Getting the bike ready for the big day!

Posted: June 7, 2012 in cycling, Syracuse Ironman 70.3, Training, Triathlons
Tags: , ,

The longest of the three events at Ironman Syracuse in both time and distance is the bike event. 56 miles translates to 2 hours (if you ride like Lance Armstrong) in the saddle to somewhere past 4 hours. Most of us, fall in between those two. Either way, it is a significant amount of time pedaling your bike and covering the distance.

There are hundreds of choices that can be made about type of bike, frame materials, components, wheels, seats, and the list goes on. Most of us will be riding on a triathlon specific bike, or a road bike with or without areobars. There may be a few that will do the event with a mountain bike, and hopefully with smooth city/road tires.

My ride of choice for the event is a Transition Pro, made by Specialized. It is a triathlon specific design, with the frame/fork made of carbon fiber. The bike is designed to be fast, and aero, while still providing a comfortable ride. I rode aluminum frame Cannondale’s for years, and there is a very noticeable difference in shock and vibration transmitted back up to the rider. I am definitely liking the carbon frame. Since I have turned my focus towards long course and possible full ironman distances, comfort is important.

Having spent some of the last two months riding outdoors, I am really enjoying the bike. Although the bike could certainly benefit from a more powerful engine, I will have to keep working on that 🙂 My current bike position is much more forward than I had on my old tri bike, and the handling is more twitchy. I have gotten use to it, and less nervous with the bike at faster speeds. On the Syracuse course, there are a few sections that you can go over 40mph and even 50mph if you are aero enough (bike and position.)

The bike is just about set for June 24th. For hydration, I have a speedfil system that allows me to drink while in the aerobars. I also have rear bottle mounts, if I want to take extra nutrition, or grab a bottle while on the course. The rear mount also gives me a out of the wind place to carry an extra tire tube, a small pump, and a necessities bag. The bag carries two tire levers, CO2 cartridges, CO2 air chuck, and a patch kit. After flatting out at Keuka lake, I added the pump, and patch kit.

Still debating on what wheels to use. That final decision won’t be made until the day before the race. In the picture, the bike is setup with Specialized/HED tri spokes. I do like to run a tri spoke up front with a solid rear disk. I have ridden that combo a lot the past month. Very fast, but the front end is more difficult to handle in the wind, especially with a disk in the back.. I do have a Synergy SR3 radially lace front wheel that is not as aero, but easier to handle in cross winds.

I use a Garmin 500 for my tech junkie data fix. If and when I do add power (measuring, not the I need a bigger engine type,) the Garmin can read in ant+ sensors, including power/watts. I recently re-taped the bars and pulled off the dirty all white tape. Purely cosmetic, but another personal touch. Last thing to do before race day, is to give the bike a good cleaning, and we all know that a bright and shiny bike is always faster 🙂

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