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View Poll Results: Gear that makes the biggest difference in your speed

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  • Aero Helmet

    1 11.11%
  • Aero Bars

    5 55.56%
  • Wetsuit

    3 33.33%
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
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    Most Important Triathlon Equipment

    I am fairly new to triathlons, I have completed five of them to date, all sprint distance. I purchased a road bike earlier this year, and am looking for my next piece of equipment. I'm thinking maybe a wetsuit, an aero helmet, or aero bars. Any recommendations? What are the most important pieces of equipment as far as improving your overall speed?

  2. #2
    alpine cross trainer Ludkeh's Avatar
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    I voted for wetsuit. You might not swim faster but you'll come out of the water with more energy left in your tank. Having said that, I think the survey is flawed. Both wetsuit and aerobars are important to good triathlon times. Other than good running shoes, all the other gadgets just add small increments of speed.

    Not considered equipment, but what you wear is also important. If you have clothing that's flapping in the breeze your expending energy needlessly. A good snug form fitting Tri top makes quite a difference on the bike. Especially since most of your Triathlon time is spent on the bike.

  3. #3
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    Thanks that is good advice. I think that I will try and get both the wetsuit and aero bars before my next tri in May (Olympic distance in St. George UT). Here is another question for you though - I have seen some triathlons where the men bike and run shirtless, and some where everyone is wearing the standard tri-suit. What is considered acceptable when it comes to biking/running shirtless during a triathlon?

  4. #4
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    welcome to the wonderful world of triathlon. you'll find as you go there is alot to learn.

    to answer your question, especially since you're a newbie, i'd say that your best speed improvements will come by becoming smart with your training habits. aero helmets will you a few seconds. learning to train smart on the bike and run will save you minutes.

    also, you can get away with shirtless at local sprint events. all olympic, half-IM and IM events i've done require tops.

  5. #5
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    Longest leg of as sprint is the bike. Biggest impact on aerodynamics on the bike is the rider... So being aero on the bike will offer the biggest gain in overall speed. Learning to be able to ride aerobars whilst comfortably holding a good position will be the best option.

    Old data from 2007 Tour Magazine and at a faster speed than what you will be riding; but aero drag doesn't discriminate so still relevant.

    "They put Uwe Peschel on a normal bike:

    Needed Watts for Speed = 45 km/h :
    Stevens San Remo road bike with normal handlebar 465 Watts needed to go 45 km/h
    Same bike Hands down the drops: 406 watts needed
    Same bike Easton Aeroforce bar: 369 Watts
    Same bike Triathlon position (5.5 cm lower bar, saddle forwards): 360 Watts
    Same bike Triathlon position (5.5 cm lower bar, saddle forwards) and carbon Tri spoke wheels front and rear: 345 Watt

    Cervelo + Tri spoke front 328 Watts
    Cervelo + Tri spoke front + disk rear wheel : 320
    Cervelo + Tri spoke front + disk rear wheel +Giro helmet: 317
    Cervelo + Tri spoke front + disk rear wheel +Giro helmet + speed suit: 307
    Cervelo + Tri spoke front + disk rear wheel +Giro helmet + speed suit + saddle 3 cm further back: 293 Watts"

    Biggest savings I've seen between a road and aero helmet has been around 40 Watts. And even then aerohelmets gains will vary between individuals. When I tested in a wind tunnel back in 2008, I found 10 Watt difference between aero helmets of the ones I tested...

    The Climbing Lama: Monash Wind tunnel testing Review - from the vault

    But to reiterate what adablduya said. Consistent training will make the biggest overall gains than equipment when starting out.
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

  6. #6
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    Wow that is amazing the difference it makes. Great response, thanks!

  7. #7
    Senior Member TrillTrax's Avatar
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    looks like I need to get some aero bars!

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