Raynard Tissink Triathlon Coach
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The biggest cost is undoubtedly, the bicycle. In your first few shorter races, any bike will probably do, as so long as it has two wheels, a saddle and brakes that work. 

A lot of beginners also use a mountain bike, but as you start improving and become more competitive, you will want to upgrade to a lighter, faster and more aero-dynamic machine. 

My advice is to rather spend a bit more initially on the best and most suitable bike in your budget, than having to upgrade again a year later.
Visit a reputable bike shop - preferably one that specializes in triathlon and get their advice on what would be best suited to your needs.

Discuss your requirements with them:

Another thing to consider is aero bars or tri bars which help get you into a more aerodynamic position. In the 180km bike leg of an IRONMAN, utilizing aero bars will make an enormous difference to your speed. But you need to be comfortable and have trained sufficiently in this position.  If you plan on doing some bike races and shorter draft legal races, you’re better off putting clip on bars onto your bike, that can easily be removed for races that do not allow aero bars.

One of the most common causes of injury is due to incorrect bike set up, so make it a priority to be correctly set up on your new baby.  Correct bike set-up is crucial both to maximise power and performance and also to avoid injuries. Your normal 40km time trial position for Olympic distance races probably won’t cut it for 180km, so you will need to find a balance between the most aerodynamic position without sacrificing comfort.

There are many articles and tips on set-up, but ultimately it all comes down to personal preference, and trial and error. Your best bet is getting a professional to do your bike set up for you, but if this isn’t possible start by getting the saddle height correct. The most successful formula I've used is your inseam length in cm, multiplied by .885. This is the measurement you'll use from the centre of your BB to the top of your saddle to establish your correct saddle height.

Thereafter, you can start adjusting the height of your handlebars and the length of your aero bars. The further forward you like your saddle, the lower you'll be able to drop your bars and vice versa. Start experimenting with positions as early in your program as possible, with 6-8 weeks to go you don't want to still be looking for a comfortable position. The last 2 months is for big training miles, not for experimenting.

Preparing for a 70.3 or IRONMAN distance event will take many months of committed training and dedication. Mistakes of overtraining, injury, or burnout can put an end to many dreams of crossing the finish line. So it’s best to minimize your risk of injury by having the correct equipment and set up from the start.

Remember though, that the best and most expensive bike in the world still needs to be pedaled, you still need to put in the hard work and training. 
Contact us at [email protected] for information on training programs and coaching.

Raynard Tissink

Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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