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Race Season Gear Check

The beginning of the new year is a perfect time to not only start training for the upcoming triathlon season, but also the perfect time to check the condition of your gear, schedule any needed maintenance, and plan to purchase new gear. Here is an essential triathlon gear list and what to look for when it comes to maintaining your gear.

Wetsuit: Check your wetsuit for any tears or punctures. Also try your wetsuit on to make sure it still fits.

Swim caps: A well-fitting swim cap provides warmth, comfort, and drag reduction. Make sure your swim caps are in good condition.

Goggles: The type of goggle you use depends on the weather conditions during training & racing. Make sure you have 3 pair of goggles; clear, tinted, and mirrored/polarized.

Swim suit: Swim suit fabric breaks down from repeated exposure to chlorine. Check to make sure your swim suit is not revealing too much. Replace as needed.

Bike maintenance: If it has been awhile since you have had maintenance done on your bike, then it is time for a check up. Schedule a time for the mechanics to look it over.

Helmet: Check your helmet for any cracks, dents, and fraying straps. Helmets should be replaced every three years or immediately after any crash.

Bike Shoes: Plan on replacing your bike cleats every year or at least every 5,000 miles. Your bike shoes can be replaced every few years.

Flat kit: Inspect your spare tubes for cuts. Make sure you have full Co2 cartridges. You should have a flat kit on each of your bikes that consists of at least: 1-2 spare tubes, 2 Co2 cartridges, two tire levers, and a small multi-tool.

Sunglasses: Sunglasses are like sunscreen for your eyes. If you use them everyday they should be replaced every 1-2 years.

Socks, run clothes, and cycling kit: It’s good to have enough clothing to rotate your usage. A general rule of thumb is to have enough athletic socks for each day of the week, run clothes and cycling kit for 3 workouts per week. It’s nice to have one new pair of bike shorts per year since these wear out faster than bike jerseys or run clothing.

Water bottles: Plastic water bottles start to break down after continued use and need to be replaced about once a year. However, you can extend the life of your bottles if you have enough to rotate their usage and if you clean them after every use.

Running Shoes: Run shoes (except for racing flats or super shoes) last approximately 300-500 miles. If you aren’t tracking the miles on your shoes, regularly inspect the soles of your shoes for wear and tear.

Tri kit: Tri kit loses elasticity from exposure to sweat and bacteria can eat at your kit if you don’t care for it. Plan on replacing your racing kit every 1-2 years.

Bike fit: If it has been a hot minute since you last had a bike fit, then schedule one now. Comfort on the bike leads to better bike splits and faster run times.

Coach Jim Rowe is a Playtri Level 3 and USAT Level 1 Coach. He coaches age group athletes of all ability levels from first time finishers to IRONMAN World Championship qualifiers. Learn more about Jim at

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