Triathlon accessories are the line that separates good performance from excellence. And all the more so when it comes to cycling, the discipline that requires the most investment and the use of the most sophisticated technologies.
In fact, physical training is essential: you need to be ready to pedal hard and fast in the speed and endurance races, first and foremost in a challenge against yourself.
Nevertheless, if you have the right accessories for your triathlon bike,
- you won't waste a single watt of energy;
- you increase stability and aerodynamics;
- your riding position is as functional as possible.
The very best components can help you to achieve better results in excellent competitions, in which all the efforts you made during training are finally rewarded.
The 4 triathlon bike accessories you can't do without
Which bike accessories can help you to push beyond your limits during the race?
The ones that improve safety, allow rapid transitions and speed on the track. The goal is to maximise effort and performance so that not even a watt of energy is wasted at each stroke of the pedal.
These are the four main accessories your triathlon bike shouldn't be without if you want to get exceptional performance:
- Pedals with cleats to match cleated shoes or with quick attachment to triathlon shoes (this allows you to move from swimming to cycling in seconds, without having to put on socks and shoes);
- A type-approved helmet to protect you from falls so you can race safely, always focusing on the best performance. For example, you might choose a drop-shaped helmet, which is extremely aerodynamic;
- Deep-section or semi-deep section wheels, to regulate speed and stability while cycling;
- Handlebars or aerobars, so you can change your position to maximise ergonomics and aerodynamics.
Of these, the wheels and handlebars deserve a special mention because they are technologically advanced components that have a considerable effect on the quality of a triathlon bike.
In triathlon, accessories and technology race side by side.
The wheel was invented more than 7000 years ago and changed the course of human history. The really interesting thing is that since then, this simple and intuitive object has undergone almost constant technical development, adapting it to every means of transport.
And this is the case with bicycle wheels, which nowadays are ultra-specialised for every use and every discipline. And is triathlon an exception? Of course not.
In triathlon, wheels are not merely part of the bike, they're the component that can have more impact than any other on the outcome of a race. They're also the point of contact between the work of your muscles and the ground. And that's why they should be chosen carefully.
We often fall into the trap of thinking that the best choice for every triathlon event is always deep-section wheels with a lightweight carbon structure. But that's not the case.
Undoubtedly these are perfect over long distances to maintain speed without losing sight of your rivals, staying with the group and ready to sprint. If you were taking part in an Iron Man event, for example, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.
But in windy conditions or on bad road surfaces, deep-section wheels can be somewhat unstable, making it more difficult to control the bike.
In these circumstances and for shorter distances, we might prefer medium-section wheels, as they give a good compromise between stability and aerodynamics.
We've already written a blog article on how to choose wheels for your triathlon bike: why not check it out?
Regardless of which you choose, it's the quality of the wheels that can radically change the outcome of the race. Athletes who use the most technologically advanced wheels, designed specifically to cut through the air and remain stable without squandering energy, are easy to recognise in a competition.
Handlebars push the triathlon bike to the maximum
Handlebars are another seemingly banal part of a bike - almost old-fashioned - but it takes huge amounts of planning and technology to make a bar that will push your bike to the max.
If the wheels are your point of contact with the road, the handlebars are the triathlon accessory that allow you to cut through the air with every stroke of the pedal.
In fact, racing handlebars - on which you can fix extensions - force you to adopt a position that cuts through the air and minimises friction, while also relieving the load on the back.
Again in this case, only high-quality components, meticulously designed and manufactured, will allow you to find the correct compromise between performance and weight distribution.