Triathlon - Finally got a bike. What now?
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03-13-07, 03:17 PM
So I completed my first sprint tri last weekend. I purchased a Cannondale R500 a month prior to the race for training and the race itself. Now after a few days off I have decided to do an Olympic Tri in about 4 months. The bike leg is approx 24 MI.
My bike is currently stock (2005 R500 model) and I would like to make upgrades. I am new to the bike scene in general, where do I start? I know I need a new saddle but after that I don't know what to do next.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
I started riding more when I was comfortable and enjoyed it. The only upgrades that you should worry about are things that make you ride more. Saddle, shoes, pedals specifically and probably in that order.
03-14-07, 02:46 PM
I agree. Heres my list:
Fit - assuming you didnt get a proper fit when you bought it, go to a tri shop and pay for one.
Helmet: Summer triathlon = 90 degree weather = you sweating your stones off. Spend the money and get one of the newer helmets with 40,000 vents in it. Besides, protecting your noggin is the last place where you want to be cheap.
Jersey: Through away the old cotton T's. You want to get yourself a nice moisture wicking (i.e. coolmax) cycling jersey. You can pick these up cheap at Nashbar, Performance, etc. Those three pockets on the back are there for a reason (read below)
Saddle. You may go through a few before you find one you like. Thats why there are Saddle Swap threads here.
Bib shorts. I dont mean the cheapo's from the clearance rack at your LBS. I am talking about the super-thin ones with the moisture wicking pad from Pearl Izumi or from QR or even Performance. I cant remember the name of their higher end bib but its the same quality as Pearl Iz and its a bit cheaper. Your a$$ with thank you.
Tools and a little under the seat bag. Flat 30 miles from home without a tube, patch kit, tire irons or pump/ CO2 and your screwed. You need one big enough to carry the three things I mentioned above, plus your keys, a cell phone and a microtool. The microtool should have a built- in chain tool by the way. You do not need a monsterous bag the size of your gym bag under your saddle. Anything you cant fit in your little microbag you can stick in one of your jersey pockets. Invest in a CO2 inflation system, and if your that short on space, tape it to your seatpost (make sure to wrap it at least twice) like us mountain bikers do. ALways carry two (2) CO2 refills with you.
Shoes & Pedals
Tires. That R500 probably came with a set of heavy touring tires. Go spend some money and get some lightweight tires. Just be a aware that the lighter weight= greater propensity to flat.
Aerobar. Although 99% of the tri specific websites will tell you that a clip-on aero bar on a road bike isnt a good idea (rsearch the reasons why on your own or ask me offline), I think its a good idea for a longer distance event just to have a third hand posistion to take some stress of your for-arms.
Wheels. Invest in a lighter set. You cnan do this for under $300. You can use the original ones for training/ spare. Think of the heavier training wheels as added resistance training. I always bring a second pair of wheels with me on race day. Aside from the drive train, the other "Major" thing that can go hay-wire on your bike is your wheels. You can put those lighter tires I told you about earlier on your new race wheels.
And if you have money to play with, these are "luxury items" that arent required but are nice:
Various drivetrain upgrades. Only do this when stuff breaks. Otherwise the Tiagra stuff you have on that bike is fine.
03-14-07, 03:23 PM
Fivetenfrank's list is comprehensive and on the mark.
Although it's not a bike upgrade, may I suggest "The Triathlete's Training Bible" by Joel Friel? It's an excellent book to use if you want to set up a good training plan for yourself.
Geez, after Frank posts most of the time, there is not much to be said. Thanks chief!
I also agree with Sprocket on the topic of The Triathlete's Training bible, excellent book.
03-14-07, 07:38 PM
Sorry for being long winded. I have a lot of time to kill during the day
That was a great post Frank. I learned much for my first sprint tri this summer.
03-17-07, 11:03 PM
Make sure you practice with the aero bars. The handling is quite squirrelly (sp?) they are worth 1-2 mph (at least for me)
03-18-07, 05:29 AM
It also takes a while to get your butt and hamstring muscles used to providing power in the aero position - worth it as it spares your quads a bit for the run.
03-18-07, 05:50 AM
I agree 100%- practice in the aeros. Not only is the handling different, but most people find that position to be "unnatural" especially if you never got a proper fit on your tri bike. Typically, when I emerge from winter indoor riding cocoon, it'll take me 2-3 good rides to get used to riding in the aero's again
Not to disagree with Andy, but power in the aero postion has alot to do with the angle of your hips. Theres a "sweet spot" as referenced in this article:
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