The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Equipment Reviews

Updated May 15, 2005

Road Bike - KHS Flite TA 320
KHS Flite TA 320
More Info: Click for detailed photos and specs - Purchased from CycleLogik
Pros: Nice ride so far! Good components Ultegra/105/Tiagra mix.
Cons: A little cosmetically challenged with the Orange and Pearl paint scheme.

Running Shoes - Asics Gel 1090 (Stability)
Asics Gel 1090
More Info: Runner's World Reader's Reviews - 5 stars, Best Buy.
Pros: They seem to work fine for me, I haven't had any problems with them. (fairly affordable, I think I paid CDN $100)
Cons: I'm not too experienced evaluating running shoes, but they do feel a tad heavy.

Watch - Ironman Triathlon 50 Lap Sleek
Timex Ironman Sleek 50
More Info: Timex Detail Page
Pros: Splits and Laps, with recall. Countdown repeat timer and 2-interval timers.
Cons: Would have liked to have at least 3 interval timers, the additional one for recovery. Alarms are a bit too quiet on intervals (hard to hear sometimes).

Mag Trainer - Minoura MagTurbo Pro

Pros: Free (on load from a friend). Easy to use and setup.
Cons: I'm pretty much stuck at the 2nd of 9 settings because anything higher, and the magnetic mechanism grinds horibly. Also, whatever you do, don't stop suddenly while it's going, cause you're gonna get the magnet all screwed up!

Goggles - Speedo Vanquisher (Clear)
Speedo Vanquisher
More Info: Speedo Link
Pros: Good field of vision, they don't leak, and they feel comfortable.
Cons: None so far.

Tri Shorts - Sugoi Fast Forward Tri Short
Sugoi Tri Shorts
More Info: Sugoi Link - Purchased from Pecco's
Pros: Comfortable. I actually prefer to run in these shorts too.
Cons: Could use a little more padding (where it counts).

Bike Shoes - Time MXT
Time MXT Bike Shoes
More Info: Time - Purchased from Peccos
Even though they're mountain bike shoes, I decided to buy these shoes for racing for 2 reasons: 1) I can use them for my commuter as well 2) I think I'm going to use them in the transition zone, and I don't feel like skating through on the way to T2.
Full Review Here!

Pedals - Shimano PD M540
Shimano PD M540 Pedals
More Info: Shimano - Purchased from Peccos
Even though they're mountain bike pedals, I decided to buy them since I had SPD cleats in my shoes for commuting
Pros: Still evaluating.
Cons: Still evaluating.

Bike Computer - Filzer dB4L and db4LW
Filzer dB4LW Bike Computer
More Info: Filzer Link - Purchased from Mountain Equipment Coop
These computers looked so good on paper, that I bought 2 - a wired and a wireless; I'll use the wired on my commuter, and the wireless for racing. Currently, I've got the wired version hooked up to my back wheel for mag training - and it seems to work pretty good.
Pros: Price - this baby is cheap (I think I paid $24 for the wireless and $15 for the wired version at MEC). Almost everything is displayed on one screen, so you don't have to worry about pressing buttons on the go. In fact, there are only 2 screens, and the difference is that the avg speed is changed to Max speed, trip odometer is changed to overall odometer and trip time is changed to current time
Cons: Although a neat idea, the speed tendancy feature is too small to make out when you're on the go. Also, when resetting for a new ride, you need to clear both the Max speed screen, and the Avg speed screen - but hey I can live with that.

Heart Monitor - Polar a1
Polar A1 Heart Monitor
More Info: Polar Link - Purchased from Sears
Pros: Price - I think the a1 is discontinued, so Sears was blowing them out at $44.45 (50% off). Also, it works, and is apparently 99.99% accurate. 1 button - easy to operate. Compatible with my treadmill's receiver.
Cons: How can you complain about something so cheap? The one thing that would be nice, would be if it kept track of your Max Heart Rate for the exercise (but not a big deal).

Commuter Bike - 2002 Mikado Yorkdale
Mikado Yorkdale Hybrid
More Info: Mikado
Pros: Extremely adjustable. High gear ratio - so you can go as fast as you'd like (I never ran out of gears with this bike). I put 3000km on this baby last year, and loved every kilometer of it. I even used it for 2 sprint triathlon races, with Triathlon bars attached.
Cons: Absolutely nothing. A little heavy for racing.

Commuter Pedals - Wellgo WPD 95 B
Wellgo WPD 95B Pedals
More Info: Quill/SPD combo, 424 grams/pr, 4 degree cleat rotation
Pros: Flat on one side, clips on the other.
Cons: Still evaluating.

Treadmill - Horizon Elite 4.1T
Horizon Elite 4.1T Treadmill
More Info: Horizon Fitness Link - Purchased from Fitness Warehouse (Orleans)
Pros: Very quiet. 25 Yr Warranty on both motors, Lifetime on frame. Solid and sturdy! Has a Polar Heart Rate receiver built into it (I'm still waiting for my Heart Rate Monitor to arrive to fully check it out).
Cons: Right Rear Bearing blew after 10 hours of initial use. Eventually got replaced and runs smoothly now. Control panel is coming unglued (apparently this happens often when shipped to Canada in the winter time - the glue doesn't cure before it get's packed on the truck). Grip pulse doesn't work properly.