Ride Better: 5 Tips to Incorporate More Speed and Enjoyment into Your Cycling

 
1. Find a group – Riding by yourself can be nice, but there’s really nothing like riding with a group for both safety and fitness reasons. It’s a lot easier to change a flat if a friend is helping you; as well as to find extra motivation to go faster up that monster hill.
2. Change up your routes –  Yes, your favorite Sunday route is scenic. Yes, it’s familiar. But after a certain point, riding the same route every weekend can become both boring and less challenging than it was the first time you attempted it. Ask friends for favorite routes, or check outbikemap.net or bikely.com for new routes for your weekly exhibitions.
3. Train indoors – Sometimes, winter weather or your personal training schedule can prevent outside rides. Invest in a personal trainer, like a Cycleops, and keep your biked hooked up in your home, dorm, garage… wherever it may be where you can get in some quality indoor mileage. The most important thing is to get your legs used to the riding movement to prep for race day, and indoor trainers can help with this.

4. Incorporate Bricks – This one seems like a no-brainer. Of course, we should get our legs used to the bike-run transition before race day, right? But it is easy to let prioritizing brick workouts fall to the wayside during a hectic month. If you find yourself going a long period of time without a brick workout, schedule them in advance. Set goals for mileage and time. Mapping out when to fit in these vital workouts can help fit them into your schedule.

5. Log and Analyze – Whether it’s a traditional paper and pen method, an app, a website, or a spreadsheet, logging and tracking your workouts is an integral part of gaining speed and learning from your workouts over the year. Through this recording of workouts, you can look at what routes were tough for you, where you gained speed, how you can improve and more. I like the notebook method, but apps like myFitnessPal and websites like dailymile.com and workoutlog.com work also!

Tri Hard,

Caity

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Aero-road Frames: Worth the Money?

Giant, Trek, Cervelo, and Specialized are all selling road bikes with features such as aero-tubing, hidden breaks, and internalized cable housing. While these new machines are beautiful, are they worth it?

The answer in short: it depends on your budget and needs.

From a performance standpoint, the benefits far out way any costs. The typical cost of making a frame more aerodynamic is adding material and making the frame heavier. Since the vast majority of resistance comes from aerodynamics (except when in the mountains) any additional weight probably will only add marginal resistance. Interestingly enough, Trek’s revamped aerodynamic aero madone is actually lighter than its non-aero predecessor. The verdict: if money is not an object than going aero is the way to go unless you are climbing more than a few thousand feet vertically in a given training ride.

From a price standpoint, aero road bikes are almost always carbon fiber and rarely start below $2000 and often start at price points closer to $3500. Even with the aerodynamic engineering, a triathlon bike is still much faster than an aero road bike due to its better positioning for any non-draft legal racing. Buying the bike doesn’t mean one can save by not buying a triathlon bike. However, if you are looking for a road bike and are already looking to spend over $2000, than you are better off getting the aero frame.

-Aaron Lidawer, YoungTri Executive Board Member