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It Kinda IS About the Gear

You invest your time and energy into training for triathlon. But no investment can match the money you have to put into your bike- and bike shoes, jersey, pump, etc.

If you are new to triathlon, the single biggest favor you can do yourself is to buy a used bike. I'm sure many people are reading this right now and saying "What! The best thing to do is to go to a bike store and get help making the decision about what kind of bike to buy, what bike fits best, and getting the assurance of a guarantee from a local bike store." All great things to consider- but if you're just starting out in triathlon, a friend who knows something about biking, plus perhaps a little studying up on your part, should be fine to get you started.

Not to mention saving hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in bike (and bike equipment purchases). Besides- what if you decide triathlon isn't your cup of tea? (Perish the thought!)

So, if you have some cash to burn, or you're of the mindset "when I buy, I buy the best!" then by all means, seek out a knowledgeable salesperson at a local bike store, and buy with absolute confidence. Otherwise, buy used. You can always sell your used steed and upgrade next season, when you've got some biking miles in your legs- and some race experience.

Quick Info About Wearing Helmets

Medical research shows that quality bicycle helmets prevent 85 percent of head injuries. Helmets made for U.S. sale after March 10, 1999 must meet the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission standard, so look for a CPSC sticker or mention of the helmet meeting the standard in the owners' manual inside the helmet box.

How Helmets Protect

Bicycle helmets protect by reducing the peak energy in a sharp impact. Nearly all bicycle headgear is made with expanded polystyrene (EPS) often covered with a thin plastic outer shell. Once crushed, the inner foam does not recover, which is why helmets must always be replaced after a crash. The outer shell on the helmet helps the lid skid easily on rough pavement so that it doesn't catch and jerk your neck causing whiplash or worse. Molding the EPS into the shell rather than adding the shell later is a new manufacturing technique used in some high-end models. You'll find that helmets come in many colors. If you ride at night, we recommend, light and bright colors, which are best for visibility.

Get A Good Fit

Fit is the most important consideration in selecting a helmet. Find one that fits snugly out of the box (not tight, though, just snug) and fine-tune the fit by adjusting the straps and adding pads where necessary to take up any space between the helmet and your head. Some head shapes require more fiddling with fitting pads and straps. Extra-small heads may need thick fitting pads. We're always ready to help with helmet adjustments. Just ask.

Replace Crashed Helmets

It bears repeating that you must replace any helmet that's been crashed. Ironically, they work so well that you may need to examine them closely to spot marks or dents that indicate that you whacked your head. We have a great selection of helmets to choose from, and we're here to help with any questions you might have.

New helmets include directions explaining how to adjust the straps and retention system for a perfect fit. It's a good idea to put these in a safe spot so you have them when adjustment fine-tuning is required. If you lose your directions, bring your helmet in and we'll show you how to adjust it.

Adjusting Straps

It takes some experimentation to find strap adjustments that are comfortable while riding. You don't want them cutting off circulation, chafing your face or pressing on your ears. Usually, if you adjust them snug when the helmet is sitting on your head, they'll be comfortable when you're riding. You'll know right away if they're too tight.

Get The Buckles Right, Too

Buckle placement is important. Keep the chin buckle forward enough so that it doesn't chafe against your neck when you lower your head. The side buckles should rest just beneath your earlobes.

Protect Your Forehead And Face

Probably the trickiest thing is keeping the helmet sitting squarely on the head. This is crucial because if it's tipped back (the most common mistake), your face will be exposed and unprotected in a fall, which is extremely dangerous. Getting the helmet to sit right on the head requires experimenting with the relationship between the front and rear straps. If the helmet tips rearward, you can usually move it forward by shortening the front straps and lengthening the rear straps. This is accomplished by loosening the side buckles, sliding the straps in the appropriate direction, cinching the buckles and taking up any slack in the chin buckle.

Ask For Help

This sounds complicated because it is. And, it's crucial to get it right for your safety. If you're not sure if your helmet is set up safely or have any questions about fit, please come in and ask. We want you to be as safe as possible.

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