General Discussion Triathlon Talk » BEGINNER QUESTIONS Rss Feed  
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2018-02-28 7:41 AM


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Subject: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
I hope this the right forum. Just had a few questions regarding equipment as I am newbie.

What am I looking for in a wet suit? Meaning, do I need a wetsuit over my tri suit for swimming and then remove after the sim portion or is there a universal suit I can wear for all 3 portions?

Handle bars: this is my first tri so I am using my mountain bike. Can I put on different handle bars or do the original ones need to stay on the original bike? I didn't know if there are specifications I needed to follow.

Don't know if these are silly questions or not.


2018-02-28 8:55 AM
in reply to: jdwyer02

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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
Not silly questions.

Wetsuit goes over your tri suit. Remove wetsuit in T1.

If I were you I would just ride the MTB as is. If you then decide the tri life is for you, then you can upgrade to a road or tri bike to take advantage of its aerodynamicness. Plus on a road or TT bike you'll CRUSH your time from your first tri and have a HUGE PR!
2018-02-28 9:15 AM
in reply to: reecealan


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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
Thank you the response.
2018-02-28 9:21 AM
in reply to: jdwyer02

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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
Do you need a wetsuit? Generally people wear wetsuits if the water is cold or if they are poor swimmers and they want the buoyancy. Lots of people go without. It saves stripping it off in T1.
2018-02-28 10:35 AM
in reply to: b2run


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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
I don't know for sure. It's my 1st race and would have to look again at the handbook. I was hoping to wear just a universal suit for the entire race
2018-02-28 11:15 AM
in reply to: jdwyer02

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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
Originally posted by jdwyer02

I don't know for sure. It's my 1st race and would have to look again at the handbook. I was hoping to wear just a universal suit for the entire race


Check the water temp. In colder water a wetsuit is a huge advantage for warmth...plus it adds tremendous buoyancy. You float like a cork in a wetsuit.

No need to buy one. There are plenty of places online that rent them. That's what I did for my first race and it worked fine. Here's one: https://triwetsuitrentals.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAw9nUBRCTARIsAG11eifZHDI...

I don't know this company and I'm sure there are others, but you get the idea.

Just be sure to get out for a couple of easy swims using your wetsuit in the days before the race. It takes practice to learn to get it on/off and the buoyancy of the suit changes your body position in the water which takes a bit of adjustment.

Steve


2018-02-28 12:03 PM
in reply to: jdwyer02

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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS

I'll assume your first race is a sprint distance tri which means <15-20 minutes swimming, 1 hour biking, 5K run

What do you already have?  

If the water is expected to be extremely cold (relative, but <70F for such a distance), a wetsuit would be desirable.  If you rent a wetsuit, swim in it a few times before race day.  Not everybody likes swimming in a wetsuit.  

You can use your mountain bike.  You can keep the original handlebars or put different ones on if you choose.  Look at your specific race rules, they may have guidelines on what they consider a bike in "safe operating conditions" but common are:
   Plugged bar ends
   Two operational brakes
   Nothing that would imperil other riders (e.g. accessories protruding or broken)

You'll be required to wear a helmet any time you're on your bike at the race venue (including before or after the race and including if you're straddling the bike but not moving.  You can be disqualified from the race even after you finished if they see you do this.)  

I did my first triathlons wearing swim trunks, pulling on an old cotton t-shirt and running shoes to ride/run.  I wasn't fast, but I had fun.  Now I have fancy tri gear.  I'm still not fast but I still have fun.  

2018-02-28 1:00 PM
in reply to: McFuzz


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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
Thank you so much for the responses.

It is the Chicago Triathlon (Sprint) swimming in Lake Michigan so I will probably need a wetsuit.

Just starting to do my homework earlier rather than later and the whole wetsuit conversation was the only thing I had questions about. I am getting a tune up on my Cannondale Mountain bike and will use that for my first tri. Everything else that you need for a triathlon is pretty explanatory.


Thank you again!!
2018-02-28 1:58 PM
in reply to: jdwyer02


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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
Late August in Lake MI at Chicago? Easily doable without a wetsuit I'd think. Certainly for a sprint.
That being said, if you're from around those parts...I'm sure someone rents them. Mind that there's a difference between a swimming/multi-sport wetsuit and a diving suit...or even a surf suit. I'm sure there's a tri-friendly bike/sports shop or even a tri-shop in the area that rents 'em.

But, if the lake is like it is on the east coast of Lake MI, it should be a doable swim without a wetsuit. I just looked at some pictures from past races (assuming it's the same weekend)....and about half seem to be wearing wetsuits. In the kids' wave I saw, none of them were.

Then again, I remember jumping right in to Lake Michigan as a kid and playing for hours. Now, it takes me 20 minutes to slowly get in and I have to pee immediately.
2018-02-28 2:03 PM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Chicago, Illinois
Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
That race can go either way for Water temperature. The one with the kids race that was referenced is most likely the supersprint and tends to be around 69-72 degrees in late august at the beach. The international and sprint is in the harbor and can be around that temperature, but has been as low as 60 to high 50's depending on what the weather is leading up to the race. When I did it around 10 years ago, it was so cold they were pulling people out. I am planning on doing the Chicago Sprint this year as well, good luck with your training!!!
2018-02-28 2:44 PM
in reply to: emcmino


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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
Originally posted by emcmino

That race can go either way for Water temperature. The one with the kids race that was referenced is most likely the supersprint and tends to be around 69-72 degrees in late august at the beach. The international and sprint is in the harbor and can be around that temperature, but has been as low as 60 to high 50's depending on what the weather is leading up to the race. When I did it around 10 years ago, it was so cold they were pulling people out. I am planning on doing the Chicago Sprint this year as well, good luck with your training!!!


Yeow. 50s. The wind musta been blowing from the north. I hate when it does that.
I kinda wanna do that race sometime.
If only because Chicago is fun....once you've found a parking space and mortgaged your home to pay for it.


2018-02-28 2:46 PM
in reply to: jdwyer02

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Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS

A sprint in Lake Michigan near Chicago in August...I'd skip plans for a wetsuit.  You're probably looking at 10-15 minutes being in the water.  I got my wetsuit for Steelhead when I was planning the 1.2 mile swim (up to 45 minutes) across the lake from Chicago.  Even with the wetsuit, I'd consider skipping it for a 10-15 minute swim in 70F.  

Since it's Chicago, the water temps for the last 50 waves will be warmer than the first 150 waves.  (This is a joke).  

2018-02-28 2:52 PM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Chicago, Illinois
Subject: RE: BEGINNER QUESTIONS
Originally posted by jhaack39

Yeow. 50s. The wind musta been blowing from the north. I hate when it does that.
I kinda wanna do that race sometime.
If only because Chicago is fun....once you've found a parking space and mortgaged your home to pay for it.


That year it was very cool and rained the entire week before the race. I have done the sprint, and the supersprint that is the day before a few times. I haven't done the sprint since they changed the bike course a few years ago, but it is fun event with lots of people and a giant expo. I only live a few miles from the race so that takes some of the expense out of it.
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