I know, I know, I’m about two years behind on a refreshed ‘Gear I Use’ list. Which, is probably because, for the most part, I’m a creature of habit. While I might (ok, definitely) buy plenty of sports gadgets, the rest of my gear remains almost identical. My winter cycling coat? The same from 12 years ago (seriously, here’s the same blue coat to prove it). My socks? The same brand as a decade ago too. I buy maybe a single piece or two of cycling/running apparel each year, usually over Black Friday weekend (which, I didn’t this year).
Nonetheless, I know plenty of you want to know what gear I use. So thus, I present you with a boatload of links. And 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). And this gear is built up over more than a decade.
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 decade. I have zero plans to do any crazy-cold weather triathlons anytime soon (though some year the Norseman Triathlon might still tempt me), so the booties basically just hang out in a container in the DCR 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 apparel 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. Everything on this list I’ve bought myself and use day to day.
Also 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 GPS watch recommendations here, my cycling GPS guide here, and my trainer recommendations here (still accurate from last year given only one new trainer in 2021, the JetBlack VOLT was released, which I’ve added to the recommendations guide). And finally, with that – thanks for reading, and for supporting the site via the links above – as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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 and Decathlon Boxer swim Short: I use both, for example in the above shot it’s the shorter Decathlon one.
Goggles: Speedo Fastskin Speedsocket 2 and Speedo Vanquisher: For the most part, it’s whatever I haven’t lost recently. At present, this is what I ordered after I managed to lose my most recent pair of goggles, whereas pictured above from this summer is the Vanquisher. 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 745: Assuming I’m not testing anything else, you’ll likely find me wearing this when in the water.
Openwater – Wetsuit: Orca S6 Fullsleeve Wetsuit: This was more 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 three winters ago I needed something. There was an Orca store near the waterfront, so…problem solved. I’m not thrilled with it though, given it ripped along a seam line on my third wearing. Three winters later the small rip is still there. 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: Blueseventy 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. Some will ask why not the FORM Swim goggles. Simply put – while I think the tech side of the unit is superb, and super-well executed, I just can’t get past the limited side peripheral vision visibility of the goggles. In openwater swims, seeing what’s out and about keeps me just as entertained as it does watching the denizens of the pool go past. With the FORM swim goggles, that peripheral side visibility just isn’t there anymore.
Now once we hit cycling, things can get pretty crazy pretty quick. Such is cycling life!
Road Bike: Canyon Ultimate CF SL – I built this four years 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).
Mountain Bike: Canyon Exceed CF SL 5.0: Since I ride relatively tame terrain here in the Netherlands, I went with a hardtail, rather than spend more on something I’ll honestly rarely use. But, I’m pretty happy with it.
Triathlon Bike: Cervelo P3C – This is undoubtedly getting a bit long in the tooth. Ok, a lot long. But I don’t do as much long-course triathlon anymore, and a chunk of the short-course stuff I do is draft legal, thus, triathlon bikes aren’t permitted.
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. Actually, we have two of them now. Look, given we don’t own/have any cars, so this is the most practical solution to getting three kids (+ often friends) to their various activities and schools.
The Commuter Bike: Trek Belleville: Now, in reality, I rarely ride this bike. For no particular reason other than that I usually ride the cargo bike as my daily commuter, since I’m usually dragging kids around.
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 it are the Quarq DZero plus a PowerTap G3 wheelset as a reference point for testing. I’ve also got some power meter pedals on there usually. It’ll either be the Garmin Rally pedals or the Favero Assioma. Same goes for my MTB. A Quarq Dzero baseline, followed by a 4iiii dual-sided crankset, and then a pair of Garmin Rally XC’s.
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…on one of these trips back to Paris I’ll pick them up…
Bike Pedals: Garmin Rally or Favero Assioma pedals – I use them interchangeably on my bikes. I have no use for non-power meter pedals in my line of work. Well, I guess the cargo bike has flats. But give me one boring rainy day and I’ll fix that!
Water Bottle: DC Rainmaker Water Bottle: Duh. Also, because I bought like 1,500 of them. So…yeah. One of these days I’ll figure out how to get these listed in both the US & Europe for sale. Till then, I await the next DCR Open House.
Regular Helmet: Specialized Evade II with ANGi – This helmet includes tracking/crash detection for friends/family (and Specialized changed their policy to no longer require a subscription fee for helmet purchases). Albeit, I almost never connect the app for crash detection, but hey, I like the red color.
Sunglasses: Rapha Pro Team Frameless: I finally caved and bought these replacements last summer, after the previous ones I’d had for a number of years got too scratched up.
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.
Bike shorts/bib: DC Rainmaker kit by Pedal Mafia: Duh Part II!
Road Cycling Shoes: Fizik Tempo Overcurve R4: I bought these after buying the Fizik X5 MTB shoe below, so that…umm…my shoes match. Actually, fun tidbit: I also have a slightly different model/color scheme of shoe for each cleat type: SPD-SL, SPD, LOOK-KEO, and Speedplay. Those being all the cleat types for power meters I test. The reason for the slight differences? At a glance I know I’ve grabbed the right cleat type when packing up the bike, to match the bike I’ve grabbed.
Mountain Biking Shoes: Fizik X5 Terra: Also somewhat 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 12 or 13 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. Also, 12+ years old.
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 250,000+ miles on it by now. No issues. Apparently, the Pika Pack Works case is the same/original and still available.
Bike Trainer: Tacx Neo 2 Smart Trainer at home, and Wahoo KICKR V5 at DCR Cave – This is just sorta how it worked out. One day I brought home my Tacx NEO 2 (not 2T), and it’s sat in the shed ever since. 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. Meanwhile at the office/DCR Cave, if not testing anything else, you’ll find me on the Wahoo KICKR V5. You’ll notice that both of these trainers are essentially no-calibrate trainers.
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. I also semi-rarely will ride with an Edge 1030 Plus, it’s a perfectly great unit, but for whatever reason I’ve grown more fond of the Edge 530. Typically speaking my ‘most preferred’ unit of the 3-4 I ride with is whichever unit I prefer is the one 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 H10: If I had to pick just a single strap I use the most, it’s the Polar H10. It’s always reliable and has dual Bluetooth Smart & ANT+. That said, you’ll find a Garmin HRM-DUAL & HRM-PRO usually nearby, as well as a Polar H9 that sits as backup at home.
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, and Peloton: I pay for subscriptions to all of these (and a number of other platforms for testing), but these three are are what I primarily use. In general, I’ll use all three of those each week, mixing it up.
Training Logs: Strava & TrainingPeaks: I use Strava as my ‘public’ activity feed (when I remember to toggle it from private to public), and I use TrainingPeaks as my private training log.
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 26: I switched this up again this year from the 22 to the 26, just a minor change over the previous versions I’ve used. Obviously, I have the amazing blue with crazy orange base coloring.
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: This is a pretty random assortment of running shorts, some Nike, some Decathlon, some still in the laundry machine. I’m not particular, but I do prefer a pocket or two to stash things.
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 745: As outlined in my 8-months later review (it’s now like 16 months), I’ve come to like this little watch. I think the biggest draw for me is the silly 7-day load watch face, which isn’t available on any other watch face for some reason. Helps keep me in check when not on a training plan. Also, I like the size and color. It doesn’t have maps, but I rarely need maps day-to-day.
Running Headphones: Beats Studio Buds & PowerBeats Pro: I use both pretty interchangeably, and like both. I have a slight preference for the over-ear option of the older PowerBeats Pro, purely for security purposes. Note that while I use these while running, I don’t tend to run with music unless I’m testing something.
Long Run Hydration: CamelBak Marathoner – I’ve had this for probably close to a decade now, and it just works. Fear not, I’ve replaced the water inset in it, but it’s what I use on longer runs or 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 an older post on all my cold weather running thoughts.
Cold Weather Running Tights: Asics Running Tights – Look, like most of my clothing choices, it’s often just what I happen to find available at a running shop. That was the case here. My previous Sugoi ones were getting a bit tattered, but I was headed on a trip to the Arctic Circle in December, so I desperately needed new running tights, and this was what my local running shop had that I tried on and liked. I do very much like them, but my research is hardly extensive here. Also, I can’t figure out the exact model that it is. It just says H1 on it, but nothing else.
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. Though, last year they got some serious ice usage here. 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 10: This came out this past fall, and I’ve iterated from the Hero 9 to the Hero 10, mainly for the extra resolution and framing with higher modes.
GoPro Accessories I use: Complete list here: It’s basically all the accessories I still use daily.
Preferred Drone: Skydio 2 & DJI Mavic Air 2: I use these two drones for most of my stuff. The Skydio if I need to track myself, and the Mavic Air 2 if I’m looking for more general usage. That said, I’ve also got a little DJI Mini and Mini SE that I sometimes take with me on trips for general stuff if I really want to pack light.
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.
Transition Bag: I’ve simply moved to a generic REI backpack or literally, a plastic bag this past September. I’ve just found less is more here. There’s little reason for me to have a giant bag full of gear if you’re prepared ahead of time. 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 (even including this paragraph). 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 testing for reviews. Every single item above I’ve bought and use in my normal day-to-day training. Obviously, you see me use gear in testing too – but this is what’s left after you peel the testing and reviewing away.
Thanks for reading!
Winter Running Gear From Minnesota.
-“Windproof” tights from Smartwool or Gore are fantastic. Generally with an added thermal / windproof boxer brief.
-Gloves / Mittens can be very person specific vs temperature. I tend to have colder hands, but if you over “glove” them they end up getting sweaty and then cold again making you possibly question if your gloves were warm enough (when they were really too warm).
Above 25F I use similar cheap race gloves
15F-25F I enjoy the relatively thin Smartwool mitten
5F-15F I use warmer Sugoi mittens
Below 5F I question why we still run outside but often add a Smartwool liner glove inside of a Sugoi mitten
-Running Tops in cold… Use a nice long sleeve merino baselayer. I don’t have any smartwool but really enjoy the Merino 365 variant I stumbled on once, surprisingly warm under even just 1 outer layer.
Gore “Windstopper” long sleeve shirts are great on top of the noted baselayer. These 2-layers alone can keep you quite warm.
Other note, the Marathoner Camelbak seems out of production and the link goes to a “Dart”. I don’t know if it has quite the same pockets on the straps on front. I actually picked up the Marathoner back about 5 yrs ago and one of my pockets is wearing hole where my phone must rub so may need to find a good replacement soon.
My Minnesota cold weather running tips-
Clothing – Costco
Pants – Puma sweatpants
Base layer (top and Bottom) 32 Degrees
Wet days – 32 Degrees rain jacket
Socks – Wool Socks they offer cannot remember the brand
Hat – Wool hats they have, I have about five in rotation
Balaklava – They sell one at this time of year I pick up a new one
Gloves- Pearl Izumi
Neck Warmer – Turtle Fur
Shoes- Hoka Speed Goat 4
Outerwear- Cheap quaterzip fleece
Extra Outerwear – Fleece Vest
Bluetooth connectivity gets really bad a 0° and below so thats when I stop running.
Basically mix and match and you will always be able to run at least down to 0°.
Never tried Yaktrax but have good success running on MN ice with EXOspikes. Both seem roughly compatible with shoes w/ SPD cleats for those rides when a switch to walking has to happen.
SRM is now making a flat pedal powermeter for your cargo bike…
Indeed, I saw! I think I might just repurpose a spare set of PowerTap P1 or P2 pedals, with a flat converter plate on them. I actually still use both P1 and P2 sets in rotation, mainly on smart bikes (one on my Peloton Bike right now).
But I am tempted to do some data gathering, just for the fun of it.
I run one of my old 120bcd quarqs on my big dummy with spd trekking pedals so you don’t have to choose footwear.
And yes, tracking the kj on the cargo bike is… interesting…
Which Urban Arrow SKU and options do you use?
The Family Performance, or, officially per our receipt: “Urban Arrow Family Bosch Performance Disc Deore 500Wh”
Accessory wise, we bought:
A) Rain cover (officially Rent Tent Plus): 100% required. It basically stays on from mid-fall till late spring. Then comes off for most of the summer, except really horrific rainstorms. We previously had the basic rain cover, which was perfectly fine until we got the new one, which is so much better designed usability-wise, especially with multiple kids.
B) Floor mat: This sounds stupid, but the rubber floor mat keeps things from clanging around on the bottom, and helps with keeping any mud/dirt to a non-existant minimum (since it goes through the mesh and just eventually out the bottom tiny holes).
C) Rear Carrier: We put on an extra bike seat in the back atop this (Yepp seat). This helps when kids are being a PITA to separate them. Though honestly, they kinda fight for the back seat sometimes. Also useful when thing are really full to put an extra bag in there (like a backpack).
D) Bottle holder: Best 12EUR ever spent. Especially in summer, to have a water bottle holder sounds silly, but it’s awesome.
E) We also had the maxi-cosi (baby seat) adapter for a few years, when the kiddos were smaller (just born). We used that from one week old till…I don’t know when, a while. That worked out great, but have since removed it as they’re all far too big for that now.
F) We had the luggage net thingy too, but I wouldn’t recommend that, it just gets in the way and never stayed put, always falling off.
G) We eventually bought a second (less powerful) wall charger to have at the office, in case we need to top-off if running tight. Though be warned, the less powerful one is considerably less powerful speed-wise. So we actually swapped it so that our less powerful one is at home, since we usually charge overnight in the shed, so time isn’t an issue. Whereas at the office it tends to be a ‘oh crap, this is low, let me quickly add some juice’ type thing.
Eventually, I’m tempted to get the second bench, though, the kids (3 of them) like standing on the beam, so it’s not too much an issue. If inside the bike, two sit on the main bench, and one sits on the rubber floor mat (we usually have older blanks in there during the winter, so more cushion). Technically speaking we can (and have) had five kids on the bike: Two on main seat, two sitting in bucket on floor, and one on the back seat. I suppose I could do six, with another on the beam. Maybe I’ll test that…
I’d love to get one. The website says it can carry up to 4 people but it doesn’t specify the size of the people. I have two kids (8 & 11) and a wife. The kids would complain if I made them ride themselves everywhere (and the cycling infrastructure needs some work too).
Could it carry our family? Maybe the wife will have to ride herself?
That’d honestly be tough with the 8/11yo. My wife frequently rides in the bike (box), pretty much on a daily basis. And we can fit our whole family on it too (three small kids, one adult pedaling, one adult in box).
In your case, you could do wife in box, you pedaling, oldest child sitting on a back seat (not a kids seat, but they also make a simple seat older kids send to you. But where to put the 8yo is tricky. If they are smaller, then they could squeeze into main bucket.
Please would The Girl update us on her kit list?
Yup! I believe she has it slated for next Wednesday. I think. Maybe. Hopefully?
What’s your pizza Oven of choice?
Ooni Fyra (also on sale right now): link to amzn.to
Basically, I went back and forth between the Fyra and the other ones that can do multi-fuel options, and realized that I already have a gas BBQ. So basically, if I want to do gas, I might as well just use the $15 pizza stone sitting aside my BBQ. It’s not exactly the same due to the heat, but close enough.
Then it went down to size, and the 12″ works great. I can make some pretty darn big rectangle pizzas if need be, but in general 12″ pizzas make it easier to handle and less failures. Plus, people can make their own pizzas (people being my kids mostly, but also friends if over).
Finally, it was the cheapest one. 🙂 Oh, and review coming very soon. It was slated for this Friday, but I’m not quite sure that’ll happen yet. Depends on the weather a bit to get some final shots.
Link seems broken for the Cervelo P3, I get a 404 not found. What year / vintage is it from? I think the P3C has now simply been called the P3 for quite a few years now! Mine is from 2013!
All the way back to 2010. It was basically in the wake of me getting hit by a car in the Knoxville race: link to dcrainmaker.com
Do you use the Polar H10 heart rate monitor when running?
A fair bit, though, mostly more for reference data than anything. I suppose in a world where I’m not testing anything, if that run exists (and it does occasionally), I usually just use the optical HR sensor and find it pretty solid. In fact, most of my ‘main’ data is via the optical HR sensor on the 745.
For anyone like me who was curious as to what changed between 2019 and 2021, I compared the two quickly in Excel, which does not translate at all well to being, copy/pasted.
Gear |2019 |2021
Swimsuit |Nike Victory Jammer |Nike Victory Jammer and Decathlon Boxer swim Short
Goggles |Speedo Vanquisher |Speedo Fastskin Speedsocket 2 and Speedo Vanquisher
Swim Watch |Garmin Forerunner 945 |Garmin Forerunner 745
Mountain Bike |N/A |Canyon Exceed CF SL 5.0
Bike Pedals |Garmin Vector 3 Pedals or Favero Assioma pedals |Garmin Rally or Favero Assioma pedals
Sunglasses |N/A |Rapha Pro Team Frameless
Road Cycling Shoes |Louis Garneau Men’s Tri X-Speed Triathlon Cycling Shoes |Fizik Tempo Overcurve R4
Bike Trainer |Tacx Neo 2 Smart Trainer |Tacx Neo 2 Smart Trainer at home, and Wahoo KICKR V5 at DCR Cave
Heart Rate Strap |Polar OH1 Plus & Garmin HRM-DUAL |Polar H10
Trainer Apps |Zwift & TrainerRoad |Zwift, TrainerRoad, and Peloton
Training Logs |N/A |Strava & TrainingPeaks
Running Shoes |Asics Gel-DS Trainer 22 |Asics Gel-DS Trainer 26
Running Shorts |Nike Dri-FIT running shorts |Random Shorts
Running Watch |Garmin Forerunner 945 |Garmin Forerunner 745
Running Headphones |Really old original PowerBeats & Apple AirPods |Beats Studio Buds & PowerBeats Pro
Cold Weather Running Tights |Sugoi Midzero tights |Asics Running Tights
Daily Action Cam |GoPro Hero 7 Black |GoPro Hero 10
Preferred Drone |DJI Mavic Air |Skydio 2 & DJI Mavic Air 2
What Speedplay compatible power meter do you use?
“…and Speedplay. Those being all the cleat types for power meters I test.”
Or am I making a wishful interpretation?
Little typo in the cold weather running bit – “trip to the article circle”
Hi Ray. I notice you don’t list an HRM for swimming. Do you find them uncomfortable or of limited use?
A bit of both. I don’t find much practical use for it, in that swimming HR is both super laggy for most people, and also usually considerably lower for most people (than cycling or running).
Also, wearing the straps in a pool or pretty beach destination setting isn’t super…fashionable. 🙂
While most of the recent watches do support optical HR, I don’t find it super accurate in most cases.
Do you use a threadmill? Or any reputable review source for them? I want to buy a decent one, but getting reviews that are worh something are hard to come by, and rarely for models that are available or relevant to Belgium/Europe.
Winter running tips from a lady who lives 6 degrees below the Arctic Circle, maybe it will help someone:
Top to bottom:
Hat – Craft bright neon yellow w. fleece on the inside, cuz you wanna be seen in the perpetual dark.
Buff – one of those long ones that has the first 1/3 lined w. fleece. The non-fleece part I pull up over my hat, kinda makes me look like a hijabi, but that’s cool
Coat – also Craft
Running sweater – Nike
Thermal top – I tried all those hi-tech ones that are supposed to not just keep me warm, but also turn me into the bionic woman. My dad also bamboozled me into trying wool. That was a nope. Usually just a regular Nike thermal layer from the boys section of the football (soccer) store. For whatever reason, they don’t make them for ladies here.
Gloves – Craft gloves with built-in windstopping mittens. Best gloves anywhere! Life changing. Yeah really, I have reynaud’s, which means my fingers go waxy white and lifeless in the cold. This doesn’t happen with my Craft gloves. If it’s under 15 Celsius, I stick hand warmer thingies in them.
Pants – Nike, Craft, old-school baggy sweats, depends on my mood and the pace I’m supposed to be running. This is the least important element of clothing for me.
Thermal layer – it’s a problem. Usually a pair of really ancient Nike thermal tights, which they no longer seem to make for women, and unlike tops, boys’ tights don’t work, because, well… anatomy differences.
Socks – any two basically similar socks that I find in my drawer. Yep, lots of sock thieving athletes in my family.
Shoes – Hoka Speedgoat 4 GTX. They’re not fast, but in the winter, I save my interval and training for the treadmill
I’d also recommend wearing some good sunglasses if you’re running in snow and the sun is out. I was feeling kinda snow blind by the end of my 15 km run today. It’s pretty rare to get sun up here in December, last year we only had TWO HOURS OF SUNLIGHT, but today was my day!
husband has reynauds too — thanks for the Craft gloves tip
I’ve experienced constant problems with my PowerBeats Pro headphones — often, one headphone won’t charge no matter how much I fiddle with getting it seated in the case. Or, one headphone won’t connect when I take them out of the case (this requires both headphones to be put back into the case before trying again). Also they cause weird RFCOMM error pop-ups when I have them on while starting up Zwift. Have you experienced any of this?
Yup, totally. Well, to be specific, the single-headphone seating issue. It’s a well known issue of the PowerBeats Pro case charging design, and to be fair, the only issue. I guess over the last 1-2 years I’ve just sorta learned to double-check the seating when closing.
But I haven’t had the RFCOMM error. Though in my case I’m almost always pairing to an Apple TV.
The pedalmafia link in your kit page where it says you can order here is dead.
Doh, thought I zapped them. Unfortunately nothing available at the time, sorry!
Our new (new Jan 2021) Thermal Skull Cap now has an adjustable strap. Customers are loving it as returns and exchanges have dropped by 96% in 2021. If you’d like to try one, and/or our new Thermal Headband, let me know.
Blueseventy Product Development
Hi Lance – thanks for the heads up! I’ve been trying to make it a policy to not swim in water requiring said swim cap, though sadly, after moving to the Netherlands, it seems to be a normal weekday thing in the winter to go swimming.
Did the Fit File podcast end?
I’d consider it more of a temporary pause for now..
Have you got a preferred running light/visibility assist for anything likely to smoosh a runner?
Nothing there, unfortunately. I do need to buy some stuff for the winter. I luck out in that for the most part I run on fairly well lit paths at night most of the time here. But there are some areas I dip into that are rather dark.
Highly recommend this decathlon light
link to decathlon.nl
Not just to be seen, but also can see well in dark places. Only for serious trail running you may want something with more light.
Very nice, I’ve seen that one around. Just added it to my list. I was trying to get to Decathlon (and Ikea+Hardware Store) yesterday. But sadly, FedEx’s early morning scheduled delivery never happened…and I spent the entire day waiting. Maybe next week instead.
I’m curious why you chose the wheel off bike trainers, vs. the full smart bikes, for each.
Cost, set-up, storage space?
And do you have a bike dedicated to use on each trainer, or just throw on whichever bike you are riding that day?
I just bought the Tacx smart bike, but haven’t set it up yet.
Somewhat wondering if I’ve made a mistake – was an extravagant spend for me, even given a discount.
I partially chose for the dedicated setup (removes excuse of involving setup time with a regular bike) and so that family members can share it more easily.
Appreciate your feedback (and also if you think a newer model is on the way any time soon).
In general, I use trainers more than smart bikes because it allows me to test other bike gear (primarily power meters) on my bike. Whereas doing that on a smart bike can be tricky (in terms of comparison data).
The other consideration for me is that at home, I don’t have much space at all. In my shed where I have my trainer+bike, the legs of most bikes simply wouldn’t fit in the space I have allocated. A Tacx bike would fit, but then wouldn’t allow me to get it out of the way easily like I can with the Tacx NEO.
At the office, it mostly just gets back to the first testing bit.
Of course, I do have some stationary bikes, which I realized I forgot to put above. I have a Peloton Bike & Bike+ I use. Bike at home, BIke+ at office. The Bike sits in our bedroom in a little nook of sorts it perfectly fits into to. I often use that on weekends at night, as does my wife. I just got off a Peloton Bike workout an hour ago. Solid power-zone focused workout, just as specific and focused as anything on TrainerRoad.
I don’t think we’ll see new smartbike models till next summer/fall.
Thanks for the follow-up and insights, Ray!
No bike lights? What would you recommend?
Thank you for all the work you do!!!
My 2 cents on lights, if you care.
My absolute favorite bike gadget is Garmin’s Varia RTL515 rear light/radar.
It functions both as a rear facing radar detector, and smart tail light (flashing frequency changes as cars approach). It displays good visual and audible cues on your bike computer or watch, to let you know proximity, speed, and number of vehicles approaching from the rear. (And cues me to check my cheap glasses-mounted mirror).
The majority of my riding is on rural roads/highways, gravel roads, and city commuting where no bike lanes are present.
I consider it essential gear for my kind of riding. It’s saved my bacon several times, and given me a lot of piece of mind.
Battery life is excellent, as is light visibility.
link to garmin.com
For my family, and more casual neighborhood kind of riding, all of our bikes have these. Pretty cheap, and they lasted us 10 years and counting:
link to trekbikes.com
Great list. Do you have any recommendations for headphones that can be used for swimming? My partner is looking for some and she turned to me, as the more tech oriented person, but I’m having a lot of trouble finding any information.
Thanks for all the great reviews!
I like the Finis Duo bone conduction headphones. I have had them for 6 years plus. It is simple and it is hassle free. You can downloaded music to the device via USB. There is no playlist but you can shuffle the music. I tried Finis Amnis Stream Headphones. I did not like it because you had to wear the streaming source (my Garmin Fenix 6) strapped to back of your swim google strap. Bluetooth connections are hampered by water so the pair needs to be close for a reliable connection. But if I have watch strapped to the back of my head, then I don’t get my swim data.
I have also tried the Sony ones but they kept falling out of ear unless your wearing a swim cap. But even with the swim cap. It was uncomfortable and I kept fiddling with the headphone placement rather than focusing on my timed sets.
Thanks! That’s super helpful!
In the Zwift community there is a lot of talk about the Tacx Neo 2 that ‘under reports’ compared to the other trainers (like the Kickr and H3). Since you use the Neo and the Kickr: Do you agree on these talks or didn’t you notice any difference?
Thanks in advance!
Um Article Circle?
Hahaha…that Article Circle is a pretty interesting piece to read about. 🙂
Okay, while it may not be the ideal place to ask, I’m gonna go ahead anyway, mainly because I thought I might find something in your daily used gadgets.
I am in the market for a Sports Watch/Fitness Tracking device. I mainly want to use it to track my daily life (calories burned, steps taken etc.), my sleep and ideally my training load. So far if checked out the Whoop, the Oura Ring and different sport watches (leaning towards the Fenix 6 Pro). While I’m part of the fraction of people who thinks that the body does a good job at recognizing fatigue on a daily basis, I think we’re terrible at identifying long term trends. Hence why I want a device to support me with that task.
Now to the problem: I dislike the subscription model of Whoop. I am totally willing to pay for the service, but I think 30€/Month is to much for what I’m getting. Same with Oura: the starting price paired with the follow up subscription is in no relation to the functions in my opinion.
So why not a watch? Well, I am mainly a cyclist: So for workouts, I use my Wahoo Bolt. A device that cannot upload to Garmin connect or the likes. At least as far as I know. So while a watch may be perfect for what I want, it wouldn’t take into consideration my workouts. The main reason why I want such a tracking device.
Are there any devices out there that fit my needs? Or do I just need to accept that I either have to let a Watch dual record my workouts or pay for an overpriced subscription?
Thank you for your advice and great reviews!
Any recommendations for a front light? I have a garmin 530 Edge with go pro mount below on my roadie. My TT bike is an old 2014 Trek Speed concept 7 series. Not sure what is the best way to mount a front light on that. Any recommendations would be great.
Mostly used to be seen rather than see with the exception of a few weeks of the year when I set out in pitch black and need to avoid road kill, potholes and fallen branches…. Ah, South east Queensland Australia.
Ray, moving from US to Europe and we want to bring our treadmill. Any step down inverters that you recommend to handle the wattage or are we just out of luck!?
We’ve used this brand/units for about a decade now (link to amazon.com) – We have a number of them in different sizes, depending on how much wattage you need. For example, we have some little tiny 250w ones for kitchen tools (like a KitchenAide Mixer). Though a decade later, we’ve almost managed to finally phase out of all of them, save the KitchenAide and BlendTec blenders.
A treadmill though is a beast of a power use-case though, so you may need to do some research to see if it’s viable power-wise. If your treadmill is a major brand/model, you may want to check out Reddit for threads of people doing the same, just to validate there’s no weird quirks you’ll find out about later.
Of course, many units these days are dual. So if it’s a newer unit and it says 100-240v on it, then you’re good to go!
A few years ago you posted a multi connector adapter that combined USB A, B, C and lightning connector. I can’t find it, can you repost?
The one and only source when it comes to gear review for me
any particular triathlon bike saddle you prefer or depends on the rider??
So wish Peloton would partner with Zwift so I can dump my dedicated trainer once and for all. I’d happily pay for both subscriptions if only to save space and complexity! Peloton / Zwift please take my money!!!!
Would it be possible to get an update on this after another year gone? Can understand that not much has changed but still curious with all the new stuff that dropped over the past year