â€¢ Shimano 105 gruppos. I don't mind spending cash on premo shifters, cables and such. But the 105 line of cranksets, rear brakes, pedals and derailleurs are at the top of my list. You can get a 105 crankset anywhere from 160-175mm these days, what's not to love? Disclaimer: I've got lots of love for my aero tririg Omega front brake, that is not coming off my bike.
â€¢ Garmin HRM1G. These heartrate straps are reliable, use common batteries, last forever and cost less than $20 on eBay. I have 3 of 'em.
â€¢ HRV4Training app. I use it, I like it. I've found it's pretty accurate in telling me when I need a rest day. Well worth $10.
â€¢ Half finger cycling gloves, various sizes. There is nothing to these other than finding the right size and a color you like. Once you know your size buy multiple pairs-they're $5 all day on ebay.
â€¢ Elite Crono CX Aero water bottle and cage. You can't get an aero anything for less than $25. Except this.
â€¢ Garmin Forerunner 15 watch. One year I watched Rinnie run to a victory at Kona and noticed she was wearing a Forerunner 10 on the run. Within a week I picked up a Forerunner 15 for less than a hundred bucks. It has two drawbacks though. It takes a long time to find/initialize satellites on startup (the workaround is to initialize early in the day and it's snappy the second time). You can't have heartrate and pace on the same screen. The only two metrics I actually care about on a run or race. I haven't tried a Forerunner 135, but that's probably what I'll buy next time I'm in the market for a GPS watch.
â€¢ Powertap C1 Chainrings. These tick every box I need. Dual-sided power, accurate, reliable, easily replaceable battery, easy to zero-offset. For $350 these are one of my favorite pieces of kit. My first one stopped working at some point but PowerTap warrantied it free of charge. Really the only caveat is that it only works with the older, 5-arm spiders on certain cranks.
Madison photographer Timothy Hughes | Instagram