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Should I get race specific tires and tubes?

Hello all,

I am new to the group, I figured I would throw this out there and see what happens...

Is it worth the expense to get race specific tires and tubes? Right now I ride Shimano R-500 wheels with Continental Ultra Sport tires and use regular tubes.

Is it worth getting a faster tire and latex tubes for races? How often do they get flats? What is a good tire choice, not too expensive?

Last question just cus... Does shaving your legs make you appreciably faster?

Thanks for any thoughts!!
KenElPescadoPeladoAaronWebstey
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Comments

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    Hey @Sdog Welcome! It depends what you view as "worth" it. All of those items are what a lot of triathletes call "free speed". They just help you move through the air a little easier. I'm not sure your experience level with cycling, but most of these "free speed" items can get pretty expensive. So, if you are a newer athlete, you may want to look into some lightly used wheels and decent tires. A good aero helmet is also a big plus. As for shaving your legs, we do that because it makes us feel sexy. :)
    KenElPescadoPeladosimonsen77balsdorfGentlemanJerseyDaveAaronWebsteyTad_Machrowiczkjrunnin

    Clay Richard Gasway
    King of all Mediocrity
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    edited April 27
    Thanks @GasBomb I've been doing tri's for 13 years but never worried about my time too much, I only got a tri bike two years ago. Now I figure why not make it a little faster. In years past I have done a lot of long distance riding but never worried about speed. I enjoy the whole process of triathlon, but don't take my racing too seriously. I recently discovered TRS radio like how it can be serious and funny at the same time.
    AaronWebsteyTad_Machrowicz
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    Welcome! There's lots of info around on tires and tubes. The catholicism is that latex tubes are better (lower rolling resistance because they are more supple and/or lighter so lower rotational weight), but a pain to install, which may lead to more flats.

    As for tires, you can check out www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/, or you can search the Slowtwitch forum for this info at your own peril. (Actually, if you read what Jens and Tom A. post, it's pretty reasonable.)

    In general, as long as you are on 23mm+ tires that do not say "Gatorskin", you should be ok.

    As for shaving, get an old school safety razor. You'll save enough in a year to buy a few extra tubes.
    SdogAaronWebstey
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    @Sdog We try to keep our serious to funny ratio extremely lopsided around here. If you like Ben and the gang on TRS radio then I think you will enjoy hanging out at the roost. As for your aero questions, sure, why not, if you have the extra cash and want to go a little faster, then do it! Just make sure you shave your legs immediately. Thanks.
    M_WareSdogAaronWebsteyTad_Machrowicz

    Clay Richard Gasway
    King of all Mediocrity
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    @Martin thanks I will check out those sources for tire info. Oddly enough I picked up a Merkur safety razor for my face last year, it does a crazy nice job, at a fraction of the cost, disposable razors are a ripoff!!
    GasBombMartinAaronWebstey
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    What kind of tris do you race distance wise? The extra speed you get from more expensive stuff is usually measured in seconds. So for Sprint tris and maybe even Olympic distance the time savings isn't huge.
    AaronWebstey
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    I race Olys and halfs

    and i have heard that Gatorskins are really only for experienced pros, not sure i am ready for them yet!!
    MartinGasBombAaronWebsteyTad_Machrowicz
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    LOL Gastorskins for pros...


    Robert RankinGasBombKenElPescadoPeladoTad_MachrowiczscottyKPSwim13
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    I say, just get a set of Continental GP 4000s ii and call it a day.
    They are appreciably better than a low quality tire.
    GasBombMartinmbrekk44SdogTad_Machrowicz
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    Depends all depends on whether it depends. If you want to go faster, then leaving significant time sitting on the table is silly.

    Conti GP4000 are reliable and available for $32 or so each. Add latex tubes for another $10 each and for under $90 you just took three or four minutes off of your 70.3 time.

    There are faster tires yet, but those are a low flat, low maintenance tire.
    SdogGasBombAaronWebsteyTad_Machrowicz

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    Another vote on the Conti 4000, barely ever get flats, and I ride them all the time.. Latex tubes really aren't that hard to install.. just don't get rough with the levers (that's what she said) if you feel like spending​ 80 bucks per tire the specialized turbo cottons roll very fast and smooth
    ellsworth53tGasBomb
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    My advice on the tires and tubes is just get good ones (I use GP4000s and latex tubes) and leave em in all the time. I just don't ride enough outside on my tri bike that I feel that the hassle and risk of changing them out is worth the very small costs of wearing out the good stuff. And it's more fun to train on anyways.

    As for leg shaving:

    Sdogellsworth53tGasBombAaronWebstey
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    +1 on hassle free 4000s.
    Welcome @Sdog !
    We all post our shaved leg pictures directly to @GasBomb s attention for verification.
    Don't worry, this is a one time only process. Otherwise, we would certainly be labeled ridiculous here at the Roost.
    GasBombSdogAaronWebstey

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    @Tad_Machrowicz Hummm it's still a good month or so away, I need to muster up the courage for that. And post a picture?? Yikes.
    Tad_Machrowicz
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    +1 on hassle free 4000s.
    Welcome @Sdog !
    We all post our shaved leg pictures directly to @GasBomb s attention for verification.
    Don't worry, this is a one time only process. Otherwise, we would certainly be labeled ridiculous here at the Roost.

    I smell a new badge!
    GasBombTad_MachrowiczAaronWebsteykjrunninellsworth53t
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    The Conti GP 4000sII's are the perennial favorite. I got a set of specialized turbo cotton's last year though and they're amazing. The ride quality is so much better and even if, according to internet scientists, they're only slightly better than the 4000sII's they feel a lot faster.

    I've heard people complain that it almost feels like the tires are flat/losing pressure because they're so supple. I haven't noticed that and the guy that told me pumps his tires up to 120psi and when using tubulars to 140psi.
    SdogTad_Machrowicz
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    i ride vittoria corsa speed for races, train on whatever is cheapest
    SeanHSdogAaronWebstey
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    edited May 3
    Thank you all, for your thoughts. Conti GP 4000s II and latex tubes ordered, using the TRS radio Amazon link.
    balsdorfM_WareKenElPescadoPeladoTad_MachrowiczCraig DAaronWebsteyGasBomb
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    And @AaronWebstey gets to order another drink this morning.
    SdogMartinKenElPescadoPeladokjrunninCraig DAaronWebsteyGasBomb
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    My fiancé said its over if I ever shave my legs... :( so instead I use endure calf sleeves (compression and aero and I get to look like even more of a gimp = wins all round!)
    SdogGasBomb
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    Ask her to shave them for you. ;)
    Sdogellsworth53tneil5youngGasBomb
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    I figure I'll try it fir my next race in June. I can just about guarantee that my wife will think I'm insane...lol
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    andrewm88 said:

    ... I get to look like even more of a gimp = wins all round!)



    I guess that could be aero with a nice snug fit. And some electrical tape over the zippers.
    Sdogmbrekk44Craig DGasBombStruang
    Sometimes I tweet... Follow PescadoPelado
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    look good feel good
    KenElPescadoPeladoSdogM_WareGasBomb
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    @Dark_mark time will tell.
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    I've shaved my legs once or twice for races. I just find it...time consuming. Also, the"how high" debate leaves you with this weird fuzzy area that seems to lack the societal clarity that the fairer gender has developed a consensus on.
    Sdogkjrunnin
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    M_WareSdog
    Canadian Division
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    Instead of that garbage site, go to the source:

    KenElPescadoPeladoTad_MachrowiczSdogSeanHGasBombAaronWebstey
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    Brent_R said:

    I've shaved my legs once or twice for races. I just find it...time consuming. Also, the"how high" debate leaves you with this weird fuzzy area that seems to lack the societal clarity that the fairer gender has developed a consensus on.

    I never understood the "how high" debate, don't you keep going until at least your race suit length?
    AaronWebstey

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