Doing your First Triathlon? Here is What You Need.

Seems like triathletes have a huge amount of gear that can consume a small warehouse.  For first-timers the amount of gear required for the swim, bike, and run, can be daunting.  So let’s break it down on a list showing the basics and optional stuff that you may want to bring.  Grab a backpack or transition bag to load some of the gear in. Your bike will carry the rest.  After the first couple of races you will soon learn what’s needed or not needed, and look like a seasoned athlete in no time.


  • Tri suit (usually called your “kit”)
  • Swim cap
  • Goggles
  • Towel



  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Cycling shoes
  • Cycling socks
  • Sunglasses or clear eye protection
  • Water bottles (for frame cages) or hydration pack
  • Spare tube or tubes (and/or patch kit)
  • Tire levers
  • Cyclist’s multi-tool (with Allen wrenches)
  • CO2 inflator (with cartridges) or mini-pump



  • Running shoes
  • Running socks
  • Cap or visor
  • Sunglasses



  • First-aid items (blister treatment, bandages)
  • Medical info/emergency contact card
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Chamois cream
  • Baby wipes (for cleanups) or hand sanitizer
  • Race number and documents
  • Race belt (for number)
  • Performance gels/chews/bars
  • Performance beverages or drink mixes
  • Handlebar end caps (yes, officials will check to make sure your handlebars have end caps)
  • Ear plugs
  • Watch, heart rate monitor
  • Spare goggles
  • Ear plugs
  • Floor pump
  • Cycling gloves


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