Why do teams change their triathlon kit manufacturer so often? I went to Interbike 2017 last year and talked to a dozen manufacturers and asked those exact questions.
TRIATHLON GEAR IS A COMMODITY
Triathlon kit manufacturing is a commodity business. At Interbike 2017, there were dozens upon dozens of manufacturers who predominately sell the same type of product. A $400-$500 kit will not help you race faster but will certainly make your wallet a little lighter. Unless the kit is made of Corinthian Leather.
There are benefits to being high volume and penalties for being low volume. Minimum order quantity pricing is expensive and can delay an order or stick a group with unwanted items in order to make an order happen. Volume solves a lot of problems. Are you part of a high volume group or are you paying top dollar?
HIDDEN CLUB UPCHARGES
In a paying club, there might be the expectation that there is a discount on team gear. Typically, the complete opposite is true. In many cases, there is a large hidden burden to the base cost that is rebated back to the club so that $75 kit actually costs $150. Additionally, the kit is redesigned every year or every other year so athletes are forced to pay this on an annual or biannual basis to keep up with the Joneses.
California Triathlon & Voler
For the record, California Triathlon has only had one kit supplier, Voler, and one classic design since our founding in October 2010. That partnership has provided tremendous value to our membership including the ability to buy a high-quality, custom Cal Tri kit starting at $75. Voler donates 10% of all California Triathlon sales to support California Triathlon’s mission to make the sport of triathlon affordable, accessible & sustainable by providing the resources, coaching and support needed for athletes to accomplish their goals.