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Adjusting Your Saddle Height Can Make All the Difference

Learn why adjusting your saddle height matters and how it can be done

Many people don’t realize that adjusting your saddle height by a few millimeters can make a huge difference in how they feel on their bike. If you feel like you are not making gains or if you have pain after riding, you may want to try adjusting your saddle height. Properly adjusting your saddle height could help you improve these 5 bike handling skills.

Saddle height explained

Saddle height is the distance between the heart of the pedal axle and the top of the saddle. It is set by adjusting the seat post to an ideal height that balances comfort and power on the bike. Remember, adjusting your saddle height is important like making sure your helmet always fits!

Reasons to change

Saddle height is arguably the single most important adjustment on your bicycle. Incorrect saddle height can contribute to saddle discomfort and anterior and posterior knee pain. The poor leverage can also limit your power production. 

Adjusting your saddle height

There are many methods and formulas to find your “proper” saddle height. One of the best approaches is to establish it based on the rider’s individual ride characteristics and flexibility. If you are looking for recommendations, visit Josh at Jack & Adam’s Fredericksburg or with the crew over at Mellow Johnny’s. A bike fit specialist can explain your individual characteristics. They can also highlight what equipment may be contributing to any performance or biomechanical limitations. If you can’t make it to a bike fit there is still a solution. 

At home fix

Before your next ride, experiment at home with the “heel to pedal method.” This will get you in the ballpark range before you can see a professional. First, mark the current height. Then, put your bike on the trainer. Pedal around to make sure you are in the position you normally ride in. Place your heel on the pedal and pedal backward to reach the six o’clock position. Your knee should be completely straight. If your heel has trouble making contact with the pedal, the seat is too high. If your knee is bent it is too low. Make very small adjustments, in millimeters, until your leg is straight with the heel on the pedal.

Adapting to your new saddle height

When you’re done adjusting your saddle height, wrap a strip of electrical tape around the base of the post where it meets the seat clamp. Take measurements and keep them for future reference. Make the first few rides with your new saddle height short and sweet. It can take a few rides before your body fully adapts. It is good to get your bike fit looked at at least every few years or if you get new equipment such as new shoes or pedals. Pro tip: when you’re ready for longer rides, check out these 3 cyclist-friendly routes in Austin.

3 Cyclist-Friendly Routes in Austin to Ride

Get more comfortable on your bike when you ride these cyclist-friendly routes in Austin

Avoid traffic and become more comfortable on your bike on these cyclist-friendly routes. These 3 Austin spots are located throughout town, making them accessible to many cyclists. They’re ideal for enjoying a scenic route and mastering your bike handling skills. New to cycling or just purchased your first bike? Nice! The more routes you ride, the more familiar you will become with your new bike. If switching gears is new to you, using them can be tricky on your first few rides. Your bike presents a new feel. Leaning into the curves, becoming comfortable with the handling, and eating and drinking on the bike are all things you should practice. Pro tip: always check that your helmet fits before every ride.

Veloway

This 3-mile looped, one-way roadway is an ideal cyclist-friendly route. The Veloway is located in southwest Austin off LaCrosse Avenue and is closed to traffic. Parking is ample. Most noteworthy, this route is strictly for cyclists and rollerbladers, no runners or walkers (watch out for the wildlife!). The roadway is bisected with a continuous white line (slower cyclists keep to the right). Everyone moves in the same clockwise manner. You can relax a little knowing you don’t have to keep an eye out for non-wheeled individuals or riders coming in your direction. There are gorgeous views, a few tight turns, and some nice straightaways. Make sure you get into the right gear for a nice climb around Mile 2! Porta-potties are available.

Southern Walnut Creek Trail

The Southern Walnut Creek Trail begins at Govalle Neighborhood Park off Bolm Road in east Austin. It features nearly 7.5 miles of 10-foot wide concrete paths and splendid views. Like the Veloway, there is plenty of parking. Be advised, runners and walkers are allowed on the trail and traffic flows both ways. Ensure the other lane is clear and yell out “on your left” if you plan to pass others. There are a few road crossings along the trail to be aware of as well. Add 11 miles and some nice climbs to your bike ride when you preview the Rookie Tri and Jack’s Generic Tri bike courses! The trail rides alongside Daffan Lane and eventually hits Decker Lane.

Brushy Creek Regional Trail

Representing north Austin, the Brushy Creek Regional Trail reaches Round Rock to the east and Cedar Park to the west. Check out Stone Canyon Pool if you park to the east. Park to the west at Twin Lakes Family YMCA. Be aware of runners and walkers on this 6.75-mile multi-use trail that connects neighborhoods and existing parks. Traffic flows in both directions and there are multiple restrooms along the trail. Make sure the other lane is clear and yell out “on your left” if you plan to pass others. BCRT images from cedarparktexas.gov.

5 Bike Handling Skills Every Triathlete Should Know

Why triathletes should focus on bike handling skills

Competency with your bike handling skills gives you a decisive advantage over your competition. You gain the experience, knowledge, and practical ability to bike better and more efficiently. Success at a triathlon depends on how well you can gauge your environment. You’ll be surrounded by people, have to traverse across various kinds of terrain, and your journey will be long. That is why you should be completely comfortable with riding your bike for long hours. Here are five key bike handling skills that will help you become a more successful triathlete.

Pro tip: follow these steps before every ride to ensure your helmet fits.

The skills every triathlete should nail

  • Starting and Stopping

These are the most basic bike skills that you must master. Without having solid control over your bike, you could end up in an accident. If your bike uses clip-on pedals, then you should become familiar with them. Practice clipping and unclipping your pedals while riding until you perfect it.

  • Braking and Corners

Speed isn’t always your best friend when it comes to triathlon. This really applies to corners. Instead of pressing down on the brake once you reach the corner, try slowly braking as you near it. This way, you get time to think about the turn you’ll make and pre-emptively react to any dangers ahead.

  • Bike Handling and Shifting gears

Your timing with gear handling should be impeccable. You can achieve this by spending as much time riding on the roads as you can. The natural environment will teach you how to gauge the timing of your shifting. Once you develop this skill, you’ll begin to shift your gears more naturally as you get to your location.

  • Know your Cadence

The cadence in a bike is the number of times you can pedal per minute. Cadence is also known as pedaling rate. Triathletes should be able to maintain a consistent pedaling rate between 90-100 revolutions per minute. By practicing every day, you should be able to get to this level.

  • Drinking while biking

If you’re going to compete in a triathlon, your nutritional intake should be right. You don’t want to get dehydrated during the event nor do you want to feel anything less than your best. That is why you should practice grabbing your water bottle while your biking. You can do this by biking slowly at first, as you reach to your water bottle holder to grab the bottle, drink from it, and place it back. Over time, you will gain the confidence to do this with ease. Pro tip: you will spill and your bike will get dirty. Take the time to clean it with these simple steps!

These basic bike handling skills will take you from a cyclist to a real competitor. You need more than a better bike to succeed at triathlon. Developing your skills is what will help you achieve success. If you’re in the market for a new bike, make sure you know the differences between triathlon and road bikes.

Free Motivational Phone Backgrounds for Triathletes

Get ready to get inspired by these motivational backgrounds!

Do you find yourself thinking “I’ll just work out tomorrow” or putting off fixing the flat on your bike? When exhaustion sets in, maintaining that motivation to keep up with your fitness routine can be tough. Now is the time for action and we have just the thing for you.

There’s something about an inspirational quote/phrase/saying that will really get you back on track when you are unmotivated.  Whether you’re battling with stress or lack of motivation, an inspiring wallpaper or background is a great way to give you the extra boost you need to complete a workout. 

Here are some of our favorite inspirational sayings that never fail to keep us taking another step forward whenever our body is fighting us. Be inspired and get motivated to keep being the awesome triathlete you are.

These motivational wallpapers will be there to help you stay active and help motivate you to keep training and believing in yourself!

Right click to save the image and set it as your phone background or lock screen.

Motivational Triathlon Wallpaper Background for iphones CapTex Tri Austin, Texas Motivational Triathlon Wallpaper Background for iphones CapTex Tri Austin, Texas Motivational Triathlon Wallpaper Background for iphones CapTex Tri Austin, Texas Motivation Quote Triathlon Instagram Stories CapTex Tri Motivational Backgrounds CapTex Tri Motivational Background with cyclist CapTex Tri Motivational Background with cyclist CapTex Tri Motivational Background with cyclist CapTex Tri Motivational Background with swimmer Yesterday I dared to struggle, today I dared to win.

Get motivated, anywhere, anytime all at your fingertips with our motivational backgrounds.

  1. You only regret the workouts you don’t do.
  2. Yesterday I dared to struggle, today I dared to win.
  3. Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done. 
  4. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
  5. It pains me to continue, but it hurts much worse to stop.
  6. All it takes is all you got.
  7. Others make excuses to quit. You make excuses to keep going. 
  8. Swim fast. Cycle strong. Run to win. 
  9. Triathletes aren’t born. They’re made.
  10. Swim. Bike. Run.

Share your Motivation

We are feeling motivated just writing this blog! Now before you run out the door to log some miles be sure to give yourself time to warm up. Starting off too quick can lead to injury and nobody wants that!

Do you have a favorite motivational quote? Share them with us and your fellow athletes in the community on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram!

How to Know the Difference Between Triathlon and Road Bikes

Triathlon Bikes vs. Road Bikes: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to triathlon, a bike is, well, a necessity. How are you supposed to know which bike is best suited for you if you’re new to triathlon or limited on options? In this blog, we’re going to talk about two types of bikes: road bikes and triathlon bikes. Keep reading to understand some key differences between triathlon bikes and road bikes so you can decide which fits your style best for your triathlon journey.

How They’re Different

The most notable difference is the design, or geometry of the frame of each bike. Triathlon bikes have a steeper angle of the seat. Seats on a road bike are positioned at, on average, 78 degrees while the angle on a triathlon bike is closer to 72 degrees. The steeper angle allows the user to travel at a faster rate because you can bend your body down lower which reduces wind resistance. Another huge difference is that a triathlon bike includes aerobars instead of regular handlebars and many models have specially shaped frame tubing and special wheels. These design features are intended to minimize drag and increase speed which is important in triathlon racing.

Triathlon Bikes

Tri bikes allow you to get into a more aerodynamic position by lowering your upper body and bringing your arms in-line with your torso. This is a result of the tilt of the seat in combination with aero bars that cause the cycler to lay lower on the bike with elbows rested. The goal here is to be in the optimal position for a smoother, faster ride.  Unlike other handlebar positions, aero bars serve as both handgrips as well as armrests, allowing you to significantly reduce the pressure on your wrists and hands throughout a race or riding for an extended amount of time.Key Traits of a Triathlon Bike

Key Traits of a Tri Bike

  • has aerobars
  • more aggressive frame geometry
  • can be more expensive
  • better for speed
  • more aerodynamic

 

Road Bikes

Road bikes are great when aerodynamics are not the top priority. These bikes are typically easy to maneuver during longer rides. Road bike frames are slim and also come with thin tires for riding on the road. The handles on road bikes offer different hand positions. Because of this, most people find road bikes to be more comfortable because you can alter your riding position as needed. For beginner triathletes, we recommended trying a road bike before a triathlon bike.

Key Traits of a Road Bike

Key Traits of a Road Bike

  • more versatile
  • less expensive
  • lightweight
  • can add clip-on aero bars
  • easy to customize

 

Now it’s Time to Make a Decision! Which Bike Will You Choose?

Now that you know the key differences between the types of bikes, take a moment to weigh your options before deciding which bike is better suited for your riding needs. Keep in mind: comfort is key, but you don’t want to compromise speed for comfort or vice versa. It’s all about finding a bike with a balance that works best for your body and your cycling needs. Whichever bike you choose, either will do for the day of your big race. Now, all there’s left to do is choose your bike, grab your shades, and start logging those miles!

Which type of bike do you prefer? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you decide to name your new set of wheels!

What It’s Like to Complete a Virtual Triathlon

Everything You Need To Know About Completing a Virtual Triathlon

CapTex Tri went virtual this year, and while we know that’s not ideal, that sure didn’t stop these two from accomplishing their tri goals! The best part about a virtual triathlon: you complete it at your pace, on your time. These die-hard triathletes were determined to complete the Virtual CapTex Triathlon or Duathlon anyways, and did just that! While their approach was different, Joey did the whole thing in one day and John did it pieced together, it’s fine to do a virtual triathlon/duathlon either way. Keep reading to see how much they enjoyed their Virtual CapTex Tri experience, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to join in on Virtual races when you can!

Joey Trimyer’s Virtual CapTex Tri Journey

I wasn’t planning on doing the CapTex virtual race because my hip has been bothering me for a while. On Thursday, I saw my doctor he ordered x-rays and prescribed a round of steroids for the inflammation. I hadn’t had the x-rays yet and the steroids hadn’t had time to take effect, but when I got an email promising homemade pickles if I took the challenge and wrote a report I was in.

Sunday afternoon I loaded my gear and drove over to Govalle Park. I like doing multisport workouts here because there are several flat running routes to choose from and you are right at the head of the Walnut Creek trail.

Completing the Virtual CapTex Tri
Joey’s Game Plan

My plan was to do the sprint du: 2 mile run, 13.3 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run.

The first run was uneventful. It was super humid and I did not enjoy running in air you could eat with a fork, but then I had waited until the afternoon so I got what I deserved. There was a decent amount of walking and my hip definitely started complaining, but I got it done and got my bike ready to ride.

12.3 miles on the bike went by fairly easily. I just rode along and didn’t worry about pace. The Walnut Creek Trail is a nice out and back and I got to turn around right before the big hill which is always a good thing. One drawback to delaying until the afternoon is that you tend to encounter more cyclists and hikers clogging the path, but overall, the congestion was minimal.

The final 5k involved more jogging and walking than I would have liked, but again I got it done. Virtual events hadn’t ever really appealed to me, but given the circumstances, it was nice to have a little motivation to get out and be active.

John Chung’s Virtual CapTex Tri

I decided to change things up a bit for CapTex Tri virtual, instead of scheduling a dedicated workout for each of the disciplines of the virtual tri and go as hard as I can, I would incorporate them into my normal weekly workouts. The time would be slower but it would be interesting to see by how much of a difference.

John’s Strategy

First Run

I chose the sprint duathlon option, a distance that would easily be incorporated into my weekly workout schedule. For the first 2 mile run, I timed it during my Tuesday morning run. The workout was a Fartlek workout. After the warmup, we went straight into the interval. We start with the effort level around half marathon, gradually increasing it as the interval becomes shorter. Time for the 2 miles was 16:25. Completing the run during his virtual triathlon

Bike Ride

The bike portion was timed during a ride out to see my co-worker son’s graduation parade. The ride was through town on neighborhood streets, with red lights and stop signs. I was amazed at how much time I spent waiting and not moving. My “moving” time for the 12.3 miles was a bit over 47 minutes, total time on the bike was more than 1 hour. I spent roughly 15mins or ⅓ of the time sitting at lights or stop signs not moving.

Final Run

For the final 3.1 mile run, the time was from my weekly longish run. The run was an out and back at 9ish total miles. Since I don’t own a GPS watch, I mapped out online the section of the run to figure out the start and stop of the 3.1 miles. Time was measured for both the out and the back, and it was within minutes of each other. I was pleased with the effort considering the out was downhill and the back was uphill. The 3.1-mile time was a bit over 24 minutes.

It was fun to mix in some higher effort intervals into my routine workout to mix it up a bit and keep it interesting.

Go Virtual, Join the Fun!

As you can see, these guys made the most of their time during their virtual tri. After all, it’s a fun way to switch up your fitness routine. Also, a fun challenge if you’re for a new way to get out and be active. Since a virtual tri is completed on your own time, at your own pace, the level of intensity is all up to you.  If you participated in the Virtual CapTex Tri this year, tell us about it! We’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or tag us at #CapTexTriVirtual. We would love to hear about your experience!

Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down

Warm-Up and Cool Down: The Basics

We know that each workout should start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down, but more often than not, athletes tend to skip one or both. Especially when pressed for time. Not incorporating a warm-up and cool-down into your training can be detrimental to your overall performance when it comes time for race day. While also puts you at the disadvantage of a much higher risk of injury. Just like giving your car time to warm up before cruising at 65 mph, your body needs this time to get in a higher gear for more intense workouts or fitness activities. Keep reading to know the importance of warming up and cooling down during your CapTex Tri training.

Why You Should Warm-Up

A warm-up before a training session or race is essential for preparing your body and mind for a workout session. The main point of a warm-up is to increase your body core temperature and muscles. Warming up will not only help you to perform better, but it will also protect your body from injury. A good warm-up gets your blood flowing and gives you a chance to get energized for the rest of your session. It also helps increase the range of motion to your joints and muscles, which should allow your muscles to feel less stressed and stiff when you start. A dynamic warmup should aim to increase blood flow to the areas which will be working and to wake up the nervous system throughout the body.

A guideline to a general warm-up routine would include:

Jogging, biking, etc. for about 5 minutes to just get your blood flowing and get those muscles and joints moving. You want to work at a comfortable pace that’s easy to moderate. For the bike, a good warm-up should consist of five to 10 minutes of easy spinning, and then slowly increasing to the gear you wish to complete your session in. This really helps “open up” your body before getting into the more strenuous part of your workout.

Why You Should Cool-Down

Don’t come to an abrupt stop when completing your exercise, especially if it has been high intensity. Instead, you should cool-down by exercising at a lower intensity than the main session to bring your body temp and heart rate back down to pre-exercise levels. The cool-down should last around five to 10 minutes no matter what discipline you are training for that day. Cooling down helps to gradually decrease your heart rate and get rid of the metabolic waste from your muscles.
Mentally, cooling down also allows you some space to reflect on your performance and gives you some time to set you up for the rest of the day. Don’t underestimate the importance of this! Pro tip: Add some stretches to your cool down while your muscles are warmed up for one of the best ways to improve your overall flexibility and mobility while also reducing post-workout pain.

Bottom Line

Group Warming Up and Cooling DownAdding a warm-up and cool down into your fitness routine is a simple, yet proven way to maximize your benefits when working out. The warm-up gives your body a chance to prepare for your session while the cool-down then helps you focus on slowing your breathing and return to your normal heart rate. Rather than seeing it as an optional part of your workout, think of warming up and cooling down as part of your session to get the most out of all the hard work you’ve put in!