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Here in Laguna Phuket, Thailand we enjoyed a Friday evening beachfront cocktail party where several of triathlon’s top professionals were honored guests. We caught up with a number of the athletes racing in Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship to learn how they traveled to Thailand with their precious bikes and what type of gearing they’ll use on the notoriously hilly course. Their answers may surprise you!
Melissa Rollison (AUS)
Bike transport: I use a soft bike bag. I think it’s just called Bike Bag.
Gearing: I’ll ride a 26. I just changed it from a 25!
Belinda Granger & Justin Granger (AUS)
Bike transport: We used to travel with hard cases, but since the airlines around the world have started really cracking down on their luggage charges, Justin and I bought ourselves soft bags from Europe. We got them in Belgium, quite a few years ago after we’d done Antwerp 70.3, and that’s what we’ve been using since. It’s a soft case where the fork actually attaches into the bottom of the box. It’s brilliant! Rarely does my bike ever get over 23 kilos.
I actually have a 26. So 11-26. Last year I rode a 25, but I decided to get another gear just in case!
I’ve got a 53-39 front and on the back I’ve got 11-25. I thought about using a 26, but the only cassette stack that I had was a 12-26 and I didn’t want to forgo the 11. So I thought I’d man up and go the 25! I figured the only spot I’d need the 26 would be the very last climb, when my legs will be tired.
Radka Vodickova (CZE)
Bike transport: I prefer to have the lightest bike box ever, so I just travel with a paper [cardboard] box. It’s very light and you can put almost everything inside. If they destroy the box I can just go to the bike shop and get a new one!
Gearing: I have compact, so I have 53 and 12.
Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR)
Bike transport: I have a DHB [hard case] bike box from Wiggle’s.
Gearing: I’m riding 12-25.
Chris Lieto (USA)
Bike transport: I use a Trek cardboard box – the box that it came in. It’s lightweight, it’s easier to pack. It lasts maybe four trips usually. I can also ship it if I want to – for some of the U.S. races I’ll ship my bike home so I don’t have to deal with it on the plane. Only one time my bike broke – I didn’t put one of the fork protectors in and it just jammed and cracked the fork. But Trek sent me a new fork the next day!
Gearing: I’ll use what I brought – by accident! 11-23. I rode the course the other day, so I know I can do it, but I’d prefer to spin a little bit easier up some of the climbs instead of having to muscle them. If I had a 26 that would be nice.
Michael Raelert (GER)
Bike transport: I use a soft case. You always have to carry it – it has no wheels underneath.
Gearing: Just in case, 11-25. Normally I ride a 21.
Viktor Zyemstev (UKR)
Bike transport: I use just a box. A cardboard box from the bike shop.
Gearing: I’m going to use 11-23. But I didn’t know how hilly it would be. 25 would be better!
Faris Al-Sultan (GER)
Bike transport: I use a cardboard box.
Gearing: I think I actually I have a 23. But it won’t affect me – the bike’s important, but usually everybody among the pros is fit enough to get up those hills.