I will endeavour to keep it up to date if and when I change some gear for any particular reason.
I should say at this point that most of this gear is stuff that I have paid for. If I am lucky enough to have a piece of equipment because somebody has given it to me, then I will say so.
I am an engineer by education, so my brain works in a certain way. Therefore, there is a reason behind pretty much every item of gear I have chose to use. I will try and give some of these reasons in this section. I apologise if sometimes this seems a bit long winded, but if you have read any of this blog before, you have probably figured out that this is kind of my way.
So onto the gear in no particular order but starting with the big one...
|Race Bike||I just recently changed to the Ridley Dean FAST. I should be up front and say that one of the reasons I ride the Dean is that Ridley Australasia has agreed to let me be an ambassador for the brand, but that isn't the only reason.
Whilst I am new to the Dean, so far I have been impressed. Aerodynamically the bike is super slick. No exposed cables here. All the usual aero tricks you would expect in a modern TT bike are here. What really impresses me though are the extra aero touches that go beyond the norm. The Ridley FAST technologies as they are called. Features like the F-Forks and the F-Surface demonstrate a company willing to think beyond the norm and that really impresses me. On top of that the build quality is second to none.
|Wheels||A couple of years ago I started using an Aussie brand of wheel called Caden. Ben from Caden was nice enough to help me out with a couple of sets of wheels, but even without that they would have been high on my list of choices for a few very good reasons.|
Firstly these wheels are designed in Australia. I say designed since the actual manufacture of the rims takes place in Taiwan. However, everything else, the design, the production of the molds, the building of the wheels etc happens in Australia. The local production was part of the reason I decided to ride these wheels. An Aussie company daring to try and crack it into the tough race wheel market is worth supporting.
However, the other reason I chose these wheels is because they are awesome wheels. Well engineered wide profile rims (28mm wide rim with a 26mm brake track) with a good blunt nosed aerodynamic profile. Stiff and lighter than most competitors (lighter than Zipp), well made, the list goes on. And then the price, all this for around $1300 for a set (yes a set). I couldn't go past that.
|Running Shoes||In 2013 I switched shoes to Mizuno and I have been loving them ever since. I have since become sponsored by them, but I was running in them first, the sponsorship is just icing on the cake. My current training shoe is a Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 and I have a pair of Mizuno Sayonara II for racing. I also have a pair of Mizuno Hitogami itching for a run. The shoes are clearly well thought out, supportive where they need to be, but also managing to stay light. Just a well designed shoe.|
Back in 2012 I developed stress fracture in my right shin. Immediately after that I started running the in the heaviest, most supportive shoes on the market. I resigned myself to the fact that running in heavy shoes was the new normal for me. Switching to Mizuno has shown me that supportive doesn't have to equal heavy. I no longer had to compromise.
|I have a couple of different options here.|
For normal races I used a Lazer Wasp Air. For years my normal race helmet was a Lazer Tardiz. I orginally got it because the price was right, but over the years it really won me over. So when it was time to replace it I went back to Lazer. Just like the Tardiz, the Wasp Air seems well thought out and all indicates are that the helmet is very aero, which is sort of the point. And finally it fits my giant head, which is a problem with TT helmets more often than you might think.
I have recently starting using a Suomy GT-R which is a great snub tailed TT helmet similar to the Wasp Air but with a bit more ventilation. That extra ventilation is why I have started using it, I am hoping it will be a TT helmet that I can happily use in tropical races.
|Nutrition||This is a fairly important thing to get right when it comes to long events like Ironman distance triathlons. I have a sponsorship with Hammer Nutrition, however, I was using their products long before that. For me my go to product is Perpetuem, which I use in all my races as my main fuel source. However, I also use Endurolytes in hotter races, Fizz pre and post hot sessions/races and Recoverite after hard/long training. |
For me their products demonstrate an understanding of just what athletes want and need. Simple things like that fact that Perpetuem isn't sweet and that it is intended to be mixed to high concentrations. It doesn't sound like much, but trust me in an Ironman it can become a big deal. To me that shows that they get it.
Plus the products deliver exactly what it says on the box, all the energy and electrolytes that you need to get you through your long day in the sun.
|Wind Trainer||I have never been a big fan of wind trainers, however, in early 2014 I became increasingly convinced it was something I probably needed to add to my training. The reason for this was two fold, to help with my cycling and to get me out of bad weather. After much deliberating I settled on a Wahoo Kickr. I went with the Kickr for a number of reasons. It is a direct drive mount (no back wheel) which is a design I like, it has controllable power levels, it is relatively quiet (for a trainer), it has useful software, it is well made, the list goes on. In the time I have had it I have been really impressed. It has certainly got me over my dislike of trainers. In fact I can go further than that. In the time I have had the trainer my riding has improved in leaps and bounds. I attribute a large part of that improvement to the Kickr. Big call I know, but I believe it.|
|Wetsuit||I have recently started swimming in a Mako B-First who have come on board as a sponsor for the 2015/16 racing season. The B-First is a great example of well thought out wetsuit. Insanely flexible neoprene across the arms and shoulders. Just the right level of buoyancy to help you maintain a neutral body position without going over the top (which a lot of suits do) Slick surfaces, low cut neck line to help prevent chafe, a reverse zip (which I am a big fan of). The list goes on. All the features you need to ensure a fast suit through the water and in T1.|
|Swim Skin||I use a Huub SKN-1 Swim Skin for non wetsuit races. This thing has been a revelation to me. Before swimming in it I simply couldn't believe that a textile suit could make much speed difference, but use has shown me that this suit is worth around 3 or 4 seconds/100m for me. It does it with a combination of clever compression and using slick materials. Amazing. Be warned they are tight, but they are supposed to be. Whilst it is tight I haven't found that it restricts me in anyway.|
|Trisuit||I have raced in a whole bunch now and have liked them all. In the past I mostly used a BlueSeventy one piece trisuit which I really liked. I have also used a 2XU one piece and thought that was good. I now use a Hincapie two piece and that has opened my eyes up to two pieces suits. I have been a big fan of two pieces for long course racing since. However, I am about to go back to a one piece as I jump on the aero suit bandwagon. The one I have is from 2XU and so far it seems great. Comfortable and quick. Time will tell how it goes in the long run.|