Greg Kaplan, endurance junkie and former editor of Bicycling Magazine, takes a look at how to strategically buy gifts for the discerning triathlete.
The holidays are here, and you’re still considering what to do for that special swimmer-cyclist-runner.
I’m married to a front-of-the-pack age group triathlete who can be selective about her gear. So, when I shop for her—and want to surprise her—I have to be very subtle, but still inquisitive enough to find out what cool triathlon and cycling gear she really wants.
Signing a loved one up for and travelling with them to a destination race as their “race sherpa” is a great idea—it can be relatively easy to find out what races are on their calendar, without giving away the race entry surprise. If they do a lot of indoor cycling, a subscription to Zwift or TrainerRoad can be a great motivator. Getting them a bike fit is a great idea, especially if they’ve mentioned about comfort on the bike. But if you’re thinking of surprising your special triathlete with new gear, apparel, or accessories can sometimes be a bit more challenging.
Bikes can be really expensive. Getting someone a wetsuit that fits perfectly can be challenging, without blowing a surprise, asking them to try on a specific brand and model. Shopping for running shoes can be a slightly easier task if buy another pair of whatever they currently wear. The down-side of running shoes can be that after a few hundred miles of wear, shoes might be relegated to lawn-mowing duty, or donated to a charity. What if you could get them running shoes from a brand that would replace them after 300 miles of hard use? Do you know of any brand which offers this kind of replacement service for their gear?
What if you could gift them sunglasses from a company that will replace scratched lenses—at any time—for free? That’s like a gift that keeps on giving! If you’ve found the right colorway, but you’re not sure about fit: many styles of Rudy Project sunglasses, like the Tralyx and the affordable Stratofly come in several size options, so you can find the perfect fit for nearly any face. If you just can’t find a (super-secret-gift-giving) way to verify size or color: Rudy Project’s 90-day return policy, swapping sizes or colors is a low-hassle experience.
If you’re like me, and you worry any time your favorite triathlete gets on a bike, gift them—and yourself—with the peace-of-mind of a brand-new helmet. Rudy Project helmets are a great way to show someone you care about their safety. Getting that special someone the most popular helmet brand at the Ironman® World Championships, which comes with a 6-year crash-replacement guarantee, seems like a no-brainer. Rudy Project helmets offer pro-level aerodynamics, supreme comfort and cooling, and color- and customization options that will make the pickiest person thrilled to receive a Rudy Project helmet.
And what If you cannot decide on just one great gift? Rudy Project has some amazing gear deals in which you can get over $550 in FREE gear! If you buy performance sunglasses, you’ll also get spare lenses, a neoprene retention cord, a helmet case, and the Rudy Project Sterling—voted the most comfortable cycling helmet by the Bicycling magazine.
Whether you get that dedicated swimmer-cyclist-runner person in your life a new helmet or sunglasses, or travel with them around the block—or around the world—just let them know you love them and support them and are always thinking of them. Getting them gear is nice; supporting their training and racing just might be the best gift anyone can give.
Greg Kaplan is an endurance sports fanatic, and gear junkie. He’s traveled the world in the name of fun, in search of suffering, pursuing that brief moment of bliss that comes wrapped in self-inflicted agony.