Get your bike race ready
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.