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Best investment before HIM?
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I have a few options in which I could invest my money into before a HIM and, later this year, a full IM.
They are:
- Professional bike fit (roughly $400);
- Wahoo Elemnt Bolt ($399);
- Deep (50mm) Chinese carbon wheel-set (roughly $650);

Prices are in AUD (0.71 USD).
Interested to see what you guys think.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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Aero helmet, fast tires, and a power meter.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [RichardL] [ In reply to ]
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If you dont have one...a coach
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [msrixon] [ In reply to ]
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msrixon wrote:
If you dont have one...a coach

Any coach that only charges aud40 per month isn't going to be worthwhile. However I 100% agree that's the best investment.

Also tyres, latex tubes, massage and physio I'd put above those other things. And even more important quality food on a daily basis. Now we are coming into autumn there's more effort needed to eat fresh and avoid the comfort stodge.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [Duncan74] [ In reply to ]
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Duncan74 wrote:
And even more important quality food on a daily basis. Now we are coming into autumn there's more effort needed to eat fresh and avoid the comfort stodge.

fuuuuck all that bro

I already got my race breakfast planned out:

It starts at 2am

Pancakes, Bacon, Sausage Links, Pizza, Dr. Pepper, Cheese Its, Plain Pringles, Milk Chocolate with almonds, Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben and Jerrys, Chick Fil A french fries, 5 Guys bacon cheeseburger, some hash browns and fried eggs, chick fil a cookies and cream milkshake (2), a couple cases of La Croix, 1lb of THC (plant based - you know)....

some funyons .. and some water

140.6 breakfast right thurrrrr


I typically eat a pan pizza and coke before a century ride ... shit tons of breadsticks - thats some premo carbs there, yo
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [Duncan74] [ In reply to ]
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Duncan74 wrote:
Any coach that only charges aud40 per month isn't going to be worthwhile. However I 100% agree that's the best investment.

I have a training plan that I purchased on TrainingPeaks - will that do? Coaches look extremely expensive from what I can see.

Duncan74 wrote:
Also tyres, latex tubes, massage and physio I'd put above those other things. And even more important quality food on a daily basis. Now we are coming into autumn there's more effort needed to eat fresh and avoid the comfort stodge.

All of this above a professional bike fit? From doing some reading online people make it out to be the best investment... Definitely food for thought, I will look into tyres (I am running tubeless at the moment).
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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I'd say the fit. With the caveat that if you've already done quite a bit of research on fit, videoed yourself, played with your position, tested it on the road and in races and are pretty happy with it from an aero, power and comfort perspective, then there may not be much low hanging fruit left there.

That was certainly my experience. Bought my first tri bike second hand, didn't have a lot of money spare at the time so spent a lot of effort videoing myself and reading up on fit, and figured out a position that both looked and felt pretty good. And seemed to back it up on the road in terms of getting good speed for the effort (couldn't afford a power meter either!). Did eventually get around to having a professional fit when I was in the market for a new bike, and the fitter said I had a great position already and she wasn't going to make any big changes, just some tweaks. If that sounds like you, then the deep wheels would be the next priority.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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ILoveMyTrinity wrote:
Duncan74 wrote:
Any coach that only charges aud40 per month isn't going to be worthwhile. However I 100% agree that's the best investment.


I have a training plan that I purchased on TrainingPeaks - will that do? Coaches look extremely expensive from what I can see.

Duncan74 wrote:
Also tyres, latex tubes, massage and physio I'd put above those other things. And even more important quality food on a daily basis. Now we are coming into autumn there's more effort needed to eat fresh and avoid the comfort stodge.


All of this above a professional bike fit? From doing some reading online people make it out to be the best investment... Definitely food for thought, I will look into tyres (I am running tubeless at the moment).


1) I've not seen a paid for TP plan so it would be unfair to compare or comment on something I've not seen. However the key value I personally get for a coach is the 2 way commitment to the sessions - he puts thought and skill into developing each session specifically to hit just the right load for me based on the previous week's feedback, and I commit to doing those sets and not ditching them when I can't be arsed, or doing double when it's a sunny day and I feel strong (leading to injury).

2) Are you getting any pain when cycling, and is it a new bike? If you've had it a while, are pain free and you can survive the slowtwitch critique then you may be OK, and your physio / massage sessions would be more broadly useful than one off bike fit. Does depend if you're aiming to podium or get to the start line with confidence that you'll get to the finish line semi-comfortably.

Note this is just my personal view and what's worked really well for me. $thousands on the coaching, massage and very selective spend on the carbon bits.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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Good tyres, latex tubes and a half decent helmet will give the best return on investment. Clothing probably comes in high on the list too.
Personally I'd be wary of unbranded carbon wheels. I know many disagree but a failed wheel or inadequate braking = crash.
The benefit of deep section wheels will depend on a lot of factors, like your ability, weather conditions, etc...
I'd probably hold off until you can spend a little more and get something like a set of HED Jet 6.

When it comes to bike fit and coaching, a lot depends on what you have already done, or can do, yourself:

Bike Fit: If in doubt about your fit, especially if you can't stay on the extensions for the duration of the bike leg - spend some money on that. If you're comfortable on the bike, it's much less important but a good fitter may still help.

Coaching: A lot of people will always suggest coaching as a necessity. I disagree. But, it largely depends on your preferences, what you want to get out of your training/racing, and how much you're willing and able to figure out for yourself. For me, looking at my data, examining how I perform, how I feel and what I enjoy, and being in full control of my own training, are all part of the sport. I don't want to hand any of that over to someone else. Could a coach make me faster? - Yes, but I can go much faster on my own without a coach. Lack of a coach is nowhere near being my main limitation and I suspect that's true for many people with a reasonable understanding of training methods. Time availability, willingness to work on the things they don't enjoy, and food/sleep are more important IMO.
I'm a weak swimmer and mediocre runner. I'm decent on the bike. If performance was my priority I'd be focusing on swimming and giving a lot more attention to running, but I don't. It's not because I don't have a coach telling me how, it's because I enjoy swimming a lot less than cycling and running and because it's more difficult to fit into my schedule during the week. I also enjoy running less than cycling, especially in winter when all my running would be in the dark and often cold and wet. I don't have or want a treadmill.
So, I know how I could get considerably faster, but I don't intend to do many of these things. A coach wouldn't help. I'm fine with that.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [Ai_1] [ In reply to ]
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Ai_1 wrote:
Good tyres, latex tubes and a half decent helmet will give the best return on investment.

I'm currently running Conti supersonic innertubes as the weight was comparable to the latex tubes but less prone to air leakage - I understand that latex gives better rolling resistance but would it be worthy upgrade over supersonics?

My current situation is similar to the OP's - I have an element bolt already but no power meter so that's on my shopping list instead.

With regards to a pro bike fit, when you have an event coming up - how long before that event does it become "too late" to get a fit.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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Are you the same guy in another thread that wanted to lose weight to go faster and had an FTP of 140W. ?

I'd invest in a TrainerRoad membership and a trainer. Seriously - no amount of gadgets are going to mitigate not having done sufficient work.

A Half Ironman is still 70.3 miles... It's very possible to do it very fast and enjoy the day. Or it is very possible to have 8 hours of slogging through a horrible nightmare and never go near endurance sports ever again.

Do you need a bike fit? if you have your position pretty dialled in already then i wouldn't bother.
Do you need an aero helmet? Not if you're pedalling at 15MPH at 120W. Same with wheels - they aren't going to magically make 15 mph into 23 mph.

Start putting in the hours, learning the basics about training, nutrition, recovery etc and you'll be fine.... Try and short cut it or pretend to yourself that you don't have to do the hours upon hours of hard training month after month and you'll feel it a couple of miles into the run... and then it'll be horrible...
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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RCCo nailed it. I believe you said you are about or hope to do a 5'30" for a 70.3 in your lose weight thread? I wouldn't be spending huge amounts on equipment at this stage. Yes a trainer if you will ride more but coaching and a bike fit if you really need it would be where I would be spending your money. Where in Oz are you?
Last edited by: Shambolic: Apr 4, 19 2:55
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [p9ul] [ In reply to ]
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p9ul wrote:
Ai_1 wrote:
Good tyres, latex tubes and a half decent helmet will give the best return on investment.


I'm currently running Conti supersonic innertubes as the weight was comparable to the latex tubes but less prone to air leakage - I understand that latex gives better rolling resistance but would it be worthy upgrade over supersonics?

My current situation is similar to the OP's - I have an element bolt already but no power meter so that's on my shopping list instead.

With regards to a pro bike fit, when you have an event coming up - how long before that event does it become "too late" to get a fit.
I think supersonics are better than standard butyl tubes for rolling resistance, so the available improvement will be smaller. I don't know what the actual difference is so can't help you there. It may still be a possible improvement. There's only one downsides I think is worth considering for latex. that's it's lower heat tolerance which is only likely to be an issue on a route with very long and steep descents. And even then I think it's probably a non issue unless you drag your brakes on long descents and have certain wheel and rim tape configurations liable to build up heat in the rim and conduct it to the tube. The oft suggested difficulty installing latex has never been a problem for me and the gradual air leakage you mention is predictable and makes no real difference. I always check my tyre pressures before a ride anyway and it's easy to add a bit of pressure as needed.

I personally don't care much about small weight savings in the tubes or tyres. The argument that weight reduction at wheel rims is important is hugely flawed. It really only matters as much as overall bike weight and is pretty irrelevant compared to rolling resistance IMO. However, happily, lower weight and lower rolling resistance will often go together.

I'm afraid I can't help about the bike fit. The time needed to adapt would surely depend entirely on the nature of any changes made.
If you go for a bike fit and you're told your position is perfect, no adaptation will be needed. If you change saddle, or significantly change saddle position, and/or extension reach/height then significant adaptation may be needed.... or maybe you'll be fine with it straight away.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [Ai_1] [ In reply to ]
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Cheers for the reply. Seeing as I live close to 33% inclines with hairpin bends I'll give the latex tubes a miss!
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [msrixon] [ In reply to ]
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While a coach would be nice, you can certainly be competitive without one. I've used Friel's book, Your Best Triathlon, with good success and raced last year with TrainerRoad's IM plan. The key with any plan is understanding that you still have to listen to your body and call an audible occasionally for recovery purposes. I've been in the sport 20 years. It's a hobby and I'm reasonably competitive, but it's not important enough for me to drop hundreds of dollars a month on a coach.

Human Person
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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I'd say we cannot answer with out knowing what your setup is currently (including race day kit) and a photo of you in the bike

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www.VeloVetta.com
VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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VTIAX
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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I’d buy a PM. Get a single arm stages or a one pedal PM for your first one. Better if you can save a bit by going used

Unless you’re stuck inside training for bike, then I’d go trainer

Then I’d rent race wheels for the day (~$75 usually). Maybe you could borrow from a friend?

The above makes you a stronger rider.

The other suggestions will make you faster (and are discretionary), and I’d save those for down the road if money is tight.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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ILoveMyTrinity wrote:
Duncan74 wrote:
Any coach that only charges aud40 per month isn't going to be worthwhile. However I 100% agree that's the best investment.


I have a training plan that I purchased on TrainingPeaks - will that do? Coaches look extremely expensive from what I can see.

Duncan74 wrote:
Also tyres, latex tubes, massage and physio I'd put above those other things. And even more important quality food on a daily basis. Now we are coming into autumn there's more effort needed to eat fresh and avoid the comfort stodge.


All of this above a professional bike fit? From doing some reading online people make it out to be the best investment... Definitely food for thought, I will look into tyres (I am running tubeless at the moment).

For my money, I invest in training first. If you like your TP plan and stick to it, great. If you're paying for TP and not using the free version, the ability to create your own workout regime and plan is very useful. Do you need a coach for that? Not necessarily but it depends on your willingness, and time available, to do the research and planning yourself. It also requires more self motivation to stick with it since nobody is checking up on you.

From your list of three it's hard to pick one without knowing what you're already on. Again, I'd go with training related items first. If you don't have a power meter, adding one can allow you to target your training more specifically, use more indoor training software, set realistic goals, and be useful in pacing on race day. I have a Power2Max NGeco on my tri bike and for a similar investment to what you're describing you would have a good total power number.

Otherwise, picking just from your list... probably fit first, wheels second, bike computer third. I believe someone already pointed out that you can get good racing wheels like HED for very close to your price point used...

Blog | DeSoto Sport Ambassador | Strava
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [p9ul] [ In reply to ]
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p9ul wrote:

I'm currently running Conti supersonic innertubes as the weight was comparable to the latex tubes but less prone to air leakage - I understand that latex gives better rolling resistance but would it be worthy upgrade over supersonics?

Read here: https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/...ne-tubeless-clincher
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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 Trainerroad and a smart trainer will get him more gains than anything else for the price of what... 2 months of coaching?
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [KingMidas] [ In reply to ]
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KingMidas wrote:
VTIAX

x2
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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Not enough info and depends on your goals, but all else being equal if those are your general choices:
Fit

All the latex tubes and aero helmets in the world aren't going to do shit if you can't ride in aero comfortably putting out good power
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ChrisM] [ In reply to ]
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You get the professional bike fit first. End of discussion. It should be mandatory when anyone buys a new bike. You’re pissing in the wind with all the other suggestions.

I went several years before I got a fit on my bike. I finally broke down and got the fit. I thought I was good, but
there were all kinds of adjustments. The results were received almost instantly. I think my average speed improved by 2 mph that summer and I attribute it to getting a proper fit.

You can buy a trainer, power meter, coach, deep rim wheels, etc., but all that can be utterly wasted without the benefit of a proper fit. Do you really want to squander max watts?

Also, keep your drivetrain so clean you can eat off it. There’s no cost and it’s free speed. I’ve seen friends who never cleaned their chain and had corrosion all over it the night before an HIM. I was like dude...I took charge and we cleaned it up that night. It’s simple and common sense.

Get the professional bike fit and don’t look back.
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Re: Best investment before HIM? [ILoveMyTrinity] [ In reply to ]
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I agree with others, a GOOD professional bike fit is sort of table stakes. It's not just about getting faster, it's about not getting injured! The key is you need to see a great fitter. I've spent more time than I care to admit running around town getting crappy fits that made matter worse. Figure out who the best guy is and go there, even if it means driving half a day each direction.

Next for me would be a PM with a decent head unit. Not because it will make you faster, but because it's the single most important training tool to get faster. If you're cash constrained, you might look to see what you can find used.

I'd steer clear of cheap race wheels. For one, they can be a double edged sword. I'm a pretty crappy bike handler, and to be honest, I'm not sure I'm actually faster on my Zipp 808s because I'm so much less comfortable handling an 808 front wheel when in aero. I'm working my way up to it and hoping to race on them this year, but they're not magic rocket boosters.

There are also a lot of "free" things you can do as others have already mentioned. Keep your chain spotless. Shave your legs. Make sure your jersey is skin tight with no wrinkles. Practice transitioning quickly in your yard. Etc.
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