Clothing and Gear Necessary For Your First Triathlon Competition

Most of the beginner triathlon athletes usually stay quite confused about the selection of right triathlon clothing and gear. If you are also one of them, then this guide will help you a lot in finding the best clothing and equipment. 

Thus, to help the beginner triathlon athletes, we here bring you the list of all essential clothing and gear that you have to buy. 

What should you wear in a Triathlon?

There are two main categories of clothes that you can wear during your triathlon training and competition. 

The first option is a two-piece suit and the second one is a one-piece tri suit. 

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One-Piece Triathlon Suit

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a single piece that has both top and bottom stitched together. This is very easy to wear a suit that works well in the water, on the run, and the bike as well. It also offers the facility of carrying anything or any nutrition throughout the race as it has pockets at the rear. 

Two-Piece Triathlon Suit

This type of suit is more practical than the above one as it has separate top and shorts. A two-piece suit is more suitable for training whereas for the actual competition, choose a one-piece suit. 

Two-piece triathlon suit is most preferred by most of the athletes because it is easy to pull down in the washroom. Moreover, it makes the transition very easy as you can quickly change the clothes.

Triathlon Shorts 

De Soto Forza 4-Pocket Tri Short - (Black, Small)
  • 1" (2.54cm) lower in the rise than previous models making it more of a regular rise than a high rise. This piece sits just below the hip bones.
  • 4mm Clasico Integrated Pad is softer with more stretch. The pad is sewn onto the surrounding panels instead of inside the garment, so there are no seams on any part of where you sit. We have...
  • Seamless inner thigh eliminates friction and increases durability.
  • Made of Forza Compressor fabric
  • 3-inch 2-piece Mobius Comfort Compression leg-bands that offer compression without tight constriction

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The triathlon shorts are just like the bike shorts that come with built-in chamois. The main benefit of triathlon shorts over bike short is that they offer more flexibility as they are quite thin. You can comfortably wear triathlon shorts for the run, bike, and swim. You do not have to worry about the wetness of the shorts after a swim as shorts will quickly drain the water while providing the comfortable padding on the bike. 

Triathlon Top 

Sugoi Men's RPM Tri Suit
  • Stretch drawstring with elastic waist keeps the shorts securely in place
  • Mechanical stretch fabric features excellent stretch and recovery and is highly resistant to chlorine degradation
  • Flat seams for increased comfort and low profile fit
  • Ergonomic front jock-style liner for increased comfort and support

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The triathlon tops are mostly skin-tight and help in lowering the level of drag in water due to their spandex material. Most of the triathlon tops come with pockets in the back. 

Sleeved and Sleeveless Tops

These days most of the athletes prefer to wear sleeved tops or suits. The full sleeved tops offer more aerodynamics than others. Sleeved tops are also very beneficial to protect your arms from the harmful rays of the Sun or when you do not want to apply sunscreen during the race. 


For swim leg of the race, you need a swim skin or wetsuit, swim goggles, and swim cap. 


Buying the right kind of wetsuit is very important for better performance. You have to choose the wetsuit that is made explicitly for triathlete competition and not wakeboarding. 

Must Read: 5 Top-Quality Entry Level Triathlon Wetsuits of 2019

Sleeved Wetsuit

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Sleeved suits offer better speed, and their extra width is more suitable to grab the water. Sleeved suits work correctly if they properly fit your body. This is the best choice for cold water race and for those athletes who do not overheat quickly. 

Sleeveless Wetsuit

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Sleeveless wetsuits make your shoulder and arms feel more relaxed and full of freedom. This type of suit is beneficial during shoulder injury or arm injury. 


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Swimskin is suitable to wear for the race, which is not wetsuit legal. It is quite similar to a wetsuit but made of different materials and offers high-level of hydrodynamics. 

This will help you to achieve more speed and hydrodynamics during the swim. However, it is quite expensive than other wetsuits. 

Swim Cap 

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After the completion of every race of the triathlon competition, you will get a swim cap. 

Swim Goggles

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For swimming in the open water during triathlon competition, you need to wear good swim goggles. High-quality swim goggles always offer a good range of vision, and they are very comfortable to wear as they made of an excellent silicone seal. Just choose the glasses that you find quite easy and comfortable to wear. 

Transition 1 

After the transition 1, you have to give your body a relaxing and comforting experience to shed off all the stress.  For this, you will need a few essential things, such as a towel and a transition mat. Also, it is also essential to keep your feet clean from the dirt you have picked during run and swim. It is better to have an extra water bottle in your bag so that you can clean your feet anytime. 

Triathlon Race Belt 

Running Race Number Bib Belt With Elastic Webbing - Fits All Size For Marathon, Triathlon and Cycling
  • NO TIE SHOE LACES INCLUDED: Enhance your running experience even more with our reflective system and elastic no-tie shoelaces. Perfect comfort with adjustable tension, superior quality, and super easy...
  • COMFORTABLE WEAR – Lightweight of only 0.17LB perfect for any kind of sports activities such as running, cycling, and racing like Marathon and Triathlon. High quality adjustable elastic belt to fit...
  • MULTI PURPOSE & EASY USE: Insulated zip pouch + energy gel loops + race bib toggles + reflective trim. Use as a triathlon belt, trail running belt, ironman belt, marathon belt, or endurance race belt.
  • WATER RESISTANT PHONE FRIENDLY POUCH: – Easy storage in a neoprene pouch protects your phone and other essential belongings.
  • 1 YEAR OF FULL REFUND WARRANTY – buy with confidence! If you don't like our running bib belt for any reason contact us and we will take care of that!

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In triathlon competition, you have you wear your race number, and for that, you need to use a race belt. In most of the other running sports, athletes usually pin on their body, but it is not allowed in the triathlon. 

Triathlon Watch 

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A triathlon watch is also a vital part of your training and competition. Most of the triathlon watches are water-proof so that you can comfortably wear a watch during the swim leg of the race. However, if you get a watch which is not water-proof, then mount the one on your bike. 

Must Read: Best Triathlon Watch (2019) Buyer’s Guide

Bike Helmet 

Giro Vanquish MIPS Cycling Helmet - Men's
  • TransformAir Technology
  • EPS liner with progressive layering
  • Integrated MIPS Technology
  • Magnetic Vivid shield by Zeiss
  • Stealth shield dock

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A bike helmet is essential for protecting your head from any injury. While buying a helmet, make sure it is easy to handle, and you can quickly set it up. During the transition, you can quickly wear it on your head by keeping the clasp pre-open. It is not necessary to buy a racing helmet; you can use any helmet approved by a triathlon company. It is recommended to buy a helmet that offers more aerodynamic features. 

Must Read: An Ultimate Buyer’s Guide To Buy Best Triathlon Helmet


Every triathlon athlete should always wear sunglasses irrespective of any weather condition. A bright pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from dust, mud, and rain. Make sure that your sunglasses will easily fit inside your helmet. 

Cycling Shoes

Fizik Men's Cycling
  • Laser perforated sole
  • Fully ventilated carbon locking system
  • Infinito Boa double insole
  • Weight: 246 g

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are just a beginner in triathlon sport, then you can wear your regular running shoes. But for competition, it is vital to get cycling shoes with cleats so that you can clip them into the pedal. There are many different types of cleats available for cycling shoes. Plus, cycling shoes divided into two categories, which include road cycling shoes and triathlon cycling shoes. Triathlon specific shoes are better than cycling shoes because that come with a Velcro closure that closes toward the inside. 


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You can wear your bike shoes without socks, but it is recommended to wear socks during the race. Make sure to choose soft and comfortable socks for your triathlon race. 


For competing in a fierce triathlon competition, you can get the fastest and latest bike of the year. But for a sprint triathlon bike, you can get a bike with aero bars, shifters, and bullhorns. That will do the right work for your race. 

Road Bike

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If you are a beginner and just going for your first triathlon, then it is better to get a road bike. This is because you can quickly get aero bars for your road bike. 

Must Read: Buyer’s Guide To Buy The Best Triathlon And Road Bikes


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Bike GPS is , and you can easily mount it on your bike. 

Water Bottles

Hydration is essential for completing your race and allowing your body to work correctly during the whole race. There are many different types of hydration system available in the market that you can use to mount one or two bottles on your bike. 

Flat kit 

Keeping your flat kit during triathlon race is very important. This will help you to change the bike tire during the race quickly. Make sure to carry all the necessary equipment for changing the tire. Most essential items include CO2 cartridge, bike tools, CO2 inflator, tire levers, and an extra tube.

Tire Pump

It is better to bring a tire pump in a triathlon race. When your bike runs at high-speed, there are chances that you will need to put more pressure on it. Most of the road bike tires need optimal pressure of 110 to 120 psi. 

Cycling Gloves

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The choice of cycling gloves is entirely dependent upon the personal preferences of athletes. But most of the triathletes wear gloves during a long race. However, it is good always to carry a pair of suitable cycling gloves. 

Transition 2 

After reaching at your transition 2, you need to use your race belt quickly. After removing your helmet and shoes, promptly wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the Sun and dust. It is essential to make your eyes comfortable, especially when the race is quite long. 


Wearing a hat is also very important for protecting your eyes along with the sunglasses. This will also prevent the sweat from running down into your face and create a distraction. Also, to keep your head cool, you can put sponges or ice in there. 

Running Shoes

Running shoes are also highly necessary during the transition. Make sure that the shoes you choose offer the right level of ventilation. The main benefit of running shoes is that you can comfortably wear them without socks as well. 


Last but not least, you also have to consider diet during triathlon competition. The water bottle is a must, but if you are running for a long race, then you need to keep some proper nutrition to maintain your energy level. There are always stations to fuel your needs, but it is better to keep some diet with you all the time. You can also take gels during your transitions. 


These all are the essential things that you need for your triathlon competition. During the swim, you have to wear a wetsuit, but if the water is warm, then it is better to choose swim skin. 

For bike race, you need to wear a helmet and sunglasses depending upon your needs and weather as well. Just make sure to choose all your clothing and gear for triathlon competition from any excellent and well-recognized brand that offers highly durable items. 

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