Last week I talked about my favorite swim gear for triathlon training, and now it’s time to move on to the second leg: Cycling!
It’s arguably the most expensive discipline, but that does NOT mean you have to empty your bank account in order to be competitive.
Again, I’ve broken it down into ‘essentials’ and ‘extras’ according to what I personally use, but you can stay as conservative or get as crazy as you’d like!
– Bike: Duh. But while the whole ‘two wheels’ part is non-negotiable, the price you pay can vary greatly. I did my first few sprint-distance races on an older Cannondale commuter bike I bought off of Craigslist, for example, before moving up to my current Giant Avail Composite 3 (aka “Winnie”).
– Pedals: I also biked my sprint tris in running shoes (shhh!), but figured it was about time to get serious — and get clipped in — for longer distances. Enter the easy-in, easy-out Shimano Click’r pedals, which are technically more for mountain biking than road, but they still count. It’s all about baby steps!
– Shoes: Since I invested in my bike this season, I decided not to go all out on the footwear. Sure, a fancy carbon-fiber sole is stiffer and gives better transfer of power, but my standard Shimano cycling shoes do the trick just fine for now.
– Helmet: Eventually, I’d also like to upgrade my helmet to make sure my noggin’s better protected from concussions, but right now I have a basic Giro helmet that’s worked well for the past few years.
– Tools: While technically not essential to the actual riding part, having some tools to to a quick tire change will definitely help get you back up and running in the event of a flat. I have a spare tube, tire levers, bike-specific multi-tool wrench, CO2 cartridges and an inflator or pump. You can cobble this all together or buy the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle here.
– Kit: The more I ride, the more I appreciate a really good race kit. Case in point: Coeur Sports’ tri tank and tri shorts, which have a women’s-specific fit, plus other extras like anti-friction seams, antimicrobial fabric, seam-free chamois, plenty of pockets and more…all in super-flattering, fun designs.
– Accessories: This is mostly based on personal preference — and how fancy you want to get — but I have two favorites here: Tifosi eyewear and Ibex arm warmers to keep the sun (and bugs) out of your eyes and to take the edge off when it’s chilly out, respectively.
– Nutrition: I’m still practicing that whole multitasking (eating and drinking while riding) thing on the bike, but what’s been working well during brick workouts is Osmo Active Hydration and Bonk Breaker Energy Bars, so I’m planning on sticking with the same during Sunday’s race, as well.
How do you like Osmo? I’ve been thinking about giving it a try!
Big fan. I have gut trouble with too much sugar on runs, and Osmo’s been working well. I do pre-load the night before with a lot of ice (need it super cold), then the active for during workouts & recovery shake after (with ice, almond milk & banana in blender). Flavors are milder, too, which set better on my stomach. Granted, our weather’s milder here, so I haven’t tested in extreme conditions – but I’d definitely recommend, based on my experience!
I would also add my Garmin 310XT (since this allows me to keep my heart rate and power in check) and Hoo Ha Ride Glide (women specific chamois cream), especially for longer rides 😉
Gotta getta Garmin! Am currently saving up 🙂 And need to try the Hoo Ha Ride Glide because I’ve heard great things. How do you like it??
I love it!! It has gotten me through many 100+ mile rides, multiple 70.3 races and an Ironman. I’m glad it’s on my side 😉
Er, on your bottom, right? Haha! SOLD – ordered a tube last night & hoping it gets here by race-day! Thanks for the reco 🙂
Yes 😃 I hope it arrives on time. Let me know what you think!!
Yesssss on the ride glide above. Also, the Coeur chamois is the best-kept secret in triathlon. I’ve noticed they’re playing it up now on the website more, and thank goodness, because it is a crime to not know about that seamless goodness.
Good luck this weekend!
Seriously! I think that combo will have me, ahem, ‘sitting pretty’ on the bike from now on. Love getting recos like this; thanks!
Practicing with the same nutrition provided by the race will make your life much easier. If you are doing M-dot races, Powerbar IM perform and Bonk Breakers are what’s available on the course.
Otherwise, Osmo is a great product and I’m stocked up on it!!
Agreed & great point. Depending on how this weekend goes, my eventual goal is an M-dot 70.3, so that’s great info for training…definitely want/need to practice more mid-ride fueling at longer distances. Just working on confidence on multi-tasking while moving 🙂
Great list! I would add a RoadID… won’t ride or run long without mine. And, love my Garmin Edge 500 because it mounts easily on your handlebars instead of wearing on your wrist… much easier to see!
Yes! Def need to get some bike tech eventually – now I just ride by feel, which is fine for my level, but I love to geek out over the numbers 🙂 Helps with motivation, too. And thanks for reminder – added RoadID to my to-buy list!
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