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Super-duper tri product value thread 2019 edition
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Look, I like a pair of the fastest carbon race wheels or the latest wizbang bike computer as much as the next guy. But I equally love finding a product with a pricepoint that's too low for me to pass up. The workhorses of the multisport world. Here's a few of my favorites. I'm curious to see what everyone else has on their list.

• Shimano 105 gruppos. I don't mind spending cash on premo shifters, cables and such. But the 105 line of cranksets, rear brakes, pedals and derailleurs are at the top of my list. You can get a 105 crankset anywhere from 160-175mm these days, what's not to love? Disclaimer: I've got lots of love for my aero tririg Omega front brake, that is not coming off my bike.

• Garmin HRM1G. These heartrate straps are reliable, use common batteries, last forever and cost less than $20 on eBay. I have 3 of 'em.

• HRV4Training app. I use it, I like it. I've found it's pretty accurate in telling me when I need a rest day. Well worth $10.

• Half finger cycling gloves, various sizes. There is nothing to these other than finding the right size and a color you like. Once you know your size buy multiple pairs-they're $5 all day on ebay.

• Elite Crono CX Aero water bottle and cage. You can't get an aero anything for less than $25. Except this.

• Garmin Forerunner 15 watch. One year I watched Rinnie run to a victory at Kona and noticed she was wearing a Forerunner 10 on the run. Within a week I picked up a Forerunner 15 for less than a hundred bucks. It has two drawbacks though. It takes a long time to find/initialize satellites on startup (the workaround is to initialize early in the day and it's snappy the second time). You can't have heartrate and pace on the same screen. The only two metrics I actually care about on a run or race. I haven't tried a Forerunner 135, but that's probably what I'll buy next time I'm in the market for a GPS watch.

• Powertap C1 Chainrings. These tick every box I need. Dual-sided power, accurate, reliable, easily replaceable battery, easy to zero-offset. For $350 these are one of my favorite pieces of kit. My first one stopped working at some point but PowerTap warrantied it free of charge. Really the only caveat is that it only works with the older, 5-arm spiders on certain cranks.

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Madison photographer Timothy Hughes | Instagram
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Re: Super-duper tri product value thread 2019 edition [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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  • I agree about 105 components. For many components, there's no reason to pay more except for prestige or cool factor.
  • Derailleur pulleys - this is one area where 105 falls short - they use higher friction bushings in the rear derailleur pulleys that sap watts. Luckily, Tacx makes cheap aftermarket pulleys whose performance is very close to super expensive pulleys.
  • Chains - Friction Facts tests show the Dura Ace chain to be really fast, and it's pretty cheap too. My bikes are still 10sp and Shimano's not making the 7901 chain anymore, but the KMC X10SL Gold chain is close in performance and still cheap.
  • Velotec skin suits cost about $120 and test faster than many that are more than double that price.
  • Profile Design aerobars, especially the latest generation, are easy to use, easy to adjust, and affordable. Slowman agrees.

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Re: Super-duper tri product value thread 2019 edition [nilloc] [ In reply to ]
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The Tacx pulleys grabbed my attention as I have had some issues with my 105 derailleur. I looked at the Tacx website and the search said that none of the pulleys are compatible with a 105 11sp derailleur.
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Re: Super-duper tri product value thread 2019 edition [MBaier] [ In reply to ]
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- Tannus solid rubber tires. Perfect for training rides. Sure might add 5 watts resistance. But not having workouts ruined from flats? Priceless

- platysens Marlin. Only $150 for this audio based swim pacing device. No need to stop and look at the watch. That being said, can save money on run/bike watch like garmin 2xx series


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: Super-duper tri product value thread 2019 edition [MBaier] [ In reply to ]
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Nilloc was 100% correct about the 105 jockey wheels being not so great. I replaced mine with DuraAce ones that are rated well.

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Madison photographer Timothy Hughes | Instagram
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Re: Super-duper tri product value thread 2019 edition [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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+1 for the HRM1G HR monitor. Reliable, durable, cheap; you're usually lucky to get 1 of the 3 out of an electronic device at this price, but the old "hard strap HRM" gives you all the above for ~$20.

Another +1 for Shimano 105. It just gets the job done. If you're really concerned about the 1.2 watts of jockey wheel bearing friction, is there any reason you can't upgrade those to Dura Ace and save yourself a watt for ~$25? [EDIT] Timtek beat me to it ;) [/EDIT]

One deviation from 105 I endorse is the SRAM Rival 11-28 cassette. Not only is it essentially as light as an Ultegra cassette for 105 money, it includes a 16T cog, just as God intended. The 8 smallest cogs mirror the close-ratio Shimano 11-25, yet it still has that 28T bailout gear to get you over those pesky inclines. I generally like Shimano, but can't figure out why they let the Devil talk them into putting a gap between the 15T and 17T on their 11-28.


Other Nominations:

-WheelBuilders AeroJacket. Anytime you can get into the ballbark, aero-wise, of a $2000 disc wheel for $100, that's "Cheapskate Triathletes' Hall-Of-Fame" worthy.

-Bontrager Aeolus 5 Pro front wheel. Not quite "Hed Jet 5 fast", but can you really tell the difference? If you sniff around a bit, you can often find a set of new take offs for ~$500. Sell the rear for $300, spend a hundred on the the AeroJacket for your existing rear wheel, and have a pretty damn aero wheelset for the kind of money an Enve buyer might find between their couch cushions. Worst case scenario, you can buy a front Aeolus 5 Pro brand new for $319 (full retail) online or from your local Trek dealer.


-SportCount Finger Stopwatch. If you're serious about accurately timing your intervals in the pool, this $25 device does it better than any multi-sport or even swim-specific $500 smartwatch will. If you really want to get better, people, you'll mind those fractions of second on those 50, 75, or 100 yard repeats! https://www.sportcount.com/...portcount-stopwatch/

"They're made of latex, not nitroglycerin"
Last edited by: gary p: Apr 3, 19 15:49
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Re: Super-duper tri product value thread 2019 edition [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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This thread is relevant to my interests. Not everything has to be a new product for 2019 to deserve mention.

105: absolutely.

jockey pulleys: BBB do some decent value ball bearing units. But Shimano do use floating bushings deliberately...

Chains: anything waxed. Do waxing.

Disc wheel cover.

Gloves are personal, I don't like lumpy padded ones. Specialized Grail are my favourite.

Latex tubes.

GP4000 SII - still up there with the newest for rolling resistance and aero, at much less cost.

Wheels: Vision Team 35 SL. Decent depth and width and really cheap. Otherwise see the 2019 alloy wheels thread

A calculator and a computer: Don't throw money at buying an expensive bike and then not getting set up on it. Work out in advance what (pad) geometry you need (through research of fit orthodoxy and measurement of your current bike), then buy the specific parts you need (eg stem and aero bars) to make your current bike achieve that geometry. The gain of achieving a good body position massively outweighs the effect of a non-aero frame.

"Critique my Fit" - beg borrow or steal a trainer, set up a camera on a tripod or similarly stable surface, and get pro feedback on your bike fit for zero cost.

Bar end shifters: If you're putting aero bars on a road bike, Do This. Even Dura Ace bar end shifters are really cheap for what they are.

Brake levers: Tektro TL720

I look forward to someone making a good, cheap saddle.
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Re: Super-duper tri product value thread 2019 edition [ In reply to ]
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Joining a local tri club- often free or cheap, and its a great source of training tips and partners. Also a great source for barely used high end gear at great prices and often discounts at a local bike shop.

The classifieds here- lots of actually proven fast products at very affordable prices.

A proper bike fit. Fit first-- then spend.

Youtube and Strava- lots of training resources for exactly zero dollars.
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