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6 Skills to Know Before Race Day of Jack’s Generic Tri

Be prepared for anything that comes your way during Jack’s Generic Tri by checking out these 6 skills you need to know before race day!

When it comes to triathlons, there is a lot of information that would be beneficial to know before you get out and tackle your first tri. To help you get prepared for Jack’s Generic Tri, we’ve created a list of 6 basic skills that are sure to help you become a better triathlete in the long-run.

How to Change a Flat

6 skills to know before race day

One last bike safety check before the race kicks off!

Follow these 10 steps to fix a flat, and you’ll be back in the race in no time.

1.) Open quick release on break calipers
2.) Open quick release skewer on wheel & remove wheel
3.) Take one side of tire off the rim with your tire levers
4.) Pull out the punctured tube
5.) Check the inside of tire for road debris and cuts in tire
6.) Make sure the rim strip on wheel rim is in it’s proper place
7.) Insert new inner tube between wheel rim and tire
8.) Put the sidewall of tire back onto the rim
9.) Inflate the tube to recommended pressure
10.) Put the wheel back on the bicycle, insert skewer, and re-clamp break calipers

Although it can be tedious, this is a skill you need to know before race day. We recommend using Genuine Innovations Deluxe Ultra Flate tire kit.

How to Fix a Dropped Chain

Get off the bike and steady it in an upright position against something sturdy. To add slack to the chain, push the rear derailleur toward the pedal (forward or inward), and then use your other hand to free the chain from the chainrings or pedals. Line the chain back up with a chainring and cassette to put the chain back in place. Lastly, lift the rear of your bike a few inches off the ground and give the pedals a few turns to allow the chain to find its gear. This seems insignificant, but it’s an important step to keep your chain from more wear and tear throughout the rest of your ride. 

How to Ride in the Rain

Check the weather on race morning to see if you should be prepared to ride in the rain. Throughout the course, avoid standing water. You never know what could be underneath a puddle, and you don’t want to risk a flat tire in wet conditions. Also, be on the lookout for rainbow-colored oil patches in the road to avoid any possible slipping. Stay within your comfort zone, and avoid braking through the corners to prevent losing control. Last but not least, bring some protection for your eyes! Hopefully, you do this when out for any ride, but you will be glad you did in case you find yourself riding in the rain. 

How to Ride While Taking a Drink

You’re bound to get thirsty during the bike portion, so be prepared to ride with one hand during a race. Practice makes perfect. During your training, practice this by removing one hand at a time to build up your confidence. Start with shorter distances, and before you know it you’ll be a pro at riding with one hand. This skill will allow you to eat, drink and signal to other riders while making your way to the finish line.

 

6 skills to know before race day

Jack’s Generic Tri participant sighting during the swim portion

How to Sight in the Water

To avoid swimming a further distance during your tri, sighting is an important skill you should know before an open-water swim. You need to look where you’re going every few strokes to make sure you are staying in line with the buoys. The best method of sighting is to incorporate glancing forward before you go to take a breath. It is recommended to sight every 2 – 3 strokes, but to find what works best for you, you will just have to practice. Pro tip: Look at the swim course before-hand to see if the course goes clockwise or counter-clockwise, then you’ll know to stay on the right or left side of the buoys. 

How to Look Over Your Shoulder

After you perfect riding with one hand, you’ll be ready to learn how to look over your shoulder during your ride. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings during a ride to keep yourself, and others around you safe. It’s all about shifting your weight correctly and keeping your knees, pelvis, and front-wheel facing forward. We advise performing this drill in a parking lot, or on an empty street to make sure you can still ride straight while turned around.

Once you’ve mastered these 6 skills you should know, there will be nothing in your way on race day as you head for the finish line!

Bike Tune-Up Advice

Extend the life of your bike with this bike tune-up advice

When does my bicycle need a tune-up? This is a common question. The answer is not cut and dried. Every bicycle is in a state of getting out of tune due to riding, transporting, and/or storing it. All these things wear on your bike in a way that will make the ride less than perfect. This bike tune-up advice below will keep you and your bike happy!

There are a handful of cyclists with mechanical skills that allow them to work on their bikes before and after every ride. For most cyclists, that is not the case. On average, tune-ups are only scheduled once a year. Other cyclists will wait until the bike needs work beyond the standard tune-up. This can lead to more costly repairs involving component replacement.

To be blunt, anyone who truly cares about having a smooth running bicycle should learn some basic bicycle maintenance. This can include derailleur adjustments, eliminating squeaks, and wheel truing.

Bike tune-up frequency

In general, if someone is okay at derailleur adjustments and wheel truing, they can get one professional tune-up per year. This could include a new chain, tires, and handlebar tape. If you service your bike frequently, you will increase the life expectancy of your components. You will be happier and more comfortable with one bike for a longer amount of time.

There are several factors that may cause your bike to need extra attention each year. The first is numerous race wheel swap outs. The second is transporting the bike on a regular basis. The third is racing your bike. Please know that it is okay to swap wheels, travel, and race. But you should also know that there are some issues associated with each.

If you want a very smooth ride without working on the bike yourself, you should schedule tune-ups more frequently. This could be as many as three times per year if you are a high-mileage cyclist.

If you take care of your bike, it will take care of you. If you don’t take care of your bike, call James Balentine with City Limit Cycles!

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.

Pre-Ride Safety Inspection

Use the 8 tips below when conducting your pre-ride safety inspection

Before each ride, perform a safety check of your bicycle. This pre-ride safety inspection should take a minute or two. Click To Tweet

This pre-ride safety inspection will help prevent avoidable accidents and keep you spinning happily!

  • Check your tires for proper inflation (marked on the side of the tire)
  • Check the tire treads for excessive wear or other damage, such as embedded glass or other objects
  • Check the brakes; spin the wheels to check for rubbing and apply the brakes to ensure they stop the bike smoothly and evenly
  • Check the brake pads for excessive wear
  • Check the cables and housing to make sure there is no fraying or splitting
  • Check the wheel quick release levers to ensure they are secure
  • Check for any loose parts or other mechanical problems
  • Do a slow-speed ride and inspect bicycle, brakes, and shifting before you leave your driveway

Following this pre-ride safety inspection guideline will go a long way to enjoying your bike rides. It’s easier to remain motivated in the offseason when your bike is in great shape. It will often help you prevent unexpected incidents or a long walk home.