These five triathlon products helped set the stage for the gear and tech we use today. This article originally appears in the 2013 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide. Pick it up on newsstands now or purchase the digital edition.
SRM Power Meter (1986)
The SRM 1 was developed in 1986 by a German medical engineer, Uli Schoberer. Previously, only cumbersome pieces of lab equipment could measure a cyclist’s power, forcing athletes to make repeated trips to the lab to accurately track their training progression. SRM empowered athletes with the ability to monitor their day-to-day bike fitness using power metrics recorded from the road.
Quintana Roo Wetsuit (1987)
The triathlon wetsuit made its competition debut at the start of the 1987 season, changing the triathlon swim forever. Simply called the Quintana Roo, the suit was the brainchild of Dan Empfield and became an immediate game changer: Not only do wetsuits keep athletes warm in cold water, they also add buoyancy, assisting weaker swimmers and narrowing the gap to the fastest ones.
Scott Sports DH Aerobars (1989)
One sure sign that a bicycle belongs to a triathlete? The aerobars. These debuted in 1989 for everyday riders as the Scott Sports DH bars, after Speedplay’s Richard Bryne had created similar one-offs. Even before Greg LeMond popularized the bars in his narrow Tour de France win that year, triathletes were already starting to adopt them.
Cervélo P3 Carbon (2006)
No other bike has been so widely imitated. The P3 was initially developed through trial and error in the wind tunnel and features tri-specific geometry. While many manufacturers, including Cervélo, have since designed bikes that are aerodynamically faster, the P3′s fingerprints are evident on nearly every tri bike created since.
Newton Running Shoes (2007)
Newton launched in 2007 based on the idea that a better running shoe could promote a better stride. The shoes coax an athlete¹s foot to strike parallel to the ground, promoting a more natural gait while also returning more energy. The “minimalist” movement took off shortly after the introduction of this seminal shoe.
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