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HOW TO PREPARE YOUR BIKE FOR A TRIATHLON

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned triathlete, ensuring your bike is prepared for your triathlon is essential. Having confidence in your bike will help you perform at your best on the day. To get your bike ready, start by preparing it a few weeks before your race, creating a checklist can assist you in staying organized. It's advisable to inspect your bike thoroughly to address any potential issues and allocate enough time if you need to take your bike to a mechanic or local bike shop.

Here are some essential steps to preparing your bike for a triathlon:

  1. Pack your bike with fuel and a repair kit.
  2. Check tires and learn how to fix a flat.
  3. Perform a safety check on your bike.
  4. Test ride before the race.
  5. Clean your bike.

Pack your bike with fuel and a repair kit:

Based on the distance of the race, decide how much nutrition you will need to support you during the event. Then, choose where on your triathlon bike to pack your items. This has to be right for you, choose places that are accessible when riding. Gels could be in your bottle or bento box, hydration could be in a bottle behind your seat or on your frame. Then, practice carrying and accessing it before the race to be prepared for race day. Make sure you have a puncture kit on your bike in case you endure a flat tire when racing, you will need to be able to fix the flat to keep going. This could be mounted in a saddle bag, frame, or even a jersey pocket —whatever works for you in your triathlon race.

Check tires and learn how to fix a flat:

Checking your tires and knowing how to fix a flat is very beneficial for your triathlon race. Ensure the tires have no cracks, flat spots, or wear that could cause issues in the race. If there is an issue, it would be worth changing the tires before your race. If you don’t change the tire, the risk of having a flat can be increased. Here are the basics on how to fix a flat:

You will need: Inner tube, or sealant (Tubeless), tire levers, mini pump or CO2 canister.

Loosen the axle and remove the wheel from your bike, it might be worth using a stand to hold your bike. Then, let any air in the tire out by pressing on the valve. After this use a tire lever or thumbs to remove the tire from the rim. Check for anything that caused the puncture; be careful, as it could be sharp. Remove any debris, replace the tire or inner tube, and re-attach the tire onto the rim, making sure the bead of the tire is under the hook of the rim all the way around, add sealant if tubeless. Inflate the tire. Make sure you practice this before race day. Check out the full guides on How to Fix a Flat with a Tube and How to Fix a Flat Tubeless.

Perform a safety check on your bike:

A safety check of your bike is also needed to ensure all bolts are torqued to the correct NM and nothing comes loose during the race. Check all the accessories on the bike. It is always worth a second opinion if you are unsure about anything by taking your bike to the local shop ahead of time for a thorough check. Learn more about How To Perform a Safety Check on your Bike.

Now your bike is in complete working order, the following steps can be closer to race day:

Make sure your bike is clean:

A couple of days before, make sure your bike is nice and clean, as you don’t want to lose any power gained from the hard training hours you have been putting in. Make sure your chain and cassette are clean and lubed and the frame is clear of any dirt. A clean bike is a fast bike. Learn more on How to Wash a bike.

How to Wash a Bike

Test ride before the race:

After you have done all the above checks, it will be worth riding your bike one last time, with everything being the same as on event day. If you have traveled with your bike, test-ride it before the race, to address any last-minute issues. Most races will have mechanics or someone to help if you encounter a problem.

Now your bike is ready to race. Good luck, and enjoy your Triathlon!