#1 The Tires on Your Bike
Everyone is consumed by if you have Zipps, Hed Enve, Flo, Boyd, etc wheels. I will tell you right now that it doesn’t matter what kind of wheels you’re running if they have slow tires on them. Don’t spend thousands on wheels and then put slow tires on them. There is plenty of data out there on slow vs fast tires, but a fast tire can have about a .5-1 mph difference in your overall speed.
#2 The Tubes in Your Tires
We are all used to Butyl tubes because this is what most bike shops sell. However, latex tubes (while a bit more expensive) are available through bike shops or order. Just like the tires on your bike, they can make a difference in speed. They absorb more of the deflections of the road and therefore, keep your tire on the ground. Rolling resistance of a tire comes down with latex which results in faster times.
#3 Clean Your Drivetrain
A clean drivetrain (chain, cassette, crank, pulleys) can help save 5-10 watts. This takes about 10-20 minutes to clean, and can help in your bikes efficiency. It also looks better which must be worth something right?
#4 Fast Transitions in Triathlon
While we often look at building fitness and ability to perform aerobically for our endurance athletes, transitions is an easy place to make up a ton of time with little practice. I’ve seen athletes miss out on podiums or wins because of slow transitions. If you can set up your equipment to be 100% ready and put things on while moving (race belt, hat, etc)… you can get faster with little work.
#5 No-Tie Run Laces
I understand some individuals don’t like the feel with these, but if you haven’t tried them, they are essentially laces that keep your shoes tied, but are flexible enough to fit your foot in the shoe easily. These can cut down 20-30 seconds in transition and help you to a faster time overall.
As you go through Cycling or Triathlon training, without a doubt a coach will help you maximize your overall fitness and performance. With that being said though, there are small things that add up to a faster time overall. these five tips should help you save a couple minutes off your next race and have you feeling better about your overall results as well.