The all-rounder Decathlon
As the name suggests, Decathlon is a haven for more than just triathletes. Their megastores stock everything from fishing tackle to golf putters, while maintaining a good range of choice within each sport. For the impatient, their comprehensive running, swimming and cycling sections aim to satisfy all of your triathlon needs in one stop. The great selection is rivaled only by the pricing. Despite the authenticity and quality of their products, you’ll struggle to pay more than 500RMB for anything here, while most of the swimming and running clothes go for an outrageous 50-100RMB.
Specialized Bicycle will be renting out a limited number of bikes for the triathlon (go to www.beijinginternationaltriathlon.com/bike-rental
for more information), but if you miss the cut or think you’re too much of a pro for rentals, then head to Trek for a top road racer. They boast a good range of beautiful road bikes, with a small selection of clothing and equipment on the side. This is serious biker territory, and prices are high accordingly. Their cheapest model weighs in at 4,280RMB, and it skyrockets from there. Shorts and shirts go for around 500-600RMB and helmets for 1,000RMB. Expect to spend north of 900RMB on their specialised racing gloves and shoes. If you’ve already got a bike and just want to tinker, they also sell parts and have a workshop in the back.
For cycling and swimming gear Tianyuan Lisheng Sports Store
Fight your way through the teeming crowds of Wangfujing to find Tianyuan Lisheng Sports Store, a sports shop that hosts a range of foreign and Chinese sports brands. Downstairs are the more expensive imported brands; the second floor boasts a number of Chinese brands selling swimwear (look for Hosa and Zoke). Running and cycling Lycra can be found on the third level. Prices are mostly reasonable among the local brands: swimming outfits, goggles and caps all go for 150-600RMB, along with running and cycling shorts. Expect to fork out up to 1,300RMB for cycling tops.
Get your kicks New Balance
Finding somewhere that fits running shoes properly is always important, but for a challenge as gruelling as a triathlon, it’s crucial. New Balance’s Qianmen outlet, its largest in Beijing, has the necessary equipment to find the perfect-fitting shoe for you. They can measure up your feet and recommend the perfect running shoe based on your foot shape and personal gait. The trainers weigh in at around 700-1,000RMB upwards. You can find cheaper shoes elsewhere, but you’ll be thankful for the superior fit when you’re pounding along after a 42k swim and cycle.