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Understanding the Different Types of Bike Pedals

Types of Bike Pedals: Understanding the Basics

When it comes to choosing bike pedals, you need to consider the best option to meet your needs depending on the kind of riding you’ll be doing. It’s all about personal preference and what you feel most comfortable with. If you’re in the market for some new pedals, keep reading to understand the different types of bike pedals to figure out which ones are right for you.

Types of Pedals:

There are two basic types of bike pedals: Flat and Clipless. Flat pedals are the more common of the two when it comes to triathlon because you wear regular running shoes with this type of pedal. Which is great and convenient for the bike to run transition. Clipless pedals are great for athletes who want to feel more at one with the bike. With these pedals, you’ll need to wear special cleats that clip into the specific type of pedal system that’s compatible with your cleats.

Different Benefits:

Flat Pedals types of bike pedals

Flat Pedals

There are many benefits of flat or platform pedals. Any type of shoe you decide on will work with this type of pedal. They’re great for a quicker bike-to-run transition because, without changing shoes, you eliminate the need to spend any more time in transition.

Flat pedals also reduce any anxiety you may have about falling over during the bike leg. You can put your feet down to catch yourself, as opposed to if you were clipped into the pedals. Lastly, this is the more common and affordable option of the two kinds of pedals. Flat pedals can be found for $10 – $40.

 

Clipless Pedals

Clipless PedalsThere are also many benefits of a Clipless Pedal (clipless means clipped in). Increase your speed during the bike portion by being clipped into your bike pedals. This allows you to take full advantage of your pedal stroke, which in turn allows you to ride faster once you have mastered the push and pull of it.

A smoother more efficient pedal stroke will lead to better average power output. Being clipped in can actually keep you a little safer while riding because it reduces the chance of your foot slipping off the pedal while climbing, descending, or while fatigued. There are endless options when it comes to choosing clipless pedals if that is the

You can go clipless right from the start or use flat pedals until you are more comfortable in the saddle. There are benefits to each type of pedal, but the important thing is to choose what is more comfortable for you. Whatever you choose, spend time becoming familiar with your bike pedals to maximize your efficiency on race morning of Jack’s Generic Tri!


Protect Your Skin During Summer Training

Break out your sunscreen!

Summer is here to stay and the importance of protecting your skin during summer training is crucial, but often forgotten. Keep reading to see some of our favorite products to protect your skin during the summer months of training.

Protect your Skin

Whether you’re swimming, biking, running, it doesn’t matter. Apply sunscreen! Even if you run in the shade or ride on the trail, applying sunscreen is a must. If you’re doing any kind of training outside, or even just getting outside for a walk sunscreen is important. Take a look at some of our favorite sweat and water-proof sunscreen products before heading out for your tri training to protect your skin. It’ll last long during your workout and ensure the sun’s rays don’t impact your skin.

Applying sunscreen to protect your skin during summer training

Reapplying Rules

Training with a sunburn is not comfortable. Plus, the sunburn will warm your body and make it that much more difficult to keep your core cool. Whatever variety you go for, make sure to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before heading outside, to give your skin the chance to absorb the product so you don’t sweat it off right away. Then, you should reapply every two hours if you’re getting out for an extended period of time, apply sunscreen throughout. This advice will get help to protect your skin from UV rays as you continue to follow your training plan so you’re ready for Jack’s Generic Tri!

 

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!

Best Transition Area Tips for Your Next Tri

Worrying about transitions is a thing of the past. We want you to feel prepared when taking on JGT, so keep reading for the best transition area tips for your next tri!

One of the first steps of any tri you participate in is setting up your tri gear in the designated transition area. If you are new to triathlons, the best advice for tackling transitions is to arrive at the race site as early as possible. Use this time to prepare your gear exactly how you want it during the race, and acquaint yourself with the transition area. You’ll find this will also ease your nerves as you become more familiar with the race site, as well as getting to know some of the triathletes in the process! Keep reading to check out the best transition area tips that are sure to make your tri the best it can be.

Questions about what to expect during transition of your upcoming tri? We've covered the best transition area tips you need to know before race day!

1.)  Rack your bike

Everyone will have an assigned rack for your bike in the transition area according to age group. The way you rack your bike while setting up has a big impact on how quickly you can get in and out of transition. Place your bike on the rack by either hanging the handlebars over the rack for security or place the bottom of your seat on the transition rack. Do whichever way works best for you to know your bike won’t fall or get damaged when in the transition area. Most importantly, remember where you racked your bike for quickest access. Pro tip: We have a first come first serve basis when it comes to where you place your bike on your assigned rack, show up early to opt for a spot near the end on the racks. 

2.)  Make sure your bike is in an easy gear

Tips for racking your bike for transition

Make sure your bike is in easy gear when walking out of the transition area!

Easily forgotten, but possibly one of the best transition area tips out there! When you grab your bike to walk out of transition, you want your bike to be in an easy gear for when you hop on. Whatever speed bike you have, set the gear to the easiest or ‘lowest’ setting before the race. This will help you get going on your bike without difficulty. The lower the gear, the easier it is to pedal. You don’t want to have your bike on the max gear after completing a 600-meter swim. Once you feel comfortable on your bike, change your gear to whatever you feel most comfortable with for the rest of the ride. 

3.)  Place your helmet on in the proper direction

When you lay your transition gear out before the race begins, you want to do so in a certain way. Think about what you will be putting on or taking off first, and lay your items out according to the order you will use them. Pro tip: Lay your helmet top down with the front end facing toward you. Along with being a time-saver, this will ensure you don’t accidentally end up riding through Jack’s Generic Tri with your helmet backward. 

Take it from us, these are the best basic tips for a trouble-free transition. After you feel like you have set up your gear in the transition area in a way that works best for you, grab your goggles and head to the water! For more Jack’s Generic Tri transition area tips, click here to read more!

 

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.