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How to be well equipped for a triathlon?

To be well equipped for a triathlon, one must take into account one's level in the three disciplines. If you are a beginner, a neoprene suit with a good degree of buoyancy should be preferred. If you are at an advanced level, it is preferable to choose an aerodynamic bike and light running shoes. We explain everything to you!

How to choose the right trifunction?

What is the purpose of the trifunction?

The trifunction is worn throughout the entire triathlon. In swimming, it is known for its hydrophobic qualities (does not retain water); in cycling and running, the trifunction preserves the comfort of the crotch thanks to its chamois leather; in running, its dorsal ventilation zip provides good ventilation.

How is the trifunction chosen?

The trifunction is chosen according to the distance to be covered, and not according to your level.
Our recommendations :

→ short runs and beginner's runs: Zerod Start trifunction.
→ long distance races: trifunction HUUB Anemoi.
→ Olympic formats: trifunction Sailfish Trisuit Comp.

Trifunction with or without sleeves?

It's a matter of taste, no more and no less! Trifunctions with sleeves, on the other hand, protect the shoulders better from the sun.
The trifunction is also available as a separate shorts and top to make it easier to satisfy the most pressing needs....

See all trifunctions

How to choose the right neoprene suit?

Do I have to wear a neoprene suit?

Wearing a neoprene wetsuit is mandatory in waters below 16°C and optional in waters between 16 and 24°C.

How do I choose my neoprene wetsuit?

To choose your neoprene suit, you must define your level. If you are a beginner triathlete, it is better to choose a thick wetsuit: its buoyancy optimizes body alignment and saves you effort. Intermediate swimmers can afford a wetsuit that is thinner and more hydrodynamic. Experienced swimmers generally choose a thin, flexible neoprene suit that keeps the natural swimming motion intact.

Best neoprene wetsuits per level:

• Beginner level: wetsuits Vibrating Sailfish, HUUB Aegis and Zerod Atlante have a high buoyancy ratio (5:3 ratio), facilitate body alignment in the water and save your efforts.

• intermediate level: focus on hydrodynamics with the Zerod Neptune, the HUUB Aerious and the Sailfish One.

• Confirmed level: aim for a 4:4 ratio with HUUB Brownlee Agilis suits, Sailfish Ultimate, Zerod Vanguardand Zerod Proflex. Flexibility and glide to the appointment!

Warning: how to put on a neoprene suit?

The worst enemy of neoprene suits is the "nail bite": you have to put on a neoprene suit by pinching with your fingers and not by pulling with your fingertips (moreover with your nails) because the neoprene cuts instantly. Caution, therefore !
Explanations in pictures :

Source: Z3R0D. How to put on a neoprene triathlon wetsuit [online video]. YouTube, May 24, 2016 [view on October 16, 2019].

Against glare: photochromic glasses

To avoid being bothered by the sun, choose wide-vision, anti-fog and anti-UV goggles.
The must : the so-called "photochromic" lenses change tint according to the intensity of the light radiation, like the glasses HUUB Aphotic.
Mirror" lenses provide excellent performance over long distances (best examples: Arena Cobra Tri and Cobra Ultra Swipe).

Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe

Additional accessories

If a bathing cap is mandatory (and provided by the organizer), we advise you to wear a second one under your swimming goggles to prevent your goggles from being ripped off in the water at the start.

For races in fresh water, wear a neoprene hood will preserve your thermal comfort.

It is sometimes forgotten: the nose clip frees you from the stress of water entering your nostrils. Not negligible!

How to choose your triathlon bike and bike shoes?

Why use a bike specially made for triathlon?

A bike designed for triathlon offers a more aerodynamic position than a road bike. Its high air penetration allows you to save effort and gain power.

Source : Pinarello

Which bike to start in triathlon?

To start in triathlon, we recommend that you choose a classic road bike (such as the BMC Timemachine) to which you will add extensions to lower your chest and create aerodynamics.

To create even more speed, you can take a so-called "aero" bike (such as the Trek Madone). Its frame advances the body position while remaining comfortable.

Which bike to perform in triathlon ?

If you have an advanced level, the best performance will be offered by a bike entirely designed for triathlon (such as the Cube Aerium or the Cervélo P5 or P3). This type of bike creates a very important air penetration thanks to its plunging frame and its profiled handlebar with extensions.

See our triathlon bikes

The ideal frame size

A poorly chosen setting can cause discomfort and pain. To find your ideal frame size, multiply your crotch length by 0.66. You will get the result in centimeters. For a result in inches, multiply by 0.226*.

*Result given as an indication. To benefit from a complete postural study, we welcome you in our Lepape stores in Paris and Lyon.

Carbon or aluminum wheels?

That's the big question!

• Aluminum wheels: rather for beginners and for training (example: Mavic Aksium).
• Carbon wheels: rather for performance. Light and stiff, carbon wheels bring maximum performance (pair of Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon UST, pair of DT Swiss PRC 1100 DICUT 35...).

Good to know : for flat courses, prefer a profiled rim. For hilly courses, a low waist rim.

Spokes and triathlon tires: the spokes

For a maximum speed, we advise you to mix two types of wheels: spoked at the front and lenticular* at the rear :

roue lenticulaire

*A lenticular wheel is a solid wheel. Pushed by the wind, it stores power and generates speed. It allows you to be more competitive and to stand out from your competitors.

Triathlon spokes and tires: the tires

• I choose the easy way: a classic tire is practical and easy to use. And in case of a puncture, it's easy to replace.
• I choose the compromise: a "tubular" tire offers better performance than a conventional tire, but in case of a puncture, it takes a long time to replace it. Have a spare tire on hand to save time.

In any case, take an anti-flat tire spray with you. An indispensable ally!

Triathlon bike shoes: how to choose them?

Triathlon bike shoes have an inner lining that allows them to be worn without socks to ease the transition after swimming.

For your feet to dry quickly after swimming, choose ventilated shoes with mesh inserts, such as the Fizik Transiro Infinito R1 Knit, and put talcum powder inside the shoes.

Tip: To save time during the transition, choose a shoe with Velcro® closure such as the Cosmic Elite Tri by Mavic.


How to choose a triathlon bike helmet?

Ventilation of the helmet is an important criterion for comfort. However, the best performing helmets are also the least ventilated! A compromise has to be made:

• Either you keep your usual bike helmet for good ventilation;
• or you buy an "aero helmet" (if and only if your bike is also aero; otherwise, the helmet's performance will be lower). The aero helmet is very poorly ventilated but very efficient. Examples: the Giro Aerohead MIPS and the Kask Bambino Pro.

See triathlon helmets

Have you thought about home training? ?
In low season, when the triathlon competitions are over,
you can continue to train at home, on a home trainer.
I find the home trainer for me

How to choose the right running shoes for triathlon?

There are very few triathlon shoes available. For the running event, it is indeed a running shoe that is essential! If possible, prefer it with self-locking laces for ultra-fast lacing.Overview of the best models.

Beginner triathlete: comfort

The Asics Gel-Nimbus is a must for comfort. The Brooks Ghost and the Saucony Triumph offer a good compromise between cushioning and dynamism.

Intermediate triathlete: the compromise between comfort and dynamism

The adidas adizero Boston combines energy return and lightness. The Saucony Kinvara offers optimal dynamism.

Seasoned triathlete: dynamism

Seasoned competitors will appreciate the dynamism and support provided by the Brooks Hyperion, the adidas adizero adios or the Mizuno Sonic.

Are you aiming for first place on the podium? The New Balance 1500 is one of the few models specifically designed for triathlon. It offers perfect stability for athletes with a dynamic stride and who are looking for results. Its Boa closure saves time during transitions.

Our favorite in 2020: the Asics Gel-Noosa Trisets you apart from the competition with its explosive style. The little extra: the elastic laces lock the shoe in no time!

asics gel-noosa tri
QUICK TEST (one minute chrono!) to choose my running shoes

6 accessories not to be forgotten

The GPS watch

Montre GPS Garmin Forerunner 945

More and more popular among sportsmen and women, the GPS watch informs you in real time of your performances. It allows you to improve according to your practice and your environment. Among the most popular waterproof models on the market are :

• The Garmin Forerunner 945 Pack Triathlon Thanks to its "triathlon" function, the watch can be used throughout the competition. The plus point: the heart rate monitor belt included in the pack measures your heart rate, even in water.
• The Polar Vantage V Titan : This top-of-the-range model has many features specially developed for the triathlete.

I'm discovering GPS watches

The transition bag

Extremely practical, the transition bag is mainly chosen for its look and its particularities (number and location of pockets, etc.). It's up to you to choose the one that suits you best.


High-protein bars, energy gels, hydration drinks... Choosing your supplies is a matter of taste and performance expectations. In addition, be aware that the energy gel is the most practical format for eating without wasting time.

Good to know : you want to test the gels offered at the refueling before the D-day? Nutrition brands are often indicated on the website dedicated to the race. Otherwise, contact the organizer: they are used to being asked these questions.

See our bars, gels, cakes and drinks

Anti-friction cream

To avoid skin irritations and dryness caused by wearing clothes, spread anti-friction cream: on the neck for swimming, on the crotch for cycling, and on all areas sensitive to friction (buttocks, underarms, etc.).


The so-called "quick lacing" laces are designed to save you time during the T2 transition (from cycling to running). They are equipped with an elastic closure that offers a secure tightening (for example here).

The bib belt

The bib belt (three-point) is highly recommended to attach your bib to your triathlon outfit.
Without a bib belt, you will have to fasten your bib with a safety pin when you get out of the water . In other words: loss of time is guaranteed!

The whole Lepape team wishes you good races! And don't forget :
"Don't limit your challenges but challenge your limits!"


Discover our articles to help you progress in triathlon:

How to succeed in your first triathlon?
Preparing for your first Ironman
10 week training program
How to swim well in triathlon?
How to work well with transitions?

..And many other articles still to be found at !

Finale Grand prix de triathlon
Crédit : Aurélien Mahot