Tri Suits & Gear

You could spend all day looking at the latest gear for triathlon racing. I know we do anyway.

But what do you really need on race day to help you achieve your personal best?

Not as much as some sports marketing companies would have you think…

Here is our most popular kit that you should invest in before you next hit the course.

Best Energy Gels for Triathlon

The Best Energy Gels

The other day, we witnessed a famous triathlete (whom we won’t name) ‘hit the wall’ midway during a triathlon.

He had to retire halfway through the bike section of the race!

It wasn’t lack of conditioning or improper training that caused him to bonk.

Instead, it was miscalculated long-run nutrition.

Having witnessed the event firsthand, we figured it was a great time to create a list of the best energy gels for our readers.

Oh yes, those pocket-sized gooey lifesavers that tuck into your jersey pockets and deliver an instant glycogen boost (with some caffeine to boot).

Like it or not, there’s no better source of instant-energy on a size-to-nutrition perspective. Having a few of these can keep your body fueled for any long-distance sporting event.

Fuelling up during a race is critical, but choosing one of these isn’t as simple as walking into a supermarket and picking a granola bar.

Energy gels have exploded in popularity off-late and the market today is flooded with hundreds of varieties, many of which are overloaded with more carbs than what one typically needs. That’s a ticket to gastric distress folks.

Others taste like industrial byproducts and you’d do well to push that down your throat even with a beverage amidst a run or a cycling event.

To make things easier, we tried the most promising ones for their palatability, energy, size and ease of access and rated them accordingly. This isn’t the most definitive list of options you have because we know that different people react differently to nutritional products and some of these may or may not agree with you.

However, we have tried to jot down the best features as well as highlight any nits in an unbiased fashion. We hope this helps you make an informed choice.

Here’s our review of the best energy gels.

#1 – Huma Chia Energy Gel

Huma, a recent entrant into the world of endurance sports nutrition, draws its name and inspiration from the Tarahumara tribe of Mexican Indians, or so it claims to.

Despite the fancy name and the unique ingredient blend, this gem of an energy gel is our personal favorite in this list.

It tastes fantastic and has an impressive nutritional profile that goes beyond the typical carbohydrate-caffeine mix.

best energy gels

HUMA CHIA energy gel review

Here’s a closer look.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The Huma Gel contains 24gms of carbohydrates in a single pack which is similar to most other brands.

But it’s the carbohydrate source that differs. Huma uses a blend of fructose and cane syrup. That’s a natural sugar mix that’s absorbed faster and will be gentler on your tummy.

The electrolyte content is equally impressive.

It packs in 240mg of Sodium, 60mg of Potassium, 25mg of Calcium and 14mg of Magnesium.

And to top it off, there’s a chia seed blend that gives it a unique texture and throws in some fiber to aid in digestion.

Palatability: We found the taste, consistency and flavoring spot on.

 We tried the Strawberry Lemonade and the Apples and Cinnamon. Both the flavors taste amazing.

They are not overly sweet nor do they have the chemical aftertaste.

The Chia seeds are very finely crushed and you’d never realize that they are there except for some very tiny bumps that can be felt.

We were able to gulp the gel down without water.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: With 25mg of Caffeine and the fast absorbing carbs, we noticed an energy spike after 5-10 minutes of popping one of these.

The energy release is slower due to the chia mix and this actually keeps you going for a longer time frame.

how big are gel packs

Size: The packing is pretty small and not bulky either.

You should be able to tuck in five to six of these easily in a hydration belt.

Ease of access: You can easily tear the top off even with sweaty palms.

The slightly watery texture makes it easy to extract the gel.

Possible cons: None!

#2 – Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel

SiS or Science in Sport is a brand that we first came across during the Tour de France last year.

‘Team Sky’ happens to be one of their sponsored athletes.

And they even retail a Team Sky four-hour nutrition kit. (On our wishlist)

science in sport energy gels

Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel

They have been around since 1992 and have an ensemble range of endurance nutrition products that are quite popular in the UK and Australia.

The Go Isotonic Energy Gel happens to be their flagship.

Here’s the low down on it.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The SiS Go Isotonic Energy Gel gives you 22gms of fast absorbing carbohydrates per gel pack.

With a recommended average of 60gms of carbs per hour for vigorous physical activity, you’d need to carry a bunch of these if you are participating in a long sportive event like a triathlon.

We’ll come to the size part in a bit. The primary ingredient is Maltodextrin.

Palatability: The term Isotonic means that you do not need to gulp water or an energy gel to wash this down. 

That means that there are fewer chances of barfing or feeling bloated. It has a watery texture which is a welcome change from the chewy energy bars of yore.

On the flip side, we did find the flavor slightly bland. We tried the lime and the pineapple flavors. But that’s precisely what makes this lighter on the stomach.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: The fast absorbing carbs give you an instant hit and keep you recharged for about 30 minutes or so.

Clubbed with an energy drink and some food which you’d typically carry, this can easily keep you fueled throughout the event.

how big are gel packs

Size: These are not the smallest-sized energy gel packs.

And considering that you’d need at least two of these per hour, you’d have to pack light or reduce the other things that you’d carry in your jersey or hydration belt.

Ease of access: The packing is extremely easy to open.

We had no difficulty whatsoever accessing the gel during cycling and running.

It flows out nice and easy.

Possible cons: The only possible downside to the SiS Go Isotonic Gel is the slightly bland flavor. Also, the packet will take up more space than some of the other options in this list of the best energy gels.

#3 – CLIF SHOT – Energy Gel

Clif Shot is the on-the-go fuel version of the famed Clif Bar. 

It is one of the more popular energy gels these days due to the natural flavoring they use and the compact-sized packets.

Also, it packs in a whopping 24gms of fast absorbing carbohydrates per pack making it a slightly better choice than the SiS Go Isotonic gel on a carb-level rating.

CLIF SHOT Energy Gels

However, a non-isotonic design means that you’d need to gulp this down with water or a beverage of your choice.

Here’s a closer look.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: 24gms of fast-absorbing carbohydrates in a reasonable-sized pack.

The primary ingredient is Brown rice syrup which seems a little strange because Maltodextrin is the more popular and commonly used choice. That doesn’t affect the absorption rate or the taste. So, no complaints!

Palatability: Flavor-wise, the Clif Shot rates among the best in the business. They are available in a whole range of natural flavors.

We tried the Strawberry, Razz Sorbet, Cola, Double Espresso and Mocha. We loved the Mocha with the blend of natural cocoa and the sweetness of the brown rice syrup.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: There is a noticeable energy boost within 5 minutes of consuming the gel. The hit (if that’s the right word for it) lasts for about 30 minutes or so. So, two of these should be more than enough to get you through the last hour of your sportive.

The caffeinated version delivers an extra kick with about 100mg caffeine. That’s akin to an 8 ounce serving of coffee.

how big are gel packs

Size: A single gel pack of Clif Shot is slightly smaller than the SiS Go Isotonic gel.

It is a 1.2-inch foil pack that features the famed ‘litter-lease’ that prevents the tiny stub on top of the pack from falling off and littering the place. This also allows you to anchor the pack on to your hydration belt or sternum strap.

Ease of access: Tearing the foil pack is reasonably easy.

However, due to the typical gooey consistency of the gel, it isn’t easy to squeeze out the entire content of the pack.

No matter how hard you try, a little amount always remains in it.

Possible cons: Not as easy as some of the other gels in the market to extract from the pack, especially when you are cycling or at the end of a marathon with fast-dwindling energy levels.

#4 – GU Energy Gel

GU Science has undoubtedly been one of the most popular brands in sports nutrition for a while now and the Energy Gel remains their bestseller despite facing stiff competition from newer brands like Huma.

Often known as the good-old gel, it has remained unchanged in its flavoring, consistency and ingredient list over the years.

energy gels comparison

GU Energy gel review

But why fix it if it works?

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The GU Energy gel delivers 20-23gms of fast-absorbing carbohydrates with the primary source being maltodextrin and fructose.

It also contains a blend of electrolytes and amino acids that help reduce muscle fatigue and cramping.

For athletes and endurance runners who frequently experience cramping, there’s a Roctane version of the gel that contains double the amount of amino acids and electrolytes.

Personally, we like the regular version of the gel more than the enhanced one.

Palatability: These gels have a slightly thicker consistency as compared to the HUMA or the GO Isotonic gels.

You will require a beverage to chug these down. The flavoring is pretty good in the Chocolate Strawberry, the Vanilla bean and Peanut butter versions.

However, some of the other flavors, like the Island Nectar are a tad oversweet for our liking. That’s subjective though.

They also have a flavorless or bland version of the gel if you prefer that instead.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: You will feel an energy surge in 10-15 minutes of taking the gel.

It’s not the easiest to digest though and without water or a beverage, you might experience some stomach distress.

how big are gel packs

Size: The packs are pretty small and compact.

You can easily pack at least four to five of these in your shorts or jersey pockets without them looking bulky.

Ease of access: GU gels are frequently used by cyclists and runners because the packs are easy to tear open, even when you are on-the-move.

The thicker consistency does make it a tad difficult to squeeze the gel out of the pack during a run.

Possible cons: Inconsistent flavoring and a thick consistency/texture are a letdown, especially when you have newer, better tasting options in the market.

#5 – Powerbar PowerGel Energy Gel

Last but not the least, we have the PowerGel Energy Gel from Powerbar that contains the maximum carbohydrates in a single gel pack that we have ever tested.

Club that with the C2MAX 2:1 glucose to fructose blend that delivers more energy in lesser time and you have, what seems like a winning bet.

 At least, in theory, it does appear like one.

power bar power gel reviews


Here’s what we found though.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: With 28gms of carbs in a gel pack, you can do with less of these in your jersey pockets.

To add to the carbs, there’s about 200mg of Sodium for electrolyte replacement.

Not a bad nutritional profile at all. It is available in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions.

Palatability: The flavoring is a hit or miss.

We found some of the flavors to be overly sweetened, a problem that seems to be common with many of the popular energy gel brands.

The green apple was decent. But it’s only available in a caffeinated version.

The consistency of the gel is thicker than all the others in this list of best energy gels.

Powerbar recommends that you consume one pack of the gel with at least 150 ml of water.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: The extra carbs and the fast absorption rate gives you an instant energy spike in as less as 5 minutes.

The energy boost lasts for almost 45 minutes.

No complaints there.

how big are gel packs

Size: The PowerGel energy gel pack is the same size as a pack of GU Gel.

It can easily fit into your shorts or jersey pockets as well as your hydration belts.

It is compact and lightweight and you can easily pack a lot of these without adding too much weight or bulk.

Ease of access: You can easily tear open the pack.

But extracting the gel during a run had us fumbling with both hands.

A thinner consistency would have made this a lot easier to squeeze out.

Possible cons: A thick consistency mars this promising energy gel with one of the best nutritional profiles.

To sum it up

Eventually, it all boils down to the palatability, the nutritional profile and the number of carbohydrates one typically needs to fuel the body. Serious athletes and marathoners need about 60gms of carbs in an hour while a casual runner can do with a lot less.

Consider your energy requirements, the flavoring, the caffeine levels and the size before you pick an energy gel for your next endurance sporting event.

zipp 202 firecrest

Best Tubular Tires for Triathlon

Best Tubular Tires for TriathlonIf you are all about shaving extra time and weight off your ride then you should really consider a set of tubular tires for your triathlon bike.

Traditionally, I would have said that using tubular’s wasn’t worth the hassle but with the updates in wheel tape and adhesives it is now just as quick to change a tubular tire as it is a clincher.

In fact, once you get used to it is quicker to repair a tubular puncture than a normal tyre.

The Best Tubular Tires for Triathlon Racing

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Our Top Choice

Our favourite tubular tires have to be the Continental Competition Tubular Tires. When it comes to weight, ride and overall quality you can’t really compare them to anything else.

They are really fast rolling tires and smooth as anything on the road. They will serve you very well on fast rides and when you are launching yourself into corners during a triathlon.

One of the most widely used tires in competitions and endurance races around the world.

I have raced on Gatorskin clinchers for some time and have to say that these tires are awesome.

One thing to note about tubular tires though is that if you get a puncture during a race you may be able to get to the finish line. Try doing that on a normal road bike tire and you will end up on the rims very quickly

Try doing that on a normal road bike tire and you will end up on the rim very quickly.

Pro’s & Con’s of Tubular Tires

We get asked all the time about the difference between tubular tires and clinchers and the advantages of one over the other.

Let me start by stating that tubular’s are definitely not for beginners or daily commuting – although because of the latest puncture resistance in the tires you could probably get away with it.

I wouldn’t use my race bike or 404’s for that matter on a daily commute, but each to their own I suppose.

If I could sum it up in one quick statement I would say Tubular tires for racing days and clinchers for training days and weekend workouts.

Changing a puncture

When you get a puncture with a tubular tire it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to change it, but with the advancements in rim tape and adhesives, this is quick enough once you get used to it. Plus when running a tubular tire setup you may be able to get to the finish line once the tire stays stuck to the rim.

With a clincher when you get a puncture your race is pretty much over – especially if you are doing something like a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon. You just don’t have enough race time to absorb the losses from a puncture.

Believe me, I have tried to change a tire under pressure as my fellow competitors are whizzing by me but it’s not easy. Rush a clincher change out and you may end up pinching the tube and then it’s definitely racing over.


As mentioned above, installation is very straightforward – once you get used to it and some of the seasoned professionals swear it’s actually easier to change a tubular setup than a standard road bike tire. I’ll let you be the judge of that…

Pricing Differences

Yes, they are more expensive than standard road bike tires but if you are serious about your racing and keep them for ‘good use’ then they are worth the additional cost.

Final Thoughts

We have always been big fans of this type of setup on our road and Triathlon bikes. For obvious reasons we only ride tubular’s on race days and in competitions. Cost aside you still get enough advantages over clinchers to justify the cost but it really depends on you – the rider – on which way you go.

Make sure you get a tire that has good puncture resistance like the Conti and you will be good to go.

Finally, one thing we noticed when we switched over was that we didn’t have to keep pumping up the tires before each race as they help their pressure very well. Only a small thing but a soft tire on race day is going to slow you down. Couple this setup with some decent aero bars for your bike and you will fly down the road and ahead of the competition

Happy cycling.

Best Swimming Goggles Review

There are many options available when looking for the best swim goggles.  Whether you are looking for the most comfortable full mask type goggles or for the slick suction goggles you will have plenty of choice.  Swimming goggles will most likely be one of the cheaper purchases you make when getting set up for a triathlon.  Prices range from about twenty dollars up to about fifty dollars for the top of the line.

It really comes down to what you are most comfortable wearing.  I started out wearing the full mask style goggles as they gave me the best field of vision and I didn’t have to worry about them leaking during a race.  They do offer a bigger ‘target’ when racing for somebody else’s foot to kick them off your head.

I progressed onto a much slicker pain of TYR Special Ops goggles as I got more confident in the water.  I usually wear two swimming hats during a race.  The second hat goes over the band of the goggles to help keep it in place while racing.  There is nothing worse than losing your goggles during a race – it’s hard enough as it is to manoeuvre around the water without having to do it with your eyes closed.

Our best Triathlon Goggles

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Our Top 3 Swimming Goggles

First Place: Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Swim Goggle

The best selling swimming goggles for 2014 are without any doubt the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Swim Goggle.

Some of the features that make these the best swimming goggles on the market are the ultra low profile design that gives you an additional 25% peripheral vision.  Very handy when you are jammed into a pack of eager triathletes all vying for a personal best.  They come with a silicone double headstrap that is easily adjustable, and you wont have to worry about these goggles moving about while you are swimming.

The soft silicone eye seals keep every last drop of water out and the ultra mirrored coating help reduce the glare off the water. 4.3 out of 5 stars

Second Place: Aqua Sphere KAYENNE GOGGLE

A very close second in this review is the Aqua Sphere Kayenne Goggle.

These goggles are a firm favorite of mine because they give you a full field of vision when you are swimming.  The big lenses are great when you are starting out and you get none of the uncomfortable pressure or suction feeling when you are wearing them.

They come with a very easy to use adjusting system which allows you to make small adjustments while wearing them.  Couple that with the anti-fog and scratch resistant lenses and you are on to a winner with these goggles. 4.3 out of 5 stars

Third Place: Sable Water Optics

The final set in our top three review of swim goggles are the excellent Sable WaterOptics 101MT Mirrored Competition Goggles.  These goggles form Sable are top of the line with regards to quality and features.

If you need a very clear view of things going on around you then these are the goggles for you.  They are a bit more expensive than the other goggles in this review but then the quality of this brand really shine out.  They do not fog up when you are swimming and because of the quality of the fit you wouldn’t even know you were wearing them.  They are a firm favorite amongst budding and professional triathletes. 4.4 out of 5 stars

Swim Goggles – What to look for

There are many types of swimming goggles you can purchase and here we will break it down a bit more to give you some ideas and use cases for each one.

Competition Goggles

anti fog sprayCompetition goggles are really slick close fitting goggles.  You will see this style on most of the serious swimmers on race day.  They sit very close in to the eye so reduce drag considerably and because they are so slick they also help with aerodynamics during the swim.  They take a bit of getting used to but are by far the best but take some getting used to because of the tight fit.  I strongly suggest testing these and get comfortable with them in the pool or on training sessions before you hit the start line.  Some people cannot wear them at all so take your time and get them setup and adjusted to suit early.  I have seen people mark the bands with tape so they know exactly where the need to be adjusted to in case they slip.

Gasket Goggles

Seen by many as the most comfortable swim goggles the gasket style name comes from the ring of silicone or sometimes foam than lines the inner edge of the goggles.  They fit snugly to the contours of your face and do not sit in too tight to the eyeball.  Sometimes you will hear people complaining that they suck their eyeballs out and are too tight.  This comes down to how they are adjusted.  Again to highlight the point I made earlier, make sure you test and adjust them correctly before race day.  A couple of sessions in the pool will have you sorted in no time at all.

Full Mask Goggles

swim gogglesThe full mask style swim goggles are great when starting out.  Not the most aerodynamic of styles but for the novice competitor or casual swimmer they are ideal.  They give you a full field of vision and do not in any way press in on your eye sockets.  The silicone edge fits around the face very comfortably.  This is the style I started out with.  The big problem I had was they were removed rather abruptly from my head about 2 meters into the first competitive swim I ever did.  I do still however use them during the odd training session as they really are very comfortable and have never leaked a drop.

Swim Goggles – How do they Fit

Next up we want to look at how to correctly fit your new swim goggles.  We have all seen the mysterious red band of terror that people produce when they take off their swimming goggles.  Do the following next time you put yours on or are trying out a new pair.

Easy does it

As a minimum test you want to make sure the goggles actually fit you.  This is easily achieved by press fitting the goggles onto your face.  Push them gently towards your face until the suction process takes over.  They should fit around your eye and not in it.  Don’t force them – apart from blinding yourself momentarily you will not conduct a suitable test this way.  If they fit correctly they should stay in place on their own.  Note that we have not tightened the strap at this stage.  They should stay there on their own.

Can I still see

Next you want to adjust the strap.  Don’t tighten the strap to the point where you might pass out from lack of blood circulation either.  You want to tighten it enough to make sure the goggles stay in place because the suction process mentioned above will look after the water tight seal not the strap.

Caring for your Goggles

best swim gogglesMake sure you wash and rinse your goggles properly after you swim.  Do not rinse them in the pool but rather rinse them off in the shower or under a tap.  The pool chlorine will eat away at the seals if you don’t wash it off post swim.  You should also make sure to store your goggles in a dry place after use.  Your best swim goggles will be useless if left in the bottom of a damp gear bag.  Bacteria will start to grow on them and the lenses will get dull or even crack.  Dry them thoroughly and store them somewhere dry.  Most decent swimming goggles come with a hard case which is ideal for storage.  If you have the luxury of living in a climate that allows for a lot of outdoor swimming protect your goggles from prolonged exposure to the sun.  This exposure will effect the durability of the straps.

So just to recap.  Keep you swim goggles dry, clean and away from the sun and they will last for many years.

bike shorts women

Best Women’s Bike Shorts

Wearing the correct bike shorts for cycling is critical as they are designed to provide compression and comfort on every ride.  

A key factor of a decent pair of bike shorts is the padding or chamois.  

This ingenious device provides comfort in the saddle for both short and long journeys and once you have tried a reputable pair of bike shorts you will never look back.

The women’s bike shorts picked for this review are the most popular brands out there at the moment. They should give you a view of what is on offer for female cyclists and also a breakdown of some of the features you would expect in a quality pair of women’s cycling shorts.

Best shorts | Our number one choice

The Pearl Izumi attack women’s bike shorts are by far our favourite shorts. They are superbly designed and ultra comfortable in every way. 

They will become your go-to shorts for any distance ride. Just the right amount of compression in the material and the padding in the chamois is excellent.

Easy to wash and the quality material will last a long time.

Here is a quick video from Pearl Izumi on the main features of the shorts. Go try them out – you will thanks us later.

These are great quality hard wearing shorts that will stand up to long distance rides. The fit is snug but not too tight and the high waistband is super comfortable.


  • Flattering wide waistband for superior comfort
  • 8-panel anatomic design
  • Silicone leg gripper
  • Women’s Race 3D Chamois®
  • Reflective elements for low-light visibility

What We Like:

These are very comfortable shorts for all distance but especially on long distance rides. The Chamois is superb quality. The high waistband keeps everything in place and avoids any rollover.

Women’s bike shorts comparison

When you get into the sport of cycling and maybe even triathlon then you should consider investing in a more expensive pair of shorts.  You will have to pay a bit more but the quality and comfort of a really good pair of women’s bike shorts are well worth the additional cost.  

Remember you want them to last, plus you might transition into long distance cycling or perhaps even an IronMan race so don’t skimp if you don’t have to.  

When you start to look at the higher end of bike shorts for women you can pay anything up to three hundred dollars for a pair.  We love these Pearl Izumi women’s shorts as they offer good value for the quality you get from this quality brand.

Beroy Cycling Shorts

Another favourite of ours is Beroy women’s bike shorts. If you are looking for something comfortable yet budget friendly then these are perfect for you.

Made from 100% polyester they mould nicely to any shape. They are quick drying and come in cool looking designs.

The chamois is comfortable without being too over padded like some other budget bike shorts.

Just be careful with sizing as they tend to stretch a bit over time. Like all shorts, they need to be washed after every use but you can just stick them into a warm wash and they are good to go again.

There are silicon grippers on the inside leg that hold them in place all day.

What features do you need?


There are a few different styles of bike shorts available and the choice you make is really up to you.

  • You can get longer shorts that cover more of your let and provide extra control over muscle compression.
  • Shorter shorts that give you maximum free movement.
  • Women’s bib shorts that have shoulder straps to keep everything securely in place on longer rides.

Your colour choice is unlimited but we recommend that you go for a pair with reflective panels or seams if you are cycling around at dusk or early morning to make sure other people and traffic can see you on the roads or trails.

Women’s Chamois

As mentioned above the chamois or padding of the shorts are the most important feature to look for. With women’s cycling shorts the chamois is thicker in the middle compared to men’s ones to provide additional support for your sitting bones (ischium bones). This padding really makes the difference on even shorter rides and you would be mad to go for a pair without padding.

This padding really makes the difference on even shorter rides and you would be mad to go for a pair without padding.

Most women’s shorts have a chamois that is sewn into the material and this helps keep everything from slipping about. You wear these shorts without underwear and because of the design you are maximising comfort without having to worry about abrasion of any kind from a loose fitting material.

Free movement but controlled

You also want to invest in a quality pair of shorts that allow plenty of free movement. Some of the cheaper pairs out there are quite restrictive and will become uncomfortable very quickly.

Another issue we find with cheaper brands is the gel anti-slip band around the leg cuff of the shorts tends to be of poor quality and the shorts ride up your leg or nearly pull the skin off your leg!

The band prevents all sorts of issues when you are cycling. If your shorts ride up your let you are going to end up with bundled material that will cause chafing. The chamois will also move around and this can cause all sorts of problems – especially on a longer ride.

If you are prone to chafing then you should invest in some anti-chafe cream to keep you comfortable. This inexpensive cream can be a lifesaver…

What are they made of?

All good bike shorts are made of a spandex material. They should be worn as a snug fit but no too tight. You need them to fit comfortably but to stay in place. With spandex, they should hug your skin.

You might see some designs made up of several different types of material. This design allows for breathable side panels in the shorts to keep you cool on long rides and warmer days.

You are looking for a compression feel to your shorts that help with muscle movement but do not restrict blood flow in any way.

Keeping them clean

Hygiene is hugely important with women’s bike shorts. Because you wear them without underwear you need to make sure and give them a good machine wash after every use.

If you don’t look after your shorts you can get a build up of nasty bacteria in the material and chamois and this can lead to saddle sores or infections over time. Also, make sure to let them air dry to preserve the elastic in the seams.


If you have a favourite pair of shorts you wear out on the bike that you can’t live without then let us know and we may add them to the list.  We can’t obviously cover off every brand or style here so just picked the ones we feel are top quality for the money.

Also, we would appreciate you hitting one of the share buttons and spreading the word if you feel that this post on women’s bike shorts is of value to you or perhaps to one of your friends.

Thanks for stopping by and happy cycling.

Triathlon Cycling Shoes – Our Top Reviews

Louis Garneau Men's Tri X-Lite Cycling ShoesYour body takes a hammering on race day and so does your kit.

Today we are going to try and look after both…

Having a decent pair of triathlon cycling shoes can give you that extra edge to beat your personal best.

Personally, we think the Louis Garneau Tri-X Tri Shoes are one of the best pairs of shoes out there right now and well priced for such high quality.

I remember my first couple of races with borrowed gear and a pair of old runners. Great memories but things have moved on since then.

I also remember the first time I bought myself a shiny new pair of triathlon racing shoes.

They were pure white Specialized bike shoes but boy, did they look cool… Brough them home and realized the cleats didn’t match the pedals…

That was a fun day but after some research and a quick trip to the local triathlon store and I was back in action with a new set of pedals. At this point, the new pedals and the shoes were worth more than the bike.

So what should you look for in a new pair of tri racing shoes?

Louis Garneau Men’s Tri X-Lite Triathlon Cycling Shoes

The Tri X-Speed shoe has everything you need for triathlon racing but well within what we consider a low price point.

Louis Garneau Men's Tri X-Lite Cycling Shoes

These shoes carry all the latest features you would expect from a high-end pair of racing shoes.

First up there is the easy strap fastening system.

It’s a hook and loop fastening setup that keeps the fastening loop in place even when the shoe is fully open.

These are great because you can leave your shoes clipped into the pedals, attach the generous heel loops to the frame with small elastic bands to hold them in place and perform a running bike mount at the start of the bike section.

The heel loops themselves make it very handy to pull the shoes onto your feet – this is especially helpful after you get out of the water and your hands ain’t as useful as they should be because of the cold…

louis garneau triathlon shoes

They have a reinforced outsole that keeps everything lined up nicely in the pedals.

Couple this with what Louis Garneau call their HRS-80 retention system and you get that connected feeling when you are locked into your pedals.

On warmer days the well-ventilated insoles and shoe help to keep things that bit cooler.

Another feature we like is the moulded treads on the outsole.

Having tried many different makes of bike shoes these are critical – especially in triathlon because you may have to run to the mount point and run back to the transition from the dismount point.

Having solid grips on your soles stop you sliding or slipping all over the place. (I have seen many a great race ruined because an athlete slipped and fell after dismounting the bike and trying to run in bike shoes not designed for triathlon)

What we like:

  • Ventilation is superb and keeps your feet nice and cool throughout the race.
  • Comfort and fit are excellent thanks to the anti-slip heel system and the full strap that adjusts the whole upper of the shoe to mould around your foot.
  • These shoes are super lightweight which for serious triathletes is critical.
  • They feel very solid underfoot and once strapped in it’s like you are connected straight to the crank arms on your bike.

What we dislike:

  • The only thing to watch out for is the size. Like all brands, they have their own sizing chart so I’d highly recommend ordering a size bigger than normal. The strap system compensates for any slack you may have and once fastened up properly they fit like a glove.

In this review, we are going to highlight some of the things you need to look out for when choosing new cycling shoes for your next triathlon. These are tips we have picked up along our triathlon journey and by talking to some of the more seasoned professionals out there.

Triathlon Shoes Buying Guide

First up let’s look at why you should even bother getting yourself tri specific shoes.

It comes does to three main things really – speed, weight, and comfort. We will examine each of these in a bit of detail now.

Let’s take a look at speed to start with. You will notice that almost all triathlon-specific cycling shoes have velcro straps to hold them in place instead of laces. This is very deliberate and can help you shave valuable seconds off your transition times if you can master the art of putting them on quickly.

As an example here – my tri shoes never leave the pedals on y bike unless I am cleaning them after a race. They stay firmly clipped into the cleats all the time.

Before I start any race and during setup in transition I clip my shoes into the pedals and tie an elastic band into one of the loops at the back of the shoe. The other end gets wrapped around the back axle of the wheel to hold everything in place.

This setup allows me to run my bike straight out of T1 and up to the start line of the bike course without slipping about in my shoes on the road. Also because I have the shoes locked in place up out of the way with the elastic band they don’t drag along the ground.

When I get to the start line I am already sprinting with the bike so hop up onto the saddle, dive a foot into one of the shoes and tighten the velcro strap. Then in goes the other foot and once I have the velcro strap tight I start cycling. This breaks the elastic band and off I go.

Picking The Best Triathlon Shoes

Let’s have a quick look at the main points to consider when hunting for the perfect pair of racing shoes for your next triathlon

Weight – The shoes need to be lightweight. Some of the more expensive shoes are made from composite and carbon fibre so are extremely light.

Comfort and Fit – You won’t be wearing any socks so the insoles should be soft enough and be a snug fit.

Breathable – You want to feet to be able to breathe. Any decent brand of tri shoe will have a series of vents to help with this.

Makeup – Nearly all shoes are made from composite materials but the insoles and inner sock material should be the best quality you can afford. Not just for race day but when you take them off they should not poison everybody with the smell.

Heel Handle – This is hugely important. Especially when you start with your shoes already clipped into the pedals. The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling around trying to get your shoes on when you should be racing.

Speed is everything in Triathlon

So let’s look at the previous setup for a second and see where we shaved off those valuable seconds.

Firstly I didn’t have to stop in transition and put on my shoes. I had my wetsuit half off before I even got to the bike.

All I have to do is remove my wetsuit, clip on my helmet and start running out of transition up to the start line for the bike race. No worrying about wet feet, shoelaces or even socks, which brings me to my next point…

Triathlon shoes need to be comfortable because more than likely you are going to be wearing them without socks.This seriously reduces time in transition because you are not trying to drag socks onto wet feet. Try doing this after a shower and you will know what I mean.

The fact that the pedals were already clipped into the pedals and held in place with the rubber band saved me a huge amount of time because I could run with the bike – try running on the road at any speed with a pair of bike shoes on your feet and see how long it takes for you to end up flat on your back.

Lastly, the velcro straps mean you can get fixed into your shoes in seconds and start racing.

Make sure the shoe fits

Most people don’t wear any socks when competing in a triathlon so make sure the shoes you buy fit properly. They should be snug but not tight. All good tri cycling shoes have vents to let your feet breathe so a snug fit doesn’t cause any discomfort.

Think of it this way. Because of the cleats on the bottom of your shoes, you are basically connected to the pedals.

This should feel solid but controllable and if your feet are sliding all over the place in your shoes then you are not going to be able to perform at your best. Plus you risk causing injury or blisters when out on the road. 

Remember you still have to run a minimum of 5k after the bike race is finished so look after your feet.

Getting setup properly

Once you pick out a new pair of cycling shoes you need to make sure they fit your pedals. Don’t make the same mistake I did when I started out and get the wrong ones…

There are two main types of pedals on triathlon bikes and each has their own style of cleats – these are the yellow clips on the underside of your shoes.

New bike shoes don’t come supplied with cleats so make sure you pick some up.

mens triathlon cycling shoes

SPD-SL pedals.

These are the three hole cleats as I call them. There are three holes in the cleat to fix it to your shoes and are pretty much the standard when it comes to road bike shoes. They have a great surface area which gives you solid contact with the pedals.

You push the front of the clip in first and then press your foot down on the pedal to lock it in place.

Using clips on pedals can be a bit scary at first but once you get used to them you will never look back. The feeling of being connected to the pedals gives you superb control and extra power all the way through pedalling motion.

To unclick you twist your foot sideways and the cleat pops out of the pedal.

How Much Should You Spend

Like everything, you get what you pay for, but you do not have to spend a fortune on a decent pair of tri shoes. Just make sure you go for a reputable brand and something with a Velcro strap and lightweight if possible.

Anything by Giro, Luis Garneau, Shimano or Pearl Izumi will do you well.

Whatever you choose, make sure they fit you, your pedals and get out there and start racing…

Here is a quick video from Michael Fox of Fox Endurance Racing showing you how to use the rubber band technique to hold you tri shoes in place during the transition.

Try it out – worked wonders for me and my transition times.


best women's spinning shoes

Women’s Spinning Shoes to help you Crush your Spin Class

best women's spinning shoes


When it comes to attending spinning classes, nothing is as important as having the right shoes.

You could try cycling on your running shoes but once you get a feel of spinning shoes or indoor cycling shoes, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without using them from the start.

Running shoes are for running, while you’re spinning shoes are for indoor cycling. There are so many reasons why you need to get spinning shoes before attending your next cycling class.

One of the reasons is the soles. Running shoes don’t have stiff soles which are required for cycling. This is required in order to power the pedalling. The stiffer the sole, the better it is and the more power you get to the pedal cranks.

Stiffer soles also mean you will have more balance and feel more comfortable on the bike while sitting and standing out of the saddle. Spinning shoes make you look cool and they also keep your feet in position.

PRO Tip: With the right spinning shoes, your foot will not move from position to position, it will stay firmly planted in place avoiding blisters so you can focus on the instructor’s instructions. There are simply too many benefits of using spinning shoes for your cycling class.

Buyer’s Guide for the Best Women’s Spinning Shoes

When it comes to picking the right cycling shoes for women, there are four variables that are most important. These are the fastening system of the shoes, the sole, cleat style, and the fit.

a. Fastening system.

When it comes to the best cycling shoes for women, the closure systems are very important. It doesn’t matter if you are road cycling, on a mountain bike or taking indoor classes The system determines how easy it is for you to wear the shoes and adjust them during classes. Boa is known for offering the most precise fastening system. Ratchets are also good but the closure could be difficult to adjust when on the spinning bike.

b. Soles

The soles of your spinning shoes are also important. Light soles tend to be stiffer and more desirable. The stiffer the sole, the easier it will be to pedal your bike during class. Carbon soles are a bit expensive while the cheaper option is plastic soles which don’t offer as much sturdiness on the bike as carbon soles.

c. Cleat system

The design of your spinning shoes will determine the cleats that it would use for the different type of pedals. Some cycling shoes are designed to use three-bolt cleats (SPD cleats) while others are compatible with two-bolt cleats only. The difference is basically on whether or not your spinning shoes will be suitable for both indoor and outdoor cycling. Two bolt cleats are popular among touring cyclists. Recessed cleats let the cleat into the shoe a bit more thus making it a bit easier to walk in.

d. Cycling Shoe Fit

When it comes to spinning shoes, some brands might fit you more than others would. We have found reviews where the customers complained about some shoes running small and others being narrower than usual. It’s best you try before you buy and if you’re buying online, you can read the reviews to be sure there is no sizing issue before purchasing. If you have the option to try on a pair then make sure to bring a pair of running socks with you…

Spinning Shoes Review

1. Louis Garneau Women’s Multi-Air Flex Fitness/Mountain Cycling Shoe

Searching for the perfect shoes for your spinning needs? The Louis Garneau Women’s Multi-Air Flex Fitness/Mountain Cycling Shoe was created especially for this. It features a patented Multi Air Flex ventilated composite outsole which is quite rigid and sturdy enough for producing the needed pedalling efficiency and toe flexion needed for cycling and commuting.

best women's spinning shoesWhen you’re cycling, the HRS-80 retention system becomes a lifesaver. it keeps the heel firmly in place and eliminates all form of pressure so you can be comfortable enough to produce powerful pedal strokes.

The Louis Garneau Women’s Multi-Air Flex Shoe are the perfect shoes for indoor cycling and they come in true-to-fit sizes which ensure you have a secure grip for spinning.

If you have ever experienced having your feet slip out of the pedals, you will definitely understand the value of true-to-fit sizes. These set of shoes reduce the incidence of having your feet slip off the pedal while cycling.

The Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex Women’s Spinning Shoes are quite popular with women globally and users have marvelled at the amount of flexibility and stiffness which is derived when wearing them. The combination of flexibility and a good amount of stiffness leads to better performance.

The versatility is also a plus as they can be worn for commuting, running and even weekend excursions in the wild. Built with synthetic leather and mesh that provides a weightless feel. Wearing heavy shoes to a spinning class is a surefire way of getting frustrated before the class ends.

You will find it hard not to wear these stunning shoes every time you want to workout.

The Louis Garneau Women’s Multi-Air Flex Shoe upper mesh design comes with small holes which makes it breathable. These holes act as an exhaust that keeps your feet cooler while your workout. If you like plain classy shoes that get the job done without the bells and whistles, you will love these ensure.


  • The shoes are quite versatile
  • Great look and easy to put on.
  • Made from synthetic leather and mesh
  • Water resistant with ventilated EVA insole for stability and better airflow.


  • The shoes run small
  • Doesn’t come with clips

2. Giro Sante II Bike Shoe – Women’s White/Gloss White 39

Sleek and comfortable, these are two words that describe the Giro Sante II Bike Shoe – Women’s White/Gloss White 39. Designed with sleek lines that have become synonymous with Giro’s brand. These well-streamlined women’s spinning shoes have a synthetic upper with breathable mesh inserts for better airflow during a workout.

spin shoes for women
This feature is especially useful during the summer where sweating will be almost second nature. When you workout for long hours, it’s normal to have a buildup of sweat in the feet which invariably turns into a nasty odour.

With the Giro Sante II Bike Shoe, there is the Aegis antimicrobial footbed which combats the buildup of odour during long rides.

Hook and loop velcro straps provide a secure shoe fit without causing discomfort on the pressure points on the pedal stroke. It doesn’t have a walking tread though, neither is it insulated.

These shoes are not sold with clips for your preferred cleat system, you have to get them separately. If there is one problem that we noticed about the Giro Sante II Bike Shoe – Women’s Cycling Shoes for Spin Classes is their sizes. They are comfortable on the feet, very cute but they run small especially as regards their narrow fit. You have to order one size up to get a perfect fit.


  • Great shoes for spinning classes
  • Has Aegis antimicrobial footbed for cutting down odour.
  • They can be used with SD and delta clips


  • Shoe size – they run small.
  • Not sold with clips
  • Not waterproof

3. Pearl Izumi women’s Elite Road IV Shoes

When it comes to spinning shoes for high performance, the Pearl Izumi women’s Elite Road IV Shoes sits on top. The first thing you will notice when you get on your bike with these shoes is the unidirectional carbon sole which is quite stiff. This gives a sense of direct drive for the rider between shoe and pedal which enables you to efficiently transfer power.

peal izumi spin shoes womens
There is nothing as exciting as being able to do this easily. It uses the same material as other high range cycling shoes which is a turn away from the flexing of previous Pearl Izumi shoes. Weighing 580g a pair, these shoes are quite light and affordable.

One interesting feature of this shoe is the concave shaping. The concave shaping gives a lower than average 7mm shoe stack height. This has been attributed to increasing marginal wattage according to current users.

It has a Boa reel closure which is placed expertly at the tongue of the shoe giving the Pearl Izumi women’s Elite Road IV Shoes a low profile design while creating an even pressure distribution across the midfoot allowing a perfect micro-adjustment fit for riders.

For your comfort and protection on the bike, there are two mesh vents under the toe box and another mesh vent behind the three bolt cleat fixing which is reinforced. In addition to the cleats, the heels are moulded and the sole is well protected by the toe bumpers. You might feel a bit rigid and in control when riding with this spinning shoes for women.

This is due to the lightweight nature and the security of the Boa retention system. These attributes ensure the shoe is tightened evenly over the top of your foot so there are no pinch points or hotspots during use.

There were some owners who complained about tightening the toe box Velcro closure at first but this softens after consecutive use over time.

These shoes are slick and tick quite a lot of the necessary boxes needed for a high performing women’s spinning shoes.

There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t try out the Pearl Izumi women’s Elite Road IV Shoes.

They have an excellent power transfer and a low design that looks cool on your feet while you ride your bike.


  • Perfect stiff sole
  • Excellent efficient power transfer
  • Has a low profile look


  • Not suited for riders with narrow feet.

4. Giro Empire W ACC Women’s Cycling Road Shoes

The Giro is incredibly attractive, designed to combine impressive looks with a low weight design and high level of stiffness for that ultimate shoe performance package. Most of the spinning shoes for women that have been reviewed here have featured shoes with Boa fastening, ratchet or Velcro. Giro takes a step further by creating a stand out performer with laces. Absolutely amazing when you think about it.

Lace-up cycling shoes have been racking up a lot of good reviews of recent and the women-specific Giro W Empire ACC shoes

are a recent addition to that category.

Made from one-piece Evofibre uppers which result in clean looks and a lack of seams or stitching which brings more comfort and elegance to the design.

For the laces, these are not the usual ones from off-the-shelf variety but rather Teijin microfibre laces that hold a knot better and is lighter and durable than standard laces use in sneakers.

We do believe that since the design is quite simple and has little or no major makeover, the weight of the spinning shoes should at least be lesser than its current 394 kg.

While this is not heavy for cycling shoes for women, but there are lighter options in the market. The shoes lean towards lower volume which is quite impressive for those who prefer roomier toe box area. The arch supports are quite optional but tailor-made for comfort and support.

The Giro W Empire ACC spinning shoes for women are embedded with carbon fibre soles from Easton carbon ACC. This is done with a partnership with composites expert Easton and in theory, the carbon fibre soles make the shoes stiff and this is where the pedalling power comes from.

But we also suspect, this might be where the bulk of the shoe weight is from as well. According to Giro, the spinning shoes come in smaller sizes with a narrower heel and less volume than its male counterpart. It also has a Supernatural Fit Kit with the adjustable arch support that helps the owner get a perfect fit.

When you’re riding your bike, the upside with using the Giro W Empire ACC is that the laces give you a perfect fit. With its three arch support, it should feel like a custom made shoe once tightened up and ready for action. The problem with this is that there is no on-the-fly adjustment which you would have enjoyed with a Boa daily or a Velcro closure.

When you’re out of the saddle or just upping the pace of your bike, the Giro W Empire ACC can provide incredible torsional and lateral stiffness that would definitely keep your foot in place.

The media has always touted the idea that moving bike parts and laces are not suitable for each other but these shoes are definitely a testament to how wrong that statement is.

Even Bradley Wiggins will disagree with that idea which means this shouldn’t be a huge concern. Just ensure you use the lace-securing tab before setting off to your cycling class. Then, as with most shoes that have been reviewed here, they do come up small and you have to go at least one size up to your normal size.

For the pricing, while it does seem to be expensive, we believe it still sits at the lower end of high-end spinning shoes. Other shoes that performs as much as these will definitely cost you more so there is lots of value here. But, we believe whether the Giro W Empire ACC shoes are for you or not will come down to what you think about lace-ups compared to dials and the other closure types.

We believe that the Giro W Empire ACC balance stiffness with comfort in a classic lace-up design and is definitely worth the hype.


  • Good looking shoes that are easily adjustable
  • Replacement parts are available
  • Reasonably lightweight design
  • Stiff which offers lots of pedalling power


  • Difficult to adjust on the move
  • A bit pricey
  • Limited color range

5. Fizik R5 Donna Road Shoes

While it’s true that Fizik is still a new brand in the market, it’s quite well known for high-end shoes is designed with kangaroo leather and full carbon soles.

The Fizik R5 Donna Road Shoes is a much more affordable option with nylon/carbon mix sole with lots of stiffness with a minimal flex.

While this well-designed shoe is quite appealing, we love the fact that its nylon element is quite supple and just as soft as the high-quality leather at the mesh upper while the microtex allows the flow of air through the shoes by keeping it ventilated.

This ensures your feet won’t feel overheated but it also means you might need to wear oversocks when your feet run cold.

There are microtex lines all across the shoes which is quite sleek and shiny with its turquoise patent effect tongue.

The shoe fastens well with two Velcro straps and a Boa IP1-A closure. The closure along with the toe and heel grips. The upper and tongue of these pair of shoes are perforated for airflow. The carbon fibre sole is designed to use a three-point road style cleats.

The Fizik R5 Donna Road Shoes are high-quality shoes with a comfortable fit and excellent power transfer.


  • Stiff shoes for powerful pedalling
  • Comfortable and secured shoes


  • Suitable for a wider foot.
  • Matt white finish gets dirty quickly


Wrapping Up

So there you have it, folks. Our top 5 women’s cycling shoes for spin class or shoes for indoor cycling. If we had to pick out our favorite pair it would have to be the Pearl Izumi Elite RD’s. A mid-priced bike shoe that is ideal for spinning. Put a pair on, go to a spin class, and you will wonder why you never tried them before…

If you want to up your game when you next go spinning or ride any sort of speciality bikes then make sure to have the correct women’s footwear, listen to your cycling instructor and you will smash any previous times and your performance will go through the roof.


triathlon suit review

Triathlon Clothing: What to Wear in a Triathlon

beginner first triathlon race checklist

What to wear in a Triathlon Race

Triathlon Clothing: What to Wear in a Triathlon

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The first thing you notice at any Triathlon is the vast array of gear people are wearing.

Some very simple, some very bright and some downright mad looking.

My first triathlon kit was the most basic I could find as I wasn’t sure if I would stick with the sport.

Roll on a few years and I’ve had my fair share of good and bad choices.

This post is designed to highlight what I’ve learned over the years and what I look for every time I am in the market for a new piece of triathlon gear, or maybe some new clothes for training. 

You may ask why go to the trouble of writing this – can’t I just wear whatever I want, like a pair of cycling shorts and a running top.

Yes, you definitely can but there are some fundamental differences in Triathlon specific clothing that we are going to highlight here that you need to be aware of.

We are going to break down our clothing list into each section of the race.

This is the easiest way to explain what to wear in a triathlon race.

Short on time? Our recommendations for what you wear in a triathlon

We cover everything in a lot more detail below but if you are short on time check out what to wear for your first triathlon race on a budget:


For the swim, you are going to need a wetsuit (water temperature dependent) a pair of goggles and most likely a swimming hat.

The wetsuit we recommend is the Xterra Volt triathlon wetsuit. This is a great wetsuit with all the features you would expect in a much more expensive suit. 

Next up is a decent pair of Goggles. The Aegend swim goggles are superb. Comfortable, easy to adjust and have a great anti-fog coating so you can always see where you are going.

You might need a swim hat. Most triathlon races bags supply a color-coded hat to match whatever wave of the race you are competing in but no harm to have a spare. We always wear speedo hats.


First up you must wear a bike helmet when racing. Our top choice is the Giro Savant Helmet. Whilst no a competition aero helmet it is perfect for tri racing and quality and build are perfect.

Tri suit choices are endless. All in one or separates. We cover this in more detail down the post but for us, it has to be an all in one triathlon suit and we always wear the De Soto Sport Forza trisuit.

Shoes are another complete minefield. We cover everything you need to know in this triathlon shoe review so check it out. Weight, comfort and fastening systems are all a factor.


You could spend all day looking at kit for the running section of a triathlon. We have our favorites and things we cant do without. Here they are in no particular order of importance:

Runners – unless you are going to run in your bare feet you need to be wearing Asics Gel Nimbus shoes. Lightweight and ultra comfortable. 

Quick Tip: Invest in a pair of lock laces for your runners. It will help you save precious time in transition

As mentioned above we wear a full triathlon suit on race day but if you wanted to wear separate shorts and a top then check out our tri shorts review here. Zoot continues to be our favorite shorts. This pair of shorts are simply awesome.

Last on the list is a pair of running sunglasses. While not essential they really help reduce wind in your eyes on the bike and blindness from the sun on a bright day. No need to spend a fortune here just go for this pair from Rivbos. Comfortable, inexpensive and perfect for race day.

Triathlon Swimming Gear

what to wear triathlon swimming

I was never the strongest swimmer in the world, certainly not when I started out racing.

Sure I could swim the breaststroke no problem but my front craw left a lot to be desired.

It’s not uncommon for triathletes, especially when starting out to say they are bad swimmers.

Luckily you can use your tri gear to your advantage here and get yourself a wetsuit.

But do I need a wetsuit for a triathlon?

The answer here is, it depends on the water temperature.

USAT state the following in their guidelines around wearing a wetsuit:

  • If the water is between 50 to 65 degrees you are advised to wear a wetsuit.
  • At 65-78 degrees it is still advisable to wear a wetsuit but the race director may give swimmers the option to swim without one. A sleeveless suit may come into play here. You get the advantages of wetsuit buoyancy without restricting your swim stroke.
  • Anything over 78 degrees it is again up to the race director.

Check the local rules before you pack your kit for race day.

For example: In Ireland, you have to wear a wetsuit for every race regardless of water temperature. Mind you, I’ve never been in the water in Ireland when it felt warm anyways 🙂

Wetsuit reviews – I am just starting out so which one should I pick?

Because of the sheer amount of wetsuits on the market we get this question all the time.

You can spend anything from $120 up to well over $1000 for a wetsuit.

If you are just starting out then you cant go wrong with the Xterra we mentioned in our summary at the top of the page or check out our full review of entry-level wetsuits for much more information and some great deals. 

You are looking for something with that all-important buoyancy but enough freedom of movement to have a smooth fluid swim stroke.

The wetsuit should be a snug fit but not so tight that you can’t stand up properly. 

Make sure to wrap your hands and feet in something like a plastic bag when you put the suit on.

This provides two advantages straight away:

  1. Your hands slide into the suit much quicker and you have less chance of pulling or straining yourself.
  2. The bags help protect the inside of the suit from your finger and toenails. You don’t want to rip your new suit, do you?

You often see triathletes using bodyglide or oils to help them get their suits on. For the very small investment, it may be worth you trying this out to see if it helps you…

Triathlon Swimming Goggles

Choosing swim goggles for triathlon is another minefield of options.

You have two clear choices here:

Do you want larger mask style goggles that give you improved sight and are more likely to stay put when you launch yourself into the water with another 99 brave souls to start your swim?

If so then a pair of the Aegend goggles mentioned above or a pair of Aquasphere Kayenne goggles are perfect for you.

The other option is to opt for a sleeker aerodynamic pair of goggles and for that we recommend the Vanquisher goggles from Speedo.

The come with mirrored lenses that help reduce glare on bright days and their anti-fog protection helps keep you going the right direction.

Whatever style you go for make sure they have an anti-fog coating on the lenses.

This really helps you when racing.

There is enough going on without having to worry about fogged up goggles. Jaws quick spit is the most popular brand out there but we review a few more anti-fog sprays here if you want to check it out.

Triathlon Cycling Gear

what to wear triathlon cycling

Once you leave the water and get through transition its time for the bike – my favorite part of every race.

Apart from your bike itself, there are really on a few decisions on gear needed here.

Bike helmet:

A must for every race your helmet can actually make a nice difference in overall time on the bike.

Opt for something as aero as possible from the outset but if you are a weekend warrior then something like the Giro Savant mentioned earlier is perfect because you can use it for normal cycling as well.

When you get more competitive and start looking for additional advantages on race day then you are going to start exploring full aero helmets – you know the ones you see with the pointy ends that look a bit like something out of the alien movies.

These style helmets, combined with a set of aerobars on your bike give you maximum aero flow through the air and help shave precious seconds of your split times.

If we were to pick just one aero helmet that’s solid value and feature rich then it would be the Bell Javelin

It comes with a built-in removal visor so no need for sunnies when you wear it, and at only 380 grams in weight, it’s as light as you can get for something this safe.

Cycling Shoes:

A good pair of cycling shoes should definitely be part of your kit list for your first race. 

With these comes a bit of added expense in the form of special pedals for your bike but it’s worth every cent of the investment.

Go online and you could spend days investigating cycling shoes.

Our favorites are the Louis Garneau Tri X-Lite shoes.

We wrote a detailed review of these shoes a while ago and still stand over them as the best value triathlon shoes out there.

Sturdy but comfortable and well ventilated so no need to worry about overheating feet and nasty blisters that have the potential to ruin your run.

Triathlon Running Gear

what to wear triathlon running

Next on our list is the essential kit you need for the run section of your triathlon race.

A lot of personal preference comes into play here:

Do I need a Trisuit?

Will you wear a full triathlon suit throughout the race or opt for separate tri shorts, a running top or a tri singlet. The choice for your triathlon outfit is endless and it’s really up to you which direction you choose.

As mentioned earlier we prefer a tri suit. 

Because you are wearing everything for your race under your wetsuit from the starting whistle you want to make sure everything stays in place.

A good quality tri suit with ample padding for the bike but not too much that it hampers your run performance is the key here.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the best tri suit is the De Soto Sport. In terms of quality and affordability, it’s right up there with the more expensive kit online but you get all the features you need without the huge dent in your bank account.

Some features to look out for when choosing a tri suit are the material its made of.

  • Is it breathable?
  • How are the seams held together – stitched, seamless or glued? 
  • What is the padding like?

Remember you have to wear this one the bike as well as for the run so make sure it’s not over padded or you will end up waddling down the road…

What Runners do I need?

Another great question and one with as many answers are there are choices out there.

For us, it comes down to a few basic things.

Weight – We always look for something lightweight and breathable. For sprint distances this isn’t so much of a problem but when you start working your way up to longer distance races weight and breathability really come into play. 

Fit  – There was a trend that started some time ago in running circles that the runner itself should feel like part of your foot. This is still the case and having a sturdy shoe with a snug – but not over tight fit is essential.

Ease of use – By this, we mean how easy is it to get the shoes on. Remember you are coming off the bike and will already have sweaty feet so you need something you can quickly glide your feet into and get back out racing.


We wrote a review on elastic laces (sometimes called speed laces) a short while ago and the difference they made to our transition times so go check that out.

As far as we are concerned these type of elasticated laces are a must for any serious competitor.  Fand for the very small investment, you would be mad not to get yourself some.

If we were to pick just one pair of runners for our triathlon races we would go straight for the Asics Gel Nimbus. Once you buy a pair of these there is nothing else out there that can compare.

Socks for Triathlon

Another question we get a lot is from beginners who aren’t sure if they should wear socks or not for a triathlon.

Again this comes down to personal preference.

We don’t tend to bother anymore but when we started out we always wore them. It takes a bit of getting used to cycling and running without socks and we suggest you use them when you start and gradually move on.

One of the first challenges you get with socks on race day is trying to get your wet feet into them after the swim.

Adrenaline is already pumping through your veins, your hands are most likely cold and numb from the water. Struggling with a pair of socks drains precious seconds from your overall race time that can be avoided.

For longer races, you may look at the option of wearing compression socks to help with circulation. You will see a very wide variety of these on Olympic distances races and up to half and full Ironman races.

If you are a sock person then get something dry with like these ones from Fox River

Wrapping Up

We could talk all day about what to wear in a triathlon race but hopefully, we have covered the essentials here.

You will see all sorts of kit and style on race day but before you go out and buy any of it have a serious think about how it can help you get closer to or beat your personal best.

Try to avoid the shiny object syndrome because the chances are you won’t need the kit anyway.

There is no point in looking cool if you are going slower than your previous race.

Try everything out a few times before race day to break the gear in a bit. Get yourself a decent triathlon bag to put everything in and get out there racing…

I competed in my first sprint distance race with a borrowed bike and helmet, a cheap wetsuit designed for surfing but didn’t have any goggles, old runners and a pair of mismatched shorts and a t-shirt. 

I didn’t break any world records and couldn’t swim properly but I had the best time and have never looked back.

Sure, my times have improved, my kit has changed numerous times and everything I own is as aero as it can possibly be – except for maybe myself 🙂 but I love to tri and always will…




Triathlon Transition Bags. Best Gear Bag for Tri

Triathlon bags or transition bags, while not essential for race day are a must of you want to get to and from a race without stressing on whether you have everything you need to complete.

I spend a fair amount of hard-earned money on my tri gear. The last thing I want to happen is for it to end up all over the road.

That’s where a good triathlon transition bag comes in. 

I spent far too long researching these so you don’t have to…

Yes, I know it seems odd but the reality is that you need somewhere to keep all your stuff on race day, and a properly kitted out bag is going to help reduce stress when you get to the start line.  

Knowing you have everything you need and that it’s all readily available in its own compartment really does make a difference.

So which is the best and why:

Take a look below.  We have picked out our best-sellers, the top of the line tri bag, and also a nice quality budget bag.

Our Best Selling Triathlon Transition Bag

The Blue Seventy Transition Bag is by far our most popular transition bag.

Most people who race triathlon will know Blue Seventy for their awesome wetsuits.  They also make a superb triathlon transition bag.  

This really is a great all-rounder and a bag that some of our racing team currently use.

Some of its cool features include a large insulated compartment at the bottom of the bag that will hold a wetsuit.  A very handy elasticated pocket for your helmet.

Some fairly decent sized side pockets for drinks bottles and hydration, a multitude of internal zip pockets for your essentials like keys etc..

It sports a large opening for top loading of your kit and has plenty of room to hold everything you need on race day.  

Top all of that off with very comfortable shoulder and waist straps to carry the bag around and you are on to a winner with the Blue Seventy Tri bag.

This bag has been around for a while now but still makes the cut when it comes to value quality and features.  A very popular triathlon transition bag and top of our list.

Our Second Choice Triathlon Bag from Orca

Orca makes a fantastic tri bag that is jam packed with features you would expect to see from a brand like Orca.

The Orca bag has been built with every feature designed to suit a triathlete. There are pockets for literally everything you need on race day.

The is a very handy helmet pocket to protect your lid, special dry compartments for your wet gear, separate sections for dry gear and it even has lined sealed compartments for your electronics like phone and car keys.

One really great feature is the bright interior of the bag. Now, this may seem gimmicky but it’s really easy to find things in the bag because of the contrasting colors.

So let’s take a closer look at what we really like featurewise about this tri bag.

  • It’s 100% polyester so it’s very hard wearing and easy to keep clean
  • The helmet protector keeps you prize helmet safe and covered at all times
  • It comes in at 70l storage capacity so plenty of room for all your gear. No more bring separate bags along to transition
  • The carry straps are nice and padded and can be converted into a single carry strap so this bag can go everywhere with you
  • It is a cool looking bag, comes with white reflective strips to keep you safe and the green liner makes finding things a breeze.

You can pick this bag up here and as we have stated, it really is a great hard wearing bag full of features

Our Top Choice | Best Quality Bag

The Gyst BP1-15 Triathlon Backpack claims the top spot in our review.

This really is a top class tri bag and carries all the features you would expect from Gyst.

It features the Gyst X-Changer system that allows you to get changed pretty much anywhere.  

You can stand on a built-in transition mat that folds out from the bag, keeping your feet clean and dry while you change – essential when you are in a transition area and don’t have time for anything.

There is a multitude of pockets in this bag that can carry all of your triathlon or fitness gear, a wet compartment for your wetsuit or swimming gear and damp towels.

  • This bag is unique, in that it transforms into a tri bag with a built-in transition mat
  • It has a great selection of magnets, loops and hooks that allow for easy access to all the compartments
  • A great feature of this bag is the dual access.  This allows you to load the bag from either opening.  Saves pulling everything out to get what you need
  • Also, has a built-in drainage system to remove any excess water after use
  • Made from water-repellent fabric with great size #10 zippers

Best Value For Money Tri Bag

The final bag on our list is the TYR Alliance Team II Backpack.  This awesome bag from TYR really is the best value for money available today.  

Full of top features that you would expect from TYR – A great brand in triathlon.

The TYR tri bag has a good-sized interior compartment that will hold all your swim gear or wet towels.  It also sports a large dry compartment.  This helps separate things out and keep you organized.

It comes with a goggle protector pocket, reinforced interior pockets and a handy pocket for your iPod or smartphone.  Comes with good strong straps and has a padded back for extra comfort.

This really is a great bag considering the cost.

triathlon transition bagAlso known as a triathlon duffle bag, triathlon gear bag, equipment bag, triathlon gym bag.  (List goes on)

Put simply, though – you cannot underestimate the import role a good tri bag plays on race day. Everything on race day goes into your bag, except your bike and possibly your helmet, but there are bags that have clips for holding your helmet which comes in very handy.

My first day out I had three bags full of gear and more bits and pieces.  What a disaster really.

There was stuff everywhere and I must have gone through each bag twenty times to make sure I had everything.  I invested in a decent transition bag before the second race to avoid this happening again.

Modern design gives you multiple compartments and sections that allow you to split up each area of the race into separate spaces.

Very handy when you are going through your pre-race gear checklist and you know where to find everything. Saves the twenty check panic attacks…

We can provide customer reviews for Zoot, Zipp, Zeus, Blue Seventy, Desoto, Nike, Orca, TYR and more, so just reach out and ask us.  If there is a particular bag you have in mind that is not on our list we will gladly take a look and give you our honest opinion via a review.

 Features to look out for:

When you are on the hunt for a new tri bag there are some key features you should definitely look for.

As this is a multi-disciplinary sport you should try and get a tri bag with separate compartments for each discipline.

What do we mean by that?

When you are going to a race everything is nicely organised and more importantly dry!

If you can get a bag with a wetsuit compartment and somewhere waterproof to store your towel you will keep everything else in your bag from getting soaked.

I like to separate out my gear based on each section of the race.

I keep all my swimming gear together in one section. There is a dedicated section for my tri suit and running gear – including my runners, and finally somewhere for my helmet and visor.

That way when I get to the transition area I can easily grab each set of gear and lay it out. Nice and calm with no panic…

Some of the best triathlon bags on the market are designed this way and one particular feature I like is the ability to strap my helmet onto my bag out of the way. Just remember to put in on once you enter the transition area or you risk being disqualified before you even get started.

Look for something with a bit of padding around the straps and the back area. We tend to carry quite a bit of kit in our packs and you don’t want to strain or injure yourself – at least until after you cross the finish line.

I also like to keep all my race nutrition separate from my gear just in case any of my gels or fluids leaks. This can be a bit of a nightmare as everything gets sticky and uncomfortable.

Some modern racing bags have an array of side pockets for storing kit and these can be great for things like swimming goggles, swimming hats and even your tri sunglasses.

You bring a lot of gear with you on race day so keep it organised and you will be one happy racer.

You get my point… So make sure you have a system or checklist for your tri bag and tick everything off well in advance. Hop in the car on race day with peace of mind 

Essentials for your Tri Bag

When it gets closer to race day it always pays to be organised. There is enough happening on the day without you having to worry about whether you packed everything you need. 

Did I remember my goggles?

Are my shoes packed?

1. Bike Helmet

Yep, I’ve seen this many times before. People rock up on race day and have forgotten their helmet. Rules now dictate that you can’t even get into the transition area without your helmet firmly attached to your head, so if you forgot yours then you are out before you even start.

Some of the specialised tri bags have specific compartments for your helmet or straps on the top or front of the backpack when you can clip on your helmet.

If you are using one of the really fancy Triathlon TT helmets then chances are it comes with its own bag or box so just clip that onto your bag strap somewhere anyway.

2. Bike Shoes

I like to pre-clip my shoes onto the pedals before I leave transition and hold them in place with a few elastic bands so they don’t flop about in the run-up to the bike starting point. But what happens if you forget your shoes. Have you ever tried to cycle a bike with normal runners and clip on pedals – yes it works but you ain’t going to be hitting any personal bests on the day.

Some more modern bags have special zippered areas or netting for your shoes so make sure you have them packed before you go.

3. Swimming Gear – Wetsuit / Hat / Goggles / Towel

I have a bag that has separate areas for each part of my race and that really helps keep me organised. Make sure to pack yours before you leave the house on race day.

You can live without a swimming hat because at most races you are given a colour coded hat so the marshalls know what wave or race you are competing in and can direct you easily.

You can also do without Goggles if you are really stuck but I would not recommend it. I always have two pairs packed just in case a) I lose a pair or b) I break the elastic band. Also, make sure to throw in the anti-fog spray if required so you can see where you are going

Most important of the lot when it comes to swimming, is your wetsuit. Now in some races, you are allowed in the water without one but why not have it on anyway to help you with buoyancy and streamlining in the water. Use the advantage where you can.

Look for a bag that has a wetsuit compartment included because while the wetsuit is dry going on, it’s going to be soaking when it comes off and you don’t want to mess up the rest of your gear if you don’t have to.

Always pack a towel. This comes in extra handy after you enter T1 and get changed into your bike gear. Try pulling tight socks onto wet feet when you are in a rush and you will understand. It only takes a few seconds to dry your feet but it’s totally worth it. 

Plus you can fold it beside your bike and put the rest of your kit on it to set out your stall in the transition area…

4. Tri Suit / Runners and socks

Chances are you will already be wearing this when you leave the house because a lot of people are that prepared. If this is not your case then make sure it is in your bag. It’s extremely hard to cycle and then run a race in a wetsuit – apart from the looks and laughter it’s not going to help your times in any way…

I have churned through many different types of tri suits over the years but they will never get used if you forget to bring them with you!

Believe it or not but quite a few athletes forget their runners. You would think they would be already wearing then on the day but that is not always the case. Make sure they are packed and stick a spare pair of socks into the bag just in case.

5. Hydration / Gels / Fluids

Hydration is critical to your performance so make sure to keep an eye on this at all times. I have a bottle on my bike at all times but will often have a spare bottle with me – depending on heat conditions etc.

Not so important for short Sprint type races but for anything longer you will be using Gels or nutritional bars/chews of some description as you race. Check out our review of the best triathlon gels here. Yes, there will be vendors there on the day in case you are stuck but we don’t recommend taking anything different than the norm on race day just in case it upsets your stomach or gives you cramps. The time for experimenting is when you are training only.


As you can see there are many features you would expect in a decent triathlon equipment bag.  

We have tried to take a look at some of the best bags on the market from an inexpensive triathlon training bag right up to the triathlon elite bag and give you an overview as part of this review so you know what to look for.  

If you don’t find what you are looking for today then why not subscribe to our site for relevant updates or check back in again another day.

We hope you like our review and thanks for stopping by.

If you are just getting into Triathlon then why not take a look at the history of the sport and see where it came from.  It’s a great read.  You can check it out here.

Another thing you should definitely check out is the following video on how to pack you tri bag correctly. This clip is loaded with great tips

Thanks for visiting and happy racing.

Best GPS watch for open water swimming

GPS and Fitness tracking devices are everywhere and come in all shapes, sizes and prices.

The right one for you comes down to a few basic requirements.

Are you swimming in open water?

Do you need it to track swim strokes or just for GPS tracking?

Will you use it for multi-sport events like triathlons or marathons?

Each of these has many answers so instead of dwelling on them lets take a look at some of my favourite GPS watches for open water and see if you spot the one you like

We take our racing very seriously and while I’m not the fastest triathlete out there I do like to closely monitor my performance during each race.

For that, I use my Garmin Fenix 5X. The Garmin is huge and does weight a fair bit on your wrist. I have very wide wrists so it doesn’t bother me and the weight is worth the tradeoff because it’s packed with more features that I will probably ever use.

Yes, it does cost a fair bit but to me, it’s the best on the market and is worth every cent I spent on it.

No products found.

If you are looking for a watch that does pretty much everything then this is the one for you.

So let’s dig into the techie stuff for a few mins and see what it can do…

First up we are going to look at the GPS multi-sport qualities of this watch. We are avid triathletes in this group so there are a few must-haves for us.

When it comes to picking out an idea triathlon watch there are some things that are a must-have in terms of functionality.

Best Value
Garmin Forerunner 935
Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Top Choice
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Bundle
Star Rating
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Garmin 010-01614-00 Forerunner 735XT, Multisport GPS Running Watch With Heart Rate, Black/Gray
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Bundle, Multisport GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate, Includes HRM-Run Monitor, Black/Gray
3,189 Reviews
3,471 Reviews
1,032 Reviews
296 Reviews
Display Type
215 x 180, Color display
240 x 240
215 x 180, Color display
1.76 ounces
1.6 ounces
0.8 lb
1.6 ounces
Best Value
Garmin Forerunner 935
Star Rating
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
3,189 Reviews
Display Type
1.76 ounces
Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Star Rating
Garmin 010-01614-00 Forerunner 735XT, Multisport GPS Running Watch With Heart Rate, Black/Gray
3,471 Reviews
Display Type
215 x 180, Color display
1.6 ounces
Top Choice
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire
Star Rating
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
1,032 Reviews
Display Type
240 x 240
0.8 lb
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Bundle
Star Rating
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Bundle, Multisport GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate, Includes HRM-Run Monitor, Black/Gray
296 Reviews
Display Type
215 x 180, Color display
1.6 ounces

Garmin Fenix 3 HR

The Garmin Fenix 3 HR  is an omnidirectional stainless steel GPS watch for open water swimming with GPS/GLONASS satellite capabilities.

With Fitness training features like advanced running dynamics with vertical oscillation and vertical radio, you will definitely find it hard using another GPS watch after using this one.

Rugged, capable and smart, the Garmin comes in a treated silicone band with reinforced housing for sturdiness and durability in extreme water conditions.

The display screen is in high-resolution color Chroma display which is visible under intense sunlight thanks to the LED backlight.

The Fenix 3 HR can be used inside the water and it is water rated up to 100 meters with a battery life of up to 40 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode, 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 2 weeks of use in smartwatch mode. It’s truly a beast in the ocean.

Lens Material
Bezel Material
Strap Material
Bat Life: GPS + Smart
3 Weeks
Altimeter, Barometer, Compass
Activity & Sleep Tracking
Running Physiological Measurements
Wrist Heart Rate
Lens Material
Bezel Material
Strap Material
Bat Life: GPS + Smart
3 Weeks
Altimeter, Barometer, Compass
Activity & Sleep Tracking
Running Physiological Measurements
Wrist Heart Rate

With the Garmin, tracking your heart rate won’t require the use of a chest strap.

It gives you the option to track your heart rate data without wearing a chest strap which is a movement away from what we had in some of the other Triathlon watches that we have reviewed above.

You can also count your steps, monitor your sleep with this watch. The Fenix 3 HR uses the heart rate to crunch other numbers such as the amount of calories burned and quantify the intensity of your fitness activities per time.

When it comes to going into every detail about your form and fitness, the Garmin Fenix 3 HR has your covered here as well.

It can measure your oxygen levels and your recovery easily.

It uses the VO2 estimator to crunch important metrics such as your stroke speed, beats per minute and your heart rate variability to estimate the total amount of oxygen that you can consume per minute and if you want, you can also track your overall fitness gains over a period of time and compare it with your friends.

Garmin Fenix 3 HR can track the distance covered, pace and your stroke count.

Once you input the pool size into the watch, it will do the rest of the data crunching for you. This same feature is also available for skiing, golf and paddle sports.

Golfers can use it to get the yardage to the front back and the middle of any course you might have downloaded from Garmin Connect and if you want, you can use your GPS watch as a glove-friendly remote via the ANT+ wireless connectivity feature.

The multi-sport watch is not just useful in the water; this watch has relevance on dry land as well.

It can allow you go further with your running data and tap into advanced running dynamics to create a range of important data such as the number of steps taken per minute (Cadence), the degree of bounce in your running motion and the benefit ratio to stride length.

The Fenix 3 HR also measures your stress levels by comparing your heart rate data while standing still for 3 minutes to provide you with data on how stress you are.

The Fenix 3 HR provides serious bass when it comes to comprehensive navigation. It can guide you on and off the beaten path using GPS plus the combination of ABC.

ABC represents the Altimeter, Barometer and Compass.

It can help you navigate your way back to where you came from. With inbuilt sensors for providing important information on heading, elevation, and weather, you will find this watch handy for your everyday use as well.

The altimeter provides the elevation data to monitor your ascent and descent while Barometer helps you predict the change in weather by showing you information in air pressure over the short term.

The Garmin Fenix 3 HR can be customized with tons of free downloads from the Connect IQ store.

You can add new data fields, widgets and important apps that will make it more fun and appealing to use.

You can also receive emails and alerts right on your watch while in the pool swimming.

It uses the wireless connection from a smartphone to let you know when you have a message – displaying the text on your display screen.


  • Quite lightweight thanks to the rubber strap
  • Well-designed and versatile GPS watch
  • The battery life is very good.
  • Combination of GPS/ABC/Health/Fashion features


  • Difficult using it with Microsoft products.
  • GPS data is not always accurate.

Garmin 910xt

The Garmin Forerunner 910XT is a next-generation triathlon watch from Garmin and a super upgrade to the Garmin Forerunner FR305.

But is the Garmin 910XT just another upgrade with little to show for it other than a slimmer profile? Actually, it does have a lot going for it.

Garmin Forerunner 910XT is one of the best triathlon watches out there with an insane ability to track time, distance, speed, elevation and the heart rate.

It combines a whole lot of features that make it one of the most revered GPS watches in the market. When you flip open the box, you will see a couple of things that will help you get started.

These include the USB charging clip, USB ANT + stick, the watch, the manual and a heart rate strap.

One of the first things that will amaze you when you go through the content of the box is the power plugs.

The Garmin Forerunner 910XT comes with three different types of plugs – the standard US power plug and two others for customers who reside or are travelling to Europe or the UK. This comes in handy if you are venturing abroad for a race…

The second thing that will blow your mind when you unbox this GPS watch is the heart rate strap which includes a strap and the transmitter pod. The design of the strap here is quite different from what we had in the previous models but it’s still quite effective.

Each Heart Rate strap is paired with Premium ANT+ but the type of strap you will get will depend on the version of the 910XT that you purchase.

You can also use an older or existing ANT+ strap but you should stay away from any strap from a Polar unit.

The USB charging clip that we spoke about earlier will be used to charge the watch by connecting it to your computer or through the AC power plug but it can’t be used to transfer data.

The USB stick, on the other hand, will be used to make data transfer via the ANT+ method. The ANT+ method is a way of transmitting data between Garmin devices.

The ANT+ protocol is strictly for Garmin devices and it is quite similar to Bluetooth except that it uses lower energy as compared with Bluetooth.

In order to transfer data from your watch to your computer, you will have to plug the ANT+ USB stick into your computer so it can establish a connection with your GPS watch.

Forerunner 910XT is an all in all GPS enabled watch designed for use as an open water swimming watch. It is water resistant up to 50 meters and it is Garmin’s first Triathlon watch which offers an extensive set of swim metrics that can be used to monitor and track your movement in the pool such as distance covered, stroke identification and pool lengths.

The Garmin Forerunner 910XT is as powerful on land as it is on water.

It offers a wide range of powerful and advanced cycling features for capturing your speed and distance over time.

What’s new?

The Forerunner 910XT also has a barometric altimeter which is a step above the GPS altimeter that came in the previous FR310XT and the FR305 models.

With the barometric altimeter on this GPS watch, a cyclist can map to reality better than what they had with the GPS data and when this doesn’t work as expected, they can use the altitude data correction on the Garmin Connect device to switch on the elevation correction.


  • Can be used for a range of activity including biking, running and swimming.
  • Easy low power transmission via the ANT+ network.
  • Great for anyone doing triathlons.
  • The screen is easy to navigate and use.


  • Concerns about its use with a kickboard and it seems to be inaccurate when doing laps.
  • Data transfer must not be interrupted once it begins.

Multisport mode

In addition to the standard features that should be expected from a good watch, it should also come with a multisport mode that allows you to use the watch for other activities outside swimming.

Multisport watches can be paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth Smart connectivity so you can enjoy other conveniences like reading your email, texts and other important alerts to you.

Triathlon and Outdoor Navigation

Triathlon watches come with extra features for tracking your steps, stroke count, calories, heart rate underwater while swimming, type of stroke and barometric altimeter. Having a GPS watch that can record the necessary metrics for your performance as well as other sports that you might engage in is a smart move. 


Speed Laces Review

stretch lacesMy second ever Triathlon I made a very stupid mistake.

I had been training for months and was determined to beat my personal best this time out.

Everything was going to plan. I headed to the transition area to get all my gear setup. While there I met an old school friend so started chatting about all the things we used to get up to as youngsters.

Anyway, the race started and I was very happy with my swim and run back into transition.

I whipped off my wetsuit, stuck on my helmet and sunnies and took off again – I had my bike shoes already clipped into my pedals and held with elastic bands to the frame (nice tip if you want to speed up transition times).

The bike section of the race was superb – nice and flat with zero wind. Coming back into T2 I was already unclipped and jumped off the bike and ran into transition. Again all going to plan at this stage…

Now here is where I noticed my stupidity.

While I was talking to my friend at the start of the race I took off my runners and set them up beside my bike – but forgot to open the laces.

Not sure about you but when I race the adrenalin is soaring through me and my hands tend to get a bit clumsy. Not good when you need a surgeons touch to open a blasted knot in your shoelaces.

I must have wrestled with it for about 2 or 3 mins before it finally opened and I could get my runners on. I tied them up and took off again like a disgruntled old man shouting to myself at how stupid I’d been.

All of that practice and training to be held up by a knot in my shoes lace.

My overall race times were great but I wasted 3 mins in transition that I could and should have avoided!!!

I swore after that day that I would never let this happen again – Enter Speed Laces or elastic shoelaces…

My Tri runners are now equipped with a set of Lock Laces so no more fumbling around with trying to open stubborn knots, tie shoes or tying laces when you should be running.

There are no knots!

Below is a series of images that show you how to install stretch or lock laces into your runners.

These are a pair of my everyday runners so excuse the muck – real life here and not some shiny staged photoshoot 🙂

Installing Lock Laces

how to install stretch or lock laces

The laces are very easy to install and its actually a very straightforward process and while it may be a bit fiddly and take you a few mins to get it right it will save you plenty of valuable time in transition.

First up you need to remove the standard laces from your runners and put them to one side.

The lock laces come in 3 parts:

  • The two lengths of elastic no tie stretch laces
  • Adjustable locking clips that slide over the laces
  • End cap protectors for your laces

They are a one size fits all system so no need to worry about sizing when you buy a pair.

When you remove your existing laces you simply thread in the new elastic laces into the eye holes or loops of your runners. This is very easy the first time as there are plastic welded ends on the laces.

This is my second pair of runners to use these bungee laces and I had already trimmed them to length.

Not a problem though. I just grabbed a heat gun and melted the ends slightly to bind the fibres together. This makes them easy to push into the eyelets.

Trimming the stretch lace length

fitting stretch lacesOnce you have the laces installed you need to adjust the fit and trim off the tag ends as out of the box they will be far too long.

This is great though because you can use these bungee laces in any type of shoe or boot. I have them set up in a long pair of hiking boots and they are great.

The first thing to do once the laces are in place is slide on the main cord lock lace adjuster. This spring clip system holds the laces at your desired tension.

Next double check that you threaded the laces through every eyelet and that they is enough slack so you can adjust later if needed.

I find the best way to do this is to put on your running shoe and walk or run around a bit. Make sure they stay in place but are not too tight.

Take scissors and trim off the tag ends leaving about 3 inches length extra.

This allows you to tuck the ends into your laces but also to adjust the tension of the laces if needed.

One really hot days you may suffer from foot swelling so this helps a lot.

Final Setup

The last thing you need to do once you have the laces trimmed to length is to install the tag end protector.

This holds both ends of the elastic cord laces in place and allows you to tuck the ends into the rest of the laces out of the way.

Thread both tag ends through the clips mechanism and make sure the ends rest up against the internal stopper.

A firm press with your fingers locks this in place.

And that’s it.

Final thoughts

I have been using lock laces since my stupid mistake during my second race. I bought two pairs at the time and still have them today – that was 3 odd years ago.

By far the cheapest bit of kit in my triathlon setup but seriously they are worth every cent. You never have to worry again about slow transition times. I don’t even use the adjuster anymore. I just slip on the runners and the elastic laces do the rest.

They have never slipped off, I had no trouble with pressure points on my feet, nor did I ever have to adjust them mid-race. There was zero friction on my heel area either which was a great improvement.

I tell everybody I know who is into triathlon racing to get themselves a pair of elastic no tie racing laces.

There are plenty of elastic lacing systems available on the market today but these were my first pair and because they have lasted this long I haven’t bothered looking elsewhere.

Outside of triathlon or running. If you are a sports fan and are into any sport that requires laces then you should look to elastic laces for your shoes. They are also great for people who suffer from certain disabilities who may not be able to tie laces themselves. With lock laces, they don’t have to worry anymore.

If you don’t have a pair I strongly suggest you invest in these no tie shoelaces. Small money for such a big improvement and I would give them five stars every time. 5 out of 5 stars