Saving Your ASSets

author : Ontherun
comments : 0

Taking care of your equipment is very important, especially on a limited budget. The following are a few reminders of how to get your equipment to last as long as possible.

I was reading a posting on my local tri team web site the other day and it went something like this... “Looking for a cheap used bike. I got a real nice one last year and rode it a few times. It has been stolen. Now I am scrambling for a bike for my next tri. Can anyone help?”

This is an example of an already expensive sport getting more expensive fast. Taking care of your equipment is very important, especially on a limited budget. The following are a few reminders of how to get your equipment to last as long as possible.

Swimming Wetsuit and Goggles

Wash wet suits off after use, especially if you have used them in a pool. Also, it is better to hang them to dry, and not in your hot car. As for your goggles, try to store them in a protective case. I have lost too many goggles due to scratching in the bottom of my swim bag. The container they come in from the store is nice, but a little, hard plastic container will work too. Just make sure the goggles are secure so they do not move around too much.

Your Bike

First and foremost, get a tune up each season. The bike stores will be on top of any recalls and can keep your bike running at its peak for the season. Do post ride inspections. Look for glass in the tires, loose parts and frayed cables. Make sure you wipe the grime off after your rides and be liberal with lubricating moving parts. Just remember to keep the lube off the break pads and rims. Also, consider taking a bike clinic at a tri club or a bike store. Do not be afraid to ask questions of your favorite bike mechanic. They will be glad to help and will show you anything that you need to know. If not, time to look for a new bike shop. Knowing how to fix a flat and make minor adjustments will make your riding more pleasurable and help you keep some costs down.

Clothes

Many athletes are training and racing in cycling or tri shorts and jerseys. A good chamois cream will help preserve the chamois. When it comes to washing the clothes, many say they can be washed in the washing machine with cold water. To prolong the life of these clothes, it is best to hand wash and drip dry these items. The high tech materials are sensitive to hot water and some detergents could block the cooling effect of moisture wicking fabrics.

Cycling shoes

Check the cleats on the bottoms of shoes for clipless pedals to make sure they are not worn out. The wear from walking on some cleats can be very bad. I have had a cleat break on a long ride. Not fun or safe. Also, shoes do wear out. Shoes should be snug, but not restricting. Loose shoes can cause blisters and the extra movement is energy that should be used for making you go faster.

Helmet

Most races require a helmet, USE IT! Training with a helmet is not only safer, but it builds neck strength for when you wear it in a race. Also, make sure to keep it from getting dropped or damaged. The multi-density foams are designed for one impact and one only. Dropping the helmet from the roof of a car can cause hidden damage and compromise its ability to protect you in a crash.

Running shoes

From what I have read, running shoes should be replaced at about 300 miles. This is a good reference point. Waiting for the soles to wear can reinforce poor running habits and lead to an injury. If you are running in discomfort, go to the local running store and get fitted for a new pair of shoes. I am by nature a very frugal person, but skimping on the shoes just to save a few bucks can push you back in your training, not to mention cause long term problems. As a quick example, I wear work boots at work and for years had back problems. I went to a boot fitter, and they suggested a different type of boot. My back pain disappeared almost over night.

Security

As noted before, people seem to have sticky fingers, and they want your gear. Lock it up when you are not with it. I take my bike into stores if I do not have a lock with me. Lock your car, especially when you are on those long rides or in the water. I have seen bike pumps disappear at morning swims. Hide your car keys or keep them with you. It is no fun to lock your keys in the car, but even less fun when it is not there when you get back.

Last but not least protect yourself.

Always be aware of those around you. Assume most vehicles do not see you. Make some eye contact. Keep your eyes and ears open for dogs and people who are not looking where they are going. Watch for road debris, especially when riding in a group. A friend of mine hit a pot hole when riding behind a training partner and broke his collar bone last year. That ended the season pretty quick. And finally listen to your body. Discomfort in training is part of the game, pain is not. Most of us are doing this because it is fun and good for us. When it comes to taking care of your your assets, an ounce of prevention is worth a more pleasurable season.

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date: May 30, 2005

Ontherun

Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Competing in the 40-44 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03

avatarOntherun

Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Competing in the 40-44 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03

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