10 Bike Tips For Ironman Triathlon

Bike set up is very important when training for an Ironman or Triathlon. Making sure all the components are ready to race or train is vital

Ensure your winter and racing bike are set up to within 1.5mm.

Bottle cages - fit two similar shape bottle cages and carry drinks on every ride, punctures getting lost, mechanical breakdowns, unexpectedly meeting up with other cyclists all cause delays getting back to your destination.

Being dehydrated causes fatigue and delays recovery and is not a problem you want when taking part in an Ironman or Triathlon event!

Creaky Parts - noise usually occur when two parts joined together because one of the following:-

The surface is damp, unnecessarily greased or dirty.

Cycle Chain - use a chain stretch checker monthly to gauge if your chain has stretched too much and needs changing.

Cycle Lights - try and ride with LED cycle lights, if the weather changes and visibility is poor, switch them on as this will help you be more visible to other road users. If the weather changes it will get darker sooner than you had planned.

Gear Cables - grease gear cables to keep them running freely.

General Maintenance - deal with problems after a ride, if you leave them until the next ride your training session could be cancelled while you have to fix it or not be able to ride the your bike at all.

Handlebars - for extra comfort put a strip of old handlebar table along the top bar or use a thin tap as the base, then cover completely with new handlebar tape. Make sure that they are positioned exactly in the middle and the brake levers are both the same height. If different will cause you to ride asymmetrical.

Check you can turn your handlebars right round both ways without pulling on the brake and gear cables, sometimes this can cause the brake cable to lengthen and cause the brakes to close on the rim.

Head set - check monthly that there is no movement, lose headsets cause jerky braking and can be dangerous.

Inner tubes - use talcum powder when replacing inner tubes to reduce the risk of punctures. Rub talcum powder onto spare inner tubes before storing away ready to replace punctured tyres.

Seat Post - mark the height with sticky tape. If you need to remove it you will be able to replace it to exactly the same height. Any movement of the seat post will also be apparent if taped especially if it slips down, the sticky tape will help you put it back to the same height.

Tyres - inflate your rear tyre 5-10psi more than the front. Improves saftert and bike handling. Generally buy a pair then swap them around after 400-600 miles depending on riders weight and road surface. The rear tyre wears quicker due to rider pressure than the front. Before each ride check for tiny objects imbedded in the tyre, if found let out air from the tyre remove and replace air before they work into the tyre and cause a puncture. Replace tyres that are worn, could explode and generally cause more punctures, if they have defects like bulges etc.

Quick release - tighten them so they point back wards, that way while going forwards nothing can get caught and open them. Never tighten them up so tight that they tough any part of the frame, this make stem difficult to undo and they could snap.