Set Up Your Bike Like The Pros

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Jul 22, 2011
  • Updated Jul 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM UTC
Photo: Paul Phillips

Michi Weiss

Photo: Paul Phillips

• “I like to have new tires on race day, but I always break them in [by riding] at least 50 miles.
• If you have to check in your bike the day before the race, bring something to cover it in case of rain overnight.
• I love my Speedfil and recommend hydration systems instead of standard round bottles because it’s very easy to lose a bottle out of a cage after hitting a bump or pothole. Additional bottle cages between the aero extensions, or behind the saddle are good as well.
• If you have to check in your bike the day before the race, let some air out of the tires, but keep around 50 psi. A full pumped up tire could explode sitting around in the heat, and if you let all the air out, you [wouldn’t be able to] see right away in the morning when pumping up if you had a flat tire.
• No matter the distance, I take a spare tube or tubular tire with me.
• I like to carry as much as possible of my own nutrition product- PowerBars and Power Gels- on the bike. It’s kind of a ‘buffet on wheels.’
• I would recommend not sticking open bars on your frame. It is just gross, makes your fingers all sticky, and is pretty hard to get off. Better choice is either taping everything on the frame, or using a bento box, such as the one from FuelBelt. I always cut the nutrition bar packaging open, but I leave them in their package.
• When you’re racing Ironman or any other race that offers a special needs drop, freeze your items, which you have to drop on race morning, so that you get them at a just right temperature in the heat of the race.
After training hard for months, you want to make sure that your bike arrives in time, and safe without any cracks in the frame or deformed wheels. That’s why you may want to spend a little extra when it comes to quality bike travel.
• TriBike Transport rules! Those guys are just great—no hassle at all. Just make sure you have a second bike for training at home because you have to drop off your race bike about seven to 10 days before race day.
• Ship your bike. Although you still have to disassemble everything and put your bike in a box, you can be almost sure it will arrive at your accommodations on time.
• If you fly with your bike, avoid layovers because short or hectic layovers are the main reasons why bikes get lost while traveling. You should also check how much the airline charges for the bike because there are huge differences. Frontier, for example carries it for free!”

Michi Weiss won Ironman St. George in 2010, is a sub-eight-hour Ironman and is a 2004 MTB Olympian.

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Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at

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