Canadian Friends

Triathlon Event  Hi –
I am JUST starting out and wondering how important is it that I get tri-bars on my bike and clipless pedals on my bike? They are expensive and I am a little nervous about using them.

Any thoughts? Tips? Suggestions? How necessary are they?
PS – THANKS FOR THIS SITE! It has settled so many of my butterflies!!!

Triathlon Event  Hi Gwen,
Thank you for contacting and welcome to the world of triathlons!

Thank you for the nice comments regarding our website. Weā€™re very happy that weā€™ve eased your fears and can certainly answer your question regarding clipless pedals and tri-bars.

Two reasons for having them:

  • Clipless pedals ā€“ They will allow your legs to work more efficiently and your foot will not slip out of the pedals for any reason.
  • Tri-bars ā€“ They keep you more comfortable in long rides and allow you to ride more aerodynamically.

Two reasons for not having them as a beginner:

  • Clipless pedals ā€“ If you are not entirely comfortable with cycling, you donā€™t want to be restricted in any way. With clipless pedals, your feet are attached (like a ski boots) to the pedal. You can adjust the release and you can practice getting in and out of them, but it takes some getting used to. It is not uncommon to take a few dives into the grass or pavement at red lights during training rides while youā€™re getting used to the new pedals.
  • Tri-bars ā€“ Unless you are competing in Olympic distance or longer triathlons, itā€™s not necessary. Mini-tris are not more than 15 miles and it is easy to stay in position during that amount of time. You also need to practice turning and gearing up and down so that you donā€™t crash during tight turns. Where your arms are parallel and directly next to each other, your balance is very different than using regular handle bars. As in using the pedals, itā€™s all practice in getting used to them.

One other thing — be sure to have them professionally installed on your bike if you decide to buy them. You donā€™t want to take any chances with your safety by cutting any corners.

So all in all, you donā€™t NEED these technologies in order to compete in successful beginner races. You can do a great job without them. Once you get going in the sport and fall in love with it, you might want to make the investment because they are awesome to have and make a big difference in your ride.

Please let us know how your event(s) go. We like to publish stories that are sent by folks like you to inspire others to give triathlons a try!

Be well.
~Niki Recommended Resources:


Triathlon Swim : – Get the low-down on gear and read tips for training and events.

Triathlon Bike: – Learn how to structure bike workouts, find safety tips and read recommendations on great bike gear.

Triathlon Run : – Get the ultimate skinny on running sneakers, running gear, safety tips and much more.

“Triathlete Profile
Read interviews of people like YOU who give advice on training, balance and much more.

The Coolness of Clipless Pedals:

The most spectacular thing about these type of pedals is that you get the full use of your leg while paddling. Using regular pedals, you can only push downwards. Having your foot attached to the pedal lets your leg push downward and pull upwards. This works alternative muscle groups and allows you to ride longer and more smoothly. It also keep your foot from slipping off of the pedal.

The Terrificness of Tri-bars:

There is no doubt that you will look really cool with tri-bars because anyone who’s anyone has them. They keep you in great position, keep your hands from cramping up while holding regular bars, allow a smoother shift from gear to gear and make you seriously aerodynamic! Our goal at is to keep you safe while testing out one of the fastest growing sports in the country. We like to give you the pros, cons and our opinion to help you make the best decision for yourself. When you finish a race using our tips, we all win!

There are Newbies Starting Triathlons Every Day. Today Just Happens to be YOUR Day!