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Seconds count: Five insider tips for a faster bike split at your next race

Posted Aug 07 2010 7:00am

In the past couple months at the Rock Star Triathlete Academy, we've had a few guests on the show that specialized in the triathlon bike and the aerodynamics of cycling, most notably Zipp's Josh Poetner and Aerosport Research's Len Brownlie.

In our discussions with these guys, we learned a few things about triathlon bikes that you may find useful in setting up your position to be most efficient for your training and racing.

1) Aerodynamic Wheels Help Slow People. You don't have to be a fast age-grouper or a pro to have a disc wheel or race wheel on your triathlon bike. As a matter of fact, based on the way the air contacts that wheel, a deep dish wheel, disc wheel or wheel-cover actually gives more benefit to a slow rider than a fast rider!

2) Tuck Your Cables. Does your triathlon bike have cables going this way and that? You can lose several seconds every 40K for every foot of cable exposed to the wind. This doesn't mean you have to go out and buy a fancy triathlon bike with hidden cables, but you may want to see if you can tuck or hide your existing cables on your triathlon bike wherever possible.

3) Smooth Is More Than Sexy. Shaved legs, a tight triathlon suit, no big stickers flapping in the breeze, shoe covers, and even waxing your triathlon bike can all add up to save seconds. So not only will you look good, but you'll be fast too!

4) Comfort Is Important. Even the aerodynamic "geeks" we've had on the show consistently agree that even the most aero triathlon bike position doesn't help you at all if your diaphragm is compressed or you can't run off the bike - so if you're extremely uncomfortable because of your flat or rounded back, you may need some adjustments.

5) Even Tubes Count. Investing in a light, racing latex tube won't cost you much, but can add 5-10 watts of power. For most individuals, this can result in a significant speed increase for a small investment.

Of course, there are many other aerodynamic changes you can make to your triathlon bike, including water bottles, water bottle straws, aero helmet, aero bar and more, but we thought these 5 points were quite interesting! For more tips just like this, you can join the Rock Star Triathlete Academy for just one buck at

Whoisben Ben Greenfield is the Renaissance man of the sport of triathlon.

He's a fast triathlete, a coach, a personal trainer, and much more more.

We recommend that you surf on over to , for more great training advice.

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