The 2019 Swim/Bike/Run Gear I Use List


It’s nice and quiet during the summer lull between product release cycles (which usually start again around the first week of September), so it’s as good a time as any to do my annual ‘gear I use list’. The last time I did so was last fall.  And for the most part, things honestly haven’t changed too much. Though most of the tech actually has, whereas most of the non-tech things haven’t really changed.  I still use the same winter cycling/running gear, and the same swimsuits. Though I did get a new wetsuit.

While there’s a lot of gear here (because I’m covering three sports), I think you’ll find I’m actually pretty simple when it comes to most of my gear (tech goodies aside).

I’ve divided it up into the three main sports (swim/bike/run), 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 in the past half-decade. I have zero plans to do any crazy-cold weather triathlons anytime soon (though some year the Norseman Triathlon might tempt me), so the booties basically just hang out in a container in the Cave.

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.

Note: This is NOT my usual gadget recommendations post, that’s different. This is simply the gear I happen to use myself. If you’re looking for my specific recommendations on gear, you’ll find my general recommendations here (though, they don’t account for new watches this year), my trainer recommendations here (still pretty accurate for another month or so till Eurobike), and then my power meter buyers guide here (definitely still accurate).


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 Victory Jammer: I know, I do dabble in the shorter square leg ones as well, but this is mostly my go-to suit – which is basically the same as it’s been for years. I also have random non-jammer suit I got at some pool in some foreign country when I forgot mine on a trip.
Goggles: Speedo Vanquisher:  For the most part, it’s whatever I haven’t lost recently.  At present, this is what I usually end up grabbing. 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 Forerunner 945: I continue to have accuracy issues in openwater with the FR945 as I’ve outlined previously, though Garmin says they hope to have those fixed sometime this summer. I don’t have any pool accuracy issues. Since the FR945 is sorta my all-around watch when I’m not testing something else, it gets swim privileges as well. Note that I typically don’t wear an HRM-TRI or HRM-SWIM with my swims (and thus don’t have HR data from swims), though Garmin did just release a beta firmware update enabling that.
Openwater – Wetsuit: Orca S6 Fullsleeve Wetsuit: This was more of a purchase of necessity than anything else. My previous 2XU wetsuit finally died after an apparent shark attack (judging by the holes), and while down in Cape Town this past winter I needed something. There was an Orca store near the waterfront, so…problem solved. I’m not thrilled with it though, given it already ripped along a seam line on my third wearing. Sigh.
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.  I take this all around the world with me on virtually all my openwater swims.
Openwater – Booties: Blueseventy Swim Socks – For 60°F and below water, I use these booties to keep my toes warm. Notably, I try incredibly hard to never swim in such water voluntarily.
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.

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


Note, for this year I’ve just gone with my core bikes. I’ve got a few other road bikes around, but I rarely use them these days.  You can look at my much older ‘Gear I Use’ posts for details on those two bikes.

Road Bike: Canyon Ultimate CF SL – I built this two winters ago and absolutely love it. It’s as much my main bike these days as my core test platform for new cycling gadgets. It was built with testing devices in mind (hence why I skipped aero handlebars, due to complexities with mounts). It’s working great for me as my workhorse, and I could easily see buying another Canyon down the road (mainly because they’re so darn cheap here in Europe).
Triathlon Bike: Cervelo P3C – This just happened to be the bike that fit me best.  I use all the stock components, minus adding Shimano Di2 (purely for product testing/compatibility – I wouldn’t otherwise bother). It’s probably due for replacement.
The Commuter Bike: Trek Belleville: Here’s the whole backstory on that bicycle.  Though, in reality I also ride the new cargo bike just as much as this bike..if not probably more.
The Cargo Bike: Urban Arrow: This is how I get all my goods back and forth to the office, as well as get the kiddos (and The Girl) around town. Also, random visitors get stuck in it too. We couldn’t live in Amsterdam without a cargo bike (since we have no car here). We put about 3,500-4,000km per year on it.
Power Meter: Everything? Seriously, I’m not sure what I call ‘my’ power meter anymore. On my main road bike, the three units you’ll usually find on are the Quarq DZero, Garmin Vector 3, and PowerTap G3. Also as of late, the Stages LR. Yet on secondary test bikes/indoor bikes I often use the Favero Assioma pedals. I’m happy to call any one of them ‘my preferred power meter’.  I suppose if I were to give one my de facto usage edge, it’s the Vector 3 or Favero Assioma pedals, since those are what I generally travel with. The PowerTap P2’s also get a fair bit of usage on various bikes. Again, I’m all over the map here.
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, though they’re still down in a friend’s cave in Paris.
Bike Pedals: Garmin Vector 3 Pedals or Favero Assioma pedals – Though, if testing something else I’ll use whatever Look-Keo compatible pedals are around.
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.  I’m good with these. I’ve also got a pair of Tacx cages too.
Water Bottle: DC Rainmaker Water Bottle: Duh. Also, because I bought like 1,500 of them. So…yeah.
CO2 Kit: This little kit from Performance fits right into my rack system so perfectly you’d thought they were made for each other. All these years later.
Regular Helmet: Specialized Evade II with ANGi – I’ve largely switched over to this as part of a longer-term review. This helmet includes tracking/crash detection for friends/family (and Specialized recently changed their policy to no longer require a subscription fee for helmet purchases). Note that while I do occasionally use my COROS Linx Helmet (which has music bits I almost never use).
Aero Helmet: Giro Advantage 2 Helmet – I haven’t bought a new aero helmet in a long time, as most of the European races I’ve done have been draft-legal and Olympic distance, so they’re less of a concern here. I’m sure this helmet is no longer considered super aero.
Bike jerseys: DC Rainmaker kit by Pedal Mafia: Duh!!! I’ve got both the red and blue variants of course, and use them quite a bit. When not using either of these two I’m using another kit from Pedal Mafia (Cobbled Classic is the name). And failing that, just random bike jerseys I’ve got around that I’ve bought here and there. Side note: The kit is back in stock if you wanted one!
Bike shorts/bib: DC Rainmaker kit by Pedal Mafia: Duh Part II! Same as the previous item, also in stock.
Road Cycling Shoes: Louis Garneau Men’s Tri X-Speed Triathlon Cycling Shoes I’ve actually used these a few years now, though roughly end up going through a pair every 12-18 months.
Mountain Biking Shoes: Fizik X5 Terra: Also somewhat of a purchase of necessity, was down in Cape Town and needed another pair of shoes for mountain biking. X5’s for the win.
Cold Weather Bike Coat: Gore Men’s Contest SO Jacket – I layer this over a long sleeve bike jersey. Seriously, I still own this – like 9 years later or something. On one hand I probably do need a new coat. On the other hand, it works just fine.
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 traveling.  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 still use this case at least a few times or more a year. My guess is my case has about 150,000-250,000 miles on it by now. No issues. Apparently the Pika Pack Works case is the same, and still available.
Bike Trainer: Tacx Neo 2 Smart Trainer – I primarily used the Tacx Neo 1 prior to this, but now just use the NEO 2. Though I have semi-split up trainers and keep a NEO 1 at home and a NEO 2 at the office.  But for me the Neo has a heavy ‘just works’ factor from an accuracy standpoint (there’s no calibration). Also, I kinda like the rumble that it creates replicating cobblestones and such. My second choice setup would be a KICKR/CORE + CLIMB combo.
Bike Computer/GPS: Garmin Edge 530 (mostly): Obviously, I’m almost always riding with 3-4 head units for power meter data gathering, but lately I’ve mostly been using the Edge 530, with occasionally the Edge 830 floating around. Eventually I’ll get around to fixing my broken Edge 1030 (USB port), in which case that’ll be back in the rotation. Typically speaking my ‘most preferred’ unit of the 3-4 I ride with is whichever unit I prefer is that I usually put it out on my out-front mount (there are occasional exceptions to this, but that’s usually my tell), versus the others on my handlebars.
Speed Sensor: Garmin Speed Sensor V2: I don’t use a combo speed/cadence sensor anymore, and frankly I rarely use this speed sensor. But you will find it on my bikes for various test purposes. This version has dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but more importantly we use it on the cargo bike since it records each trip even without a head unit and syncs it up.
Cadence Sensor: For the most part, I don’t use a cadence sensor except for occasional test validation. All my power meters transmit cadence, as do many of my non-Wahoo trainers.
Heart Rate Strap: Polar OH1 Plus & Garmin HRM-DUAL: This combo has been working super well for me this year (2019). Both have dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, and the Garmin can also do two concurrent Bluetooth Smart connections too (great for Zwift + a Bluetooth only Suunto or Polar watch connecting as well). Meanwhile, the OH1 is awesome because it super easily records my HR in cases where I don’t have a watch paired to it. That’s mostly for testing, but you’ll find me using these two a ton.
Bike Computer Mount: Barfly 4 Prime Out-Front Mount: I like this one, it’s metal and has tons of options for swapping to different bike computer types if I need to (such as to Wahoo or what-not). The GoPro mount aspect is functional and the whole thing is solid. But again, it’s just what’s been on my bike the longest lately, I’m also totally good with the K-Edge variants, and in fact, usually ride a K-Edge under-saddle mount for my GoPro.
Trainer Apps: Zwift & TrainerRoad: I pay for subscriptions to both of these, and they are what I primarily use. I also occasionally use other 3rd party apps like FulGaz.

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: Asics Gel-DS Trainer 22: I switched this up again this year from the 19 to the 22, just a minor change over the previous versions I’ve used.
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 mostly wear these first, but I’ve got plenty of pairs of shorts that I use.
Running Socks: Balega Hidden Comfort – No questions, these socks…forever.  So soft, just love them.  I’ve never had blisters with them.  Ever.
Running Watch: Garmin Forerunner 945: I was mostly using a Fenix 5 Plus or Garmin FR935 prior, but I really preferred the size of the FR935 over the Fenix 5 Plus. With the FR945 now having all the features of the Fenix 5 Plus and then some, it’s my go-to now.
Running Headphones: Really old original PowerBeats & Apple AirPods: I don’t tend to run with music a ton, but when I do, it’s using one of these two. Note I did recently buy the Apple PowerBeats Pro wireless ones, but haven’t had a chance to put them through the paces. That’d ideally blend both of them together.
Long Run Hydration: CamelBak Marathoner – I still use this in the summer or on hikes. I also use it sometimes on runs to hold more GPS watches. :)
Place to stick stuff on runs: Spibelt – Most runs, I don’t bother with anything.  But for some random runs while traveling, 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: I don’t have a specific top I use, rather, I tend to layer bits and pieces together. 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 Arctic 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 Amsterdam most of the time. But they worked great for my runs in the Arctic Circle this past winter. Note that for deeper snow though, they aren’t as useful/necessary.

The Random Category:

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

Daily Action Cam: GoPro Hero 7 Black: It was the Hero 6 Black before the Hero 7 came out, but I’ve now got two Hero 7’s in the fleet that I use almost daily – the quality is worth the jump.
GoPro Accessories I use: Complete list here: It’s basically all the accessories I use daily.
Preferred Drone: DJI Mavic Air: While the higher DJI Mavic 2 is great and all, I prefer the ability to use just my phone to control the Mavic Air when I’m traveling or just stuffed in the back of my jersey pocket for a quick pic. I also sometimes use the DJI Spark, but usually opt for the Mavic Air for the bump in quality.
All Other Photography Gear:
Be sure to check out my full photography page, which lists all the cameras I use when I’m not swim/bike/running.
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: 2XU: I got it down in Australia last winter before a race there, but since I’m (yet again) traveling at the moment I don’t quite have access to it.
Transition Bag: I’ve simply moved to a generic REI backpack, especially with many triathlons having ‘clean’ transition areas these days anyway (i.e. point to point races).  As long as it has places to clip stuff on the sides, you can carry a lot with a little creativity.



For long-term readers, you’ll notice that I don’t tend to change the apparel side very much. Most of that stays pretty much the same for years. Things like shoes only change a tiny bit between available variants of the same model. Same goes for other non-tech categories.  I tend to be a person that sticks with what works rather than re-invent the wheel.

Whereas on the tech side I tend to stay with the most recent. Obviously, this site sorta drives that a bit.

Obviously there’s a lot of gear there, but that’s primarily because you’re training for 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 (like triathlon suits).

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.

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Thanks for reading!

P.S. –  The Girl’s list is here from last fall as well, for those looking for her favorite items. Enjoy!


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  1. I removed the battery in your Stages right crank last week. You’ll get more accurate data now. You’re welcome. ;)

    (*I didn’t… but I should have.. heh)

  2. You get much racing in these days? I know that race reports aren’t your primary focus here but I’ve been wondering if you get to compete much these days.

  3. Gustav

    Seems link an error in the text above: “Speed Sensor: Garmin Speed Sensor V2” links to the Amazon page of the Wahoo RPM sensor.

  4. Nathan Budd

    Any idea if the 935 will get the swim update for optical HR?
    I know it’s not that useful, but I get rewarded by my health insurance for activities that include HR data.

    • Not sure, if I had to take a swag, I’d somewhat doubt it. It’s a different sensor than the FR945 – which may be at play here.

    • Nemo

      Learning about that was probably the best part of this post! I have the Fenix 5, I doubt they will bring it to that watch either, but it sure would be nice ’cause I get really annoyed having to wait to say “ignore” after a swim where I decided not to wear the HRM strap.

    • Luccas Ruzzon

      If you press the back button while it looks for HR data it will go to the save page directly and you don’t have to wait.

  5. Aa-Ron

    The link to the forerunner 945 (under the running watch section) actually goes to the Fenix 5 instead.

    Re: forerunner – do you use the blue watch from the tri bundle or black one?

  6. I remember you about the Balega socks, and I gave them a try. You are right, they are great! Although they have not saved me from blisters, but truth told they don’t come very often, and usually with the hot climate conditions of summer in Marbella. But for the last marathon and half ironman, they were great.

    • By the way, next time you are on the market for headphones you should give Jaybird a whirl. They are great.

    • Yeah, I keep pondering the Jaybirds. I guess the challenge is I’m just not a huge music while running person. So my motivation level is super low (hence how I’ve had the new PowerBeat Pro’s some 3 weeks now, and haven’t done anymore more than pair them to my phone).

    • Robin

      I’ve had two pairs of Jaybird Tarah Pro’s. The left earphone has dropped out completely on each – I’m currently waiting for the refund to hit my credit card.

  7. José

    Do you think you’ll do an updated post on what data screens you use?

  8. Mark

    Have you tried any bouyancy/neoprene shorts (Xterra Lava shorts, etc)?

    Lots of my friends swear by them

  9. Chris

    When is the girls list coming out. My wife needs a new watch and she is about the same size. Hard to find something small enough.

    • The linked list at the end is The Girl’s, and it’s basically identical to when she posted it last fall. She still uses the Fenix 5S (non-Plus).

      She’s scaled back her athletic efforts a bit the last months, being now 7 months pregnant.

  10. Alexis

    Im about to change my current helmet, and the 2 contenders are Giro aether or specialized evade with Angi. Do you see enough pros in having angi nowadays with garmin 830 and incident detection? Thanks

    • I’ve yet to have a false positive with ANGi, but at the same time it’s also sorta a pain in the butt to remember to start the tracking every time on the phone. I’ve also yet to have a false positive on the new Edge units, though I have had false positives on the new watches.

  11. Mike S.

    You didn’t mention a HR strap for running. Do you use your watch’s sensor primarily now (when you’re not testing)?

    • If I’m just doing it for personal use (not for a review/etc), I’ll usually just use the optical HR sensor. I get pretty good results, and in cases where it’s gone wrong, it’s usually the peak of intervals and honestly it goes wrong really bad, so i kinda know.

  12. Tim Grose

    I guess on the running front there is nowhere near as much “tech” as say cycling but in recent years what you put on your feet could now be making a significant difference to one’s performance. Well this punter succumbed to the hype and there probably is something it in I would say. Well my times are generally going the right way again although the ability to go out and do some decent training no doubt helps more :) I guess they just need to put a computer chip in each of the carbon plates then you would be all over it. Also there is the category of running accessory (foot pod or otherwise) for measuring a random set of metrics that may or may not mean anything to you…

  13. once a runner

    no follow-up on the VanMoof as commuter bike ?

  14. Karl

    “My previous 2XU wetsuit finally died after an apparent shark attack (judging by the holes)”

    wait! what? apparent shark attack? Didn’t you notice something nibbling? Presumably you were wearing it (unless you’re keeping sharks in The Cave).

  15. Rafael

    I love these lists you make Ray, thank you!

    Now that we are here, do you think it would be a good idea to do my training with a Vector 2S and my races with a PowerTap G3?
    I mean, are they accurate enough so I can evaluate my FTP in one and race with the other?

    Thank you very much!

  16. Charlie

    I took a quick peek at the Bike Case you mentioned, but it says it comes with “quick-release fork and rear drop out blocks” – is your Ultimate not thru-axel? My Canyon Endurace is, so I’m wondering what you do with the thru-axel for this. Thanks!

    • My older version of the case doesn’t have that at all. Sounds nifty though! :)

      But seriously, that’d be awesome, since that’s usually where I spend most time on protection/padding.

    • Oh, actually, I think I know what it’s talking about now. They’re just two pieces of plastic that you stick in there to keep the fork separated. I lost them years ago.

  17. JD

    Do you subscribe monthly to Zwift and TrainerRoad or do you purchase an annual subscription?
    TR is raising their monthly to $19.95 on Aug 2nd. The annual rate is 20% less at $189.

    • Monthly, though, I’ve got a crazy $7/month rate for TrainerRoad – since everyone is always grandfathered in from their old plan (including this latest change).

      I may end up posting on the TR thing tomorrow. Got a post half-written on it already.

  18. Mac Brown

    Any chance of a column on best practices for getting good results from a wrist HR monitor? I’ve found that mine jumps around enough that I just don’t really trust it.

  19. Niko

    Hi Ray,
    will the FR 935 also get the update for HR while swimming? Or is the older HR sensor not capable of doing so?

  20. Justin Kaplan

    Any suggestion for music during pool swims? I know you’ve suggested finis in the past but I did not like mine. Can’t find any suitable replacements. Thx!

  21. Paul

    Ray, did you have a chance to run some GPS test on Polar Vantage V Titanium? I’m curious to know if it has improved over original Vantage V, given couple iterations of software updates and also the titanium case that should also help with GPS performance.


    • I did run tests with the Titanium. Not really any change best I can see (certainly better than last year, but not some massive improvement).

      Off the top of my head I think there’s some tracks in my COROS Vertix preview post using it.

    • flokon

      T5R included the Titan in his 4x Polar Watches GPS test, and came to the conclusion that the Titan’s GPS is no different to the regular V.

  22. Tom

    Looking to buy the Forerunner 945 for the same reasons you mention, but after reading about the mushy button issues went for a check in the store just to be sure… and yes… 2/5 buttons were mushy. Any issues with your watch?

    • No issues with mine. I’ve seen a few mentions of that here and there. Not sure if it was a batch or two or what there. Nothing apparently widespread there. :-/

    • Tom

      Thanks! :-)

    • Tim Grose

      No issues on that front for me either.

    • flokon

      Note that you’ll never get “clicky” buttons with watches in that price segment that are waterproof. There’s just to much variation in how accurate the membrane is installed with a large accepted margin of slack, as long as the watch is sealed. My 935’s buttons do not click except for a few actuations after it was soaked, and even then the click is more a tactile sensation than an audible. It’s the same with 945s that I tried in stores. I wouldn’t call them mushy though. Now, my Vantage V on the other hand has both audible, and tactile clicks with all their buttons. I guess Polar can put more emphasis on built quality with their much lower runs of produced units.

  23. matt

    This is a small thing, but since you link to your review of CO2 inflators, and you recommend the Performance one, you might want to swap that out for a null set at the moment. Performance (as you probably know), went bankrupt, and the company that bought the mail order business doesn’t do (AFIK) branding or custom manufacturing, the way the old performance did.

    • Yup, it currently links to my super old post talking about it, which in turn now links to some slightly different variants not on Performance.

      Though frankly, it doesn’t much matter. The general point there was that I don’t use a fancy solution – but just a generic CO2 inflater.

  24. Anirudh

    IS there a safety camera you recommend for cycling, so that you can capture the license plate in case a vehicle hits you? I know this is exceedingly rare in the Netherlands, but still…

    • Realistically the Cycliq Fly6/Fly 12 (latest editions) are your best bet. But there’s also been sorta a long list of people having issues with the devices as well, and I find the quality somewhat sub-par. It works well yes, but I feel like they need to put a higher quality sensor in there.

  25. You should grab a ROKA wetsuit. I have an Elite, and absolutely love it. I’ve also worn the Maverick X, and while it is CLEARLY a better suit—it’s insane how fast you feel in that thing—I just can’t justify the $950 purchase…yet. I’ve tried a bunch over the years, and nothing is even close to as nice as ROKA’s line, in my opinion.

    Their R1 goggles are great race goggles, too (X1’s are comfy training goggles). Not necessarily the best for training as the plastic on the nose bridge weakens after about 4-8 weeks (depending on the frequency of use), and start spring leaks here and there. There simply is not a better race goggle that I’ve tried, in my opinion.

    Thanks for this exhaustive list! So good.

  26. Chris Lee

    What about software for post video editing, and v-blog / podcast creation?

    • I use Final Cut Pro X for all my video editing (it’s basically the only thing I use my Macs for), and then for the podcast we record with Audacity and then Shane edits everything in Final Cut Pro as well actually.

      I’ve gotta update my photography post, but by and large it’s all the same: link to dcrainmaker.com

  27. Scott Turvey

    So, bad usb port on your 1030? I had to get mine replaced about a year ago, and so have have a few others I know. BTW, they don’t “fix” anything (bike GPS’). they just replace it with a “reconditioned” unit. If you get it fixed, check you pre/post serial numbers

    • Yeah, USB port won’t charge anymore.

      I don’t mind the refurb aspect, since I know it literally comes from the exact same factory in Taiwan as brand new units. All units are sent back there from all over the world and run through the same process.

  28. leV

    Hey Ray, is there a reason why you went for an Urban Arrow and not a Bakfiets.nl?

  29. Rob E

    What do you use to hold your phone when you run? Or do you not take it with you?

    • Mostly a Spibelt, but some of my running shorts actually have side pockets (rare, but in one or two pairs), so if I’m super lazy I’ll stick it there, but it bounces around a lot and leaves bruises. So I usually regret that the following day.

      But for the most part I don’t take a phone with my running.

    • Chris

      Not wanting to run with a phone (but needing music) was what finally led me to upgrade my Fenix 5 to a newer model with music. Now I just grab my house key, my Stryde, my Tifosi Crit’s and i’m out the door! So much easier!

  30. Do you use lights on your bike? ;)

  31. Vance

    You probably don’t run in the snow/ice that much, but think about the Kahtoola nanospikes or microspikes instead of Yaktrax. Much better function for icy conditions and are less likely to cause nerve compression issues if used frequently. I use the Microspikes in Alaska and they work well. All the best! Appreciate the site!?

  32. Chris

    Hey Ray (and everyone else)

    I’m picking up trail running and wondering if you have any preference for trail running socks/shoes? As far as I know, most trail running shoes are higher topped than your Balega socks.

  33. Chris

    Also, after reading your recommendation list, I purchased a Camelbak marathoner (Ebay for the win!) but I’m wondering what bladders do you use with yours?

    • I just previously used the CamelBak branded ones. I haven’t swapped mine out in a while…probably should.

    • Chris

      I ended up purchasing a hydropak 2L bladder (this one: link to amazon.com) which works great with my new Marathoner. There’s even a place for you to connect the bladder to the velcro ‘arms’ of the pack so it doesn’t bounce up and down. So far, so good, and the price is actually less than the Camlebak Force models. At least here in the US.

      Hey, being it’s a gear question – and I don’t see a direct link for it (but I know you have one) have you ever had an issue where your Stryde pod wouldn’t wake back up? I’ve tried shaking it, figure 8s, and running with it – but it will not respond. The app shows the battery life at 90% and it can communicate with the app just fine, but it won’t wake up when I move. Any advice?

    • Chris

      Cancel that, I figured out that apparently the Ant+ on my Garmin froze up, so once I powered it on and off, it started working again. Not sure if that’s a Garmin problem, or an ANT+ problem , or a Polar Problem (I had just connected my OH1+ to my watch that same day ?)

      Either way, crisis averted. Now about that marathon pack – you didn’t mention that it’s fully adjustable! I must admit, that was a pleasant surprise being able to actually unvelcro the shoulder straps and make them longer so that it doesn’t look like a childs toy when I wear it.

  34. Eduard Loubser

    What is your take on the Apple watch series 5 for a overall Training watch? For running(+-10km’s),Cycling and Gym and then also just for everyday use?

  35. Mark Price

    Hi Ray, I’m coming to the world of indoor training as a relative newbie to Zwift etc. Can you advise what setup you have found most effective – Apple TV vs a Windows laptop?

    I have an Elite Drivo 1 and run in Ant+ mode at the moment on the laptop, but am pondering whether Apple TV would provide a slicker use case as my laptop seems to be constantly trying to install OS & App updates


  36. Mike S.

    Do you have a mountain bike? Or use one of the your other bikes for trails?

  37. Evan

    I just saw in this post that you mentioned using your phone with your mavic air when you travel. I’ve been considering leaving my remote at home to be able to travel with less things. How hard is it controlling the drone with the phone only? Can you still get decently smooth shots? How does it effect range? Thanks, and keep up the great work with the detailed reviews!

  38. Nick

    What about a headlight for running?

  39. Angus Whitfield

    Do you use a specific fan with when riding on the turbo trainer?



  40. That’s a whole lotta gear – thanks for sharing. I wonder, how frequently do you use the booties? ;)

  41. I have read this post very interesting content. I enjoy reading your weekly working ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Harvey

    Just for fun, you could add a COVID-19 section on what mask you wear.

  43. scott jay

    Anybody give a suggestion on what they use to mount their phone to their handlebars? Too many out there, no idea which works well from reading amazon reviews. Thanks.

  44. Bart

    I would like to highly recommend the stand alone AfterShokz Xtrainerz MP3 Headphones for swimming.
    I already tried all kinds of earbuds while swimming but when water gets into a gap between your ears and the classic waterproof headphones the sound becomes muffled. Via a Finis mp3 headset I discovered that bone conduction is the solution for swimmers but the sound quality wasn’t that good and the fragile wires broke up after a year.
    But now I’m using the Xtrainerz and all I can say is that they are really amazing. The sound is super and becomes even louder when your ears get filled with water or when you use earplugs. And they are so easy put on. Xtrainerz are NOT bluetooth compatible (you don’t carry your cellphone while swimming and bluetooth doesn’t work under water). The music is stored in a 4 GB memory and they are rated IP68 waterproof.

  45. Jack Haddad

    What do you wear under your open water wetsuit?

  46. Pär

    Interested in if you sleep with your FR945, or use other sleep tracker, or don’t use any sleep tracking at all

  47. Andrew Dunne

    Is there any way to tell what Garmin have done to distinguish the MARQ® Athlete Performance Edition 2020? Is it just the HRM-Pro or have they fixed/updated the Sony GPS chip?

    Thank you,


  48. Scdc

    Hi Ray,

    Want a pleasant surprise for sound? Try the Microsoft Surface Earbuds. I’ve ditched my AirPods and AirPods Pro for them. They stay in the ears for running, and are very comfortable. There is not earbud thumping as your feet strike the ground. The sound quality is for the most part better than the AirPods.

    Bluetooth is great with these. They connect to my Apple Watch or whatever I choose to use instantly and automatically. Easier to use with my Apple Watch than the AirPods. Get that!

  49. Bob Hill

    My Garmin 500 is getting tired and needing to be updated. I am 79 yrs old, history includes two heart attacks. I ride road bike only and log 140 to 170 miles per week on a Ridley Fenix. Don’t need too many bells/whistles but want basic ride info and navigation assistance. Looking at the Garmin 530 as replacement but am open to other thoughts on the subject. Also, am budget conscious. Thanks in advance.

  50. Marc Dupont

    Thanks a ton for your in-depth reviews. Bought a Kickr V5 based on your review and a bunch of other stuff.

  51. Brad

    Are you going to do a 2020 version of this?

    • I probably should. Especially since it’d take me like 12 seconds. ;)

      The only things that have changed:

      Heart Rate Strap: I tend to use HRM-PRO or TICKR X most days, sometimes the Polar H9/H10
      Action cam: I use the GoPro Hero 9
      Watch: Mostly FR945, though I’ve been using the FR745 the last few months for no particular purpose. With no travel, there’s been no need for maps on my wrist, so in that sense it’s virtually identical for me.


  52. Will W

    Ray, I noticed that your link to the awesome DC Rainmaker gear is no longer working. I assume it has to do with your change from Clever Training to Backcountry. Is there a way we can still get a DCR kit or water bottle? Maybe by pointing out when things aren’t working? ;)

    • Good catch on that link. I’m working on figuring out where to put the DCR gear store, I think I’ve just about got that sorted out and should have links available in the next week. :)

  53. rafs

    Waterproof headphones ? SOmeone have a good ideia?

  54. Joss

    What bike front / tail lights do you use please?

  55. Wow, good stuff. Thanks for sharing them. I really like how you emphasize the importance of getting a good pair of shoes. I love running but I have flat feet and you can’t imagine how painful to run with them. I got some injuries but I didn’t want to give up like that. Fortunately, I finally find good shoes just for flat feet only. Once I wore them I wished I would never have to put them off.

  56. Rikard Edenius


    I’ve experienced problem with Garmin Tri-HMR after just above 1 years of use and 1-2 battery changes.
    When i insert a new battery i’ll almost immediately get “low battery”.

    If this would have happened once, I would thing I’ll missed when inserting battery.
    But now it has happen a second time, with the second band.

    Are there non-Garmin pulse band for Fenix 6 that you can recommend?


  57. Crystal

    Would love to see an update since this is now over 2 years old (PLEASE!).

  58. Ben

    Any 2021 updates coming for your list? Great content even at 2 years old