Posts

Tips You Need To Know For a Faster Transition During Your Next Triathlon

You need to know these 7 time-saving tips for a faster tri transition!

The most important thing is to practice in advance and bring the fewest number of items. If you have a game-plan in your head of what gear you need to remove and replace first, the less time you’ll spend in the transition area throughout the tri. Use these tips for faster transitions, and tackle your next tri like a pro! 

Run with Your Bike Out of Transition

JGT Participant running out of transition with his bike in hand

Headed for the bike portion of JGT, running with your bike in hand!

You won’t be allowed to get on your bike until you are out of the transition area with your helmet buckled. Depending on how big the triathlon is, the distance between the racks and mount line can be lengthy. Once you have your bike gear on and ready to go put one hand on the seat, and one hand on the handlebars to guide your bike out of the transition area. It seems simple enough, but it can be easy to lose control of your bike while running next to the other triathletes trying to get out of transition. Practice this in an open space during your training, either grass or concrete, to determine which side of the bike you feel more comfortable running on. The goal is to keep moving the whole tri, so practicing mounting your bike from either side will help determine which is quickest for you.  

Attach Stuff to Your Bike in Advance

Prep your bike before the race starts to save a lot of time dealing with the small stuff you need for the bike portion of your next tri.  Have your JGT water bottle full and in your bike’s bottle cage, along with gels taped to the frame if you want them. Also, make sure your bike’s tool kit is secured beneath the seat. Often including an extra tube, CO2, levers, multi-tools you are familiar with.  

Know the Layout of Transition

How to Remember Where Your Bike Is During Transition

Look for something that stands out to you for you to find your bike faster!

Before race morning, go check out a course map to know exactly where the transition area is, and its layout.  This will help you plan ahead to know how far transition is from the course so you can plan accordingly. Make a mental note of where both the bike exit and the run exits are located.

Have a System to Remember Where Your Bike Is

You’ll be assigned a bike rack according to age group. Transition area can look hectic once everyone’s gear is in there, so come up with a method of remembering where yours is for quickest access. Pro tip: JGT participants rack their bikes (on the assigned rack) of a first-come-first-serve basis, so the earlier you get to the transition area prior to the race, the more likely you’ll be able to get a spot at the end on the racks for easiest access and identification. 

Wear the Same Clothing For the Entire Race

Come to the race dressed in your tri suit. Granted Jack’s Generic Tri is in Austin, Texas at the end of August, we advise against wearing a wetsuit. Plus, any additional clothing changes will add a significant amount of time to your overall tri. 

Use Easy Laces for Running Shoes

You don’t want to waste time tying your shoes in the transition area. Either have your shoes already tied and ready for you to slip your foot into with a secure fit, or try out these Lock Laces or ‘speed laces’ to eliminate having to tie your running shoes at all. The elasticity of the lace will make sure your running shoes stay in place throughout your run portion of your triathlon. 

Use Race Belt for Bib Number

Attached bib number to race belt for easy access

Attach your bib number to your race belt before the race for a speedy transition!

Attach your bib number to your race belt before the race start. When you’re heading back into transition after the bike portion, grab what you need and go to get out of transition as quickly as possible. Keep your eyewear on, grab your race belt and go! Put your race belt on as you head for the run start. Next step, finish line! 

 

Set up a practice transition area prior in the weeks leading up to your upcoming tri and run through it as many times as you need to to make your transition process quick as possible! By the time JGT rolls around, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can get in and out of transition and focus on the triathlon!

Two Reasons for Skipping Chains

Learn what causes skipping chains and what you can do about it

There are two main causes for skipping chains. The most common cause is the misalignment of the rear cogs and the chain itself. The second most common cause of skipping chains is wearing on the chain, cassette, and/or the chainrings. Read below to see what causes each and how you can prevent chain skipping and extend the life of your bike.

There are several things that can cause the misalignment of the rear cogs and the chain.

  • Improper cable tension. When the tension is incorrect the chain does not sit inline with the corresponding cassette cog and it is trying to jump to the next cog.
  • Dirty cable. The dirt prevents the cable from moving like it needs to.
  • Slightly bent hanger for the rear derailleur. Can affect the alignment.

Learn what you can do about skipping chains on your bike.Skipping chains will wear on the chain, cassette, and/or the chainrings. The chain is the most likely to wear out first since it is made entirely of small, moving parts. Those parts tend to wear out faster when they are dirty or ridden dry. Chains on most modern drivetrains usually last anywhere from 1500 to 2000 miles. This can change depending on your riding style and how well you maintain your bike. If you keep your drivetrain clean and you tend to spin at a slightly higher cadence then you will get more mileage out of your chain. Follow these six steps to clean your drivetrain.

When the chain wears, it no longer sits evenly on the cassette cogs and chainrings. As this goes on the chain will eventually start to jump since the chain wears much faster than the cassette and chainrings. If you let your chain go too long it will start to wear down the teeth of the cassette first and then the chainrings. If the chain is replaced before it is too worn the cassette and chainrings will outlast the chain many times over. You’d much rather want to replace your chain than the cassette and chainrings.

Use this bike tool to measure chain wear at home. You can also call James Balentine at City Limit Cycles. He can measure it for you and make any necessary adjustments and/or fixes.

Proper Air Pressure

Proper air pressure can make all the difference

There are a lot of questions out there about how much air pressure a road bike tire should have. Proper air pressure is a hot topic among wheel and tire manufacturers and triathletes alike. Most of the major companies have invested time and money into testing what is really faster. Nearly every test had the same results. Most people were a little surprised about the results.

The tests showed that the pressure that had the least amount of rolling resistance was actually around 90psi. The general rule of thumb (up to this point) was the higher the pressure, the less resistance you had. People aired their tires up to whatever the tire was rated. Tires bounced on the small bumps that pavement has when they were aired up to more than 120psi. This bouncing caused the tire to lose momentum and it took more effort to keep the tire going at the same speed. When aired up to 90psi, the tire deformed over the bumps and kept the momentum going.

This same result also showed up when using 23mm tires versus smaller, “faster” tires. The 23mm tires deformed over the bumps and the 19mm tires bounced on the bumps.

If you’re going with the experts, then roll with 90psi.  If you feel like more air is better, despite the testing, it’s still best to keep it 120psi or under.

City Limit Cycles – Official Bike Mechanic

Meet your Jack’s Generic Tri Official Bike Mechanic – James Balentine owner of City Limit Cycles!

Although you need to get your bike tuned up before race day and know how to change your own flat tire, James will be available race morning for any unexpected last-minute issues.

For more than two decades, James worked as a bike mechanic at bike shops, including a decade as Head Mechanic for Jack & Adam’s Bicycles in Austin.  For the past 14 years, James has traveled the world volunteering as the mechanic at Triathlon World Championships for Team USA.  He has also helped Olympians for Team USA Paratriathlon in Brazil and continues to volunteer for Team USA Paratriathletes.

James likes bikes. He likes to see and hear them running perfectly because he likes to see you riding them with a smile. His service experience is built around a lifetime passion for all things cycling. He’s been a pro racer, a pro mechanic and pro level bike geek.

Through it all James brings a high level of professionalism and attention to detail. He has cared for all kinds of riders from recreational to pro and literally every kind of bike on the planet, quiz him. Click To Tweet
City Limit Cycles is James’ mobile bicycle repair company.  Now a world-class bike mechanic comes to your door so you can focus on what you love most – more saddle time.  We’re lucky to have someone of his caliber at Jack’s Generic Tri.