Christmas Wish List 2012

Holiday- Cobb

Cobb Cycling
V-Flow Max

John Cobb knows aerodynamics. He also knows that if the rider isn’t comfortable, highly aerodynamic equipment won’t matter. With the V-Flow Max, Cobb Cycling has given BOTH equal consideration. Slightly more aggressive than the V-Flow Plus, the Max continues the tradition of the lowered nose section and deep cut relief trough to, “relieve pressure in the prostate/perinea area for men and the soft tissue area for women.” Having had problems finding a ‘rider friendly’ saddle in the past, our tester reported an immediate, phenomenal  improvement in comfort after the first ride with the Max. The narrow rear section is plenty wide and our tester found the new high-density foam that Cobb developed to be the perfect level of firmness for long rides. Because a well engineered saddle is a large part of the rider comfort equation, proper installation is vital. For this reason, Cobb Cycling includes with every saddle, a took kit and a thorough installation DVD to walk you through the process. If you’re still having problems, customer service is available to answer all your burning questions. The Max is a unisex saddle and comes in black or white.

Retail $179.99


Holiday- HEAD

HEAD Swimming
Venom Mirrored

These hydrodynamic, low-profile design race goggles were created with optimum speed and comfort in mind. HEAD Swimming set up our entire women’s triathlon team with a few different styles of goggles and the Venom was, by far, the favorite for race day. They provide an excellent cushioned, leak-proof seal without feeling like they’re sucking out your eyes, like some other brands. With years of experience providing Europe’s fastest athletes with supreme swimming products, HEAD entered last year into the US swim market in limited release. It’s loads of trial and error combined with Olympic caliber feedback that make the Venom a superior goggle. They feature high-quality polycarbonate lenses, with UV-protection and anti-fog treatment as well as a double silicone head strap. Also check out the Stealth Mirrored, a particular favorite of athlete George Bovell, who’s been dominating the Word Cup events this year all over Europe. The Venom Mirrored comes in three colors and includes various sized nose-pieces for optimal fit.  

Retail $14.99

Holiday- Skora


Skora was founded on the principle that the best technology is the human body. Their focus is to assist body function, “as naturally and efficiently as possible”. They seek to create shoes that allow your body to do the job it was meant for. Designed as a multi-purpose running shoe, the BASE is a great option for triathletes looking for a minimalist shoe that will be as fast in transition as it is on the road. The adjustable X-strap system and elastic heel strap make the shoe feel like a custom fit that easily molded to our testers feet. An Ortholite sockliner provides a chafe-free run even in bare feet. In fact, after a few runs, our tester preferred to wear this shoe sockless. With a weight of 7 oz., zero drop ride and a 9 mm. stack height, it’s a solid choice for the seasoned minimalist runner right out of the box. Newbies will find the BASE a solid choice as well, as long as they stick to the ‘Real Running Reminders’ offered by Skora for a pain-free transition into the minimalist world. Your feet will thank you for the extra effort! The BASE comes in various colors with men’s and women’s (pictured) full and half sizing.

Retail $110.00

Holiday- Skirt Sports

Skirt Sports
Ice Queen Ultra Jacket

The Ice Queen Ultra Jacket by Skirt Sports is my new favorite thing! Because of the slim fit and sleek style, I can wear this wind/water-resistant jacket with anything; it looks great with dressy or casual wear. It features a four-way stretch breathable soft-shell jersey fabric, with a feminine mock turtle collar and full-length reflective zipper. While the Ice Queen Ultra only comes in black, Skirt Sports offers a hood-less option, the Ice Queen, in ‘red kiss’ as well; both styles are available in a full size range. The zip off hood, cuff wrist warmers and thumb-holes come in very handy on the extra wet and cold days, and the adjustable underarm vents are great when it warms back up. The added bonus of well-placed pockets and a music port make this the perfect jacket for work or play. While it’s a bit heavy for fall running conditions, I predict when the temps. drop into the teens, this will be my first choice. Nice work Skirt Sports!

Retail $160.00

Holiday- Pearl Izumi

Pearl Izumi
P.R.O. Softshell WxB 3×1 Glove

Pearl Izumi‘s warmest glove ever delivers with three gloves in one. “The versatility really is the strength of these gloves,” our tester commented, “…and they’re PACKED with features that are useful for more than cycling.” When other gloves ignore extra details on the liner, the P.R.O. Softshell WxB 3×1 liner features a synthetic leather reinforcement in high use areas as well as a soft cloth nose wipe on the thumb. This means when Pearl says you can use them as a light cycling or running glove, you really can. The outer glove is an anatomically fit, waterproof, Primaloft insulated shell that has been specifically designed for harsh conditions without all the bulk that would reduce dexterity. Natural carbon leather reinforcement in high use areas, reflective elements, nose wipe on the back of both thumbs and inner fleece lining make the external glove highly usable with or without the liner. The gloves come in unisex sizing, but there is a women specific version, P.R.O. Barrier WxB Glove, available without a liner. Our tester used them cycling as well as snowshoeing and running and found them effective in all three situations. They are a formidable ally against the nastiest weather.

Retail $130.00


Holiday- New Balance

New Balance
GPS Runner

At the front of the pack of budget GPS watches, New Balance has created an ideal GPS for those looking for more information, without needing online memberships to review massive amounts of detailed stats. For those looking for speed and distance, pace, multiple training modes, calorie count and a good memory (30 runs) this watch is the right kind of simple. Settings allow you to customize your screen to fit your preferred stats while running and the uni-sex unit isn’t overly bulky for women. Set up is easy with the auto clock and multiple time zones. The watch also comes with a charging cable and easy to read, step-by-step instruction booklet. There are five daily alarms, a feature that came in extra handy for our tester who gets so busy, he forgets to eat. Of comparable watches in it’s class, the GPS Runner has larger display numbers that made it easiest of all the watches we tested to read while running. Chronograph charge will last 100 hours and charge times will vary when using the GPS; pretty standard for GPS watches. Simply put, it’s a great watch at a great price.

Retail $109.99

Holiday- Brooks

Epiphany Support Tank II

I know it’s totally girly, but the truth is, indoor training becomes less miserable with comfortable, cute workout clothes. Made with moisture wicking materials and a seamless interior bra band, the Epiphany Support II Tank is a great choice to lighten your triathlete’s gloomy winter mood. The double strap racer back with well placed ventilation mesh was a big hit with our tester for long trainer rides as well as cross-fit classes. She especially liked the little extra length on the bottom when doing over-head lifting. The tank comes in a full size range and seven colors, (three of which are currently on sale). Sizing is right on, but if you are a woman who needs much more support than any shelf bra can provide, you might want to check out a few extra supportive styles from Brooks. Our tester found the Epiphany Support Tank II to be a well crafted, high quality piece with well made seams and fabric that sits comfortably against the skin. Not a big surprise from a well established brand like Brooks.

Retail $54.00

Holiday- Yaktrax


For the athlete who refuses to be forced into indoor training by bad weather, the Yaktrax RUN provides a great anatomical fit for your favorite running shoes. You’ve probably seen the WALK version on your neighbor’s boots as he’s taking out the trash, but this version has been redesigned with the runner in mind. Ice and snow traction are thanks to the combination of removable carbide steel spikes and 1.4 mm steel coils. The high strength natural rubber ensures that they stretch easily over your shoes and the reflective strap allows for a snug, secure fit with no shifting while running. With such a great fit, our testers all reported that they were able to run naturally through ice and snow with confidence. “It was awesome!” said one tester, “I didn’t have to jump around gingerly like I normally would, I could just run normally without being afraid of slipping.” The traction is so good, we highly recommend you take the company’s advice and remember to take them off before walking on your hardwood floors. Yaktrax RUN comes in unisex sizing.  

Retail $40.00


Holiday- 2XU

Compression Arm Sleeves

Using PWX POWER for enhanced compression and seamless design, 2XU crams as many features into their Compression Arm Sleeves as possible. A graduated fit and 360° stretch promote increased circulation, to reduce soreness and lactating blood when your muscles are all tapped out. The sleeves are targeted to your biceps, triceps and forearms and offer UPF 50+ sun protection. Moisture wicking, antibacterial fabric keeps them from getting too ripe in the gym bag under your desk, after your lunch workout. Our first tester liked them so much, he refused to pass them along to the next without a promise that they will be given back. He commented, “I’ve used 2XU compression socks for a while now and loved them, but I didn’t realize the difference the arm sleeves make when training; I’m sold!” Sleeves come in men’s (pictured) and women’s specific sizing in black or white. In short, faster recovery means you get stronger, faster.

Retail $44.95

Holiday- Camelbak

All Clear™ UV Microbiological Water Purifier

With all the research and effort athletes put into good nutrition, it’s no surprise that people have begun to look at their water source as well. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve stopped at a grocery store so my teammate could grab purified water on our way to a race. What used to be perceived as pure paranoia, we now know is just good common sense. The CamelBak All Clear™ UV Microbiological Water Purifier turns any clear water source into clean potable drinking water in 60 seconds, saving the need to haul jugs of purified water on long trips. CamelBak also sells a filter, compatible with the All Clear™, to strain out larger particles prior to purification, allowing for use in many situations. The 750 ml. bottle comes with a carrying case for the USB rechargeable lid and charging cable as well as a spare lid for after purification. With one charge, the bottle will treat 80 cycles or 16 gallons and the LCD screen makes the bottle user friendly. I have used this multiple times daily, since CamelBak sent the bottle and I’m hooked.

Retail $99.00

Check back this week, we’ll have great ideas for stocking stuffers!

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About The Author

Jen has been doing triathlon for several years. She is a former bobsled pilot for America Samoa and has a passion for the outdoors; especially winter mountaineering. At home she is wife to a mountain obsessed husband and mother of three girls, but here at EnduranceReview, she is an author, Managing Editor and token chick.