Triathlon is a fairly expensive sport. In fact it requires special equipment, from clothing to accessories.
The cycling segment certainly involves considerable cost. You also need to consider race fees, training, transport etc.
You're wondering: how much does it cost to do triathlon?
It's not so easy to calculate, because the cost depends very much on your choice of equipment. Professional triathletes certainly spend a lot more on competition-grade bikes, accessories and clothing. Amateurs spend less, but it can also add up to a considerable sum.
Is it worth it? If so many people around the world continue to invest in triathlon, it's because this is a discipline that has acquired legendary status as the world's toughest sport.
Endurance athletes who try triathlon are nearly always bowled over, and find it hard to go back once they've started with a sport that demands you're always raising the bar on your physical and mental performance.
How much does it cost to do triathlon? All the costs
To help you find out how much triathlon will cost, first we'll try and clarify the expenses you'll face.
Here's a list; it may not be exhaustive, but it includes the main costs of triathlon.
We'll start with the real essentials for entering a race.
- Clothing (triathlon bodysuit or wetsuit) and shoes for cycling and running;
- Swimming accessories (cap, goggles, flippers etc);
- Bicycle (the price varies greatly depending on whether you go for an inexpensive triathlon bike, a competition bike or fix up your existing bike);
- Bike accessories (wheels, hubs, handlebars). Here again the cost varies considerably depending on the quality of the accessories and the material they're made of);
- Cycling accessories (helmet, padded shorts, sunglasses).
Then there are the costs of training and physical preparation:
Additional costs to bear in mind are:
- Affiliation to a triathlon team;
- Race fees;
- Accommodation at race venues.
How much does a triathlon race cost to enter?
This may be the most interesting factor, because the fees for a triathlon event can vary considerably. Competing in Olympic triathlon costs much less than an Ironman, for example.
- The average fee for a Triathlon Sprint event is 35€;
- Participation in Olympic triathlon costs an average of 70€;
- An Ironman event (which may be organised by various bodies in different places, with very different race fees) can cost anything from 150€ to 500€.
A good amateur triathlete can sustain up to 10 races in the course of a year, counting Sprint, Olympic and Ironman events. These figures will help you make a rough calculation of the cost of competing.
Some advice for optimising triathlon costs
Passion is passion. Even amateur athletes want to take part in a number of races during the year, train and devote energy and money to triathlon, although there's no return on their investment in financial terms.
It's different for professional athletes. Sponsors can cover part of the expenses, and professional sports is a genuinely well-paid job. At best, winning an Ironman can be a real blessing for the bank balance. In Kona in 2019, the winners of the Ironman world championships (in both the men's and women's races) took away 120,000€ each, with a total prize fund of 500,000€
So, while professionals have a higher budget thanks to sponsors and prize money, it's a different story for amateurs.
A useful tip to optimise triathlon costs is to choose clothing and equipment to suit your level.
There are quality products suitable for entry-level amateurs and skilled amateurs; and competition and top-of-the-range items for professionals.
When it comes to bike accessories for triathlon, for example, we at Ursus develop high-quality wheels, handlebars and accessories to cater for the different needs of athletes at every level.
Our products are always developed thanks to feedback from amateur and professional athletes. Their experience allows us to offer an exhaustive range of accessories for triathlon bikes: from more durable and affordable items for amateurs to high-performance top-of-the-range products for professionals in important competitions.