Hey readers – being an age group coach means I have to be able to eloquently discuss upon gadgets and training/racing gear! Triathlon draw’s A LOT of those who like shinny, aero and gnarly equipment that just looks fast when its motion-less!
The copious equipment choices and its variety can be over-whelming, complicated and just expensive. So your best bet is finding advice from an individual who is not only experienced, but practical/logical minded with a touch of style and an intuitive sense of what works for a particular athlete given his goals and race targets!
I do my best to encourage my athletes to use (ear-muffs) anti-fuck-up-equipment in racing. Traveling to a desolate race venue, lack of competent mechanics or finding unique replacement parts can cause all sorts of chaos, wasted physical/mental energy and in the end second guessing your choices or lack off…
Far to often, I see newby triathletes jump the gun on equipment – just like their race progression. You know who those guys are, they spend ~10 000 US before their first triathlon or in their first season just on equipment alone. I do consider this to be some sort of mid-life-crisis for a few
Those athlete are often the one that do an Ironman distance race withing a year or 2 of that they got into the sport.
Hardly a process!!!
My first triathlon bike was a, 8 speed steel Peugot with down-tube shifters! As you will see during this blog, my current bike is much more awesome of which makes me appreciative of my carbon Cervelo with Campagnolo 11 speed R2C shifters!
In the end, it gives me better and broader outlook on old, current and future triathlon equipment!
Coming from the ground, not only with equipment but with racing I believe is important in terms of long term development and enjoyment in this hard, time and money consuming sport!
In fact, I did my first Ironman in my training wheels, aluminium road bike with drops and is still arguably one of my best races ever! Before the race, Doc told me I rode a bike like a ‘fairy’ and that I would not get a carbon bike nor race wheels until put-up a result that deserved one – I did and of course he held his word like he always does
This is my 6th Cervelo bike that I have owned!
I’ve had a Soloist, a P2, three P3′s and a P4.
I can proudly say that this was a sponsored bike and I only paid for tires, bar tape/grips, pedals, aero bottle and Cushys!
Here are the specs:
Saddle: Cobb V-Flow Max
Wheel-set: Campagnolo Bullet 50mm
Group-set: Campagnolo Record 11
Tires: Continental GP 4000
Hydration: Torhans Aero 20 and Elite Time Trial Bottle
Tri-bars: 3T Mistral width of 42cm
Stem: 3T ARX 120mm
I chose to ride the 50mm Campanolo Bullet (clincher) wheels because I only have 1 set of race wheels, so might as well get a versatile pair of which can be used on all terrain, conditions and drafting/non-drafting! Since there is an aluminium braking surface, I dont need to dork around with changing the brake pads before the race and when it rains or gets really hot, breaking is well NORMAL!
Valves extenders have also been a stress for me in the past and continues to be a stress for many athletes on race morning in transition. Now all I need is a 70mm valve – voilà – I get an accurate pressure reading and no worries about loosing air nor any 2nd guess if I ever get a flat!
And of course ridding clinchers gives me a wider variety of tire choices, cheaper tires choices versus tubular’s and of course when I travel around, ridding on them for days/weeks in continuous is no worry at all!
Anyway, hope you all, my fellow tri-geeks enjoyed my Cervégnolo bike blog and will take some wise decision’s when buying or up-grating equipment. I have rarely heard anybody after a race say that they had a bad race because of ‘normal’ race equipment.
But I have heard tones of times athlete whine and moan how a ‘mechanical’ caused a DNF or lost of time or a crash or pre-race stress because their abilities where not as sharp as their new gear
The best tip I can give, is to give yourself some small goals, like a particular time, qualification, somebody to beat or event a time table for when you decide to buy some new gear, that way it will feel like a sort of reward!