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Bike Components

The Best Bike Components

“For your next triathlon race, it’s best to have the best bike components. Read what they are below!”

Bike Components

Bike Components

One should not put too much emphasis on a bicycle’s components, as any true cyclist will say that the fun and increased performance comes with training, not with $$$. That said, cyclists–more than any other athletes–like to debate what are the “best” parts and materials, so here are my 2 cents… Most of these components have been used on my own bicycle at one time or another, aside from the IRC tires.


Wholly Recommended

Pro Link Chain Lube

This is the first chain-lube that totally lives up to its promises of cleanliness and good lubrication qualities. Just follow the instructions (drip on the chain links, and wipe off excess… repeat if there is some residual chain lube of a different type to clean that out), and this stuff will stay on, keep your chain totally quiet, and not attract dirt. Twice now I have applied it and gone 150 miles without the chain getting any noisier or significantly dirtier! And I believe I can go much farther than 150 miles (I applied it the second time before the 140-mile World’s Toughest Century, not wanting to take any chances. And several training rides after that ride, the chain is still quiet and reasonably clean!) It’s $7 per bottle but could feasibly last you many years.

Speedplay pedals

These American-made pedals are the lightest, have the most float (35 degrees), have the best cornering clearance (39 degrees), have the easiest entry (double-sided with large “target” area means clipping in quickly without looking is easy), have slim, durable metal cleats, plus look very cool and elegant. To top it off, the X/3′s with SS axles (while still lighter than almost all pedals except for Speedplay’s more expensive ones) are only $90-100! How can these be beat? (6/02)

CO2 Tire Inflators

Forget that pump! All right, this is a very controversial pick, but I have been using CO2 tire inflators for years (almost a decade in fact). Much lighter and smaller than a pump, one can even covertly hide CO2 cartridges in the handlebars! They inflate tires instantly to over 90 psi, unlike frame pumps that require hundreds of muscle-flexing strokes. Admittedly each CO2 cartridge is a one-shot deal and cost about $1-2 apiece, but that is no big deal if you get only a handful of flats a year.


Michelin Pro Race Tire

Admittedly, I got this top-of-the-line tire since it is available in all-black and I am partial to Michelins. It has a superb ride–very supple, and reminds me of the ride of the long-discontinued Michelin Hi-Lite Supercomp HD’s when the Supercomps (which wear fast) had low miles. Corners great when wet and it seems like I can use higher pressure (say, 10 psi) than the Supercomps while maintaining good ride quality (comfort). After the 202-mile Heartbreak Double, there is no perceptible wear or cuts on the tread (an issue with the Supercomps), and no flats so far. Expensive though (retails for $52 each at Performance, though I got them for $35 by showing them the SuperGo sale price, which they matched.)

Not Recommended

Alloy spoke nipples

They seize quickly (often requiring you to cut spokes in order to true the wheel after a few years) and break or “round” out more more easily than brass nipples (which I’ve never experienced these problems with, even on 10-year-old wheels!) All to save approximate *1 gram* per nipple, or about one ounce per wheel. The only thing going for them, in my opinion, is that you can get them anodized in different colors for a “trick”-looking wheel. But after spending days running around for new spokes and long spoke nipples (for deep-dish rims) because the spoke nipples on my 5-year-old wheel had seized, I cannot recommend them.

Glueless Patches

I really liked the idea, but after using Park’s and Performance’s glueless patches for 3 or 4 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that they aren’t nearly as reliable as the traditional rubber-cement type, which I once had a streak of a couple dozen successful repairs with. Glueless patches are good for temporary use, I guess.

Ultralight butyl tubes

These tubes are comparable to latex tubes in weight, and are less porous than latex ones. In fact, Michelin ultralight tubes seem to retain air as well as regular tubes (the other brands I tried don’t). That said, the frequency of flats noticeably increased when I tried them for a while. Furthermore, due to their small diameter and easily-tearable thin rubber, the chance of successfully patching a flat is greatly reduced.

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Your Questions About Olympic Triathlons

Lizzie asks…

How much would tickets to the 2012 olympics in London cost? Anyone have an idea?

I was wondering what the prices and how purchasing tickets to the 2012 olympics works, like when they can be bought, how you go about doing it, the price and etc.

Mike Rich answers:

Organizers estimate that some 7.7 million tickets would be available for the Olympic Games, and 1.5 million tickets for the Paralympic Games. They will be going on sale in 2011, with at least 50% of these priced under £20. To reduce traffic, ticket holders would be entitled to free use of London’s public transportation network on the day of the event. It is estimated that 82% of available Olympic tickets and 63% of Paralympic tickets will be sold. There will also be free events: for example, the marathon, triathlon and road cycling.

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Argon Bikes

Argon Bikes Review

“Argon offers 6 ranges of bikes: road, triathlon, cyclocross, track, high performance hybrids and junior. Below is a review of Argon bikes for Triathlon. Read it now!”

Argon Bikes

Argon Bikes Review

It’s a new year and we are pretty excited on some of the new arrivals from Argon 18. Argon 18 is a Canadian bicycle brand that has been establish since 1989. Some of the worlds top triathlete’s have ridden their frame sets to world champion glory include Canadian Samantha McGlone (Ironman 70.3) as well as Torbjorn Sindballe and Bella Comerford (LD Triathlon World Championships).

Their Flagship E-114 has been chosen for a prestigious Eurobike Award in 2008 and recently sponsored Spidertech professional cycling team.

Argon bikes are currently available in over 35 countries.

New for 2013

Argon 18 E118 has the optimal blend of stiffness, comfort and light weight using 7105 HM Nano-Tech carbon composite.The full-carbon fork with an external, streamlined steer tube increase frontal aerodynamics while the ASP-7500 reversible seat post provides a range of positions as well as being lighter than previous models.

Intergrating TRP’s Advanced V brakes behind the front fork and chainstays provide virtually no drag.The E118 now moves towards a threadless BB86 shell while reducing weight and Fully compatiable with Di2 and EPS systems

The Frameset is finished off in a stunning mat black color, with attention to detail that stands out from the crowd. Although their have been a numerous problems with the integrated stem, where the front plate bolt screws un-threaded themselves Argon18 were quick to replace the whole front end in the space of two weeks.

Argon E118

Argon 18 E116 is the younger brother of the E118, using the same technology at a more affordable price. Developed with CFD virtual wind tunnel software and fully UCI compliant using 6105 HM Nano-Tech carbon composite . The E116′s 400mm long chain stays provide increased stability as well as the 75mm BB drop. Which provides a lower center of gravity for a more stable ride.

The full-carbon fork frontal aerodynamics while the ASP-7000 reversible seat post provides a range of positions as well as being lighter than previous models.

Their patent 3D System offers three effective head tube lengths,customizing the fit and allowing the rider revise their bike fit at a later time once their riding style changes and setup changes.

The E116 now moves towards a threadless BB86 shell while reducing weight and Fully compatiable with Di2 and EPS systems.

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