Tri Talk Triathlon Podcast, Episode 50

The Tri Talk “Best of Interbike” review, an interview with Joe Friel, and Tri Talk celebrates its 50th episode. A must-hear edition, today on Tri Talk.

Welcome to Tri Talk, your podcast source for, triathlon tips, training, news and more. New listeners since episode 49 primarily came from Tennessee and Hawaii. In Tennessee I hope you had a great race at the Atomic Man triathlon, what a great name for a race. In Hawaii, I’m not sure if the increase in listeners is from new subscribers, or from the migration of athletes and fans to Kona for the upcoming Ironman Championships. Either way, enjoy the show. My goal at Tri Talk is to help you swim, bike, and run faster, to meet your personal triathlon goals. Whether you are an elite or amateur triathlete, we cover sprint distance to Ironman distance. I’m your host, David Warden, and this is Tri Talk episode 50.

Can you believe we made it to episode 50? Unbelievable. As you know my goal at Tri Talk is to help you swim, bike, and run faster. A typical Tri Talk episode formula would be for me to pick a topic, do some research, and focus on the scientific data regarding that training topic. Today’s episode will still help you swim, bike, and run faster, but I hope you will indulge me a bit as I celebrate my 50th episode with a slightly unorthodox but informative version of Tri Talk. Today I’ll be giving you a review of what I consider to be the most interesting products of Interbike. I spent 3 days combing the floor of North America’s biggest cycling expo, which has begun to turn into one of North America’s largest triathlon expos as well. Wetsuits showcased at a bike expo? Tri bikes lining the entryway to the show floor instead of road bikes? Aero helmets displayed as prominently as traditional bike helmets? All signs that triathlon is quickly catching up to cycling as a mainstream activity. I’ll be sharing with you some new products that I think will indeed help you to swim, bike, and run faster.

Also, it was my distinct honor to be able to perform a face-to-face interview with Joe Friel, author of many training publications, including the Triathlete’s Training Bible. Of all the interviews, topics, and reports I have done on Tri Talk, this interview is what I consider to be my favorite moment on Tri Talk. I don’t know that any other living author has influenced me as much. You’ll hear what Joe considers to be the universal truths in endurance training, learn his opinions on altitude training, and find out what projects and publications he’s currently working on.

However, the big story of from Tri Talk is this: As Tri Talk approaches the milestone 50th episode, there is another milestone about to be reached. I am about to respond to my 1,500th triathlon question!

Alright, let’s get onto the good stuff! Interbike is the largest bike expo in North America, or as my punk younger brother put it, the Star Trek Convention for triathletes. But you don’t have to travel all the way to Las Vegas to go to Interbike and see the future of triathlon gear. I’ve got you covered. In fact, you can’t even get in to Interbike unless you are a retailer, manufacturer or member of the press, so you have to depend on me anyway. I’ll be walking you through some of my impressions and product recommendations out of almost 900 vendors. Let’s go now to the floor and begin the review of the Tri Talk Best of Interbike 2008.

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And yet, somehow, after 3 days it certainly feels like I managed to visit all 900 vendors, at least that is what my feet keep telling me.

I’m not a big fan of keeping my listeners in suspense, and so I’ll start the review with the most important product at Interbike, the tri bike. With an almost unlimited supply of tri bikes to sort through, you would think that my decision would be hard. In fact, it wasn’t that hard at all. The most impressive bike at Interbike, and likely my next bike purchase, is the 2008 Specialized Transition. Not only one of the most beautiful bikes I laid eyes on, but the one that had the most attention to aerodynamic detail. At a $2,400 price tag for just the carbon frame, not the cheapest bike, and perhaps not your first bike, but put it at the top of your wish list. An honorable mention to Cervelo for bringing the popular P2C down to just $2,500 for a complete bike. If you never though you could afford the P2C, this might be the year for you.

Like many of you, I have to find a way to train all winter, which makes a good indoor trainer a critical piece of equipment. The trainer of the future is definitely open rollers as opposed to a fixed trainer.

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After just one ride on the roller system, I’m addicted. I don’t know that I’ll ever go back to a regular trainer again. Louanne also points out that since you have to learn how to ride steady on a roller about a foot wide, your ability to hold a straight and efficient line outside should improve.

The helmet of the show goes to the new Louis Garneau Rocket Air. It is identical to the breakthrough and original Rocket aero helmet, but with increased vents for the endurance triathlete and age-grouper in mind. Worried that the vents compromise your aerodynamics over a shorter course? No problem, just seal them up, and you are back to the base Rocket helmet.

Another bike component I was very impressed with came from a company I had never heard of until the show.

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For you weight weenies, this is a component and company worth taking a look at, and my tri geek toy recommendation of the show, the American Classic hub.

Do any of you get frustrated cleaning and lubing your bike chain? I know I do. It’s messy, it’s annoying, but so important to extend the life of you chain. I found an interesting chain cleaning system that I was impressed with.

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Has anyone ever featured a “best chain cleaning system” in a product review before? Maybe, but there were certainly a dozen or more companies with a chain cleaning product, and White Lightening is my top pick.

One product that I did not get to see, but got to talk about with the manufacturer is a new shoe coming out from a company called eSole. It places a chip inside the shoe and allows the athlete to get power measurements. We’ve been training with power now on the bike for years, what about the run? This product is due out sometime in 2008, but it still the official Tri Talk shoe of Interbike.

Another product turned out to be irresistible for me to investigate.

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Now, I’m not endorsing this product due to the claim of reducing recovery time to 1/3 of normal, but the concept is intriguing. What would be the impact of increasing your oxygen intake during training? Sort of like reverse altitude training, or extra-low altitude training? Again, I’m not sure it will help you swim, bike, or run faster, but it certainly would generate a buzz in your next group ride when you whip it out. It’s enough to earn my gimmick product of Interbike, and I’ll be researching it more when I get home.

Finally, as another testament of the growth of triathlon, Profile Design, the maker of some of the finest bike components in the industry unveiled their new…wetsuit? From Profile Design? If that doesn’t show the trend from cycling to triathlon, I don’t know what does.

It’s been an incredible week for me at Interbike. To network with other players in the industry, and meet people that I have only talked to on the phone. But, in the end, for me it was mostly about the eye-candy.

Recorded in the lobby of the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, enjoy this rare audio interview with Joe Friel.

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Big thanks to Joe Friel for taking the time to meet with me, and bug thanks to you for being a part of Episode 50! Don’t forget to download the unpublished archived episodes for hours more of relevant triathlon training.