Kovas may not believe this, but I actually do like gear. And as I've gotten more involved and a little better at the sport, my gear has evolved too. But as you know, replacing and/or upgrading is expensive. So I always ask the question "Will I really use it?" If the answer is an honest yes, then I'll go ahead and make the purchase. I'd like to think that this self diagnostic keeps me on the less severe side of the otherwise neurotic and/or impulsive behavior that quickly takes hold when I see some piece of equipment that I like.
Do I always get it right? Not a chance. As a righty, I've definitely purchased a fair share of "left handed wonder tools" that now either sit in the garage or barely managed to sell on eBay. But as my performance has improved, I think my gear choices have improved too.
Here's some of the stuff coming with me to San Diego:
ORCA EQUIP WETSUIT
I wore the 2XU for my first two seasons. But towards the end of last fall, a funny thing happened - my arms started to get really cold on swims. I've always been a wimp when it came to cold water, but suddenly even 65 degrees was unbearable in the sleeveless.
So earlier this year I bought an Orca Equip full-sleeve suit. I also tried on suits from Tyr and Blue Seventy but this one fit the best. And it's been keeping me nice and toasty in the water since March. San Diego will be the second race in which I've used it.
Other swimming gear: Tyr Tracer swim goggles.
When I bought the bike, it came with a Shimano 105 gruppo. As it stands now, I'm running a Dura-Ace/105 mix. The rear derailleur, cassette and bar end shifters are Dura-Ace, the front derailleur and crankset are 105, and the brakes are still whatever came with the bike. My wheels are Mavic Carbone SL and the tires are Vittoria Rubino Pros.
After some consultation with Jeff from Dangle The Carrot, I'm going to go with a Speedfil hydration system this weekend. At first I was concerned that even though I wanted to start test racing the set-up I'll be using in Santa Cruz, using the Speedfil on what amounts to be an 18 mile bike ride would make me guilty of some pretty severe douchbaggery. But Jeff came back by saying that under the circumstances, testing trumped all and that I was bound to "see guys with 6 GU's duct taped to their frames and carrying 3 bottles of water/nutrition so the Speedfil won't even register on the poser scale."
He's probably right.
Other bike gear: Giro aero helmet, Louis Garneau triathlon cycling shoes.
ZOOT ENDURANCE TRI SUIT
I'm still debating whether or not to run sockless in my Zoot 2.0 racing flats or take the extra minute to put on socks and run in my Newton Distances. The Zoots make for a very fast T2 but the Newtons are just more comfortable. I'll decide soon.
Other running gear: Home made Andreas Raelert style headband, Oakley Jawbone sunglasses.