Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

When Should You Start Riding Your Race Bike After Winter?


– If you’ve invested in a nice
time trial triathlon bike, then you’ll know just how
lovely they are to ride, and how fast they feel. I mean, after all, they’re
designed for speed, so, it’s understandable that you might wanna ride it all year long. – If like most people
you refrain from that, and you put it away after
your last race of the season, maybe opt for something more
casual, like a road bike, or perhaps even a cross. Then you might be wondering, when is the ideal time
to bring that race bike or that triathlon bike back out again, in preparation of next years race season? (upbeat jazz music) – Let’s start by addressing
why we race on these bikes, it is for their aerodynamics. So with that in mind, it’s
probably not going to be the first bike of choice when
it comes to going for a long steady ride in the countryside, and that’s partly because they
can be quite aggressive in the position making it less comfortable, but more to the point, it’s
not going to be particularly sociable when you’re
down on your tri-bars. – When the race season comes
to a close most athletes opt to put their race bike into hibernation, and opt for something like the road bike. It’s a much more relaxed position, it allows more versatile training. But it’s also as Heather says
a more sociable bike to be on, and indeed a lot of the pros
will openly admit to not touching their race bike
for three months at a time. – Well it doesn’t even
have to be your road bike, some athletes will use an old
version of their race bike throughout the winter,
which could be a TT bike, or the other end of the spectrum, you might want to try riding a cross-bike, or even a little bit of mountain biking, something that cyclists refer
to as their winter hack. – This is one of the main reasons for putting your lovely race bike to rest, if of course you’re lucky enough to have a second bike that you can use. It essentially protects your pride and joy race bike from getting
beaten up and damaged from all the harsh winter conditions. – Yeah, and also it’s a
little bit of a mental break, so just spicing things up a bit just being able to go ride
your bike for the fun of it. But at some point in the season
you are going to have to dig out your TT bike ready for races. But the question is, when to do that? (upbeat music) – Now if it is only a couple weeks before your first race of the season, and you’re only just pulling
that time trial bike out, I would suggest that you’ve
left it a touch too late. – Yeah I mean a time trial
bike has a very different geometry to what you’re
going to be used to, therefore you’re going to
be in a different position and asking your muscles to
work in a very different way. So take your glutes for example, your bottom muscles,
when you’re on a TT bike down on the aero-bars you’re more hunched, and you’re in more of hip-flexion here, so your glutes are actually
going to have to work through a larger range of motion. So a good way to picture
this would be thinking that if you’re not used to it, suddenly going and trying to
do a lot of very deep squats, I promise you it’s going
to be pretty uncomfortable. (upbeat music) Well whilst we’re on
this topic of maintenance it’s worth pointing out that when you do go to drag your bike
out from its hibernation, it is going to need a little bit of TLC, especially if you did a lot
of miles on it last year and in bad weather, and you
might be a little bit guilty like me that you’ve finished
your season and just think “oh, I’ll put it away
and I’ll think about it when I get it out in the
summer or in the spring”. So the cables might have
corroded a little bit, your bearings might well
need some attention, all of which will help you ride your bike much faster once you’ve looked at them. – So now is the time to get it out and give it a quick clean-over, spick-and-span is the way forward. Check anything that could’ve been worn, chain, tyres, brake pads. Of course you could do what I do, just take it down to your
local trusty bike shop and get them to give it the TLC
that Heather was talking about. But please remember don’t do
it the week before the race, because it can get a little bit rushed. – Right back to training, and two months before your race the weather might still be bad, and you won’t want to
take your race bike out. So if that is the case you
can still benefit from putting your TT bike or your race
bike on the indoor trainer, and even if you only ride it once a week this will still make a difference. – And when you do start riding
your time trial bike again, try and do it for a few
times just nice and steady, because this will make sure
you get used to that position again and help prevent some injuries. – Yeah and so if you are
sticking to indoor training you can actually put in some
shorter, sharper sessions. So say you’ve got an hour of time, you do a ten minute warm up, now you do three lots of ten minutes hard,
five minutes easy spinning, finished off with a five minute warm down. And then just combine this
with doing your longer rides outside on your winter bike,
and then when the weather does improve you can take your TT bike out. – And additionally, time
trial triathlon bikes are notoriously difficult to
get comfortable on quickly. So spending that extra couple of months before your first race will
just maximise your comfort. (upbeat techno music) – While there is no
hard and fast rule as to exactly when you need to
get your race bike out, but we’ve found this is what works for us so do let us know when you get yours out and you can do that in the
comments section below. And if you’ve noticed this nice kit that Fraser and I are wearing, well you can find that by
clicking on the link for the shop. – And if you’ve enjoyed this
video give this a thumb up, and if you want to see more videos from Global Triathlon Network click
on the globe to subscribe and for a video on tri-bikes
versus road bikes click here. – And if you want to see a video
looking at the professional bike fit that I had with Magnus
Bäckstedt that is just here.

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