Can you buy all the kit for a cross triathlon for under £1000?
Triathlon can be an expensive sport. Turn up to a race and transition is full of expensive equipment and bikes costing a small fortune. But what about cross triathlon? Sure, top of the range full suspension mountain bikes do not come cheap, but you probably aren’t going to want to remortgage your house just to give it a go, so we asked the question, ‘can you buy all the kit for a cross triathlon for under £1000?
If you have competed in road triathlon, chances are the only kit for cross triathlon that you are missing is a mountain bike and you may well have one tucked away at the back of your shed. A dust of and a service, perhaps a few replacement parts, is likely all it needs to be ready to go.
But what if you have nothing and are starting from scratch. We’ve had a search of some online stores to see what is out there and the minimal price you can expect to pay.
Swim kit for a Cross Triathlon
Goggles – £6.99
These are very much personal preference. It is best to go to a shop, try some on and pick the ones that feel comfortable and are best fitted to your face shape. You may want to get a couple of pairs so if you have any problems on race day and snap a goggle strap for example, you have a back up.
But for the purpose of this article, at such a good price we’ve picked the Aquasphere Kameleon goggles. They provide a good field of vision, perfect for open water swimming and come in a variety of lens types.
Wetsuit – £79.99
Most races in the UK require you to wear a wetsuit. You are looking for a swimming wetsuit made of Yamamoto neoprene with no sections thicker than 5mm. Surf wetsuits are allowed, but whilst this will keep you warm, it will more than likely slow you down!
The cheapest we can find is decathlons Aptonia wetsuit. It has 4mm neoprene around the pelvis and legs to support your body position in the water, and 2mm neoprene around the arms to provide more flexibility. On the surface we can’t fault it so at £79.99 it is a bargain!
You can also look at hiring a wetsuit. This is generally around £30-40 for 2 weeks hire and most companies will offer the option to purchase when your rental time is up.
Trisuit (optional)- £29.99
We’ve marked this as optional as you can swim in a costume and put on some shorts and a t-shirt in transition. However you will be far more comfortable in a trisuit. And at £29.99, Decathlons Aptonia trisuit is probably worth saving some chaffing from your swimwear once on the bike!
Women’s available from Decathlon
Men’s available from Decathlon
Bike kit for a Cross Triathlon
Mountain Bike – £499
When choosing a bike you want to invest your money on the frame and the fork as these are the things that last.
We would recommend the following
- Aluminum frame- This is a good middle ground. Carbon is expensive and steel is heavy.
- Front suspension- air fork, this keeps the bike light
- Hydraulic brakes- cable brakes are always cheaper but they are not reliable
- Tyres- These are really important as they provide the grip for riding on muddy or rocky terrain. Budgeting for a good set of tyres will make a huge difference to your riding experience.
It can be done for under £500 – The Vitus Nucleus 275 VR MTB has won MBR’s under £500 hardtail award for 3 years in a row. However, whilst this might be cheap, the best thing to do would be to visit your local bike shop. They will be able to help choose which bike to use and most importantly make sure it fits. Something that you just can’t get from the internet!
There are cheaper helmets out there but we’ve picked the Rockrider XC MTB helmet. Stylish, no frills and will protect your noggin at a decent price.
Cycling shoes (optional) – £54.24
If you are new to triathlon and mountain biking, your probably not going to want to worry about clipping your feet into your pedal on the bike and cycling in your trainers is perfectly fine! (It will also save you time in transition). However for cyclists already used to clipping into the pedals, Shimano’s ME3 SPD MTB shoes currently have a sizable discount!
Run kit for a cross triathlon
Trail Shoes – £59.99 – £100 (colour dependent)
Running shoes are like swimming goggles. You need to try some on and pick the ones that are best for you. A good running store will be able to take a look at your running style and pair you with the correct shoe. When it comes to cross triathlon though you want to be looking for a lightweight trail shoe. You need a sole with a bit of tread to help with grip on muddy/loose terrain, but not something so heavy that it will slow you down. Generally, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Salomon running shoes. We’ve picked the sense escape 2.
Run race belt £5
The last bit of kit you need is a race belt. This is to attach your race number to so you can put it on quickly in transition. If you really want to save money here, a piece of elastic will do just fine!
The grand total comes in at just under £800 so yes, you can get all of your kit for a cross triathlon for under £1000 and there are more savings that can be had if you really need! Of course, the biggest expense is the bike, but you really don’t need anything special to have a go at your first race. So if you have an old mountain bike in your shed, as long as the wheels go round and the brakes work, why not give it a go!
*Disclaimer* Race off road has no affiliation with the companies listed above. We cannot guarantee prices or availability.