Fall Discounts for Triathletes - Part II

author : chrisandniki
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By Chris Tull,

Getting fall discounts on triathlon equipment is more difficult than finding the Great Pumpkin, right? Well, I’m here to say it isn’t so. Deals for triathletes are plentiful. It’s just knowing where to look. 
Part I of this article discussed finding fall discounts on bikes, running shoes, goggles, and swimsuits. In this article, we’ll discuss where to find the rest of your equipment needs without breaking the bank.

Looking at this table, you’re probably thinking, “Man oh man, triathlons require a lot of stuff.” Don’t worry, though. Great deals for the bargain-hunting triathlete are everywhere.

So you’ve found your bike and running shoes for the 2005 season. You’re ready to roll, right? Well, before your first race, there are some other items you may want to round out your equipment cache. These items include:


For the Swim Portion:
 1. Swimsuit, or tri-shorts
 2. Goggles
 3. Swim cap
 4. Wetsuit *
 5. Anti-chaffing stick/substance for Wetsuit *
For the Bike Portion (besides bike):
 1. Helmet (required by USA Triathlon rules. No helmet, no race)
 2. Bike shorts or tri-shorts
 3. Sunglasses *
 4. Water bottles
 5. Bike jersey, singlet, or tri-top
 6. Gloves *
 7. Sunscreen *
 8. Spare tubes, frame bump, CO2 *
 9. Socks *
For the Run Portion (besides running shoes):
 1. Running shorts or tri-shorts
 2. Running top, singlet *
 3. Running hat or visor *
 4. Sunscreen *
 5. Race number belt *
Note: The asterisk (*) marks recommended items

Shopping Online
Most people like to buy their bike and running shoes in a bricks and mortar store. This makes sense. You want to test out the equipment firsthand, with qualified salespeople around to help with your questions. 
However, I recommend shopping online when it comes to other triathlon equipment such as racing and training apparel, helmets and sunglasses. 
Online sites often offer cheaper prices than brick and mortar stores. The reason: physical store locations deal with rent, electricity, payroll, fixtures, and shrinking loss. All these factors contribute to the gross margin and overhead of ‘just doing business.’ 
An online site doesn’t worry about those things and can pass that savings onto customers by cutting the cost of their products. In addition, online sites are great for finding deals on liquidated products, since the retailer can house those products in a central warehouse rather than in a physical store location. 
So with all this said, the following online sites are having great deals right now on triathlon equipment.  Many sites offer discounts for BT members (* See BT Discounts)

  • www.sierratradingpost.com : This site provides great deals on cycling and running clothing and equipment, including a Bargain Bin area where you can find savings up to 60%, and a 'Just Reduced' area with recent markdowns from the past 21 days.
  • www.racycles.com :  A store in the New York area with great deals on bikes, wheel sets, and bike parts. Check out the 'Steals and Deals' section.
  • www.tri-zone.com: This site has a little of everything for the triathlete, including apparel and equipment for swimming, running, and cycling. Make sure you go to the 'Close-outs' area for some of the best deals around.
  • www.sportsbasement.com : Like tri-zone, this site has a little of everything for the triathlete, as well as all you snow bunnies out there. This site includes specials for certain Internet orders and closeout deals – averaging up to a 30% - 60% discount off retail prices.
  • www.nytro.com : Another great site for all things triathlon, with sales and a nice 'Weekly Web Specials' section.
  • www.nashbar.com : *For everything bike!!! Right now over 300 items are on sale, along with several other promotions. Check back often. 
  • www.performancebike.com : *Another great bike site. Check out the 'Weekly Specials' sections for deals.
  • www.activasports.com : *A site for finding discounted women’s racing and training apparel and also women’s footwear. You can find 10% - 20% discounts on this site.
  • www.trisports.com : *This site offers a 15% discount to BeginnerTriathlete.com members, as well as various other deals.

Deals on Wetsuits
If your race is longer than an Sprint distance, a wetsuit may be the way to go. With wetsuits, you can have your biking or tri-shorts on underneath the wetsuit and they’ll stay dry. Wetsuits provide the following benefits during a race:

  • They keep you warm in cold water
  • They help you stay afloat
  • They help you swim faster

Unfortunately, wetsuits aren’t cheap – no matter where you look (new wetsuits range from around $130 to $400). In addition, triathlon wetsuits are designed for surface swimming – and are thus lighter. Other wetsuits (say for scuba diving) will be heavier, slower, more water-absorbent, and more cumbersome. Thus, if you’re going to get a wetsuit for races, make sure it’s a triathlon wetsuit.

When buying a wetsuit, I’d treat it the same as buying your bike, or running shoes: find an actual store location with a knowledgeable staff. You might find a lower price online, but I think it’s important to try the wetsuit on, move around in it, see how it feels, looks and get the staff’s help.

You can get deals on wetsuits by incorporating some of the tips from the Part I article, including the following:

See if a local pro bike shop sponsors a bike or triathlon club. Sometimes, such shops offer discounts to these club members. More and more pro bike shops carry triathlon equipment, including wetsuits. If that’s the case with your local bike shop, you can use your club discount towards a wetsuit.

The fall and winter months are the best times to buy wetsuits, as the demand for swimming products is down. You’ll find the cheapest prices now for wetsuits.

If you do decide to look online for wetsuits, check out the following sites for great deals:

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to save on your triathlon purchases this fall. Think of this spending as an investment toward you health. Of course, the best way to get deals on triathlon equipment is to ask for them as holiday gifts. Running socks and cycling gloves make great stocking stuffers.

About the Author: Chris Tull is a writer based out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Once upon a time, he was a ‘burgers-and-beer-only’ kind of guy. Chris has since lightened up on the diet and added yoga, weight lifting, and (of course) triathlon training to the mix. You can contact him at chrisandniki@yahoo.com  or visit his online journal at http://ctull.blogspot.com/


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date: October 31, 2004



Chris Tull is a writer based out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Once upon a time, he was a ‘burgers-and-beer-only’ kind of guy. Chris has since lightened up on the diet and added yoga, weight lifting, and (of course) triathlon training to the mix.



Chris Tull is a writer based out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Once upon a time, he was a ‘burgers-and-beer-only’ kind of guy. Chris has since lightened up on the diet and added yoga, weight lifting, and (of course) triathlon training to the mix.

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