Triathlons on the other hand, oh my, my middle-class budget doesn't compare to my competitors at all the events. My bike was my biggest purchase, last May...
I will throw out numbers for you since I would want to know if I were looking into trying a triathlon. My bike cost $1300. This was not a low-end road bike, but it was FAR from a high-end bike. It is the Canondale Synapse and it is smooth and fast. This was totally worth the steep price tag, though I am thankful I don't have to do that again anytime soon. Would I like a triathlon bike?
I would love a triathlon bike, but it is not in my near future. Maybe when I am a middle-aged age grouper, but this new age grouper will stick to her road bike with new aero bars that my husband bought me for my birthday.
He found them on eBay for $65. This was a pretty good deal, so if you are looking to add aero bars to your bike, make sure you shop around.
Next up is my gear. If you are looking to buy a wetsuit, make sure you shop around. I found my wetsuit for under $150 with a discount code that was offered by my triathlon I was signed up for. The codes are floating around all the time, and this was for 60% off.
My helmet, pedals, and bike shoes were another $250. I bought the bike shoes off clearance so they were half off. I bought the basic clip in pedals and the cheapest helmet. I would LOVE to get an aero helmet before Lake Placid, but I don't think a $200 helmet is in the budget this year.
As for triathlon clothes, I purchased a few pairs of tri shorts and a few tops from Athleta. The shorts are around $60 each, but I finally found a pair of tri shorts that I love. Athleta just came out with the Queen K shorts and I HIGHLY recommend them to you.
They are by far the most comfortable tri shorts I have worn and they are actually cute. And, if you donate to Team in Training through my blog you are entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Athelta so they could be even cheaper for you.
And the technology is the part that is getting to me right now. Currently I ride with my Polar RCX5 + cadence sensor. It keeps track of my heart rate and cadence while indoors. Outdoors it has a GPS which allows me to track my speed and distance. I am currently looking at getting the speed sensor for it so that I can find out the speed and distance that I am doing indoors as I feel the motivation to ride harder may be higher if I can see actual results. I don't really count the unit as an expense because I had it before I started doing triathlons. I do count the accessories as an expense. The cadence sensor was $50 and the speed sensor would be another $50. If you are looking to add this to your Garmin you can buy a cadence/speed sensor for $40. These are small expenses, but I have avoided them because I have also been looking at the Garmin 910XT.
Or the Garmin 505 Bike computer.
These both have pretty big price tags, but I know I want something to help me on my 100 mile bike rides this summer.
All these expenses are just additional things I felt were necessary to purchase in order to have a successful triathlon season. If I were planning on doing a sprint triathlon, I would not have invested so much money. I did a sprint last year and it was so fast that I don't think the extras made that much of a difference. Since I am training for an Ironman I have put extra money into it including a monthly check to my coach, but I know it is a good investment. I cut down on other expenses this year in order to make this work. (Including reducing my races. I used to spend $50/month on races and this year I am only signed up for Lake Placid and the Boston Marathon.) Sure, I am looking forward to post-Ironman training when I can relax a little bit, but I am having a BLAST and I know that come July this will all be worth it.