Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Out with the old, In with the new

Yes the weather is starting to improve here on the north coast of Ohio. Looks like we will be in the 50's all week. I'm hoping to do some training outside, especially on the bike. But first I have to get things ready for the road. but then I started to think about what else needs to be prepared for spring training and the races that follow.

Check your equipment against the list below and see what may need to be replaced.

Goggles - Maybe it's time to replace that old pair with new ones. Are they scratched, band is old, leaking. Maybe you just deserve a new pair.

Swimsuit - Is your suit suffering from Lycra disease? Is it wearing thin and the lycra is breaking from being in the chlorine pool all winter? A new suit will spare you the embarrassment of showing too much when group gets together for an open water swim.

Tires - This is the most important aspect of transitioning from indoor to outdoor riding. Replace the rubber that has been worn thin by the indoor trainer. The roads are covered with salt, rocks and other debris that will put a hole in the tube before you know it. Your tires may also have a lot of mile on them from last year.

Cables - Over time the cables will stretch. The extra slack in the cable will cause problems when shifting gears. The cables may need to be tightened or replaced completely. If the ends are unraveling, replace the entire cable. The cable could come apart and cause the brake or derailleur to slip.

Bar tape - Think of all the miles you rode last year and all the sweat, dirt, snot, drool, gatorade and other nasties that have been on the handlebars. On a tri bike the bar tape may not be as bad but if you have a road bike the cushioning may not be as good. Maybe pick a fun color to spice up your ride.

Chain - Like the cables a chain will stretch over time. When the stretching occurs the links will not sit properly on the chain rings or cassette. There could be problems with shifting or the chain could stick to the teeth. And clean that chain. Sure you rode inside but it still gets dirty. Clean it an Lube it.

Cleats - You never see them but they are what connects you to your bike. The cleats under your feet have been scrapped and scuffed against the pavement and clipping in and out of the pedals. New cleats will make sure you have a solid connection with the pedals and allow for smooth clipping in/out. If you think the cleats are okay, make sure the bolts are tight.

Brake pads - If you don't care about stopping then don't worry about this point...but you will go screaming into T2 a little out of control. Brake pads have wear indicators that help you determine if the pads should be replaced. There could also be a bunch of gunk on the pads. Stone chips, metal shavings and other"crap" can get imbeded into the pad and could cause the wheel rims to wear quicker than you want. Brake pads are so much cheaper than a new wheel set. An ounce of prevention is worth about $10.

Shoes - How many miles have you put on your shoes over the winter. It may be time for a fresh pair before you start racing. My trail shoes have been idle lately while I get used to my new road shoes for my first half marathon in April. Remember that 300-350 miles is usually when shoes should be replaced.

Socks - I am a total fan of DeFeet socks....and they are fun. Get some new socks to complement those new shoes. I saw a new pair of Swim/Bike/Run socks that I will buy.

You have been training hard all winter. Bundled up in several layers when venturing outside and sweating buckets when inside. Treat yourself to a new racing/training outfit. The padding in those shorts from last year having lost some of their "cush" for the tush.

Give the bike a good check, lace up those shoes, get outside and train safe.

Game On.


BuckeyeRunner said...

So when should I drop my bike off :-)

Hope all is well with you. Would love to sneak in a couple of our 'work from home' friday rides again.

E-Speed said...

all good ideas!

Jodi said...

My road bike definitely needs some love. New chain, new bar tape, a good cleaning, all totally necessary! Thanks for the reminder!



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IM Able said... last week I think I actually flashed some boobage to the 14 year old lifeguard during my morning swim. My old suit is *definitely* suffering from old-lycra disease! Just picked up a new one this weekend and can't wait to jump right in and swim some laps without any -- er -- surprises!