Chrissie Wellington’s 10 top tri kit essentials
Chrissie Wellington’s 10 top tri kit essentials
Gear > Gear Guides

Chrissie Wellington’s 10 top tri kit essentials (cont)

If anyone knows what tri gear you need (and don’t need) to race, it’s Britain’s four-time Kona queen

Four-time Ironman world champ Chrissie Wellington continues her run-down of the essential tri kit you need...

Bike and bike shoes

Bikes can be few hundred pounds or the price of a car. The key is that it can pass a safety inspection. If you’re just starting triathlon and only planning on doing one or two local events, you can use a beach cruiser, shopper or mountain bike. But if you’re thinking of doing more, it’s probably best to buy a road bike, which you can train, race and even commute on, and is suitable for a variety of courses.

You don’t have to buy new; second-hand bikes can be great value, but it’s your responsibility to make sure your bike is road worthy. Getting a personal bike-fit from a bike shop is worthwhile. Whether you use regular or so-called clipless pedals will depend on your cycling experience and confidence.

Your choice of pedal determines what shoes you wear. Cleated shoes (these lock onto the pedals) are definitely not essential for those new to cycling. With flat pedals you can use the same shoes for cycling and running. 

Chrissie Wellington on the bike at Kona

(Image: Delly Carr)


Of course, a helmet is a must, but it doesn’t have to be the all-singing and dancing ‘aero’ kind. A regular ‘brain bucket’ will protect your head. Just make sure it’s passed the necessary safety tests. 

Running shoes

Use a sturdy running shoe that you can trust and which suits your form/biomechanics (a good running shop can help with this). Regular laces are fine to start with, while socks make for a more comfortable, less blistered experience.

Race suit

You could wear a pair of shorts and a t-shirt/cycle jersey/running vest under your wetsuit and keep them on until the finish line.

But, while not essential, opting for a tri-suit in a race enables you to wear the same outfit from start to finish. There are two options: a single-piece tri-suit or a two-piece shorts and singlet. 

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Other useful gear includes a water bottle and a pair of sunglasses.

Don't forget to check out our other recent gear round-ups: best road bike shoesbest run base layersbest pool gogglesbest heart rate monitorsbest aerobarsbest run jacketsbest turbo trainersbest tri bikesbest tri bike shoesbest wetsuitsbest lightweight run shoesbest trail shoesbest energy barsbest bike jacketsbest bike helmetsbest TT helmetsbest recovery drinks and best tri-suits.

What else do you consider a tri essential? Let us know in the comments below!


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