Triathlon Bikes and Accessories.

I love the bike section of every race. It’s the one place where I can really make up time for my below average swimming skills.

Apart from your bike itself, there is not a whole lot you need to worry about here. A decent set of shoes and a tri suit are about it.

Maybe an upgrade to your saddle or tri bars and some end shifters.

Your bike is where you can really spend a lot of money for minor improvements – but is it really worth it?

shimano 105 groupset

Shimano 105 Groupset

Because the Shimano 105 groupset is known as the bargain racer on the Shimano lineup you can be guaranteed that it takes the best of the technologies in the more expensive sets such as Ultegra and Dura-Ace.  This quality and advanced technology is what makes the 105 such a great deal.  Its a bit like luxury cars – wait a year and the latest advances can be seen further down the line..

shimano 105

The Shimano 105 groupset brings the professional grade tech a lot closer to the everyday rider with the 105.  You will get a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when you hit the road with a bike setup with Shimano gear.

The concept behind the 105 is smooth, round and natural and these features are what makes it stand out from the crowd.

There are many new technological improvements featured in the new Shimano 105.  For the price its performance is excellent.  It offers you the rider a no-nonsense performing groupset thats reliable and ultra durable.


The Shimano 105 Groupset – Lest break it down


Shimano 105 Brakes – BR-5700

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First up is the shimano BR5700 brakes. Some of the key features to look out for are the improved braking system ergonomics.  Built up with new improved brake shoe compound.  Adjustable toe-in brake shoes.

  • Replaceable cartridge pads allow for easy pad installation
  • Forged body and improved pivot design
  • Barrel adjuster allows for easy cable tension adjustment
  • Shimano Reference Number: BR-5700

You can grab the fitting instructions here


Shimano 105 Sprocket – CS-5700

shimano 105 sprocket

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Do not use the CS-5700 in any combination other than with the 10-speed super narrow chain. Other chains cannot be used as the sizes do not match.

An 11T and a 12T lock ring are available for use with the CS-5700.  Use whichever lock ring matches the sprocket configuration.

You should periodically wash the sprockets in a neutral detergent and then lubricate them again. In addition, cleaning the chain with neutral detergent and lubricating it can be a effective way of extending the useful life of the sprockets and the chain.

If the chain keeps coming off the sprockets during use, replace the
sprockets and the chain.


shimano 105 chain

Shimano 105 Chain

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

The Shimano 105 CN-5700 Chain isn’t just any old bicycle drive chain. This ultra-narrow, 10-speed specific chain has chromed link pins and heat-treated rollers, pins, and plates for optimum durability, as well as an asymmetrical profile designed to shift better on the front rings and the cassette. Since the action of climbing up the ramps and pins from one chainring to another is slightly different from climbing up one cog to the next, Shimano chose to shape the left and right side plates differently to optimize the chain for each specific purpose. Shimano also designed the outer plate to reduce the instance of chain suck. The result is a chain that works in harmony with their 10-speed systems to provide a shift quality unrivaled by any of their previous efforts. The Shimano 105 CN-5700 Chain is designed for use with 10-speed drivetrains only.


Shimano 105 Crankset

shimano 105 crankset

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The 105 crankset has a slim body line & smooth rotation. It provides for optimum balance of light weight & stiffness. Front index is superior shifting performance.

  • Crank arm length is 170mm
  • HOLLOWTECH II crankset: Optimum balance of lightweight and rigidity
  • 50x34T Crankset
  • Bottom bracket not included

Installation instructions can be found here


Shimano 105 front Derailleur

shimano 105 front derailer

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The 105 FD-5700 Front Derailleur follows this plan to the letter. Having adopted many of Dura-Ace’s technologies like the wider link design, without adopting Dura-Ace’s price level, we consider this the real bargain of the whole line. Like Dura-Ace, the links have been widened to make the shifter torsionally stiffer. All in all, the shifting will feel smoother, lighter, and more precise. It is different from 7900 in that the cage is wider and designed to work with a front STI shifter that still has an intermediate “trim” shift — Dura-Ace doesn’t have this feature anymore. Shimano says this front derailleur will work with older 6600 shifters, but considers it ‘B’ compatible — it works, but not perfectly. The Shimano 105 FD-5700 Front Derailleur is designed for compact (110mm bolt circle diameter) and standard (130mm bcd) double cranksets. There are three different versions — braze-on, 34. 9mm clamp and 31. 8/28. 6mm clamp (which comes with a shim to reduce the diameter from the larger size to the smaller). It can handle a big/small ring differential of up to 16 teeth.


Shimano 105 rear Derailleur

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Because the 105 adopts all of Shimano’s best features year after year, the latest 105 components encompass the  Dura-Ace and Ultegra technology from just a few years ago. That means the Shimano 105 RD-5701 Rear Derailleur is an exceptional piece of kit build on best of breed product design

shimano 105 rear rerailleur

  • Claimed Weight: 221 g
  • Speeds: 10
  • Maximum Front Difference: 16 T
  • Material: aluminum, steel
  • Recommended Use: road biking

The pivots on the body of the 5701 derailleur are wider than the previous model, and are thus better to resist flexing and twisting when you shift under load. That’s the secret sauce for better, faster shifting.

The installation instructions for the Shimano 105 rear derailleur can be found here


Shimano 105 Pedals

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to pedals Shimano have really changed the game.  The SPD – recessed cleat and clipless pedal tech – are now the defacto go-to pedal for serious bike riders

Features include:

  • shimano 105 spd pedalsExtra-wide stainless-steel platform for efficient power transfer
  • Low maintenance sealed cartridge axle unit
  • Quick engagement with the large binding target
  • Adjustable cleat tension with handy indicators

Make sure your ride is equipped with Shimano 105 pedals or get left behind by the competition.


Shimano 105 Groupset

shimano 105 groupsetAs stated a few times above you really are getting a superb power-train when you invest in the shimano 105 groupset.  Shimano have taken the best bits from their complete selection over the past few years and incorporated them into the 105.  An absolute magnificent piece of technology that should be on your bike today.


Thanks for stopping by and as always please share this post if you think it would be of interest to others.  Cheers and happy cycling.


clip on aero bars

Best Clip on Aero Bars

best clip on aero barsA great modification to your standard road bike is to install a set of clip on aero bars. These bars will allow you to get into the aero position while on the ride section of the race. There are many benefits to this riding position – number one is being more aerodynamic. When you ride normally you sit upright and act sort of like an air brake. Getting aero pulls you down below the wind and significantly reduces you resistance mass allowing you to cut through the wind.  In this post we are going to review the best clip on aero bars and provide details on  some of the features of each set.


You can spend anything from twenty five dollars up over two hundred dollars for professional clip on aero bars. They basically do the same thing but when you spend more money you start to get a lot of additional features. Primarily the bars will be carbon fibre – massive weight reduction compared to the cheap aero bars. A lot will also depend on your budget and how serious you are about racing. Because of the variety we have put together these selections to get you started in your decision process. We may not cover all of the best clip on aero bars but hope you can find something here that suits you. These are the most popular on the market at the moment.


Sub $50 Clip on Aero Bars

ImageBrandRatingImageBrandRating

Aero Tri Bars Time Trial
4 out of 5 stars
Evo Aero Bars
3.7 out of 5 stars


VR TT Triathlon Handlebar
3 out of 5 stars
Tranz-X TRI CLIP-ON
3.6 out of 5 stars

Tec9 Triathlon Aero TT
4 out of 5 stars
Tec9 Triathlon Aero Time Trial
4.2 out of 5 stars

4Ward Under Mount Clip-On
4.6 out of 5 stars
Easton Aeroforce EA70 Clip-on
4.5 out of 5 stars


Best Clip on Aero Bars – What to look for

This question always come up and has many answers. How much do you want to spend? What are the aero bars for? – A practice bike for training in the park or for your primary tri bike. The beauty of clip on aero bars is you can swap them out fairly easily. A couple of hex head bolts are usually all that holds them on to the normal handlebars of your bike. What are they made of? The cheaper sets tend to be made of some sort of alloy and as you go up in price you start to see carbon fiber introduced into the range. Carbon fiber is much lighter so if you have the budget then go for these instead. As stated earlier the beauty of clip on aero bars is you can take them off the bike without much effort if they do not suit your riding style or you prefer the standard set-up. You will find though over time that you will adapt to the aero position while racing and you bike times will reflect this.


Over $50 Clip on Aero Bars

ImageBrandRatingImageBrandRating

Profile Design Century Aero Bar
4 out of 5 stars
FSA VISION TECH TRIMAX PRO TT
4.5 out of 5 stars

Profile Design Legacy Aero Bar
4.4 out of 5 stars
Profile Design Airstryke Clip-On Bar
4.3 out of 5 stars

Profile Design ZBS Stryke Bend Aero Bar
4.7 out of 5 stars
Aero Clip on Bar Ends Tranzx 808 Pro
5 out of 5 stars

Profile Design T3+ Aero Bar
4.3 out of 5 stars
Easton Aeroforce Clip-On Time Trial
4.5 out of 5 stars


Carbon Clip on Aero Bars

If you are serious about triathlon and want to compete at a higher level then you will need something much lighter and sleeker than the intro sets above.  Carbon clip on aero triathlon bars will definitely be on your shopping list for their massive weight reduction. Using these carbon aero bars does change a few things though. You will have to spend a few more dollars to get a set of tri bars you can work with, to keep the weight down and to get down and in the full aero position.  Comfort plays a bit part in this too.  Getting set up with a good comfortable set of tri bars is critical on longer rides.  We suggest you try out a few different sets first if you can to make sure they suit.  Watch out as well if you buy a second hand pair.  Sometimes the previous user will cut down the stems a bit and they may be too short for you.


Carbon clip on aero bars

ImageBrandRatingImageBrandRating

Profile Design Carbon Stryke Bar
4.4 out of 5 stars
Profile Design T1+ Viper Aero Bar
4.2 out of 5 stars
Official Aero bar of Ironman

Control Tech Aero Cockpit Carbon Triathlon Clip-On Bar
5 out of 5 stars
Profile T3+ Carbon Aerobar Clip-Ons
5 out of 5 stars

Control Tech Aero Al Time Trial Clip-On
4.5 out of 5 stars
Vision - Carbon Pro Clip-on Bars
3 out of 5 stars

Vision Carbon Pro Clip-on Aero Bars
4.5 out of 5 stars
FSA VISION TECH CARBON PRO TT Clip-on Bars
4.5 out of 5 stars


Clip On Aero Bars – Whats next

I have seen quite a few people start out with clip on aero bars on normal handle bars and then step up a level by purchasing a new Carbon Base Bar.  This gives you the ability to reuse your existing clip on aero bars but build up a full aero set of handlebars without the expense of a pro set.


Aero Bar Accessories.

Addition items you may need when you install clip on aero bars is some new bar end shifters.  This gear shifters are designed to sit into the end of each aero bar – making it easy to change gear while you are in the aero position.  We have more information on those here


Clip On Aero Bar benefits.

There are many benefits to using aero bars on a bike during a race but the primary one comes down to aerodynamics.  When you are down in the aero position you remove quite a bit of body mass out of the wind.  Because we are not the most aerodynamic of creatures getting down low you are giving yourself a huge advantage over the opposition who will sit upright and act like an air brake into the wind.

The price to entry for a basic set of clip on aero bars is very low.  You can get something from as little as twenty five dollars.  A couple of things to check out first though is the diameter of your handlebars.  Make sure the bars will fit.  ALso as stated at the start of this post you can always remove the bars if you are not comfortable or happy with the ride style.

Clip On triathlon Aero Bars

We hope you found this post informative and as always let us know with a comment if there is anything else you would like to know or any other products you are currently using that you think we should add into the list.  Also we would really appreciate if you would spread the word about us and hit one of the share buttons to tell your friends.


We have also created a comparison chart on time trial helmets.  Another requirement for serious triathletes.  You can view that post here


The final thing we want to discuss today is how you can quickly modify your road bike and turn it into a triathlon style bike with two quick changes. First you will need an angled seat post. This pushes the rider forward in the frame.  Couple this with a nice set of clip on aero bars for road bike and you are set.  The video below shows you how to do this and the benefits of getting aero in the ride.


Thanks for stopping by and happy racing.