FitOldDog’s Ten Favorite Triathlon Training Tips; Including Bike Fit Podcast

Triathlon Training Tips?

Triathlon training tips, #5 get a bike fit.

Triathlon training tips: #5, get a bike fit, before you get a bike. My first bike, a QR, served me well, but it never did fit. Gave me lots of back pain on long rides. The top tube was too long. A bike fit would have saved me lots of discomfort. Victor and I turned it into a trainer bike, with PowerCranks – now put out to pasture.

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triathlon training tips: FitOldDog's tungsten karma had a good bike fit

Here’s my Tungsten Karma, as a backup to the Guru. Built by Victor before I found that aortic aneurysm.

My first bike, a QR, never did fit me. This created lots of problems, which interfered with my performance AND my enjoyment of the sport.

I’d be fine for 20 miles, then back pain would set in. I thought this was normal! What did I know, I was a swimmer, not an endurance cyclist.

I then purchased a bike that fit 95%. I was becoming serious about tackling a full distance Ironman. I bought a a Trek Madone, because Lance Armstrong had just won the Tour de France on one. That’s how we make purchasing decisions!

The guys in the bike store did their very best, to get the smallest frame to fit me. This is done by adjusting stem lengths, and so-forth. It was 100x better than my old QR, and I thought it was perfect. However, the bike fit was eye-balled, not professionally done.

triathlon training tips: Deb with FitOldDog's Guru bike

This machine really fits. To the point that I forget that it is there. My disappearing Guru, displayed by Deb, with permission.

Then I met Victor. My bike partner, and great training coach (he pushes like hell, all the time), Rory, were coasting along (‘balls to the wall, as Rory likes to say!). This cyclist pulls alongside us. It’s Victor. He introduces himself as a guy who builds high-end bikes. About a year later, Victor built me one, and then another. I had a well-paid job, and I was serious about the sport, so I treated myself.

The two custom bikes, I purchased from Victor:

Karma, tungsten: Great for hill climbing. Modified for reduced hip flexion, but not built that way (I hadn’t discovered my aortic aneurysm, when Victor first built it).

Guru, carbon fiber: Designed specifically to reduce hip flexion. This was critical, for the stability of my abdominal aortic aneurysm, Cook Zenith, stent graft (watch this video, you’ll be amazed). I didn’t want to yank it from it’s moorings, and die! I hate it when that happens. Now I ride the Guru, even on the CompuTrainer.

FitOldDog's triathlon training tips; train on the bike you race on.

Riding my Guru in the 2011 Lake Placid Ironman – first in the World to complete an Ironman with an abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft. Damn lucky to be alive!

Always train on the bike you race! I think that is #31, of the triathlon training tips, in the dynamic Ironman triathlon training checklist for first timers (available, as continuous updates, if you sign up for The Ironman Mentor Program).

I call the Guru my disappearing bike. It fits so well, having been designed by Victor’s computerized bike-fitting machine, under the watchful, and experienced eye of Victor.

If you want to know more about bike fitting,

listen to Victor’s bike fit podcast at this link:

Remember FitOldDog’s Favorite Triathlon Training Tip, #5,

Get a bike fit, BEFORE you get a bike.

You can take the specs from the fit, and buy your bike on eBay – I’ve been dropped by $300 bikes, many times.

If the bike fits, it’s all about the engine.

Happy riding, and watch out for those wing mirrors.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.