Get your bike race ready

Multisport Mecca - - Bike Tips -

LOOKS can be de­ceiv­ing when it comes to your bike.

Gear shifts can be fine, the brakes feel okay and the paint­work is still shiny.

But there can be is­sues skin-deep which can cost you time when rac­ing.

With Mooloolaba Triathlon ap­proach­ing, Cy­cle­zone Mooloolaba co-owner John Carey said there were some sim­ple ways to get some speed with­out a hefty dent in the bank bal­ance.

One quick win can be achieved with new tyres.

Even if you are not opt­ing for car­bon wheels, the rub­ber can play a ma­jor role in de­vel­op­ing ex­tra speed.

Ac­cord­ing to cy­cling web­site Velonews, “push­ing a road bike at 40 kilo­me­tres per hour on a flat road de­mands power out­put in the range of 270–350 watts for most cy­clists. Wind re­sis­tance takes up most of that. But the sec­ond largest con­stituent of drag is rolling re­sis­tance. For ex­am­ple, two tyres with a rolling re­sis­tance of 50 watts each will eat up 100 watts to hold a 40kph pace”.

They un­der­took a rolling re­sis­tance test last year, and found the tube­less 26mm wide Spe­cial­ized S-Works Turbo was the win­ner.

A close sec­ond was the 24mm Spe­cial­ized Turbo Cot­ton tubu­lar, fol­lowed by the 26mm Spe­cial­ized S-Works Turbo clincher and then the 25mm Con­ti­nen­tal GP 4000S II clincher.

More re­search has just been done by the Bi­cy­cle Rolling Re­sis­tance web­site, and found the win­ner to be the new Vit­to­ria Corsa Speed (open TLR), fol­lowed by Vit­to­ria Corsa Speed (tubu­lar), Con­ti­nen­tal Grand Prix TT, Hutchin­son Fu­sion 5 Galac­tik TL, Spe­cial­ized Turbo Cot­ton, Miche­lin Power Com­pe­ti­tion, Sch­walbe Pro One Tube­less, Con­ti­nen­tal Grand Prix Force II, Bon­trager R4 320 and then the Con­ti­nen­tal Grand Prix At­tack II.

With­out look­ing at all the facts and fig­ures, there’s cer­tainly no sci­ence re­quired when con­sid­er­ing the fact tyres which roll bet­ter are faster.

As the tests have also shown, nar­rower tyres are not nec­es­sar­ily faster.

You do have to take into con­sid­er­a­tion that faster and lighter race tyres don’t have the same punc­ture pro­tec­tion or wear rate, but by keep­ing them for race day it ex­tends the longevity.

An­other item worth re­plac­ing is bar tape.

Apart from pro­vid­ing ex­tra grip for bare hands out of the swim, what hides be­neath can be of con­cern.

“This sum­mer has been par­tic­u­larly warm and it’s amaz­ing how many bars have holes caused from cor­ro­sion,” John said.

“It goes un­no­ticed be­cause it looks okay on the out­side.

“Not only is it a hy­giene is­sue, but old tape can get slip­pery when it is wet, and these days a lot of peo­ple are spend­ing time on wind train­ers.

“All com­po­nents still need check­ing and ser­vic­ing be­cause so much sodium gets through all other parts, from head set bolts to the brakes. It may be fine on the trainer but ride the bike on the road and it could pose an is­sue.”

Two items of­ten over­looked are ped­als. They’re the com­po­nent clos­est to the ground which brings them in reg­u­lar con­tact with the el­e­ments.

“Just be­cause the ped­als are spin­ning doesn’t mean they are still in good work­ing or­der,” John said.

“In fact, the op­po­site is true with some ped­als.”

With ped­als be­ing the point at which the rider meets ma­chine, it’s im­por­tant they are in good shape for the bike and rider.


Cor­ro­sion found un­der­neath the bar tape.

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