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HOW TO GET THE PERFECT BIKE POSITION

BIKE Triathlons are all about speed, endurance, and efficiency. Time management is super important and most triathletes do whatever it takes to save even a few seconds off their time. Apart from good time management such as super-swift transitions, triathletes need to make the most out of their tri gear. When you buy a tri bike from a shop, you should get a basic fit to make sure you’ve got the right size frame, that you’re comfortable, and it’s safe to ride. Once you’ve started to get familiar with your bike, it’s time to look into your position in a little more detail. And this is where a professional bike fit can come in handy.

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Unlike with most road bikes, tri bikes only require a few minor adjustments to dial down your exact position on the bike. So you won’t have to worry about changing components on the bike as long as you’re on the right size frame. With a time trial bike, it’s often a compromise between comfort, power production, and aerodynamics.

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So, if you’ve invested in a new triathlon bike, you want to make the most of those aerodynamic features and working on your position is vital. Several small tweaks can end up making a significant difference. There are many tools and software that can be used by bike fitters, but they still require an expert eye that can interpret them, but also listen to your individual needs.

SIZING

Sizing a tri bike is not as complicated as suggested by some. However, sizing takes a slightly different trained eye than road bike sizing. Fitting a triathlon bike comes down to the contact points between the cyclist and the bicycle. These FIVE contact points:-

  1. Pedals
  2. Saddle
  3. Forearm pads
  4. Aero bar extensions
  5. Base bar

The location of your feet, pelvis, forearms, and hands dramatically impact comfort and efficiency on the bicycle. Several pieces of equipment on a bicycle are adjusted to find your ideal position on your bike:

POSITIONING

Setting up an aerodynamic position is a little bit like balancing a set of scales. The further forwards you go, the less power you’ll be able to output, but the more time and more effort you’ll save because your position is more aerodynamic. It’s different for every person and there’s a point on the bike beyond which you are losing more than you are gaining. This is why it’s important to have your bike fit done by an experienced bike shop.

Like on most bikes – even more so in the sport of triathlon, comfort starts with the saddle. The proper pairing of you and your saddle will allow the right amount of skeletal support, and soft tissue clearance, while also allowing the appropriate amount of pelvic rotation. With these established, you are able to relax your core and skeletally support yourself on the pads and extensions, and achieve an aerodynamic position that is sustainable for longer.

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COMMON BIKE FIT MISTAKES

  1. Riding with knees flared out. Keep them close to the top tube. If you can’t, something is wrong with your setup—probably cleat position and/or a footbed tilt.
  2. Loose clothing of any kind is harming your timing. Anything else that flaps forms a rough surface and scoops open in the wind—this is bad. This is why time trial cyclists wear skinsuits and shoe covers. Triathletes can’t be as smooth, but it pays to eliminate anything that obviously drags. Aero helmets also help out a lot here.
  3. A common problem we see often with bad cleat alignment is when the toe-in/toe-out is not setup correctly causing additional stress to the knees.

APPAREL BUYING GUIDE – SPECIALIZED

The sort of clothing you wear while cycling greatly impacts how your ride feels. Cycling-specific clothing helps keep you more comfortable on longer rides than compared to conventional sports clothing. You would have seen the professionals sporting skin-hugging jerseys and shorts. This kind of clothing enables them to stay cool, comfortable and makes them marginally faster. Cycling jerseys, shorts, and other cycling-specific equipment are carefully designed taking into consideration the requirements of a cyclist. The riding kit you decide to buy should match your riding style specifically. On longer rides, however, you will benefit from wearing cycling apparel.

APPAREL

A bike jersey made of spandex or any other form-fitting material reduces drag when you ride. These technical fabrics enhance performance by wicking away sweat to keep you drier.

TOP 3 REASONS TO INVEST IN CYCLING APPAREL

1.FIT

You don’t need to be dressing up like Bradly Wiggins every time you’re out on a ride but cycling gear is specially cut to fit properly when you’re leaning forward over the handlebars on your bike.

That means shirts and jackets have a longer back to keep your lower back covered, and legwear has a higher waist at the back too. To stop your wrists being exposed, sleeves are a bit longer on long-sleeved shirts and jackets, and legwear is shaped with bends at the waist and in the knee so it doesn’t impede pedaling. Cycling gear also differs from normal sportswear primarily with added stretch for full freedom of movement.

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2.SWEAT CONTROL

Cycling gear is made from fabrics through which water can move away easily and evaporate, a feature usually referred to as ‘wicking’ in the clothing industry. Breathable fabrics ensure you are well ventilated on the go and even when it gets particularly hot.

3.COMFORT

It may seem strange having a lump of gel hanging off your rear but the padding provides an extra layer of shock absorption. Modern shorts pads have at least one layer of foam inside them, often more with different thickness and density.

SPECIALIZED APPAREL

MADE FOR RIDERS, BY RIDERS. Specialized is the United State’s fourth-largest maker of high-end bicycles. They’re also the leading innovators in the bicycle industry, consistently striving to create new and better bicycle technologies. Alongside their bikes, Specialized has also earned fame in the bicycle industry thanks to its apparel lineup and innovation. Many professional riders swear by Specialized apparel simply because of how comfortable and performance-enhancing they are

SPECIALIZED JERSEYS

The RBX series of jerseys are constructed with a four-way stretch woven fabric on the front, collar, and stash pockets. This ensures that the jerseys are comfortable and lightweight. The compact structure of this stretch woven fabric is incredibly soft against the skin for all-day comfort out on the road.

  • Full-length front zipper for easy ventilation when your efforts heat up.
  • Cold Fabric technology reduces surface temperatures on dark colored fabrics to keep you cool without sacrificing style.
  • VaporRize™ knit fabrics are used throughout to provide muscle support and accelerated moisture transfer.

SPECIALIZED SL SERIES

The Specialized SL jerseys stretch very well on the body and the aero fit assures great performance as well as comfort. The sleeves are designed without cuffs for an aerodynamic purpose as well. The sides, back and the sleeves are mesh liners that aid ventilation. On hot days you can also open up the front of the jersey via the full-length front zip provided.

  • VaporRize fabric construction tackles moisture management while remaining soft against the skin and supportive in all the right places
  • Three standard pockets and one sweatproof pocket provide ample storage spaces to securely house all of your ride essentials and electronics
  • The full-length front zipper gives you the power to manage ventilation under hard efforts.
  • Tall sizing offered for riders, to accommodate the additional body length.

SPECIALIZED CYCLING SHORTS

Made of lightweight, breathable, and highly durable materials, the RBX shorts are all about the long hauls and comfort even during the most taxing of rides. The chamois included, is the Body Geometry insert that can be characterized by its ample padding.

  • Articulated design ensures the perfect fit while in the riding position.
  • Fold-over leg cuff w/ silicone print prevents pinching and discomfort by providing an even, low-volume, and compressive hold over the leg.
  • Body Geometry RBX chamois features plenty of padding to keep you comfortable over the long haul.

A Women’s specific short is also available that comes with Women’s-specific 3D Chamois that pre-molded to match the shape of the female body for superlative comfort. A Women’s-specific Slim Fit with an 8″ inseam is available for a precise fit.

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RBX SERIES BIB SHORTS

Made from a knit version of the VaporRise fabric technology, the RBX bib shorts are incredibly durable shorts that do not sacrifice any breathability or moisture-wicking capabilities. The materials are also extremely soft against the skin, which is a sensation that’s furthered by the fold-over leg cuff. A slight silicone lining around the hem ensures the hem does not shift under heavy pedaling.

  • Articulated design ensures the perfect fit while in the riding position.
  • Fold-over leg cuff w/ silicone print prevents pinching and discomfort by providing an even, low-volume, and compressive hold over the leg.
  • Body Geometry RBX Comp chamois features ample volume and support to keep you comfortable on long rides over rough roads.