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  1. #1
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    Tri newbie.. bike to run transition

    Hi all, I posted before a while ago. I'm deep into my training program now and maybe I'm ignorant but I'm wondering about something. The Transition from Bike to run when using clip in shoes.

    Now I see the advantage that you can jump into the shoes and start pedaling immediately, but... You totally can't run in those things right? So after you are done with the bike you leave them attached, unvelcro them, jump off and then sit down and tie on your running shoes?

    Since this is my first tri, I was thinking to just use my old running flats to bike/run with, just tighten down the straps on the pedals, and this will give me a quick transition off the bike, if I get into it more I will go with shoes/pedals. I was just interested in the real story behind the above....

  2. #2
    Juicy Rowdy's Avatar
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    I have never left my shoes clipped on my pedals during a triathlon. I can get them on pretty quick in T1 and taking them off in T2 is no problem. Each competitor has their own way of doing things. Give it a try, if it works for you then keep at it.
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  3. #3
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    I *think* I understand your question. You currently do not have "clipless" pedals (Look, Speedplay, Shimano, etc.), correct? If you're doing a Sprint, I see no problem with continuing to use your toe-clips and just wearing your running shoes for both legs. Yes, it will definitely give you a faster transition.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Rahzel's Avatar
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    While the benefits of *starting* the bike with your shoes clipped in is debatable, the benefits of *finishing* the bike with your shoes clipped in are obvious.

    1. You need to slow down as you approach the dismount line, you might as well use the time to take your feet out of your shoes.

    2. Most people will run faster through transition when they are barefoot, compared to running with bulky cleats. Plus, it's safer.

    3. T2 is faster, since your shoes are already off.

    So, to answer your question: yes, you cannot run in cycling shoes. Most triathletes who use clipless pedals perform the dismount/T2 in the above manner, leaving their shoes attached to the pedals after they finish riding.

    However, if you use toe clips & straps with running shoes, that's a fine way to go for your first tri! You'll have an even faster T2, and won't have to worry about navigating clipless pedals during T1 and T2 either.

  5. #5
    runnin' down a dream edbikebabe's Avatar
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    I think you have the right idea. Stick to your running shoes & toe straps for now. Later on you can upgrade.

    I use clipless pedals but I've compromised. I wear mountain bike shoes with a recessed cleat, so they are easy to run in. They are also easier to get on & off than my road shoes.

    I've seen a lot of people do the slip & slide trying to run through transition with road shoes. Don't be that guy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    I have only finished 1 sprint tri so far, but, hope to enter another in early June. I use mountain pedals too. they are pretty good for your jog thru the transition area. I have been riding with spd pedals for 3 years now.

  7. #7
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I used mtb pedals in my last race which had a huge grass transition area. I probably had to run 70 m from the bike rack to the mount-up and back. I'm really glad I made that choice.
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  8. #8
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    The down side is running shoes aren't as efficient for cycling. You lose a lot of power through the soles that flex. That's a trade-off you face with the faster transtion
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the responses guys, I'm gonna try it for my first tri and see how it goes...

    Now another total noob question... maybe I've lived in the ghetto too long but what do you do when you leave your bike, do you have a friend wait to grab it, do you carry a lock with you to keep someone from running off with it? I know it sounds nuts but you never know

    And a more serious question, a lot of people have suggested wetsuits, I also see the tri-suits out there which are like half wetsuits. The tri i will be doing is in august (and possibly one in June), Obviously I can run/bike in the tri-suit while the wetsuit i would want to peel off I guess... Whats the preferred method? Id assume to be faster in the full wetsuit....

  10. #10
    runnin' down a dream edbikebabe's Avatar
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    The bike will be fine. Mostly because there will be many, many bikes much fancier & more expensive than yours. Seriously though, it is highly unlikely that anyone will steal it from transition.

    I have never used a wetsuit. If it is a sprint you don't really need one. It will make things more comfortable, especially if you aren't a very confident swimmer, but you will lose time trying to get the darn thing off. If you are going to use one, I would suggest renting (and practicing getting it on & off) instead of buying until you decide what you like.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rahzel's Avatar
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    Part of the entry fee you pay goes towards compensating volunteers to watch the transition area and keep an eye on your stuff. Don't worry about it!

    Regarding wetsuits:

    Quote Originally Posted by edbikebabe View Post
    I have never used a wetsuit. If it is a sprint you don't really need one. It will make things more comfortable, especially if you aren't a very confident swimmer, but you will lose time trying to get the darn thing off. If you are going to use one, I would suggest renting (and practicing getting it on & off) instead of buying until you decide what you like.
    Wetsuits will save you time in virtually any swim of any distance, including the time it takes to peel it off. If the suit fits you well, you'll save at least 10 secs/100 meters, assuming you swim 2:00/100 meters or worse. The wetsuit will take between 3 and 30 seconds to pull off without a wetsuit stripper, provided you peel the top off as you run to T1 and take the rest of it off as soon as you can. Therefore, if the swim is over 300 meters/yards long, you are very likely to save time.

    Plus, if the water is cold you won't be thinking about whether or not you're going to gain or lose 3 seconds due to getting the wetsuit off! You'll just be glad you decided to wear your wetsuit.

    Just be sure that the wetsuit fits you and is comfortable and non-restricting to swim in. Renting is a good idea until you find a brand and model that fits you.

  12. #12
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    Cool thanks guys, however, should I maybe just go with a tri suit, that I don't even need to take off? I assumed with those tri suits guys just went ahead and did the rest of the event....

  13. #13
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    As for wetsuits, if it is sanctioned by USA Triathlon, wetsuits are not legal if the water temp is above 78-80. I am positive those temps are correct, but they are close.

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Those tri suits aren't wet suits. They're more like short skinsuits, tight lycra, and are worn under the wetsuit. They're sleeveless for the swim and have a thin pad for the ride. If you wear a wet suit, you can also go with a thin, close fitting tanktop underneath. I've done that and it works well.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by az_cyclist View Post
    As for wetsuits, if it is sanctioned by USA Triathlon, wetsuits are not legal if the water temp is above 78-80. I am positive those temps are correct, but they are close.
    For everybody or just the elite/pro divisions?

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  16. #16
    runnin' down a dream edbikebabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rahzel View Post
    assuming you swim 2:00/100 meters or worse.
    I don't.

    As for the wetsuit cutoff. It is also in effect for age group athletes, although here in Canada the cutoff is higher for the age-groupers than for the pros.

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