The Advantages Of A Backup Bike

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Feb 21, 2013
  • Updated Jan 29, 2015 at 6:17 PM UTC

Elevate your race-day riding skills by adding a mountain or cyclocross bike to your stable.

If you talk to pure cyclists, you probably know the stereotypes many have about triathletes. They don’t know how to handle a bike. They can’t ride in a group. Any sprint and they’re off the back.

If you self-identify with any of these (no judgments), you don’t have to join a road cycling team to improve. Experimenting with different bikes and riding styles is all it takes and you’ll be rewarded with improved skills and faster bike splits.

The problem: Riding a straight line in the aerobars can improve aerobic fitness but doesn’t test bike-handling skills.

Backup plan: Ride off-road and you can’t help but learn to better control a bike.

Cycling without the comfortable predictability of pavement helps engrain the balance, skill and confidence needed to rip through a twisty road.

RELATED: 7 Skills To Controlling Your Bike With Confidence

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FILED UNDER: Bike / Gear & Tech

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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