The Hipster Triathlete

After a lengthy discussion with the group on the commercial impact of the Ironman brand, I began to think of a hipster triathlete persona who is unlike a typical Ironman obsessed age grouper.

The definition of hipster from urban dictionary: a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie rock, creativity, intelligence and witty banter.

So let’s take the first 2 characteristics: independent thinking and counter-culture, and apply them to triathletes. What would it be like to be a triathlete who challenges the norm, shun mainstream triathlete conventions and dares to be different?

Let’s meet Joe, the hipster triathlete persona, and learn 3 things about this hipster triathlete: Joe’s biography, the races he participates and of course his gear.

Photo credit:

Joe, the Hipster Triathlete

Who is Joe?

Joe is a young man in his late 20’s, with some experience in triathlons of varying distances. He has finished numerous Olympic Distance triathlons, a handful of 70.3 distance races and has just completed his first Ironman. Being a hipster, Joe looks forward to opportunity to set himself apart from his peers, including in his triathlon pursuits. Now let’s take a look on Joe’s typical race day.

Where does Joe race?

Being a hipster, the world class Ironman or Challenge events don’t fit well with Joe’s taste. He prefers a race more indie, with less association to established franchises. His triathlon of choice is none other than the Wildflower Triathlon, the Woodstock of Triathlon.

Wildflower Triathlon

Wildflower Triathlon – Photo from

For shorter distance races, Joe makes his way to Lobsterman Triathlon, for the famed lobster bake post race meal.

Lobsterman Triathlon

Lobsterman Triathlon – Photo by Boston Triathlon

What gear does he use?

The first thing a triathlete needs is a tri suit, for the convenience of wearing a single piece of clothing in all three legs of a triathlon. For Joe, he prefers to go even simpler. Padded shorts get in the way of Joe’s run and tri singlets are too tight for his liking. So Joe’s outfit of the day: a SPEEDO and a SINGLET.

Speedo Brief

Speedo Brief

How about goggles? Joe is well adapted to water and doesn’t mind water going into his eyes. NO GOGGLES needed. For timekeeping purpose, Joe doesn’t need the fanciful GPS and heart rate monitor functions of a Garmin Forerunner 910XT. Instead, he uses a trustworthy classic CASIO F-91W.

Casio F91W

Casio F91W

Coming out of the water, Joe goes into T1. His minimalist speedo dried quickly. He puts on his shoes, a pair of ONITSUKA TIGER ULTIMATE 81 running sneakers. No cleats, because cleats are too cumbersome and they go against Joe’s principle of keeping things simple.

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81

Joe quickly straps on his helmet, a MELON URBAN ACTIVE HELMET. In Joe’s opinion, the smooth surface gives him comparable aero advantage to aero road helmets such as the Giro Air Attack.

Melon Urban Active Helmet

Melon Urban Active Helmet

For eyewear, Joe ditches the ubiquitous Oakley Radar for the classy RAY-BAN WAYFARER sunglasses which provides his eyes plenty of protection, during and after a race.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer

Ray-Ban Wayfarer

All geared up, Joe is now ready to set off for his bike leg. His hipster lifestyle calls for a bike more organic than the fastest carbon bikes such as the Cervelo P5-Six, so Joe opts for none other than the BAMBOO ROAD BIKE by Calfee Design.

Midway through the bike ride, Joe needs to replenish his fuel tank. His nutrition of choice is a simple bottled iced espresso for caffeine and scones with jams for some carbs.

Finally, entering T2, Joe only needs to take off his Melon helmet and replace it with, not a Headsweats visor, but a HABANA PANAMA FEDORA to cover his head on his way to the finish line.

Habana Panama Fedora

Habana Panama Fedora

Basking in his finish line glory, Joe needs to capture the moment with his finisher medal and t-shirt. Instead of a GoPro Hero 3, Joe’s chosen lens is the KONSTRUKTOR 35MM DIY SLR.

Konstruktor 35mm DIY SLR

Konstruktor 35mm DIY SLR

After a long day of swimming, cyling and running, Joe takes a few gulps of CHOCOLATE MILK to aid in recovery.

Recovery Chocolate Milk

Recovery Chocolate Milk

Joe now looks forward to his next hipster triathlon race.


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