Hello Tri Talk Tuesday.
Improving your cycling can be done in lots of ways. The best thign you can really do is just spend as much time aas possible in the saddle and ride all sorts of terrain. Chew up some hills and learn what it feels like to ride flat for an hour plus (all that pedaling!)
But like with anything else, there are ways to increase your cycling speed and strength aside from being out riding. Yes, you may have guessed it, I’m talking about buying speed.
You can in fact buy some speed and strength, as long as you also put in the training along side it. So, what kinds of things can you get that will help you become a stronger, faster cyclist?
1. An indoor bike trainer. These turn your current bike into a stationary bike that you can ride in the comfort of your own home anytime you want. Of course there’s a gamut of options to choose from. They range from under $100 for a inexpensive magnet trainer to well over a grand for a computerized trainer like a Wahoo Kickr or Computrainer. Want something reliable that won’t break the bank? A fluid trainer is a great compromise and if you buy from CycleOps you get that lifetime warranty that I have recently put to the test with results that have more than made me a happy life time customer.
2. Speed and cadence sensors/bike computers. If you’ve got your bike on a trainer it’s great to start throwing in some cadence drills. Increased cadence and high cadence drills help with leg turn over and helps make that magically number of 90 rpm’s (the efficient rpm to ride at) easier to become comfortable with. Also, low cadence drills with the gear loaded on helps build that strength and prep you for hills. If you have a Garmin watch you can simply snatch up a Garmin Spd/Cd sensor. Looking to be more high tech? Grab a fancier bike computer such as the Garmin 800 to get all the data!
3. Power meter! These are the gold standard for cycling training. Unlike speed, cadence, pace, or effort, power cannot be phased by things like poor fueling, bad weather or temperature, or fatigue. Power is power and it will require the exact same amount of effort to produce the same amount of watts regardless of any and all other variables. I recently got a PowerTap and so far am really happy with it (full product review coming at some point) Other power meter options include options like Quarq or Garmin Vectors.
4. Aero accessories. This would be things that can make you more aerodynamic and therefor faster. The two big purchases in this category include areo helmets such as the Giro Advantage and the Rudy Wingspan. The other big ticket item here is going to be some race wheels. Zipp is the big name in race wheels, but there are other more affordable options too like Easton or Mavic.
5. A new bike. If all else fails, go big! Granted this will take the largest hit on your bank account, but sometimes an upgraded bike can make a big difference. I personally immediately gained 2-3mph on my riding speed average going from an aluminum road bike to a carbon TT. While this isn’t always the answer, because it’s really about the engine (YOU) not the machine, it can sometimes be a good investment.
Cycling is a great sport and obviously an intergral component to triathlon. You spend the majority of your tri time in the saddle, so if you’re looking to improve your race times, the bike is the way to go in terms of gains and improvements. And while buying speed can only get you so far, it sure doesn’t hinder you either!
Looking to purchase any cycling gear? Don’t forget to hit up all3sports.com and use code TRIGIRL15 to get 15% off your total order!
What is the one thing you’ve done that you think has made the biggest difference in your riding?
Must have piece of bike training gear or equipment?
Tri Talk Tuesday will be back again on Tuesday May 5, 2015 to chat about running! So get ready to talk running, ways to improve your running, or how you’ve personally become a better runner.