – I’ve got this and the original, both are awesome.  I’ve also got a Contour, which is fine, but nowhere near as flexible as the GoPro system.  Again, the GoPro just works when and where I need it.
Weight Scale: Withings WiFi Scale – Another one that just works.  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.


That’s it…which, seems like a lot of stuff I suppose (and it’s taken me nearly 2 hours to write it all out – the flight from Paris to Oslo – a bit longer than I anticipated).  But, if you look at other triathletes lists out on the interwebs – they’re pretty similar.  After all, you’re doing three full sports – with different training and racing requirements for each one.

And again – I use a lot of things for testing and product reviews, but the above is a list of things that I’ve bought (every one of them) and use day to day.  In general, I’m a creature of comfort – if it works for me, I’m sticking with it.  It doesn’t mean there aren’t other solutions that aren’t just as good (or even better) – it’s just what works for me.

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  1. FYI Your Spibelt link goes to a search for North Face.

  2. Anonymous

    Ray – any other nutrition items? Think you used to use a gei concentrate… Do you still use this?

  3. Anonymous

    Just out of curiousity, what kind of tri shorts/ top/ suit do you use? Cheers, Brent

  4. Do you still use your Zeo?

  5. Seen the Garmin Swim here, grabbed it on e-bay in 10 minutes. Thanks! :-)

  6. Abel

    That’s indeed a lot of material you have. I simply like to believe triathlon gear is about multifunctionality, use as little for as many different activities as possible…

    Anyhow I was wondering if you ever had a look at the ‘TYR Men’s Carbon 9 Tri Shorts’?

  7. Roy

    Thanks Ray, excellent post. Find it very helpful. Cheers

  8. For how long are you staying in Oslo?

  9. Hi Anon-
    RE: Nutrition

    No, nothing else at this time. I used to use EFS Gel – but don’t anymore (nothing wrong with it, I just got sick of the taste).

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Tri suit

    Hmm, not sure how I managed to forget that. Let me ask The Girl to lookup the exact name of it (I’m travelling today), and I’ll post it later tonight. Sorry!

    Hi Alex-
    RE: Zeo

    Not lately, I go in phases there. It just depends on how I feel – right now I already know I’m not getting enough sleep. :)

    Hi Abel-
    RE: TYR Men’s Carbon 9

    Hmm, I haven’t looked at them yet. I tend to be a single-piece tri-suit person, except for iron-distance, which I have a 2XU two-piece suit.

    Hi Brynjulf-
    RE: Oslo

    Until Sunday evening. Really nice day here today! Got any good long run routes to share? We’re thinking of doing Norway in a Nutshell on Saturday, but long run on Sunday.

    Thanks all!

  10. What is wrong with The Girl’s Trek Speed Concept?

  11. On the speed concept there is a small area where the derailurer hanger attaches to on the frame that’s aluminum. This is also the same area where the rear wheel snaps into the frame. Per their recommendation, you remove the derailurer and hanger when in transit – which we did.

    During the move, this got bumped, and bent it in 1-2mm. Just enough so that neither the rear wheel nor the derailurer hanger will attach any longer. Ironically, that particular piece is so flimsy (compared to rest of frame) – that if we had the hanger on, it probably would have been fine.

    We brought it to a local Trek dealer in Paris – however they said there was nothing they could do about it – that the full frame would have to be replaced (for a cost of $3k!), note, she barely paid a 1/3rd of that. In looking at a long thread on it on Slowtwitch, this is a common problem with this tiny little piece. Essentialy, this one little part defeats the entire purpose of the hanger (which was to protect against exactly this).

    Thus now, she’s go no functional bike – nor any path to get it fixed. Not terribly happy (she’s beyond upset, pretty much in tears about it). Btw, it’s a 2010 7.0 WSD (XS/46).

  12. Ken

    Great post, Ray. I’d love to hear more on your Camelbak. I’ve never had one, but training this year for the NYC Marathon has been brutal with the heat and humidity. I finally bought a Camelbak Hydrobak, which has the same size reservoir as yours, but more minimalist. No sternum strap. Also the shoulder straps are too rough on skin, so though I always wear singlets on these long runs, I had to wear a short sleeve shirt because of it. Have you worn yours with a singlet? Thanks!

  13. Thanks Ray for all the posts, especially about Paris. My wife and I spent 10 days last spring vacationing almost exactly where you are now living. Fun to re-visit through your posts…..anyway, I didn’t see any mention of HR strap in your gear list??? Maybe I missed it; i’m a runner with the 610, love the watch and hate the strap, so I’m looking for any recommendations of what works!!!!!

  14. I’m curious why you use the Garmin Swim for your pool swims but the 910xt for open water. Why not use the 910 for both and cut down on gear?

  15. Hi Ken-
    RE: CamelBak

    I haven’t had any issues with mine, wearing either t-shirts (technical), or the occasional singlet (two different ones). I actually wore it with a singlet during Ironman Canada one year (I found that I’m often lazy about taking water from aide stations). No rubbing oddities. Perhaps it’s just that mine is so well worn that the shoulder straps are soft now. :)

    Hi Nickles-
    RE: Heart rate strap

    I mix and match quite a bit. I just walked in from a run, and happen to be wearing the PowerCal strap (ANT+ HR strap from CycleOps normally used for cycling). I have a few of the latest soft straps from Garmin too. Oddly enough, my favorite ANT+ strap actually comes from Magellen that was included within their Switch GPS unit. I’ve had very few issues with that as far as spiking goes.

    Hi Dan-
    RE: Swim vs 910XT

    The primary reason is battery. With the Swim, I don’t really have to worry about weather it’s charged when I get to the pool. Plus, it works as a day watch (I don’t feel the FR910XT is a realistic day watch, thouh some do). The Swim is slim enough that it’s fine for both.

    For a pure-swimmer, I’d probably go with the Swim. Obviously for the triathlete, the FR910XT is a bit more flexible.

    Of course, I’m somewhat unique in that I buy all the gear afterwards anyway to support reviews/questions – so I can kinda mix and match as I see fit.

  16. Jon

    I you want to do a race on Sunday, there is a 10k/half marathon in Drammen, just outside Oslo. link to drammensmaraton.no

  17. tdf

    Which pedals do you use on your bike? thanks for the post.

  18. Ray: There´s tons in the area. How long have you planned for?

  19. Mike in Everett WA

    With all the gear, do you have a maintenance routine for the non-consumables? Bike components, battery change outs, calibration, inspection for cracks or wear, etc.

  20. I love the GoPro, but am really interested in the new Sony POV. Any chance you’ll jump ship?

  21. Chris

    Did something change your mind about flying with the Aerus Bike Case? Why bus/train only now?

  22. A second on the question about your pedals. I’ve been looking at getting my first set of clipless pedals/shoes so I’m interested in your thoughts.

  23. Hi Ray, nice post!
    Do you have training wheels or always keep your tubular?
    I race quite a lot but always go bakc to my heavy aluminium Ksyrium and sometime I would just use the tubular ones all the time, but puncture risk is an issue…

  24. RE: Trisuits

    I have two, a blue one-piece from Orca, and a second one-piece from DeSoto. Unfortunately, the exact model names have rubbed well off.

    Hi Jon-
    RE: Race in Oslo

    Thanks – ya never know. Right now we’ve just got a training run on the schedule, but I’ll poke into it.

    Hi Tdf/Paul-
    RE: Pedals

    I use the Shimano PD-6700 Ultegra SPD-SL. On another bike I’ve got a slightly different model, but same basic thing. I’ve also got a pair of Look Keo compatible pedals and cleats. For me, they roughly feel the same – so it just depends on if I need to use them with something else (i.e. the Polar/Look Keo power meter).

    Hi Bryjulf-
    RE: Oslo

    Until Sunday night, then back to Paris. Looking forward to the weekend!

    Hi Mike-
    RE: Routine maintenance

    When in DC, I brought my bike to the LBS I bought it at every 4-6 months – usually at the start and end of the tri season, and they did a check up.

    For other things, I don’t tend to check them out too much to be honest. For calibration of power meters, I do it every time I ride, both pre and about 15 mintes in – but beyond that not too much else. I just ride/run. :)

    Hi Chris-
    RE: GoPro and new Sony POV

    The POV looks pretty solid, but the mount question is big in my opinion. I saw the new Contour+ yesterday, but overall not as impresed by it. For me, it’s the accessories/ecosystem more than the device.

    Hi Chris-
    RE: Bike case

    Honestly, I have no idea why the no-flying text was there. I had copied the ugly link from my really old post on it, but I’m definitely using it on planes now. Every plane, forever. Fixed!

    Hi Vivelvelo-
    RE: Training wheels

    Yup, for training wheels I just use the stock wheels that came on the P2C. Nothing fancy. Same goes for tires. I don’t use general race tires during training though – and rarely use rare tires except on my race wheels. I learned the hard lesson that race tires that get punctured easier are rarely worth it in a race.

    RE: Trainer wheels

    In case your asking about trainer wheels – I don’t swap out wheels or tires for my trainer usage. I find the CompuTrainer isn’t too bad on wheels (and I often 3+ a week on it), and honestly, I mix and match between indoor and outdoor during the winter and swapping wheels or tires is something I despise. For me, the cost of a new tire tends to be no different than a trainer wheel – so I just replace the tire when needed (once a year or so).

    Thanks all!

    Oh, and The Girl will be posting her list sometime next week. Enjoy!

  25. Is the open water swim with the 910XT that much better than the 310XT you would dismiss the 310XT?

    Agree 100% on the swim vs. swimsense. I’ve even had a few “cool watch” comments on the swim wearing it daily.

    Also, do you supplement electrolytes? Or just those chews? If memory serves a feature for you of EFS was it was a single product vs many.

  26. Ray – what about analysis software? TrainingPeaks, Golden Cheetah, etc

  27. Ray, thanks for the great summary of gear.

    Do you carry your phone in the Spi Belt for all those great DCR run photos (and videos)?

    I’m somewhat old school WRT running and not carrying stuff, but the Spi Belt seems very minimalist.

  28. Hi Steven-
    RE: Differences

    It’s a bit more accurate – usualyl within about 10-15% vs the FR310XT I found to be less than that, a bit more fluctuating.

    RE: Electrolytes
    I generally haven’t as of late. But when I do, I just use Enduralytes. They work fairly well. As you noted, one of the reasons I used EFS was because it included plenty of electrolytes within it.

    Hi Henry-
    RE: Software

    I’m primarily a TrainingPeaks user these days, since most of my workouts go to my coach that way. But I also still dabble in Golden Cheetah and Sport Tracks. Plus the rare foray into Garmin Connect when I need to for review purposes.

    Hi Alan-
    RE: Phone in SpiBelt

    I have once or twice if I’m doing point to point runs, but all of the photos you see are from the Panasonic camera, sitting in the Spibelt.

    Hope this helps!

  29. Hi Ray I’m interested in the fact that you only seem to have a time trial/triathlon bike. Does that mean that you do all of your riding, both training and racing on the Cervelo or do you own a road bike as well?
    Keep up the good work!

  30. Thanks for the great post Ray!

    One question though: Would you recommend buying the Edge 800 or waiting for the eventual launch of the edge 900?

    At the moment I use my 910xt as my head unit, which is great for triathlon races but not so great for bike training as it lacks navigation or maps.

    I don’t need it right away but I also don’t want to wait 6 months to buy the unit. I think garmin hasn’t said anything on the release date so far?

    Thanks in advance!

  31. Rey, when will you be posting your bike trainer showdown?

    I am in the market of buying a trainer, looking between cycleops and kurt kinetic.

  32. Hi, a short question (made long heh)… I have an opportunity to buy a new Trek Madone 3.5 2012 (partly Ultegra, partly 105) for a very good price. Its a classic, not a triathlon bike. Until now, i did only “shorter” triathlons, where you had to have a “drafting legal” bike. So, i had a short Aerobar attached and it was perfect.

    Next year i’m planning to do a half-ironman or two, and in 2014 a full one. Will a “classic” bicycle (with fullsize aerobar attached on a handlebar) be a big minus when doing a non-drafting race? I’m not a pro and i don’t compete for awards. My plan is just to do an ironman below 11:30 or 12:00 hours (i want to do cycling part from 5:45 to 6:00 hours)…

    and occasionally i still go cycling just for sake of it and love cycling in the mountains. Unfortunately my wallet (and space in the appartment) does not allow two separate bikes. I already have an old Trek 1500 which i plan to sell (its all part of a deal when getting a new Madone 3.5)

    I was also looking at the aluminium Trek Speed Concept 2.5, though the price is higher than i would pay for carbon Madone. I know that there are some issues with classic bike when doing non-drafting triathlons (stability on straights, better aero position and aerodynamics of the frame).

  33. Anonymous

    Hi rainmaker :)

    What software / app / website do you use to transfer and analyse your training data. Like from your garmin products ?

    Trainingpeaks, garmin connect or ?

    Thanks :)

    / anders – denmark

  34. Hi Anders-

    I use a mix. For my ‘official’ log (the one I actually ensure is 100% correct), I use TrainingPeaks. This is primarily because my coach uses it. But, I also transfer all Garmin-based workouts to Garmin Connect as well – as that way I always have a backup there. It’s just a checkbox to setup once, so it’s easy.


  35. Tim

    Just read your Barcelona Garmin Adventure post. What camera do you use on your runs? Or is it the iPhone?

  36. I use the Panasonic Lumix TS3 (TS4 is now current), which is waterproof and shockproof, and has GPS tagging in it. Awesome little camera, I beat the crap out of mine and it keeps on tickin’: link to dcra.in

  37. Anonymous

    Great blog–I’ve been reading it often since I moved to the area a few months ago. I’m looking for advice: I moved from the desert, which is very dry. Since getting here, my watches fog up during runs from the humidity; I’ve lost one already and in the process of losing a great Adidas watch because moisture gets inside.

    I’m trying to find a water-proof or -resistant watch with a large face that has a countdown time. The Nike GPS watch looks great, but can’t countdown (?). By the way, it doesn’t need to be GPS. Is there anything more exciting than a Timex that you could recommend?


    –Semi-serious DC Runner

  38. Hi there –

    I am looking to buy a GPS sports watch for my boyfriend and my head is literally spinning from reading reviews. Would you be able to give me advise as to which watch is the best? He is running a marathon this weekend so is a serious runner, but is also involved with hiking. I think he would also like to get into triathlons, but it’s not a immediate need.

    Thank you!

  39. Hi Semi-Serious-

    Eek, regarding count-down timers, it’s not something I use often, so unfortunately not off the top of my head.

    From a waterproof unit side, the options are actually kinda limited (for good waterproofing). The FR310XT, FR910XT, Timex Global Trainer, Timex Run Trainer, and Magellan Switch/Switch Up all have good waterproofing though.

    Hi Kaitlin-
    RE: BF Watch

    If he’s purely a runner, go with FR610. But, the hiking aspect makes me think he might like the Garmin Fenix. Check out the review on the sidebar. They’ve made a LOT of improvements in the last month (which I’ve captured). I think that might suit his needs well.


  40. Hello Ray,

    Do you know if there is a software to plan your workouts? Something like TraingPeaks but not with a monthly fee…


  41. Anonymous

    Long time listener first time caller ;-) I just read that you use the Suunto Movestick Mini instead of the Garmin ANT stick. I busted the ANT stick recently and when I saw your suggestion I grabbed a Movestick (Amazon, around $40). You’re right, it’s totally better (although almost twice the price of a Stick on ebay). You might want to include a brief mention about this in your 2012 gear you use section because it’s a much better piece of gear than Garmin’s long awkward breakble ANT Stick. Thanks again!

  42. Ben Nevis


    I found your website when looking to replace my Forerunner 301 (stolen on a skiing holiday back in March) and have been following it since – It’s great to be able to access objective reviews on the fitness products you cover; so different to the technology reviews wriiten by people who clearly don’t run, bike, hike or whatever and simply recycle the info from a press release. Keep up the good work!

    I’m curious, having just read your 2012 equipment list that you although you list “Cold Weather” clothing for running you don’t mention Wet Weather clothing. At this time of year (November) I find a waterproofs can make a huge difference. It would be great to get your thoughts on things like: Is there a noticeable difference in breatability between jackets made from Event compared to Goretex? How durable are trousers made from the lightest fabrics? How effective are waterproof shoes, do they keep the water out or trap it in?


  43. Efraim Shaw

    What kind of booties do u wear on the bike?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hmm, that’s a good question. Randomly cheap ones I got on sale at REI. I’ve gotta figure out which box they’re still in since the move…

  44. barry

    hi I know you like to run with a cheapy gloves but when it rains….. I ran today I had good gloves but didn’t seem waterproof. Do you have a good run glove for a lotta rain? I had my polester mittens but got a little wet.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Eek, unfortunately the only other gloves I have are for cycling, and are just generic gloves from Performance Bike I got years ago.

  45. barry

    Performance bike actually has nice gloves thanks

  46. Awesome blog. I was wondering what kind of aerobars you used with the Fuji Roubaix. I have the exact same model and I could use some advice for that.


  47. Su-Chong Lim

    Haha, it’s amazing how experience and context shape your perception. I live in Calgary, Alberta, and we’ve had a pretty good winter with the coldest days only -25 (C) or so, but we still ran in the snow @ -20, with wind pants, double layers under our shells and face warmers. So this past few days, suddenly it’s from -2 to +2 and sunny (29 to 34 F for you guys); I was running in shorts and a long sleeve T shirt!! You Southerners think we’re tough, but it’s all just perception! Love your blog.

  48. Hi Ray!

    I’m racing at Alcatraz in a month. Despite living in Canada I’ve never used a neoprene cap but I feel I may need one for Alcatraz and IMCDA 2013 (my next race).

    Do you have an opinion on a cap that covers your ears (like the blueseventy that you use) versus more of a beanie-style cap that’s held on by the race cap? Would the ear/cheek coverage provide additional warmth? Did you go straight to the blueseventy or consider other options?

    Chad Matsalla

  49. Manu

    Hey Ray,
    with your traveling I am curious to know what kind of “bags” you use for watch etc. to put in your suit case. I am also traveling quite a bit and I have not yet found the right bag – which of course should be small – where I could safely put hear rate strap, foot pod, watch,… in.

    • DC Rainmaker

      No bags, just toss it all in to my backpack! Never had any problems really. Just one giant mess. :)

      The footpod does stay on my shoe at all times.

  50. Manu

    Good to know – thanks for your reply. I think I have to keep on searching ;)

    • Paul

      I am really late to the party here but saw this whilst doing some research. I, too, wanted a case for my Garmin and bought a closeout sunglass case from REI. You have to curl the HR strap a bit but my 310XT unit, wristband, HR strap, and foot pod (if it’s not just on my shoe) fit perfectly.

  51. Clint

    Ray, what type of shoes do you use in place of the NB 817’s? I have found they are discontinued now. Are there any comparable shoes you would recommend for a bigger runner such as myself ( i have fairly flat feet)? Thanks!

  52. Dathan Chesnut

    Hello Ray, I love your blog and product reviews. I read that you found the speedfil “painfully annoying”. I’m training for my first ironman and I haven’t found a front hydration system that I’m happy with. What didn’t you like about the speedfil. I have ordered the speedfil a2 because I already have the xlab between the bars bottle cage and I wanted something I can easily refill when on the move. Thanks.

    • DC Rainmaker

      The biggest thing was the bottle itself. It screws into place, so you can’t easily swap it out, nor can you easily wash it. From a straw standpoint, it ends up being a bit in no-mans land because it’s not sturdy enough to point straight up, so it kinda flops around, never quite finding the right length or place.

  53. barry

    *****************waiting for The 2013 swim/bike/run gear I use list*********************************

  54. Jason Uhlrich

    Do you have any suggestions on sunglasses for running? I am a bigger fella so all the sunglasses I have used in the past seem to fog up on me or cause my face to be on fire by trapping in heat. Wondering if there are good glasses that stay in place but have good ventilation.

  55. Troy

    You have previously listed the Swim It and the SaferSwimmer on your site, but neither is listed in your gear list. Do you use either of these consistently?

    A second question. I am going to start swim training in preparation for an Ironman. The coach uses an Endless Pool. Will the Garmin 910 be able to track my swims?