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Need new gear - how to avoid the bling trap?

Right, first tri under the belt, now preparing for the London OD. I would like to upgrade my gear, but do not want to fall for the bling trap. What can you recommend in terms of equipment that I will not outgrow within a season or two - I mean good quality, value for money stuff that will allow a solid performance for an amateur?!

I think I need ...

[ul][*]bike shoes (road bike or tri specific?)




[*]bike computer/running computer with HR (can I combine the two?)

[*]turbo trainer

[*]swim lessons[/ul]

and maybe even ....

[ul][*]new bike (?) - Trek 1.5, 1.7, 1.9, Madone, Specialized Tarmac, Roubaix, or ....?[/ul]

Thanks for any advice or additions to the list!


  • Scott WScott W Posts: 51
    You forgot Euro Millions Lottery ticket!

    Seriously though I have bought some of this stuff in prep for my first tri season so . . .

    [ul][*]Shoes - i bought DHB R1 from wiggle the got great reviews for VFM and work although not tri specific

    [*]Shimano SPD clips and pedals, so far so good

    [*]Wetsuit - got a Blue Seventy Sprint 2009 for £136 at Sigma Sports, christened it at the weekend and performed admirably for an entry level suit

    [*]Aero Bars - not bothered yet as cant lean far enough forward due to gut!

    [*]Bike computer - Specialized Sport - bike shop recommended when got bike

    [*]Turbo - Cyclops Fluid 2 - based on forum posted recommendation and a mate who is serious biker has one, love it - was great when weather was crap and used it last night for a Brick session in garage

    [*]Swim lessons - having first 1-2-1 lesson this Sunday but also got some "tips" by joining a "masters" session at local pool (found it via a mate)

    [*]Bike - I got an Allez which is again entry level but is doing the job (tip - see if work does cycle to work scheme, thats how i got mine)[/ul]

    Good luck and happy shopping
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    Thanks Scott - are you from the Kingston area as you shop at Sigma Sport? Let me know how you are getting on with the 1-2-1 swim lessons. Thinking of going to get some help from the guys at Hampton pool or SwimForTri in London.
  • Scott WScott W Posts: 51
    I am based in Ashtead which is near Epsom

    I am doing my first session with this coach this coming Sunday, it is actually one to two as it was organised by a mate of mine who is doing a 1/2 ironman in October

    It is 4 consecutive Sundays (I can only do the middle 2 due to other commitments) so we are sharing the cost. If its any good I can get the details for you of the coach (through Surrey Swim School I think)

    The other stuff I mentioned was with a chap called Phil Sears who is well known in swimming circles I am told. He runs "masters" sessions and a "swim for fitness" in Dorking, he gave me some pointers on technique.
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    In my extremely limited and personal experience I would say...

    just2tri wrote:

    I think I need ... [ul][*]bike shoes (road bike or tri specific?)

    [*]cleats/pedals [/ul]

    a must. Tri shoes are generally (by definition) better for those flying starts, but "best fit" is the real important thing. For longer distance tris (and for rank amateurs like me that is includes OD!) flying starts are less important (and may not be important to many in sprints of course) so the tri specific shoes may not be as important.


    depends on how many OW tris you are likely to enter. If its one a year you may want to seriously consider hiring per time. Also depends on what your limiter with swimming is... if its your swimming ability then an expensive wetsuit is less likely to see a ££/improvement benefit

    [ul][*]aerobars [/ul]

    I'd say hold off for now if budget is important. make sure you can use the drops well.

    [ul][*]bike computer/running computer with HR (can I combine the two?) [/ul]

    Reasonable HRMs certainly combine the two - but they can be either expensive (circa £300) for an all-in, or start off cheapish (all things being releative!) at maybe £100 but then you start to add bits and pieces to get what you want (eg bike computer, footpod) at around £40-50 a pop. If budget is an issue then I reckon you could go with a cheap HR monitor (LLoyds Pharmacy knock out a chest belt HR monitor for about £12 IIRC) and a cycle computer (circa £20 for something reasonable? That said sainsbury's sell bike coputers that do a job for about a fiver).

    [ul][*]turbo trainer [/ul]

    depends at this juncture whether you "need" the indoor flexibility of a TT. If you can only train when its dark, or the roads near you are just too dangerous (perception etc) then yes a TT is a real boon. If you can ride outsdie for 3 days a week etc and its still imptoviong you then maybe not now. I find a TT really helps me focus on technaiues etc however.

    You can pick up a TT that will do a very decent job for £50-60 - you can ho substabntially higher than that of course, but as a source of keeping you in one place, with the rear wheel off the ground providing some (noisy!) resistance cheap models do the job.

    [ul][*]swim lessons[/ul]

    Depends on how poor your swimming is! You could try out some masters sessions if there is a such a beats near you... that may be the cheapest solution oin the short term. You won't get 1-on-1 but you will typically get some coaching espoecially in the early sessions you attend but make sure the coach understands you are trainiig for triathlons, not 50m sprints. Getting hold of the Total Immersion DVD might prove useful in terms of aiding your technical efficiency.

    Other mileage may well vary of course.

    good luck!

    Didds (who despite trying to do everything as cheaply as possible is atill up around £1600 spent in my first year!)

  • LegacyUserLegacyUser Posts: 0
    WIGGLE is a good place to get all yer bit's N bob's............

    DECATHLON aint too bad either if yer really looking for bargain's
  • j27rtj27rt Posts: 102

    I am currently having lessons with swim for tri and can recommend them. If you want further details pm me
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    Thanks for the feedback guys and girls!
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Something I didn't budget for:


    Hope you won't need it though.

    New bike will make the most difference (in terms of time/performance)

    Tri shoes would be a big difference in T1 - so are probably worth it. They'll be SPD.

    You have to have a wet suit - but if you are changing body shape then hold off that!

    Training aids next - Swimming Coaching, HRM/GPS/ Turbo/Ergo Trainer (I would go with an Ergo Trainer).

    Everything else, get as you need... I keep meaning to compile my shopping list.

    I like to look at the recommended stuff on bikeradar.com - as they are pretty good. Wiggle provides a bit of an insight too.

  • Ron99Ron99 Posts: 237
    j27rt wrote:


    I am currently having lessons with swim for tri and can recommend them.  If you want further details pm me

    Yep - me too. I was on one of their weekend workshops and it was a great help. Massive step forward for my technique. Plus, they're happy to give tips and advice over the phone. Likewise to j27rt - PM me if you want more info.
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