With race day fast approaching, you still have time to fine-tune your bike with these minor tweaks
In the previous article, you learned about the important bike checks and gear changes you need to schedule at least a week before race day. Now, let’s look at a few more do’s and don’ts to put you at ease as you get closer to the big event.
A day before the event
Dump what you don’t need
Don’t race a high-end bike that cuts a few grams only to weigh it down with water and spare parts. Anticipate race conditions and refueling locations so you bring only as much water and fuel as you need. Drop any spare tools you might bring for long solo rides but might not need for a race.
Do a spot check
Check for loose bolts as well as movement on components you have to reassemble when you arrive at the race venue (i.e. if you have to disassemble your bike to fly with it). The most common culprits are your saddle, headset, and aerobars. Marking your saddle and aerobars to their proper configuration will help you check for unintended changes. Check for lubrication on your moving parts as well and make sure your chain, pedals, derailleur parts, and cable stays are all checked for excess wear.
Do one more test ride
Continue to look for anything unexpected. Remember that most races will have a mechanic on site. Try to get any concerns addressed the day before; it becomes tougher to get the race mechanics’ attention the closer it is to race start.
Day of the race
If you’re well prepared days before a race, there should be very few mechanical concerns on race day, if any.
Check tire pressure
Your tires should have been able to retain most of its air pressure overnight. Depending on the duration of your race, you may have to assess changes in weather conditions. Wet or excessively hot conditions might mean you need to underinflate your tires for the event.
Check your water and fuel
Your hydration and nutrition plans should be set a few days before the event, but adjust for anything that has not been anticipated such as changes in weather or race layout.
Preparing your bike days ahead of the event will allow you to ride confidently through sticky situations and focus your mind on finishing your race strong. A few minutes spent days before the event to quickly look over your bike can save you from mental anguish at the least and from a DNF at the worst.
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