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2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Beginner Bike Essentials

Be prepared for all your training miles with this list of cycling must-haves, featured in the 2014 Triathlete Buyer's Guide.

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Be prepared for all your training miles with this list of cycling must-haves, featured in the 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide.

Tires

Do your best to avoid flats by investing in durable, puncture-resistant tires that are also light enough for racing, like the Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elite ($65, Specialized.com). They’re made with a new compound that’s faster and feels smoother than many comparably durable tires.

Cycling kit

If there’s one thing to invest in for long-term comfort in training, it’s a decent pair of cycling shorts or bibs (the latter are preferred by most men) such as the Specialized RBX Comp Bib Short. Choose a jersey (like the Specialized RBX Comp Jersey) that fits snugly, with plenty of pocket storage. (Bibs $115, jersey $100, Specialized.com)

Cycling shoes

If you want one shoe to take you from training rides to the race course, opt for a triathlon shoe like the Pearl Izumi Tri Fly IV Carbon, which has the breathability and entry ease of a tri shoe with a comfortable and solid hold on the foot for longer days in the saddle.

Helmet

A sturdy but light helmet is one of the most important cycling must-haves, and this reasonably priced Specialized Echelon II ($65, Specialized.com) is well ventilated and comes in three sizes to find the most comfortable fit for your head.

Training Fuel

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If you’re riding for more than an hour, pack your jersey with tasty, easy-to-eat carbs like PowerBar Performance Energy Blasts ($2.19, Powerbar.com), which provide a quick energy boost during a ride.

Socks

Take a page out of the road cyclist’s stylebook and opt for mid-calf, wicking socks for training rides. (Specialized RBX Pro Tall Sock $20, Specialized.com)

Hydration

A front-mounted, easy-to-install bottle like the Nathan AP Pro Aerobar Hydration System is ideally placed for racing and serves as a helpful reminder to drink regularly during training rides.