Triathlon gear of the year: our top 25 products of 2017

Groundbreaking bikes, streamlined suits and cutting-edge carbon.It’s been another year of visionary tri gear releases. Here we round up the top 25 from the 443 products we’ve tested this season

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1. dhb Blok short sleeve tri-suit

£76

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Dhb shed their ‘decent enough’ tri image with the launch of their Blok range. This major statement of intent from the brand was fast, well-crafted and easy on the wallet. And just wait until you see their 2018 Aeron collection. Read our review here

Buy from wiggle.co.uk

  

2. Asics DS Racer 11

£95

Offering speed and breathability, the latest DS Racers are now better than ever. Much of this is due to the Duomax Support System, which offers an improved tread for stability and grip. For short-course races, they tick all the boxes. Buy from asics.com

  

3. Enve 7.8

£3,100

The 7.8s were the big winner in our race wheels test, with our tester labelling them as “a new benchmark for carbon rims.” Aside from the speed and stability, what really astonished was the braking in both the wet and dry. Outstanding, then, but much will depend on the size of your pay packet. 

Buy from www.merlincycles.com

  

4. Garmin Fenix 5

£499.99

Yes, the price is huge, but the Fenix 5 is the most comprehensive multisport watch in history. Updates include aerobic/anaerobic workout data, swim records analysis, Strava Live Segments and so much more. Read our Garmin Fenix 5 review

Triathlon multisport watches: 6 of the best reviewed

Buy from garmin.com

   

5. Sidi T-4 Air Carbon

£170

The T-4 is a quality shoe in every way from the Italian maestros. The upper offers superb venting, the insole is well-padded to counter the carbon sole, and the firm heel counter and luxurious leather toe box hold the foot in place.

Buy from wiggle.co.uk

  

6. Zoggs Predator

£26

As a light and versatile goggle for all weather conditions, the Predator Mirrors come hugely recommended. They have fantastic UV protection, comfort and wide 180° vision for the open-water swim, and they perform in all weather conditions.

Open-water swim goggles: 9 of the best reviewed and rated

Buy from zoggs.com

7. Boardman ATT 9.0

£1,899

Boardman understand aero like few others and this is another stunning ride. The entry-level ATT 9.0 stands as a first tri bike that could – with just a wheel upgrade – see you all the way to the age-group world champs. Read our review of the tri bike

Buy from halfords.com

8. Platysens Marlin

£135

Developed with Swim Smooth, this virtual swim coach was worth the wait. Via the bone conduction earpiece, progress, distance and pace are reported, and there are OW functions as well. Revolutionary stuff.

Buy from swimsmooth.com/marlin

   

9. Huub Varme Balaclava

£34.99

It may resemble an executioner’s mask, but the innovative Varme is the real deal for swimming in truly cold water, offering plenty of warmth but not at the expense of movement. Chafe-free, too. 

Winter open water swimming: 9 essential pieces of kit for chilly temperatures

Buy from wiggle.co.uk

   

10. HED Jet 6.9 

£1,600

Hed are groundbreakers in the tri scene, and the mixed depth 60/90mm Jet 6.9 is testament to their rich heritage. The brake track offers supreme stopping power, while they’re also fast, stable and unrivalled for value.

Buy from hedwheels.com

  

11. Zone 3 Volaire

£29

Comfortable, aesthetically slick, hydrodynamic… the Volaire are a mightily impressive set of pool goggles that tick all the performance boxes. And the super-soft seal ensures they achieve the hallowed ‘stick on and go’ trick.

Buy from zone3.com

  

12. Zone 3 Vanquish 

£475

Our second Zone3 entry is the updated Vanquish, which offers improvements on an already classic suit. Flexibility is heightened by new thinner panels on the back and neck, and the ‘speed cuffs’ make it a doddle to remove. 

Buy from wiggle.co.uk

13. Hoka Clayton 2 

£120

Hoka shot to the top of the Kona Shoe Count in 2017 for the first time and, with the latest Claytons, it’s easy to see why. Despite the huge platform and masses of support, they only weigh 240g and still beg you to run fast.

Buy from tredz.co.uk

    

14. Heart Sports Tri-Suit

£115

Remarkably good, remarkably versatile and remarkably cheap, Brit brand Heart Sports continue to astound us with their small tri collection, with much of our love due to the Tri Suit’s floating pockets and full-length zipper.

Buy from heartsports.co.uk

15. Lazer Wasp Air Tri TT

£259.99 

The Wasp is feature-packed, with various tail sizes, a heart-rate monitor and an inclination sensor – that beeps if you move out of the desired aero position – all available. There’s also superior cooling and comfort in the mix. Buy from tredz.co.uk

16. Orca RS1 Open Water

£274

Two-piece wetsuits aren’t ubiquitous just yet but, as soon as the RS1 is slipped on, the massive comfort, movement and adjustable fit benefits become crystal clear. And they’re great for pre-race mobile toilet stops! 

Buy from wiggle.co.uk

  

17. Fabric Tri Saddle

£64.99

Only founded in 2014, Fabric have swiftly made their mark in the tri and cycling worlds. Their smartly-padded tri saddle features a central relief channel that drains water and has a separate hook for bike racking. Buy from fabric.cc/products

  

18 Castelli Idro 

£260

When it comes to packable waterproofing, there’s little out there to match the Idro from Castelli. It’s an immense jacket that’s durable, stylish, light, water-resistant and, yes, also
very expensive. 

Buy from wiggle.co.uk

    

19 Reap Bikes

£9,500

It’s barely out of its prototype nappies and doesn’t even have a name yet, but the Reap triathlon bike’s combination of soothing comfort, searing speed and precise handling is irresistible. What’s more, it’s manufactured and designed in the UK, and offers customisable builds. Read our review here 

Buy from reapbikes.com

  

20 Roka Phantom

$275

The much-hyped Phantoms are worth every column inch, proving the value of a year’s worth of R&D. Incredibly lightweight, durable and impossible to dislodge once running, our only concerns are the price tag… and losing them. Buy from roka.com

21 Zoot Wikiwiki 

£500

Tri pioneers Zoot continued to innovate in 2017 by delivering the thinnest arms – 0.5mm – ever seen in a tri wetsuit. The result is a hugely comfortable and unrestricted swim, and a formidable contender for experienced athletes.

Buy from milletsports.co.uk

  

22 Orca 226 Race Suit

£119.99

We’d want meatier pockets for going long, but the 226 is a flawless suit in terms of execution and comfort. It’s stylish, techy and durable, and now boasts a zip guard to make it quite possibly the best vested suit around. 

Buy from wiggle.co.uk

  

23. Saucony Peregrine 6

£105

Put simply, the Peregrine 6 were a revelation. Much of this is down to the razor-like and unbeatable grip, plus the deceptively light 266g weight. But there’s also impressive drainage and an exhilarating feel for the trails.

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

  

24. Dassi Interceptor 

£12,000

Okay, it costs 12 grand, but Dassi deserve credit for pushing the boundaries of bike design. Here they’ve infused a carbon frame with graphene to create an unbelievable ride and one that could prove hugely influential in the future.

Dassi’s revolutionary graphene-induced Interceptor test ride

 Buy from dassi.com

  

25. Threo Eton Dorney

£115

Another new release, another impressive garment from Brit women’s brand Threo. Here you get top-notch grippers, a high-tech pad and that brilliant popper-attached number belt. The design and cut is flattering, too.

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Buy from threo.co.uk