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2018-09-24 12:52 AM


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Subject: What do I wear? First triathlon.
I know, I know. Newbie question that's been answered a thousand times (searched it).

I just have zero idea what to wear. I bought some cheap bike shorts but they are pretty horrible and I want to save as much money as possible. Buying gear for multiple sports adds up, especially on top of memberships and everything else along the way so any recommendations would be awesome.

I will have to have a wetsuit since my HIM is in a colder cliamate BUT I live in an extremely hot environment so my training gear will not suffice I imagine.

I googled a lot, there are just so many conflicting brands, what you need vs what you dont need, etc.


2018-09-24 10:01 AM
in reply to: #5249669


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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
Just finished my first HIM yesterday. Two price tri suit for me and had zero issues. It wasn’t wetsuit legal, but I did purchase a TYR wetsuit for $50 on eBay just in case. Shop around, Active gear up has good deals on tri stuff as well as some other websites. I paid $50 for my tri kit, you don’t have to break the bank.

Good luck!
2018-09-24 10:41 AM
in reply to: #5249677


21

Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
I'll check it out! Thank you.

I was thinking a tri suit would be the easiest thing anyway since It saves time during transition or so I've heard.
2018-09-24 3:48 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Champion
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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.

Welcome to the sport.  

Since you're targeting a HIM, you'll probably need to invest in more gear than you'd need for a sprint.  

Most HIM's do not have changing tents, so you'll swim-bike-run in the same basic gear.  (Nudity can get you DQ'd.)  

Whether you get a 1-piece tri-suit or tri-shorts and a top is up to you.  Each has advantages.  

If you do tri-shorts, you can do a tri-top and swim in it.  You *can* pull on a bike jersey after swimming (it isn't going to be easy though).  
The advantage of putting on a top after the swim is you start out with a dry top.  If the weather is cool (even 65F), you'll be surprised how cold you are riding with a wet top.  

You'll probably want bike shoes for the bike and running shoes for the run.  I can ride without socks (but haven't in my IM's) but I don't run sockless.  

Helmet will be mandatory on the bike (including before and after the race if you're on the bike).  

The wetsuit will be good.  Just don't wait until race day to swim in it.  

I'd plan for a lot of "contingency" gear as well.  Long-sleeves, cycling gloves, toe covers, tights or knee warmers, skull cap.  You'll be out on the course for 4-6 hours AFTER THE SWIM most likely.  That's a long time to be miserably prepared for the weather!  (When I did IMCdA, the high for the day was 62F (and raining), considerably colder than the typical 90F dry day.)  

You'll probably want to acquire some of this gear as part of your training.  If you're riding 3x per week, you'll want fresh bike/tri shorts each time.  Same with running.  

At a minimum, you're probably looking at:
1 pair jammers (long-leg version of a speedo, polyester lasts a lot longer than lycra)
1 pair tri-shorts/tri-suit
2 pair bike shorts
2 pair running shorts
2-3 bike jerseys
3 running t-shirts
0-1 tri-top

If you look around, you can often get a lot of this on clearance, but even then, are probably $200+.  

2018-09-25 11:07 AM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
I would recommend 2 piece tri specific.
You can use that gear for all workouts. Bike. Run. Swim even. No need for multiple pieces.

Maybe pick up some arm sleeves for cooler temps.

Zoot works well for me.
2018-09-25 8:23 PM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
For racing, if you are only going to buy one item, I would recommend tri shorts! As others have said, you can certainly get a lot more and you will probably want to for training purposes, but if money is really tight, you can always have the tri shorts on under your wetsuit for the swim, and then put on a tech tee or jersey for the bike and run. The advantage of tri shorts over bike shorts is that the "pad" won't get all wet and heavy during the swim, will protect your butt, etc. on the bike, but shouldn't be so bulky that they chafe and feel like a diaper on the run. Can't recommend specific brands as they all have somewhat different fit profiles and most have a range of models.

I don't recommend you do what I did for my first tri! I was in a locale where tri clothes, particularly for a smaller woman like me, simply weren't obtainable. Did a distance between sprint and Oly (with mostly off-road bike) in a sports bra, fake Speedo men's jammers, and a tech tee for the bike and run. The bike was "only" about 15 miles, but my butt was killing me!

Assume OP is male. For women, add a good sports bra to the tri shorts. If you decide you don't want to continue in the sport, tri shorts can be always be used as swim trunks (for open water; they won't last long in chlorinated pools), running or bike shorts. A tri top is optional but would make transitions simpler since you would just keep it on the whole time and wouldn't have to put on any clothes when wet after the swim.

If it will be cold, clearly you are going to need to think about additional layers for bike and run, but they don't necessarily be tri specific. I have been happy with a rash guard type shirt, or a Merino wool or quick-dry synthetic long-sleeved shirt for the bike and run in colder races. It helps to get one that is reasonably (but not too) form-fitting and that has a 1/4 zip for easier entry/exit and so you can pull down the zipper as you warm up. I think for my coldest two races (temps in low to mid 50's, cloudy, windy, some drizzle on the bike) I wore an insulated bike jersey....But I am super cold-blooded--probably a bit much for most people in most conditions. But if there is the possibility of really cold weather, rain, or windy conditions, I would have something like that in my bag just in case.

Edited by Hot Runner 2018-09-25 8:28 PM


2018-09-26 12:21 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.

At my first triathlon in 1985 I wore a speedo swimsuit (by advice).......like just about everyone else did.  Nobody cared.  Nobody races in a speedo anymore, but there is still nobody who cares what you wear....seriously.  (everybody is too worried about what THEY are wearing to care what you wear

Wear what you want and have a great time....if you don't get it right for you,  you'll know soon enough and can adjust on your next race.

Tighter is better....less chafing.

Oh yeah......if you want the absolute least worry and most comfort, get a one piece suit......there is a reason the best and fastest wear one....most don't because they are worried about how it looks on them.....meh....again, nobody cares how you look.



Edited by Left Brain 2018-09-26 12:48 AM
2018-09-26 10:17 AM
in reply to: #5249669


21

Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
Thank you all so much for the advice.

I really dont care how I look at all. I was advised by a close friend to just wear "comfortable" clothes.....well that blew up in my face my first 20 mile ride and my butt felt like a field goal kicker....well you get the point Haha.

I may have made it sound like I'm on an extreme budget, I'm not, I just dont want to spend hundreds of dollars on clothing if I dont have too.

I'll gladly spend the money needed on a tri suit and wet suit.

Do tri-suits come with padded rears? I know that may be a dumb question.

I can just slip my wetsuit on over my tri-suit and be good to go?

Sorry for asking so many questions, I just dont want to start 10 different threads lol.

Thank you all again.
2018-09-26 11:07 AM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
Yes, there is a padded rear. But it is a somewhat thinner pad than normal bike shorts, and made of material that won't absorb a lot of water and feel like a diaper on the swim. I've never had any difficulty wearing tri shorts/suit up to HIM distance and on training rides up to 5 hours followed by a one hour brick run. I'm probably going to wear a tri suit (one piece in my case) for my first full IM. Of course, you need to make sure the shorts/suit fit well and work with your butt and your saddle. But if they do, they are vastly preferable to other alternatives, especially for longer bike legs.

BTW In most HIM I've done (mainly but not entirely IM brand races) there is no place to change clothes between disciplines, and nudity in transition will get you a DQ. There has never been a changing area in shorter races. Apparently one is provided for full IM, though. For HIM and shorter, I would just plan on wearing the same thing the whole time, possibly slipping on a top for the bike and/or run depending on your setup and weather conditions.
2018-09-26 12:36 PM
in reply to: #5249831


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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
You can get a quality tri kit or tri suit for under $100 if you shop around. Black Friday is right around the corner also and there will be some good deals.

The pad on tri shorts is thin so not to absorb tons of water during the swim. Also, bulky bike short pads get uncomfortable in the aero position when riding a tri bike in my experience.

Wetsuit goes right over your tri kit. Wetsuit strippers will take off your wetsuit after the swim and you’ll don your bike shoes and helmet and off you go. Then you’ll get back to transition and put on running shoes and head out for the run.

Keeps things nice and simple. If it’s a cold event, you may opt for some arm warmers or leg warmers on the bike. I didn’t have that issue in Augusta. It was a toasty 95 degrees.
2018-09-26 2:28 PM
in reply to: #5249852


21

Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
I've looked at the last 2 years of weather in the area I will be racing.

Last year: 64 and rainy
The year before that: 86 and sunny.

In going to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, thank you all.


Any brands that you feel are better or worse?


2018-09-26 5:41 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123


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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
I have Nike, Castelli, 2XU, and Wattie Ink tri apparel. I can't really say one is better than the others enough to justify spending way more on one brand versus the other. The trick is finding which brand fits you best. Most are cut different and sized different so it may take some trial and error. If you can find a store around that stocks tri apparel it would be worth your while to go pay them a visit.
2018-09-26 5:53 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
So typical for CDA and Idaho in general! Remember that 86 and sunny was just the temperature at one point in time, probably noon! It was about 50 degrees at the start that year. So be ready for anything LOL. I've had really good luck with 2XU trisuits. They seem well made, they're really durable (I still wear the first one-piece I bought, maybe seven years ago, for training sometimes), and, at least for me, fit well and cause no issues on swim, bike and run. I've also had some suits from Pearl Izumi, Zoot, and a few other random brands; those tended to have more issues with fit, quality, or durability (to be fair, the PI issue would not affect guys--it has to do with the built-in bra and/or how the suit fits over another sports bra).
2018-09-28 2:59 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
It is super confusing and a lot of the apparel is sold direct so you have to buy it to see it.

You have some good advice here. You can find used gear - there are a few Facebook groups like tri-n-sell it. Those are actually pretty good unless you get a scammer.

I found that for longer races good shorts is where I want to spend my money. I prefer a two-piece kit all the time because once my skin is sweaty or wet I can take it off but then putting it back on is close to impossible (bathroom breaks are a given for me).

Good luck!
2018-09-28 5:07 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
Check out www..com for deals on athletic gear including tri suits and wetsuits. Selection can be limited but good brands that can be as much as 50%+ off retail. Usually last season / year's models. Watch the return policy on what you buy. Some items are final sales only. I've been able to outfit myself without spending a fortune.
Have fun!

2018-09-29 12:13 PM
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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
The

Edited by RajaZoie 2018-09-29 12:14 PM


2018-09-29 12:38 PM
in reply to: #5249669


21

Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
I'm going down to my local shop today to talk to some guys and see what their selection is but they seemed very dismissive and downright rude when I called.

Pretty irritating honestly. I know what I'm used to is a far cry from triathlon but when someone calls my business asking details about the gym or training I dont act like a pompous ass who doesn't have time for basic questions.

Lol anyway, enough complaining.
2018-09-29 8:50 PM
in reply to: #5249977


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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
They probably specialize in road gear. That’s how the local bike shops around here are. The folks are friendly but rarely have anything I would need other than tires and tubes. You would think they would be nice to attract your business. Local bike shops are having a tough go from what I read.
2018-09-29 9:42 PM
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Master
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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
Bike shops often don't have tri gear at all, or only a limited selection. Plus it is true that some pure cyclists look down their noses at triathletes (as do pure swimmers in master's clubs; I think runners to a lesser degree, but maybe I'm biased as I've been a runner since I was a kid! In my mind, it is a more "democratic" sport and people tend to care less what others wear or what other sports they might enjoy.) If there is a tri store locally that is a better bet, but they tend to be smaller and some focus more on bikes and accessories than clothing. I get most of my clothing online and use our local shop mainly for bike fits, repair, accessories, and some nutrition/hydration products.

If you have a big outdoor chain like REI, they usually have some tri clothes and accessories (though the season is ending; you may be able to get some end-of-season deals if they still have anything). Tri stuff is usually somewhere near the bike clothing at REI. Failing that, find an online source with a good return policy. I have ordered from a number of different sites; can't remember a specific one but if you search trisuits, they will pop up.

Another option if it is available and you don't object to it is an "exchange" type place with secondhand outdoor clothing. We have a couple such places in Boise and there was a great one in Portland where I lived several years ago; I was in desperate need of some cool-weather cycling gear this week with no time to wait for an order; scored two pairs of Pearl Izumi capris that appeared to be very lightly worn, if at all, for over $20 less than a single new pair would have cost. I noticed they had some really new-looking tri apparel, mainly Zoot, for both men and women hanging on the racks in most sizes.

Edited by Hot Runner 2018-09-29 9:47 PM
2018-09-30 9:58 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner


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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
i took a little different tactic on this, and it worked out just fine. i wanted a tri suit for my first (thin pad, etc etc) but didnt want to spend much on the name brands if i was gonna only do one tri. sooooo, i bought a zimco triathlon one piece off ebay (they still have them around 35 bucks) and 2 years and 4 races incuding a HIM later it has served me without issue. i did have a couple spots of chafing on the HIM, but nothing severe and have already healed. the only thing i would change is i would have went with a 2 piece. i hate my one piece. trying to get that thing up and down on bathroom breaks anytime let alone when you are a sweaty mess sucks. might be better for the pros, but im several hours behind the pros and they wont be wearing zimco brand anyway.
2018-10-05 10:21 AM
in reply to: #5249669


21

Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
So I decided on the two piece approach!
I bought a few pair of sparx bike/triathlon shorts and they are awesome.

I'm still shopping for tops that I like but seriously thanks everyone for the replies.

I may just swim in my wetsuit and then throw on a typical training shirt. I am not a huge fan of being constricted during my run/bike.

Am I allowed to wear a shirt with graphics or images on it? I'm a bit of a goofball and was thinking of making a shirt for the race.


2018-10-05 9:50 PM
in reply to: #5250268


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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
You can certainly do that. Graphics are fine as long as they aren’t obscene.

FWIW, I thought a tri top would be awful to run in but I loved it. I considered changing into a singlet for the run portion but after a few brick workouts I quickly abandoned that idea. Find a cheap tri top and try it out.
2018-10-07 3:03 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.
Tri Top and Tri Shorts and you should be fine. If it's going to be sub 60 degrees for the duration of the ride then ou'll need to layer up further. Running @ 60 or warmer you should be fine unless you'll be doing a lot of walking.
2018-10-08 10:42 AM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.

If the shirt you put on is not form-fitting it's going to slow you down on the bike. 

2018-10-08 1:17 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: What do I wear? First triathlon.

Originally posted by Left Brain

...

Oh yeah......if you want the absolute least worry and most comfort, get a one piece suit........

 

Disagree, especially if you have to make a "pitstop".

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