Welcome to the SPE Triathlon Team website. We intend this to be the central location for our team members to learn more about triathlons and keep up to date with the teams activities.

Check out our teams discussion group here.

Malibu Triathlon Details
Race Day: Sunday September 12th 2010
Location: Zuma Beach, Malibu CA
First Wave starts at 7AM

SPE Group Training
Details to come

(see our calendar embedded in this blog page for further details)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bike Shopping Guide

So You Need a Bike?
Fancy, high-dollar equipment is intimidating. But relax. Bikes are fun and buying one isn't complicated. In fact its quite difficult to go wrong. Here's how to get a good one.
Target Bike:
A classic road bike. You don't need a triathlon-specific bike. The radical positioning and handlebars make it tricky to use around other riders or in the hills, and offers negligible aero benefit at the speeds at which mortals ride.
Minimum $650 used, $900 if you go new. Also, plan on $100-200 on top of that for clothing and a helmet. You get way more for your money used, but seek advice before you buy.
What That Gets You:
A lightweight aluminum road bike from a regarded manufacturer with carbon-fiber forks and good quality parts, suitable for a range of riding and racing.
You will need to learn your bike size as it allows you proper position - the basis for comfort and strength while riding. Head to a shop near you, plan on 30 minutes if just browsing, an hour if you'd like to test ride anything. If you test ride, they will seat you on a few bikes and size you up. Road bikes are generally sized by centimeter, roughly the distance between the cranks and where the seatpost fits into the frame, i.e. correlated to your leg length.
Shopping Considerations:
Your local bike shop provides a place to look at bikes, talk to someone, get fitted, and test ride. These are of tangible value to you (and costs the shop, too). If they are friendly and helpful - and hold them to that - be reciprocal and make your purchase there rather than tracking down some better price on-line. The karma will work out in your favor when it comes to repairs, positioning, and other advice down the road.
You want cycling-specific shorts ($30-50), gloves ($20), shoes ($60-100), and helmet ($40-80). You touch your bike at three points - hands, feet, and butt. Trust me when I say that you want those points to be happy :-) Cycling shoes are not strictly required but are a very good idea for both power and comfort. Much nicer than running sneakers. Couple with "clip-in" pedals (think of a ski-binding) for power and control. Pedal/shoe combo deals run about $150.
Final Word:
Do not obsess over details of manufacturer, fancy parts, or weights that are measured in grams. Your training, strength, the wind, the hills determine your speed. Not the bike. Ride more, get faster. It's the beauty of the sport. Trust me on this. Enjoy your new bike... see you out soon with the SPE Team.