How to set up a T1 transition in a triathlon

So you have decided to do your first triathlon. Whilst you may think it is all about swim, bike and run. There is another aspect of triathlon that can save you a lot of time and you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on wheels or spend more time training. Essentially free speed. All you need to do is a little bit of planning. If you really want to ace your next transition, make sure you set aside some time each week to practice.

Setting up your bike

  1. Tape any gels you are going to use on the bike on your stem or purchase a ‘Bento Box’ to keep your fuel safe. Tip: Place directly behind your stem on the top tube to make it as aero as possible
  2. Change gears to your big chain ring and 2-3 sprockets from the top on your rear wheel cassette
  3. Switch your bicycle computer on to save time in acquiring satellites and make sure your bike is ready to go
  4. Have your socks ready (if you use socks and open inside your cycling/triathlon shoes) and place next to your bike on the side you will be running to meet your bike after the swim. Essentially, you will get to your shoes before your bike
  5. Place your helmet next to your shoes with the straps open and ready for a quick placement on your head. Tip: If you wear sunglasses, these can usually be routed through the vents on your helmet, so that you are able to put your helmet on together with your glasses.

 

Advanced Setup

  1. Clip in your shoes to your pedals and open the straps as wide as they can go. Ensure that you can get your foot in and out of the shoes easily
  2. Use a rubber band or dental floss to make sure your pedals and shoes are parallel to the floor, ensuring a quick and easy access when mounting your bike
    a. Place your right shoe at a horizontal position facing forward. Tie a piece of floss or elastic band to the front derailleur clamp on your frame (note: do not affix the floss to the derailleur itself)
    b. Place your left shoe at a horizontal position towards the back. Tie a piece of floss or elastic band to the rear quick release skewer to stabilise the shoe (not: ensure your quick release is securely fastened)
  3. You are now ready to do a ‘flying mount’ to get on your bike whilst still in motion. A quick and easy way to save 10-15 seconds when getting on your bike.

The goal of a transition is to get from the swim to the bike as quickly as possible. When you finish the swim, you want all of your equipment ready to go in the quickest way possible.

– By Ricky Swindale – Pushys sponsored athlete

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