By Tom Demerly
There are certain gift ideas that are necessities to the triathlete on your shopping list. Some are classics that have become icons in the triathlon world. Our holiday list has both and is packed with great ideas every athlete will love!
Oakley invented the sport glass category. Triathletes started wearing Oakley sunglasses in the early 1980’s. The brand has found its way onto the face of Lance Armstrong, Greg LeMond and virtually every top triathlete. With more advanced, proprietary technologies that any other sport eyewear Oakley glasses are the most sophisticated protection you can put over your eyes. No other eyewear brand comes close. Fit, function, durability and versatility make Oakley the technology leader. Tradition and style make them the perfect gift.
Timex Ironman 150 Lap TAP Sleek.
The Ironman watch saved Timex and helped make “Ironman” a household word. U.S. Presidents have worn it, triathletes depend on it. The latest version continues the legacy with an enormous, crystal-clear display and a unique TAP feature for easy lap timing. The limited orange color has become the modern triathlete’s “bling”. New features include separate alarms for drinking and eating during long events and a pace feature that helps you hit your racing and training goals. The new Timex Ironman 150 TAP Sleek is the reason Timex has remained a timeless classic.
Headsweats hats are the official performance headwear of more endurance events than any other brand. Elegant, simple technology is the reason. Coolmax wicking fabric, Coolmax Terry sweatbands and AquaTrans Elastic help manage perspiration while functional design like a black under-visor anti glare panel reduces eyestrain. The Headsweats hat is your first line of defense against heat, glare and the sun during a long training day or the final miles of your “A” race. Headsweats classic Race Hat is low profile for a sleek, performance fit and is fully adjustable for hat size and includes full SPF 20 sun protection fabric. Simple, elegant classics make great gifts and a Headsweats hat is something every triathlete recognizes and appreciates.
DeSoto Forza Tri Suit.
There are a few true classics in our young sport and Emilio Desoto’s one piece triathlon suit is one of those classics. DeSoto is a small California company founded by one of triathlon’s original stars, Emilio DeSoto. His experience in triathlon has provided insights into fit, fabric and function that most other apparel manufacturers are still figuring out. The details include the Compressor double legband that provides support during the difficult bike to run transition. For long events the Forza Tri Suit uses four pockets and genuine DeSoto Skin Cooler Stretch panels for freedom of movement, superior fit and long distance temperature relief. The DeSoto Forza Tri Suit is the one piece wardrobe every triathlete needs on race day.
DeSoto 400-Mile Bib Bike Shorts.
Every experienced cyclist will tell you that bib shorts offer superior fit and comfort. When you combine the classic bib design with Emilio DeSoto’s innovative patterns and fabric technologies you have a modern classic. Emilio DeSoto himself selected the pad used in the 400-Mile Short, the perfect balance of moisture transmission, heat and friction reduction. He didn’t stop there. Unique compression fabrics like Forza Compressor were patterned to provide resistance to fatigue. Even the DeSoto Curvilinear seamlines are specifically placed for superior fit and range of motion. Tested in consecutive century rides, no other short is recommended as often on user-generated internet forums. Details include 3 pockets for electronics and nutrition. Emilio even developed a better fitting leg that doesn’t need uncomfortable rubber grippers found on euro-shorts. This is the triathletes’ bib short and a gift that will become more valuable and appreciated as your athlete’s rides gets longer and longer.
TYR Transition Backpack.
Popular triathlon lore claims the transition bag was invented when athletes had a difficult time getting their equipment to the race venue on their bikes on race morning. The TYR Transition Backpack is the answer to the issue. An impressive value, the TYR Transition Backpack offers impressive utility with two internal mesh shoe pockets and a removable wetsuit bag. A large outside mesh pocket accommodates wet towels and dirty transition mats and the 5” expandable bottom compartment can swallow a soaked wetsuit whole while keeping the rest of the contents dry inside the main pack. Since this is a panel-loading design it is easy to get to items in the bottom of the pack without having to remove everything inside, a boon on dark race mornings when you’re looking for your earplugs before your wave goes off. The T”Y”R Transition Backpack is a great gift that every triathlete will appreciate for training and racing and a true classic in the sport.
Quintana Roo CD 0.1.
One way to avoid the wind is to step out of the way. That’s the “Shift” technology in the Quintana Roo CD 0.1 triathlon bike. The CD 0.1 achieves a low aerodynamic drag coefficient by off-setting the down tube to redirect air flow making the bike faster. Solid mechanical spec provide excellent shifting, dependable braking and light weight in a package that is perfect for your triathlete’s first triathlon or first Ironman. The Quintana Roo CD 0.1 uses a variable geometry seatpost for a wide range of virtual seat tube angles making this a versatile bike across many athletes’ builds. Sold without a saddle since triathlete’s always prefer to choose their own saddle, the Quintana Roo CD 0.1 comes out of the box with Vision’s carbon fiber, aerodynamic disk crankset, Vision aerobars and Shimano Dura-Ace components. At the end-of-season 37% discount this makes a dream gift at a real world price for that special triathlete.
Cobb Cycling Saddles.
Ask any triathlete what their biggest problem is on the bike and they will tell you: Saddle discomfort. John Cobb, former bike fitter to Lance Armstrong and other star cyclists and triathletes, designed Cobb Cycling Saddles to address the number one issue of every multisport rider: Saddle discomfort. Using five key technologies including medical grade closed cell memory foam (like expensive mattresses!), the V-Flow ventilation to reduce heat at the saddle area, a concave profile for optimal posture in the aero bars, craftsmanship usually reserved for the interior of a Mercedes and the optimally positioned Cobb cycling Cut-out. These five unique technologies make Cobb Cycling saddles the leader in multisport saddles. No gift is more comforting to a triathlete than one that relieves saddle discomfort and keeps the athlete on their bike for hours of discomfort-free riding. Cobb Cycling saddles are a gift that your triathlete will always appreciate and recommend to others.
Zipp Race Wheels.
If you go to the Ford Ironman World Triathlon Championship in Kona, Hawaii and count the wheels in the transition area you will see that Zipp brand racing wheels aren’t the category leader, they are the category owner. Zipp aero race wheels are the choice of more athletes than any other race wheel brand. The reason is simple: Superior technology. From the unique new Firecrest shape to the new carbon fiber clincher construction Zipp leads the category in technology and performance. Zipp hand builds race wheels here in the U.S. not far from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway using proprietary technologies they wouldn’t let us photograph. A complete wheel line that includes the versatile, every-condition and terrain Zipp 404 Firecrest and the deep section Zipp 808 and 1080 along with their legendary disk wheels for optimal aerodynamics. Our staff are experts in Zipp technology and can help determine the ultimate race wheel gift for the triathlete on your list. Zipp race wheels may be the one gift that takes your athlete from the pack to the podium- a gift they’ll never forget!
Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs.
Earplugs for Christmas? Really? Really! Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs do more than just keep water out of an athlete’s ears. Navy SEALs and long distance swimmers will tell you that cold water in the ear can cause vertigo, disorientation and accelerate hypothermia. Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs are wetsuits for your ears! The Moldable silicone putty earplugs fit every athlete perfectly and seal out water to help prevent swimmer’s ear and cold water vertigo. The plugs are moldable and non-toxic, non-allergenic silicone. Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs come in a handy clear carrying case and are easy and comfortable to wear under a swim cap. Great for training and racing they are the one accessory a triathlete won’t be able to swim without, well, these and a swimsuit! A great stocking stuffing for the multisport athlete and swimmer on your list, Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs are a simple gift that athletes always appreciate.
Zoot CompressRx Recovery Tight
Everybody wants a hug during the holidays and the Zoot CompressRx Recovery Tight is a hug in a box that helps athletes recover after a tough race and all year long. Zoot’s ZoneRx compression and stability design help reduce muscle soreness after a race and facilitates recovery. SynchroRc Polypropylene fabric combined with Silver Tech fibers keep an athlete cool and comfortable after a hard event. Unique panels provide graduated compression and support where an athlete needs it. Recovery tights might not be as nice as a hug on Christmas morning but they come pretty close after a tough workout or a hard race day, and you can take them with you in your race bag too!
Craft Base Layers: Men’s ZEROextreme.
The perfect sporting garment would manage heat and cold, perspiration and ventilation across a wide range of temperatures and exertion levels. The masters of base layers, Craft, combine their Pro Zero and Pro Cool fabrics to span the temperature range from as low as 35 degrees all the way up to 65 degrees. This is truly a versatile all-season foundational garment. Lightweight and tailored, the Craft ZEROextreme base layer is among the most versatile technical apparel a triathlete can own for cycling and running. Combined with a jacket like the Zoot WRKS XOtherm you can train outdoors below freezing. On a cool spring morning the men’s (and women’s!) ZEROextreme can be layered under a jersey or worn alone on a long run. Comfort is the key to Craft base layers and the ZEROextreme line of base layers from Craft unlocks all four seasons for training comfort.