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These accessories may be pricey, but they will significantly enhance your bike experience this year.
The Selle Italia Iron Tekno Flow ($500, Selleitalia.com) is an extremely light (202 grams) tri-specific saddle, but it transcends the usual awkward, bulky designs with its sleek, carbon-reinforced cutaway construction, full-carbon rails, and just enough padding for the long haul. This, along with its forward-placed rail attachment, facilitates the more over-the-pedals positioning triathletes require to maximize power and minimize fatigue, with a wide, turned-up tail to support the pelvic bones and provide a push-off. The narrow nose means more thigh room, and the split rail design is easier on the sensitive nether regions in an aero posture.
We all generate considerably less power in the “dead zone” of our pedal stroke. They take some getting used to, but Rotor’s Q Aero Chainring Sets ($285–$330, Rotorbikeusa.com) address this by ovalizing the rings: A 50T (tooth) ring, for instance, feels like 48T in the dead zones and a 52T in the power zones. On a standard 53T Q-ring, the range feels like 51T in dead zones and 56T in power zones, making oval rings theoretically more beneficial over long, steady efforts like most triathlon courses. The rings are available in most sizes/configurations, and in road or aero profiles.
Professional tool kit
Stop paying top dollar for random tools every time you have a repair—or worse, MacGyvering a fix with random household items. Get yourself a complete, professional tool set like the Park Tool EK-1 Travel Kit ($700, Parktool.com). With more than 35 tools, all housed in a bullet-proof locking case with adjustable interior storage options, it can even be configured as a portable tool shelf by removing the interior sleeves and hanging them from the case. And with the added backpack harness ($100) you can easily carry it to events.
Fork-mounted work stand
Tired of flipping your bike over on its saddle and bars to work on your rig? Invest in Feedback Sports’ Sprint Work Stand ($270, Feedbacksports.com). The bike sits in the stand, like a car-top rack, with highly adjustable fork and BB mounts. It can accommodate any bike type, regardless of tube shape or size, with no clamps that will mark up the tubing. A lower standing height keeps it surprisingly light and sturdy, with telescoping, quick-release height adjustment. Traveling? Just slip it in the compact shoulder-strap tote (included) and go.
Wheeled, soft travel case
Combining the best traits of hard and soft cases, the SciCon Aerocomfort Travel Case ($670, Sciconbags.com) features a soft but well-padded structure to keep weight down and storage easy, while the internal frame holds the bike upright and safe inside the case, with quick-release skewers securing the fork and rear triangle. The tri-bike-specific shape means you don’t have to take apart and reassemble your perfectly dialed front end when traveling. Padded and reinforced wheel sleeves zip up around the frame to seal the package, and the whole setup can be easily carried or wheeled with adjustable straps.