Bike Equipment for Ironman
Cycling against the clock out on the open road whether for personnel satisfaction or in a time trial or triathlon. Consider these many factors to hinder or help you. As Nimble say on their website www.nimble.net Aerodynamics is the single most significant contribution to road ride performance.
Going down hill you are helped by gravity pulling you down the incline but the faster you go but hindered by the air friction.The better you are aerodynamically the less drag you create.
Aim for a flat torso use aero bars with pads for resting forearms adjusted so your elbows are in front of your knees and not touching during the cycling action.
Head position should be comfortable and allow you to see where you are going. Use a aerodynamic helmet that fills the gap behind your head, this is a trade off from getting too hot compared to a conventional vented helmet, a small improvement can be achieved by wearing a cap back to front or a bandanna rather than hair catching the wind to a bare head. It can also be safer to wear a helmet.
A tight fitting skin suit covering the body preferably with long arms tight fitting overshoes. Shaved legs it is hard to overcome drag but can improve aerodynamic efficiency.
For example the watts you need per mile almost doubles from 19mph to 30mph!
Acceleration is the effort required to change your speed is best measured as total moment of inertia (MOI). Total translational MOI both addresses the effort required to spin a wheel up to speed (rotational MOI) and the effort required to accelerate it through space (lateral displacement). The units of measure for MOI are gram meters squared (gm2). MOI can be reliably measured to an accuracy that discerns between one brass and alloy spoke nipple (www.nimble.net).
Aerodynamic designs try and reduce drag as much as possible, examples are Brake and gear cables hidden under handlebar tape, less number of spokes, hidden spoke nipples, inner tube valve hidden behind or between tri spoke.
Practice in the gears you plan to use in the race, remember that in your chosen triathlon you may be tired because of the swim and need to spin easier gears to save your legs for the run, so you may need an easier gear to climb the hill than you would normally have used. Experienced triathletes often use bigger gears in training on some rides to make the gears used in the triathlon or cycling event seems easier.
Cycle helmets can reduce head injuries by up to 70% and the majority of deaths occur from falls or collisions from head injuries. Cycle helmets are designed to protect your head from impacts and if worn correctly are made to give you the best protection from head impact.
Children’s helmets (1-8) are made to cover a larger portion of the head. Wearing at helmet at all times can save your life whatever your age or cycling experience.
If you have a cycle accident involving your helmet always replace it as it can be damaged as it may now be weakened. Correct fitting is also important, place your cycle helmet on your head without the strap on and it should not move in any direction, front, back or side ways. You can also turn your head up side down and it should not fall off, if it does it is too big or has not been adjusted correctly.
Some helmets come with extra size foam pads that stick inside to personalize your head size. If in doubt ask where you purchased it or knowledgeable person.
A few tips include always wear your cycle helmet and make sure it fits properly, cycle in designated areas where possible, do not jump traffic lights, do not carry other persons or cycle with carrier bags to unbalance you, avoid using head phones, make clear correct hand signals
Make sure that you have practiced with carrying cycle bottles filled with drink, spare inner tubes and cycle pump. Do they rattle come lose or worse rub on your body while cycling.
Depending on the bike and run course, the experts recommend a dark pair of sunglasses for the bright sun on the bike and a slightly tinted pair for the run unless this it is mostly shaded then a clear pair is better.
Some courses go thru bright and sunny sections and dark shaded areas decide which type of sunglass will be safe and best suited for you for each event.
Often changing sunglasses for a clean pair to start the run gives you a fresh feel and can pick you up.
Hill climbing staying seated builds up specific strength and can improve economy of movement. If done regularly will help in competitions, your new found strength will be used on even the smallest climbs saving your fitness and energy levels for longer into the race.