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Triathlon Accessories
 
 
 
 
Since its humble beginnings in 1974, Triathlon has amassed millions of fans worldwide. The rapid growth in popularity saw it achieve Olympic status at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Triathlon is an exciting multi-discipline sport involving a continuous race over various distances in the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running. A standard triathlon is made up of a swim, followed by a cycle ride, followed by a run.

Competitors race against the clock, which starts as they enter the swim and stops as they cross the finish line after the run. For this reason, triathlon is often reported as having a 'fourth discipline' known as the transition. The transition is the point in the race when competitors change from swimming to cycling, and from cycling to running.

There is a huge array of specialist triathlon cycling equipment to help you shave off vital seconds, increase efficiency and comfort. Evans Cycles carries a wide range of triathlon orientated products for newcomers and experts alike.

Swim Stage

Novice events tend to be pool-based, although some may involve open-water swims. A swimming hat lowers water resistance and saves you vital seconds in the water, so it definitely counts as a triathlon essential.

Goggles are a godsend when you're swimming in a pack of enthusiastic triathletes. Being able to see what's going on is the difference between getting stuck in the pack or making a breakaway lead. Cold British open water swims mean you can't overlook wetsuits - they're compulsory with water temperatures below 14 degrees. Summer is officially the triathlon season but a full-length wetsuit can still be seen on competitors.

On the Bike

Nobody is excused from wearing a helmet, so you'll never see a triathlete riding without a lid, not even an elite. Modern helmets are reasonably priced, simple to use and they give the best protection to your most important parts. Fit is crucial, place your hands on either side of the helmet and try to slide it forward and backwards on your head. If you are able to move the helmet in either direction the helmet is too loose.

When it comes to bike shoes you have two choices running shoes with toe-clips or clipless cycling shoes. We strongly suggest the latter. The shoe attaches to the pedal enabling you to cycle with more power and fluidity; it's easier to clip out of a clipless shoe than pull your foot out of a toe clip. Triathlon shoes are designed to be worn without socks, the lining is often seamless to reduce rubbing. Material features mesh and large gills to increase ventilation and allow the feet to dry quickly after the swim.
Large velcro closure straps are also a feature and great for rapid fitting or adjustment on the go. Unlike laces they will not tangle with the chain when riding with feet out of the shoes in transitions.

A heart rate monitor is a great choice if you’re looking to improve performance. Cycle specific heart rate monitor will display your exertion as well as speed and distance travelled. If you fall in love with training by number, you can upgrade to one that has all the bells and whistles, even GPS and connects to a PC.

Feed for Speed

It's a tri mantra: put rubbish in your body and you'll produce a rubbish performance. Whether you're competing in your first triathlon or battling an Ironman you need energy at the right time to reach your potential. Keep hydrated and energised by using a sport drink which can be mixed to your taste. Carb rich snacks such as energy bars and gels will keep your energy levels up during the race.
Put energy food next to your shoes in the second transition and you can grab it easily. You can also store the gels in your tri suit pockets.

Wind Cheaters

Nothing beats a tri bars to increase your speed. Your shoulders and arms are one of the first things that punch a hole through the air. A tri bar will bring your arms together and lower your height reducing the amount of air you have to push out of the way.

Deep section aero wheels are one of the most popular and effective upgrades. The deeper the rim the better it will slice through the air. While fewer and shorter spokes will reduce drag and turbulence.  Deep section rims tend to be made of carbon which has great lateral stiffness, resulting in faster acceleration. Chances are the new wheels will be lighter than our old ones which will also increase your speed.

All those lovely vents in a regular cycle helmet keep you cool by channelling air to your head. Only problem this increases turbulence and drag. An aero helmet makes the head much more streamlined. The lack of vents and tear drop shape allow the air to flow over the helmet.

Rapid Recovery

As soon as one race finishes, you’ll start thinking about the next. Use a recovery cream/oil containing Arnica or Escin – these are active components with an anti-inflammatory effect. Some creams also contain caffeine to energise the tissues and improve circulation to aid recovery. Massage the belly of the muscle in circular motions alternating with vertical, upward movements.
Warm-up oils increase the temperature of the muscle and in cool weather or out of season events take the bite of a cold start.

Recovery bars and drinks such as protein shakes are a great way to replenish energy stores, rehydrate and contain protein for repair.

This Buying Guide gives our customers general advice on Triathlon Accessories. It is a guide only and we always recommend visiting one of our stores or contacting one of the experts in our sales team on +44(0)1293 574 900 if in doubt about your needs.
 
This story was last updated on 14/08/2014

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