At last, I have purchased and assembled the main essentials for my bike. Out of the three disciplines the bike (by far) has the most gear, most maintenance, and is the most costly. However, it is an extremely important leg, as the majority of your race you are in the saddle. The following is a list of my essential bike gear to get me through all those miles on the road and trainer.
1. Bike: 2014 Kestrel Talon I recently purchased the Kestrel Talon as my first tri bike. Although I have not been able to ride outside yet, it has done me well on the trainer. I chose the Kestrel Talon because I wanted to go aero, carbon, but I also did not want to spend an outlandish amount of dough. This bike fit the bill. Last year I used my mom’s Gary Fisher road bike, which was great and it is a great bike, but I am excited to see what this baby can do.
2. Cycling Triathlon Shoes: Louis Garneau Tri X-Lite I chose these shoes because they are triathlon specific, have a carbon outsole, great ventilation, and are designed for an easy transition with the velcro strap and rear puller.
3. Clipless Road Pedals: Shimano 105 SPD SL Pedal The basic. However, I believe this is a MUST have addition for anyone racing. Your efficiency will be greatly improved.
4. Water System: Forté Omega Carbon Cage & Profile Design Aerodrink with the Aerodrink Base Bar Bracket Hydration is key to success on the bike. Long rides equal lots of sweating, which means you need to have water/sports drink available. I went with the Profile Design Aerodrink for easy access and then a carbon cage for an extra water bottle.
5. Helmet: Rudy Project Sterling I went with Rudy as I had a nice discount through my club. If you are just starting out a Bell would do just fine.
6. Bike Computer: Garmin Forerunner 910XT with Speed/Cadence Bike Sensor The addition of a bike computer is well worth it. I was without one for the past few months and it drove me crazy. I love knowing my cadence and speed when I am riding. It tells me if I am slacking! Depending on the workout, it is crucial to keep a steady cadence or drop the cadence down. It is also nice to see the distance you traveled to give you that extra boost of motivation.
7. Repair Kit: When out on the roads riding, safety is the biggest priority. Having a repair kit on hand in case of an emergency can save your butt.
- Transit Small Speed Wedge Bag
- Spare Tube
- Spin Doctor Rescue XP Mini-Tool
- Tire Levers
- Tire Patches
- CO2 Canister with Pump
Of course the list can go on and on, but these are my essentials for right now. As I learn more about my bike (how to clean it, tune it, etc.) I will collect more fun “accessories.”
8. Pump: IMPORTANT! Everyone needs their own bike pump. Whether on the road or on the trainer your tires should have the correct pressure before every ride. General guideline is 90-100.
9. Trainer: CycleOps Trainer I really like the CycleOps brand, I have had no issues with the one I have. Smooth riding. The mat and stand are nice to have too. The trainer is one of my favorite bike accessories because it is so reliable. No matter the weather it is there and I can ride without going to the gym, mapping out a route, worrying about traffic (stoplights, cars, bumps in the road), I can go on forever. Yes, it is fun to get outside and the miles go by a lot faster, but on the trainer you can watch any sports game or recent show you are addicted to.
There you have it, my bike essentials. In addition to this list it is important to have bike shorts with the extra cushioned pad (tri shorts work too) and a top that has pockets in the back to put nutrition, phone, ID, and money (cash and credit card). I always bring these things with me when I plan on riding outside and far from home. I also plan on purchasing a tri specific saddle because the one I have now is definitely not cutting it. Does anyone else have problems with their saddle?
If you like this post and thought it was helpful, let me know and maybe I will write up a list for the swim and run!