How much money do you really need to spend on gear?

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So you’ve decided to take on an athletic challenge – you’ve entered that bike sportif, triathlon or adventure race – now you just need the gear! The question is, do you need to drop thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest in carbon, aero, digitally enabled equipment? Tune in to find out.


00:02:09 Gear can be a costly obsession.

00:06:35 You don’t need expensive gear.

00:11:59 Be frugal and prioritize value.

00:19:46 Consider cost-value balance in purchases.

00:25:37 Consider the value of time.

00:26:03 Evaluate your investments for happiness.

Daren’s DIY Time Trial Bike Build Stats

  • Photos
  • Brand New Aluminum Frame – $150
  • Wheels & Tyres (were sourced off another bike built separately) – $700
  • Aero Rear Disc Cover – $90
  • Black Spray Paint – $10
  • Shimano 105/Ultegra/Dura Ace Groupset – $200
  • Other Accessories (Sourced from other bikes; Garmin, Water bottle holders, Saddle, etc.) $Free.99 – $150
  • Total = $1300 and he consistently beats a lot of guys that have $5,000+ bikes

Gear can enhance endurance sports.

Gear can enhance endurance sports by providing athletes with the tools and equipment they need to perform at their best. Whether it’s swimming, cycling, or running, having the right gear can make a significant difference in an athlete’s performance and overall experience.

In the podcast, the hosts discuss the various gear required for triathlon, which is considered one of the “geariest” sports in the endurance sport world. They mention swim shorts, goggles, swim caps, pool boys, paddles, and training aids as essential gear for swimming. Additionally, they highlight the importance of having a coach and the option to invest in a wetsuit for racing.

When it comes to cycling, the hosts emphasize the significance of having a high-quality bike. They mention the debate between aluminum and carbon frames and the need for multiple bikes, including a time trial bike and a road bike. They also mention the importance of accessories such as shoes, helmets, lycra, socks, lights, and upgrades. The hosts even discuss the appeal of steel bikes and the potential for them to be used in triathlons.

Finally, in running, the hosts mention the necessity of shoes and shorts but also highlight the inclusion of a run power meter and sunglasses. They humorously mention the preference for running with a visor instead of a regular hat, emphasizing the attention to detail and specific gear choices in the endurance sport community.

Competing in triathlon doesn’t require expensive gear.

Competing in triathlon doesn’t require expensive gear. This is the main message conveyed in the podcast transcript. The hosts discuss the misconception that participating in triathlon requires a significant financial investment, which can deter potential athletes from getting involved in the sport. They emphasize that while gear can enhance performance, it is not the sole determinant of success.

The hosts share personal experiences and anecdotes to support their argument. They mention that they know individuals who are able to race and participate in triathlons at a high level on a frugal budget. They highlight that it is possible to be competitive in endurance sports without spending tens of thousands of dollars.

One of the hosts describes himself as a “frugal ass motherfucker” and explains that he used to be cheap but now considers himself to be frugal. He emphasizes that a lot of gear is fluff and hype created by marketing. He argues that the gains from spending more money on gear are diminishing and that athletes can achieve significant improvements with more affordable options.

The hosts specifically discuss the impact of gear on cycling performance. They mention that upgrading to more expensive bikes or wheels may only result in a 3% gain in a 40k time trial. They also highlight the importance of bike positioning, which can provide a 6% gain in performance. They give examples of how they were able to achieve these gains with affordable options, such as purchasing used time trial bars for $50 and a time trial helmet for $90.

The hosts also touch on the topic of clothing and its impact on aerodynamics. While there are fabrics that have been proven to be more aerodynamic than bare skin, they suggest that the gains from investing in expensive clothing may be small. They emphasize that the biggest bang for your buck in terms of gear is bike positioning and using a time trial bike, but even these gains can be achieved on a budget.

Spend consciously on gear.

The podcast transcript begins with one of the hosts expressing their preference for time trials over racing triathlons. They explain that triathlons require a significant time commitment, with hours spent traveling, preparing gear, and participating in the race itself. The host argues that running races are much easier in comparison, as they only require showing up with the necessary shoes and minimal gear. This leads them to question the value of investing so much time and effort into triathlons.

The host then goes on to discuss the financial aspect of triathlon participation. They highlight the importance of considering the cost of participating in races and purchasing gear. They argue that time is valuable and should be taken into account when deciding whether to invest in expensive gear. The host suggests that listeners should be mindful of the investment of both time and money when participating in triathlons.

The hosts argue that there are diminishing returns when it comes to the cost of gear. They suggest that while spending $100 on gear may not provide significant gains, spending $1,000 might offer similar benefits to spending $2,000 or $3,000. They encourage listeners to find the point where cost meets value and to be aware of the diminishing returns of expensive gear.

Consider the impact of time.

The podcast transcript begins with a discussion about the cost of equipment in the context of triathlon. The hosts mention the example of buying expensive goggles in the hopes of becoming a world-class swimmer. However, they quickly debunk this notion, stating that expensive gear is not necessary for achieving success in the sport. This sets the stage for the overarching theme of the podcast: considering the impact of time.

The hosts introduce the concept of fiat money and cryptocurrency, highlighting the idea that money can be spent on various things, including triathlon equipment. They then shift the focus to the concept of time and its value in triathlon training. One host shares his experience of breaking down the time it takes to complete different events and realizing that he doesn’t need to spend excessive amounts of time training in each discipline.

Racing may not bring happiness.

The podcast transcript begins by questioning whether participating in an Ironman or owning expensive gear will bring happiness. The hosts suggest that individuals should assess whether these investments will truly enhance their experience and bring them joy. They emphasize the importance of considering the value of the extra time gained in a race and whether it justifies the mental energy and financial cost.

The hosts share personal anecdotes to illustrate their point. One of the hosts recently participated in a triathlon and reflected on their performance. Despite not achieving their desired results, they realized that their fitness level had actually improved and they had made significant progress in their training. This led them to question the purpose of racing and whether it was worth the effort and expense. They concluded that they were not motivated by winning races and that the enjoyment and satisfaction they derived from triathlon came from personal growth and improvement.

Throughout the podcast, the hosts advocate for a frugal approach to triathlon. They emphasize that expensive gear is not necessary for success and that individuals can still achieve significant improvements in performance with affordable options. They highlight their own ability to build a high-quality time trial bike at a low cost, emphasizing the importance of resourcefulness and practicality. The hosts encourage listeners to prioritize their financial independence and make conscious decisions about their spending in the triathlon community.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, the podcast transcript highlights the notion that racing may not bring happiness. The hosts share personal experiences and opinions on the matter, emphasizing that affordable options can still lead to significant gains in performance. They advocate for a frugal approach to triathlon equipment, focusing on the practicality and frequency of use rather than the price tag. This message is important for individuals who may be interested in triathlon but are deterred by the misconception that they need to spend a large amount of money to participate. Ultimately, the hosts encourage a mindset of frugality and financial independence in the triathlon community.

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