Equipment for Triathlon
You can spend as much or as little as you want on triathlon equipment, but there are a few items of kit that are required for a race, these being a swimsuit, trainers and a bike.
As far as clothing goes a normal swim suit is more than adequate for a triathlon, however you may find a trisuit is more suitable for your needs as it is designed to be quick drying whilst also having a small chamois fitted in the shorts for added comfort on the bike without impacting on your running or swimming. Trisuits will also reduce your transition time by you not having to put on any additional clothes whilst wet. Most leading sports brands now make trisuits, I’d always suggest getting a two piece suit rather than a one piece as that makes toilet visits much easier.
Any bike is acceptable on a triathlon except for fixed wheel bikes. Every bike needs to pass a safety inspection which normally occurs as you take your bike into the transition area. The key areas being checked are the brakes and steering, and they also check you have bar ends on the bike, these being the bungs that are placed in the ends of drop handle bars. It is also a requirement that you wear a cycle helmet when competing in races.
One of the key extra expenses is a wetsuit. These are only required for Open Water swims or sea swims, ie those not in a swimming pool, and are generally compulsory unless the water temperature exceeds 22C when it becomes compulsory not to wear a wetsuit. You will generally find though that the water temperature will conveniently be just below the no wetsuit temperature limit as most events would prefer swimmers in wetsuits as the added buoyancy aids the competitor. You generally will be given a bright coloured swimming hat at open water swim events so that the organisers can see all the swimmers in the thrash of a mass start and throughout the swim leg. Other swim equipment to consider purchasing are a decent pair of goggles, you may find you need a couple of pairs with different colour lenses to keep good visibility in a range of weather conditions. A non petroleum based lubricant like Bodyglide is handy for wetsuit swims to prevent chaffing and aid the ease of exiting your wetsuit. Bike extras can be anything from a bottle cage and bottle to bike shoes with cleats, an aero helmet, tri bars.