Please note: the following opinions are strictly those of Coach Vic Acosta and do not reflect those of Dreamfar Triathlon so if you're a big time sponsor and you'd like us to push your gear we'll say and write anything you'd like.
This is our yearly review in how to actually get into (or stay) in triathlon without going broke or divorced. After months of research (I'm really slow on google) we've found the best and cheapest gear that will actually get you through real training and compete at a high level. So here we go.
Bike - Pictured above is the Schwinn Volare 1300 which is just under $300 and if you buy the previous season's maybe just under $250. But this thing is well built and it'll get you up and over hills the same as anyone else. We're talking basic components but the frame is good and in time you can replace the component set as you'd like and even replace the wheels. But it's great as is. This is the first year our usual favorite, the Motobecane, has been de-throned.
Running Shoes - First we recommend you not buy anything that says, "Lite" in the title. Second, yes you can buy a good pair of running shoes for $60 to $80. It only took today's pro Ironman athletes to break the records set by people who barely had running sneakers 30 years ago. Think about that. Ditto for marathoners. The EVA rubber used in running shoes costing $40 to $80 is the same as the world champions were wearing just a decade ago. So this year we are recommending the Saucony Cohesion line of running shoes. It's a good old fashioned shock absorption shoe without that bouncy return today's $180 shoes have. Your running store doesn't carry the Cohesion line or other moderately priced shoes from adidas, New Balance, Nike, etc. because selling $100 shoes makes more money.
Wetsuit - Wetsuits are like high tech electronics. As time goes by they get better and cheaper. Unfortunately wetsuits are also the used car dealership sector of triathlon. Now if you go by the major reviews done by most major triathlon magazines and websites you'll see that best "budget" price is $200. Nope. No. Nope. The best prices for a good wetsuit go from $60 to about $130. Amazingly wetsuits are always "discounted", on "sale, or "End of Season Closeout" (like in July - must be winter somewhere on Earth.) At this moment Dreamfar Triathlon recommends the Extreme line of wetsuits which can range from $69 to $124. They do the job which is to float you up closer to the surface and make you look like an overstuffed sausage in front of hundreds extremely fit people - just like any other $999 wet suit. And just like that sub-Grand wet suit you're going to pee in this one just as well.
There's a caveat. If you're training for an Ironman you're screwed and you'll have to do what everybody else does: hock the car, your first born, and take out a second mortgage.