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8 Best Value Triathlon Upgrades

8 Best Value Triathlon Upgrades


(relaxing chill music) – We’re always looking for ways to make improvements to our gear without breaking the bank. So here are GTNs best value upgrades. If you haven’t, already,
got a TT or triathlon bike then adding aero bars, like
these ones, to your road bike can be one of the best
upgrades you’ll make. What they do is, allow you to get into a more aerodynamic position. Meaning you can increase your
speed for the same effort. And the nice thing with
these clip on bars, is that you can add them to, almost, any road bike handle bar. Making your life that little
bit easier and cheaper. If you are adding aero bars to a road bike you may want to consider
bringing you saddle height up and the saddle position forward. Now, bringing the saddle
forward, actually, allows you to get into a more comfortable and powerful position on the aero bars. But, it does, actually, create
a bit more flex in the legs, almost as if you’ve
dropped the saddle height. So, we just counteract this by lifting the saddle height up, slightly. Now, it does, all, take a
little bit of trial and error, so we advise you tweaking it and playing around with it, yourself. Before you clip the aero bars on, a nice little tip is to add a bit of electrical tape
around the handle bars so that you’re protecting
the bars on the surface. Forget tying your shoes up in T2. Simply, pull them on in seconds
using these elastic laces. There are a number of elastic laces, but they all do the same thing, really. So, simply pull out your original laces (relaxing chill music) and replace them with your elastic laces. (relaxing chill music) You’ll want the laces tight enough to hold your foot securely, but with enough flex so that you can pull
them on quickly in T2. And, once you’ve got that right, you can just cut off this excess elastic to make it nice and neat. Now, this isn’t gonna shave
minutes off your race time, but its one of the cheapest upgrades to save you those valuable seconds. Tyres are so often overlooked, but they can hugely
effect how a bike rides. Plus, a worn out tyre could hinder or even put a stop to ride. And nobody wants that. Especially, in a race, after all the training that you’ve put in. A lighter tyre improves
the rotating weight, which in turn, improves the
responsiveness of the bike. And, better quality tyres will feel a little bit more supple on the road. Which, again, improves the responsiveness. And, if you want a more comfortable ride why not consider switching
from a 23mm tyre to a 25, like I’ve got on this wheel here. And a bonus is that a 25 has been proven to have less rolling resistance. Which means, you can ride
faster for the same effort. A tri-suit is designed to be
worn from start to finish. To save you the time and hassle of trying to change clothing
between each discipline. And, if it’s a wetsuit swim, simply wear your tri-suit underneath. Now, a tri-suit isn’t
just for convenience, it’s for comfort, too. And if you’ve ever tried
running in cycling shorts it has rather large
padding that can chafe. So a tri-suit has, slightly, thinner and more supple padding, which has enough cushioning for the bike but not so much that
you’ll feel it on the run. Plus, it’s a lot quicker
than getting changed in each transition. Cassettes do wear out with use, but what we’re gonna be focusing on, here, are the number of teeth on the cassettes. Now, if you’re planning
on riding a hilly route, or even a hilly race, you might want to
consider a cassette with, slightly, more teeth. So that you’re not grinding up the climbs. So a popular gear option is,
something like, an 11/28. Like I have on this bike. Just because it’s
versatile for most courses. But, obviously, you can opt for something, slightly, greater. Like, an 11/32. Alternatively, if you’re
planning on riding a flat course, you might want to go for
something with less of a jump. So, something like an 11/25, where you’re going to be
holding a much higher speed. Okay, maybe not the cheapest upgrade, but the improvement a
well-fitted wet-suit can make to your performance is staggering. Having water flooding in,
or holes in your wetsuit will be holding you back, during the swim. Now, everyone wants to be able to get their wetsuits on super-quick. But, actually, a well-fitted wetsuit should take you 5 to 10
minutes to put on properly. Wetsuits are now designed with
different buoyancy in mind. For instance, if you drag your legs whilst you’re swimming in the pool, you may want a wetsuit with
more buoyancy in the legs to help lift you to a neutral position. So do your research on the
wetsuit before you buy it, to help match that to your swim style. We all need to fuel and
hydrate in a triathlon. Especially, in the longer distance races. And, actually, the shape
and position of your bottles can greatly effect your
aerodynamics and your speed. So instead of using a standard
bottle of the down tube, perhaps, consider using
something like this. Which is an aero bottle, which neatly fits in on
the down tube, like that. Another option, is to use an aero bottle with a straw, like this one. And, you can just place
these between your aero bars. So, basically, you don’t need to move from your aero position to take a drink. And, conveniently, a lot of these have an opening at the top, so that you can refill them on the go. More isn’t, necessarily, better
when it comes to saddles. It’s important that you’re comfortable and, sometimes, that can be achieved with a cheaper saddle. So finding a saddle that
works for you can have a big impact on your bike performance. These two pronged, split-nose saddles have become really popular
in triathlon, lately. Whilst they may look a little odd, they are meant to relieve
pressure, increase comfort, and improve your position on the bike. So, they do this by allowing you to rotate your hips
around a little bit more, and get yourself into a more powerful and aerodynamic position. Finding the right saddle
is, totally, personal. What works for one person, may not, necessarily,
work for another person. So it’s worth having a look around first. Those are the GTN best value upgrades. But, if you have any
other great suggestions please drop them in the comments, below. And, to see more videos like this, you can subscribe Global Triathlon Network by clicking on the globe. And, to see our indoor
versus outdoor running video just click, down here. And, to see our how to tumble
turn in a swimming pool video just click, down here.

79 comments on “8 Best Value Triathlon Upgrades

  1. Lighter inner tubes(eg. latex) or tubeless tires and perhaps a saddle bottle cage is more aerodynamic than a down-tube bottle cage even if it is an aero one.

  2. Also – Rear wheel covers to convert a normal wheel into a disc, definitely helped my bike splits for much less money than a full disc wheel!

  3. Here's a video topic suggestion: short swim (Olympic distance and less) with a wetsuit and just in a tri suit. I don't have a wetsuit because 1. they're expensive and 2. the swim leg is my strongest so I feel I do not need it plus 3. it saves T1 time not having to get it off. Your thoughts?

  4. I've just bought my first aero bars two days ago and it's the best upgrade I made! Slowly preparing myself for first triathlon race haha! 🙂

  5. Your front tyre (GP4000S) is on backwards, I know it's probably not important, but there's an arrow on the side and yours are backwards 🙂

  6. Could you make a comparison between wet-suit and just tri-suit? I have swimming background, but never had the chance to swim in a wet-suit for time. Would be interesting to know if it worth the money

  7. race belt already done up, just step into it after the swim. on the opposite side be wary of calf sleeves on in the swim under the wetsuit to save time as could cause cramp! conversely they will help in the run so bite the bullet and save for t2

  8. Here's the best value upgrade, lose weight ! While many of the triathletes are skinny as can be, some do it for weight loss and have an extra 5-10 kg or even more. Lose that weight and you will gain minutes, but also gain confidence and the ability to just not fit into any old clothes anymore – best value!

  9. Race belt, BodyGlide. Not cheap but definitely great value…indoor trainer…such an efficient way to get workouts in in all weather and when you are short on time

  10. Thank you so much for this! I've actually never seen that type of a saddle, it looks like much less of a pain in the bum xD thanks again!

  11. I know it is not the best 'value' upgrade, but I am getting a new bike next year and need some input regarding a value upgrade once I get it, aero bars.
    I am getting a new #Canyon Ultimate CF SL or SLX (Thanks to #GCN for making me fall in love with this bike btw). My problem lies in the bar options with each model. The aero model I want has the integrated aero drop bars (sexy AS). However, I cannot mount aero bars after the fact due to the elongated shape. I am only doing sprint & olympic distance races for the next couple years and will get a proper tribike again for Ironman races, but do you think I should not get the integrated bars and opt for a lower tier model so I can mount #ValueUpgrade aero bars? Or should I just ride the integrated bars flat out on the hoods like the #GCN guys often do in aero tests? #FirstWorldProblem
    Thank you for your input #GTN. Keep up the great videos!

  12. One bit of caution you should have included is before you put clip on aerobars on make sure your handlebars are compatible, some carbon bars are and some aren't, as an example 3T's Team series is clip on compatible but the same bar in their LTD series is not compatible.

  13. Regarding the clip-on aerobars, you can add them to most any alloy handlebar with a round cross-sectional profile but the same is NOT true for "most" composite carbon handlebars. If you use a composite handlebar, check your model to make sure they are designed for aerobars before adding them. The composite handlebars that are designed for them, will have a reinforced clamping area that extends beyond the center stem clamp area by a couple of inches or more on each side. This should be marked on the handlebar. I've used composite handlebars from Ritchey and Profile Design that have the extra reinforcement for aerobars.

    As for protecting the handlebars with tape, forget it! I think safety is much more important and the safest way I know to attach clip-on aerobars to any handlebar — especially composite handlebars — is to mount the aerobar brackets directly to the handlebar with friction paste like Park Tool SAC-2. You can exert a lot of leverage when you push on the aerobars and you do not want them to slip and rotate on the handlebar. It could lead to a wreck! A good friction compound lets you achieve a secure, no-slip mounting without applying excess torque to the mounting bracket bolts.

  14. I see you talk about the larger cassette, but on my 9-speed I have then found that I need a new derailleur to cope with more than 27 teeth, which in the states turns out to be another 60 dollars or so. Especially as the older derailleurs are difficult to find.

  15. Best upgrade is a good pair of tri shorts (especially if you are doing longer than Olympic distance). You can ride harder when your backside isn't sore! Invest $$ in gear that makes you comfortable. One major caution on the aero bottles – they are not so useful for mid and full distance events when you need to take on-course nutrition.

  16. It's not a "split nose" seat, but rather a seat with the nose removed. By calling it a split nose seat you encourage people to sit too far back on it and because of how wide it is people find it uncomfortable. By properly calling it a seat with the nose removed it makes more sense that you should sit forward on it as if the nose was there.

  17. For the bike, the absolute best money you can spend is getting a good bike fitting done. After that, I'd say good tires, wheels and if you have the money, a power meter.

  18. Have you tried lace-up cycling shoes? After putting in elastic shoelaces for my running shoes, I thought I'd give them a try in my cycling shoes. I love it. I started with them nice and loose, and slowly adjusted them so they fit tight enough for my sprints, but loose enough that I could ride for hours. Super easy to slip in and out of. I know most pro tri-athletes go for big velcro swathes on the top of their shoes, but I prefer to only have one pair of cycling shoes, and these elastic ones do it for me.

  19. Gp4000s11 tyres are directional. Should only be fitted one way !!!! They have a directional arrows on the sidewall.

  20. It's cool to tell us this, but how about you get out there and prove/demonstrate the gains with "science" (as GCN would put it)? Second point, I would add a new stem with the aero bar mod. I run a 110 x 35 degree stem upside down. Position is really aggressive!
    Will agree with other commenters about latex tubes and shaving, at least based on what I've heard. Plus a cheap aero helmet should be high on the list.

  21. Great channel! 👍😀

    I would really be glad if you come up with a show on the subject of running shoes in triathlon. 😀

  22. 2:25 The best value upgrade are still safety pins, they can be found in most kitchen drawers and hide away the parachute on your back (+ prevent you from losing your number and maybe time).

  23. Looks like your Grand Prix tyres are on back to front in the segment talking about tyres. The shark fins go with the direction of rotation according to the fitting instructions.

  24. Placing a plastic shopping bag over your hands or feet as you stick them thru the sleeves speeds putting on your wet-suit tremendously!!

  25. I have an canyon aeroad with a single piece bar and stem ( aero cockpit). Does anybody know a brand that sells tt bars for this, Canyon does not sell it.

  26. Talking of upgrades –  I am about to upgrade my TT (Tri) bike to electronic shifting. I have alway used Shimano and I have Ultrga Di2 on my road bike, Which I love,.  So should I go with Ultrga Di2 on my TT bike or go to eTap ???  Which would you choose???

  27. I thought this was an "upgrade" video!? Who chooses to ride 22mm tyres over 25 as standard?? Also, I'm fairly sure most road bikes and tt bikes for that matter come with 11-28t! The rest were good tips, although I'm struggling to see how a proper triathlon wetsuit is good value?

  28. the thing about the 25mm vs the 23mm…depends on the outer width of the rim. You need a really wide rim to actually take a 25mm AND be aero. A 23mm blows up to about 25mm on my 16c rim. Wider rims like from ENVE or Zipp should work better with 25mm that blow up to mor esth like 26-27mm. Also, srly a 23mm with 103 psi in the rear and 98 psi in the front(im 70kg) isn't all that uncomfortable. I literally did a 210km distance(not too sporty) with that without any problem.

  29. Great beginner suggestions. Maybe a video on the next level upgrades. Say you bought a stock TT bike – what are some valuable upgrades. Crank? Buttom bracket? The little wheels on the back shifter? Thanks.

  30. the cassette choice was realy surprising to me. Expected a 12-25t or even 12-23 cassette for flat courses. I use a 11-25 and it always feels like one gear is missing. the 11-28 is just like a regular pro setup in the TDF, same goes for steeper bits with the 11-32. Doesn't sound all that diffrent to cycling.
    My future setup is gonna be a 56t or 58t chainring with a 1×11 Sram force with a ultegra/105 12-25 cassette for all the smaller jumps. Im not gonna see any mountains with this, but on flat courses, i will always know that i got the right gear and also a good chainline

  31. My ideal cassette would be 11-31 with jumps of 2 teeth. 2 tooth is Just right and you can climb well because its just like 11 32.

  32. Latex inner tubes are amazing : they cost you about 10£ the pair, and allow you to decrease your resistance by around 10 watts !

  33. electrical tape causes the bars to "slide" if you apply any force to them… better mount aero bars without tape.

  34. PLEASE TEST THE AERODYNAMIC ADVANTAGES OF BOTTLES BEHIND THE SADDLE VS THE EFFORT REQUIRED TO GRAB SAID BOTTLES WHILST RACING.

  35. I have some clip on aero bars (just haven't been bothered to attach them yet), I have the elastic laces, I have the tri-suit, and I have the wetsuit!

  36. Elastic lashes actually ruin the lashe holes, this happened to me and some of my friends. Don’t use elastic lashes if u want your shoes to last longer!

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