This is the second part of the Tri Talk Tuesday link-up with my fellow triathlete bloggers: Cynthia, Miranda and Courtney. This week we are discussing the bike portion of a triathlon. If you missed last week we discussed the swim. I'll give you a wild guess what next week's topic is going to be?
Here's a quick list of some of my favorite tips relating to the bike. And a few things you should to know before you race.
- Invest in a comfortable pair of bike or tri shorts. A pair of bike shorts is a must when riding your bike. New riders often get sore in the saddle area and a decent pair of padded shorts will help. The difference between bike shorts and tri shorts is the thickness of the padding. You can swim in a pair of tri shorts, you don't want to swim in a pair of bike shorts! I prefer my Coeur Sports Tri shorts for all rides. They are unique because the padding runs all the way down the inside of the leg. There is no irritating seam in the crotch area. A great investment as you can swim bike and run in these shorts.
- Practice bike to run transitions Your legs feel entirely different when you try to run after biking for awhile. It's a strange sensation at first and you almost feel like you are going in slow motion. To simulate how you will feel on race-day you will want to practice this transition ahead of time.
- Get properly fitted on your bike Not being properly fitted on your bike could make life miserable for a new rider. Your shoulders can start to hurt, your low back will ache and all you want to do is get off the bike! A proper bike fit will help you in the long run. It will make those long rides much more comfortable. I recently had my bike fitted by a professional and am wondering why I waited so long. My local bike shop analyzed my riding form and made several adjustments (especially to my aerobars). I took the bike on a long ride after those adjustments and was very pleased with the results. And if you ride a tri bike I recommend asking the bike shop if they have experience fitting someone on a tri bike.
- Ride your bike as often as you can I have mentioned it before...indoor cycling classes are a wonderful tool to get you in shape for the bike portion of a triathlon. But they are not as effective as riding outside on your own bike. Time spent in your own saddle is extremely important. Prior to race-day you want to know how your bike handles on the road, on turns, how the saddle feels after several hours and what it's like to shift into the big and little gears. These are all things you don't do on a spin bike and it's something that must be practiced before you actually race. It's also a good excuse to have a little girl-time on the bike. So grab a friend and get outside and ride!
- Carry the correct equipment in your saddle bag and know how to change a flat Last week I also discussed what someone should carry with them in their saddle bag. If you missed the post you can read it here: Saddle Bag. It's also very important to know how to fix a flat on your bike.
Thanks for joining me on Tri Talk Tuesday. Visit one of the above-mentioned pages to view additional Tri Talk Tuesday posts. If you have a blog related to triathlon please feel free to link-up.