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Triathlon Articles by Local Coaches

How To Bike Faster In Triathlon: Tire Choice Really Matters

T1Tip of the day: Race Tire Choices REALLY MATTER.

Do you want to bike faster in triathlons? Do you want a faster tri bike split?

Most people don’t think about tires much. They are all black and all kind of look the same. But you should really think hard about which tires you use in races, and they SHOULD be different from the ones you use in training. The one really big variable is floppiness. It turns out floppy tires are MUCH MUCH faster, but also more prone to getting flats.

Training tires should be big heavy nasty stiff things that you can barely bend onto the rim- who cares if you are slow, but flats in training are a huge drag. I use these

Race tires are the opposite- speed really matters. You want tires that are fast! That being said, you can’t tolerate a flat in every race. Here are a few tips:

-Evaluate your size- heavier riders flat more often
-Think about the road conditions of the course- some roads are terrifyingly covered in sharp things, some are smooth and fast- the cleaner the road, the more you can risk a really fast tire
-Think about your goals for the race- qualify for Kona? Set a PR? Just Finish?
-The key thing to look at is this chart which covers the rolling resistance of every tire you can imagine.

One key thing to keep in mind- the really fast tires are also really puncture prone.  I used to use Continental Grand Prix's but I found them too puncture prone for my taste. Now I’m using Michelin Pro4 Service Course Tires Triathlon Bike Tips: Bike Faster By Choosing Faster Tri Tires and have not had an issue with excessive flats.

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