Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

5 Things Cyclists Can Learn From Triathletes

– Since we launched the
Global Triathlon Network with Mark and Heather we’ve
been thinking at the office maybe we should stop
making fun of triathletes and actually learn something from them. After all I’ve been out riding with them and they are incredibly
fast on their bikes. So I’ve been picking their brains and we’ve also teamed up
with our longterm partners at Profile Design to kit
me out like a triathlete and see what we, as cyclists,
can learn from triathletes. First up, tri bars, which
as the name suggests, actually originated in triathlons. I know what you’re thinking
wasn’t it Greg LeMond who first used these to
win the Tour de France in the very final days time trial. Well no it wasn’t, some very
forward thinking triathletes were already using these
way back in the early 80s. Are they faster? Yes absolutely they are. Aero bars they do exactly
what they say on the tin. They put you in a more aero position and you will go significantly
faster for exactly the same power on all terrain
barring the steepest of climbs. Should we use them then,
well, possibly yes. If you want to go faster on your own maybe claim a few Strava
KOMS these are probably the way to go and they’re
also quite comfortable. Mark Beaumont for example used them on his recent epic trip around the world. Which he completed in just 78 days. Over which time he literally spent 52 days of his life riding or 1250 hours. So if they are faster and
they’re quite comfortable why don’t we see professional
road racers use them? Well the answers quite simple they are not allowed to under UCI regulations. Otherwise I’m sure they would. Cause it’s got to be
a lot more comfortable putting your elbows onto
a pad rather than on top of the bars with nothing to hold onto. Which is what we see them do quite often. One word of warning
though, if you do decide to use Aero bars never, ever put your arms in this position when
you’re in a group ride or in heavy traffic. So what about the clothing aspect? I mean triathletes don’t appear to like to wear too much do they? For example they will
often bare their shoulders. Now they do some swimming,
they’ve got a decent upper body and they probably
like to show some of that off. But I don’t do swimming, I
really have no upper body to speak of so I think
I’m going to look rather better sticking to my nice
traditional cycling jersey. Something else they like
to bare are their ankles. Now of course it’s quite
hard to put socks on when you’ve just done a swim. It could be a better look for me I’ve got quite thin fairly lean ankles. But at the same time it
does make my rather long, thin, very pasty legs look even longer and thinner and more pasty. So I think I’m gonna put my socks back on. Oh it’s good to be back in socks. Next then let’s talk about hydration. Now triathletes are not necessarily any better than us cyclists
at keeping hydrated. They just choose to do it in a very slightly different way. So they don’t really
like to have their bottle located on the frame, less
aerodynamic like that. So what better then to keep them out of the wind back here behind the saddle. And you could also have an aero bottle located between your Aero bars
so that you can keep yourself hydrated without even coming
out of your aero tuck. Is it faster, yes, it probably is. Should we adopt it as road cyclists? Well that’s entirely up to you. And then there is bike storage. They don’t seem to like to carry their nutrition in their pockets. So where do they keep their bars and gels? Well clearly not in a saddle bag because well because those bottles are in the way. Instead they use a top tube bag. Wait, do not click away from this video until you’ve heard me out. Now I know that top tube
bags are coming under their fair share of flack not
least from us here at GCN. But I am coming around
to some of their merits cause it is so much easier
to dip your hand down here and see exactly what you’re getting as opposed to reaching around
to a pocket you can’t see. There’s also the benefit
if you get a narrow, slim line one like this it’s
quite aerodynamic as well. Finally then let’s talk
about triathletes training. They train hard, really hard. In fact talking to Mark he regularly used to do in excess of 30 hours per week when he was a pro triathlete. Should we try to do the
same things in our training? Well probably not because you see the fact that they do three different sports and the fact that swimming
is non weight bearing means that they can cope with slightly more than if you’re just riding a bike. I mean you could go out
and do 30 hours weeks but my bet is that you are going to perform worse rather than better. What you could definitely could try to emulate though is their commitment. Nobody can accuse a
triathlete of being lazy. So yes we can most definitely
learn from triathletes just as they can sometimes learn from us. And we’d love to hear your own tips or any triathletes out
there who think we can learn something different than
we made on this video please let us know in the
comment section just down below. Subscribe to GCN if you
haven’t already done so by clicking on the globe
then if you’d like to learn how to pace a time trial you’ve
got to click just down here. Or if you’d like to see
Mark Threlfall look at the difference between what’s better on a road bike and a time
trial bike for triathlon that is just down here.

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