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.  DO NOT LOAD YOUR STUFF IN A 5 GALLON BUCKET!  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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