Rarely do I talk about the cycling aspect of triathlon. For the most part, I let our Local Bike Shop (LBS) neighbors do that as we have five or so competent bike shops in the Clermont area. At Gear for Multisport, we focus on the swim and run pretty well. So today, I will step out of my comfort zone, and give you a few thoughts about some cycling aspects I have learned over the years of doing the sport. I will keep it pretty basic, again just putting some of my basic thoughts out there.
Whose kidding who, swimming and running shopping equipment is fun, but the new tri super bikes are just plain fun to shop for I think. There is something about taking that first ride on a new triathlon TT bike; a new bike is quite possibly one of the most exciting days in a multisport geeks life.
All of us, including myself, love the shopping probably a lot more than the actual purchase. The speed gains of a new bike are somewhat free (I’m not talking about price tag either). The actual bike takes up 15% of the riders aerodynamic system. That means 85% of the system is dependent on the riders body position. Obviously, a professional or proper bike fit is the first place to start, but here eight other pitfalls of tri cycling.
- Practice form. Work on developing the most efficient pedal stroke you can. Cycling drills are out there and help.
- Loose clothing. Anything else that flaps forms a rough surface and scoops open in the wind—this is bad.
- Race Number. If you have a number pinned to your body or bike, it is probably causing drag. Try to avoid wearing a race number on the bike. Come get a number belt from GFM for the run.
- “Work” during bike training when necessary. In order to get faster, you have to ride faster. Too many times we get in a rut of always being comfortable on the bike. Learn when to get away from this during your harder efforts.
- Riding with knees splayed out. Keep them close to the top tube. The thinner the bike position, the better.
- You need solid core strength to maintain perfect position on the bike. Work on this. In aero setup, it’s just as important as your engine (legs & cardio).
- The easiest way to become a stronger rider in aero position is to ride a lot in aero position. Simple enough right?
- Figure out what works best for you. Study professionals climbing and descending try to simulate what they do. Study the pros cadence and position of the top riders.
Those are just a couple things you can work on next time your out. Have fun and ride safe; see you on the roads!