triathlon-bike-equipment

TRIATHLON BIKE EQUIPMENT

There are several options as far as triathlon bike equipment. A lot depends on your level of ability and how much you want to invest in triathlon financially.

When it comes to triathlon bike equipment you will need you might go for top-of-the-line or used bike gear if budget dictates. The best gear is not a must in order to enjoy triathlon.

Don’t believe for a moment that the more expensive the bike, the easier and faster your bike split will be. The most important factor–and one that is often overlooked–is having the bike you choose sized just for you.

PROPER BIKE FIT

Most triathlon bike equipment outlets will supply this service. I just can’t stress how important this is.

triathlon bike equipment

Proper bike fit is crucial


A proper fit to your racing bike means you will be getting full use of the proper muscle groups and will have a smooth, circular pedal stroke. Most importantly, it can make for a much more comfortable transition into the run.

THE MOST EXPENSIVE BIKE IS NOT NECESSARY

For your first race I would suggest a good reliable mid-priced road bike. You can always upgrade if you choose to continue on with the sport in the following years.

Any basic triathlon bike you get your hands on will be 50 times better than any of these bikes and your livelihood and survival won’t depend on it.

So if you can’t afford a top-of-the-line triathlon bike or other expensive triathlon bike equipment, so what. You’ll still do great with whatever fits your budget.”

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

In Hawaii, 1984, on a brutally hot and windy day, there were two cyclists under the 5 hour mark. Dave Scott was 5:11 and went on to run a 2:53 marathon and ultimately won the race.

My point is, pretty well any mid-range priced bike you buy will be 10 times better than the triathlon bike equipment that these guys raced on that day. Think about it. Aero-bars would have been HUGE that day. There was no such thing.

Everyone had the old toe clips. The bikes were MUCH heavier. The tires were nowhere near as good as we can get now.

triathlon bike equipment

The bike transition area


There is just no comparison, and today’s triathlete has some excellent bike equipment to choose from. Ultimately your training, overall preparation, your athletic ability, and the triathlon bike equipment you have are all equally important ingredients to a successful Ironman bike ride.

So don’t be afraid to consider a cheap triathlon bike. That is to say, a bike that might not be top-of-the-line, or perhaps used, but is still quite functional and will get you through your triathlon training and competitions just fine.

Whatever triathlon bike you happen to choose there are several things to keep in mind. Perhaps there are simply too many choices out there, but if the focus is kept on the important aspects like value for your money and proper bike fit, you won’t go wrong If you take your time choosing the right triathlon bike just for you.

PROFILE BARS

I don’t believe they’ve invented an Ironman race yet that has no wind. Profile bars are a “must” to reduce wind resistance and conserve your energy for the upcoming marathon.

If possible, try and have your shift levers mounted at the very front of your profile bars where your hands meet. That way you’re not sitting up or reaching down to shift gears. I have something called “swift shifters.” They are just perfect for the Ironman bike leg.

SUPER-FAST WHEELS

If you feel your ability warrants the lightest and fastest components then it might no hurt to take a look at some of the top-of-the line wheels on the market. Maybe a pair of Zipp Wheels is in your future somewhere.

triathlon bike equipment  -Zipp bike tires

Zipp Wheels are built for speed


However this is most likely something you can do later in your ironman career once you have a better idea of the direction you want to go with.

For instance, you may be good enough to turn pro, you may want to try and qualify for Hawaii, or you may just want to have fun and aren’t that concerned with how fast your bike is or how fast you finish the race.

A common mistake new triathletes make is over-spending on their triathlon bike equipment when it’s not really necessary. It makes more sense to wait until you have eased into the sport and then maybe commit more money toward your equipment.

CYCLE COMPUTER

Some bike computers have way too many functions. All you need is cadence, speed, and an odometer to tell how far you’ve gone. That way you’re not forever pushing buttons to find the proper setting.

CLIPLESS PEDALS AND SHOES TO FIT

These were just a great invention. It is one of the key pieces of triathlon bike equipment that have come along in many years. They are so easy to get in and out of and allow for a much smoother and more economical pedal stroke than the old clips we started out with.

triathlon bike equipment

Clipless bike pedals


Its VERY important to have the tension set just right. You want to be able to get into them easily, yet not have your foot snap out at the worst possible time.(Like climbing a hill for instance). If you ski, its sort of the same idea as ski bindings.

Just keep experimenting with it until you have to give your ankle a fairly quick, sharp twist for your shoe to come away from the pedal. That way you know its not set to loose. Also, make sure the bike has forward momentum when twisting out of the pedal. If you are almost stopped you could fall right over.

BOTTLE CAGES

Personally, I used to carry 4 water bottles. One inside the handlebars with a flexible plastic straw so I could drink without removing the bottle, one in the standard position on the frame, and a two bottle cage behind the seat.

The water bottle on the frame and the two behind the seat were for my replacement drink of choice. The bottle with the plastic straw was water. It had a top that snapped open, but stayed attached and at aid stations I would just refill it with water if needed.

triathlon bike equipment

Bottle cage mount behind bike seat


When I wanted a replacement drink, I would take it from the bottle on the bike frame. When it was empty I would switch it with a full bottle from behind the seat. If I thought I would need more than three bottles of my replacement drink, I would leave one or two at the special needs station.

***If what you normally use for a replacement drink is being supplied on the race course, then you can do away with the two bottles behind your seat and just keep changing the bottle on the bike frame at the aid stations. Most of the time it was something I didn’t use and I would just bring my own choice of supplement.

HELMET

This is a mandatory piece of triathlon bike equipment. You can’t race without one, so just find one that is comfortable, fits you well, and meets all safety standards.

Remember, if its too loose, it will fall over your eyes when you lean forward into the profile position and that will drive you crazy. Also make sure it can be done up and undone easily.

Read this and find out if AERO HELMETS CAN MAKE YOU FASTER

SUNGLASSES

This is one piece of triathlon-bike-equipment you MUST have for your Ironman training and racing.

Regardless if they cost $2.99 or $299 be sure you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from bugs and other foreign objects that will fly your way every time you cycle outside.
triathlon bike equipment
Say you’re going downhill at 40 mph. And the bee coming towards you is traveling 25 mph. when he hits your unprotected eye. That could end up being VERY SERIOUS!! Always wear sunglasses and a helmet sun or not. Sunglasses are an important part of your triathlon bike equipment.

I always used yellow tinted triathlon sunglasses on those sunless days, because they would brighten up even the most overcast day. I think that’s a smart way to go.

I can think of at least 8 or 10 times over the years that something has hit my sunglasses hard enough to do lots of damage if my eyes had been unprotected. Sunglasses are an essential part of triathlon equipment.

Check out the triathlon bike wheels on WIGGLE

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