Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.

By: Catherine Meihofer

Getting into triathlon is amazing, fun, rewarding, and expensive! There is a significant monetary investment in not one, but three sports. A new bike is typically the greatest expense, but what can create a bit more sticker shock is the additional accessories needed, from bike shoes and pedals to a helmet, extra tires/tubes/a pump, and this list goes on. After your initial purchases, your wallet might be feeling a bit gutted.

But fear not, any buyer’s remorse can be quickly eliminated with the rationalization that this is an investment in your health and wellbeing. You can also feel good that your time in the saddle is keeping you out of stores, bars and other activities that cost money. If you wanted, you could actually amortize the costs of your bike purchases over time by counting up all of the pricey things cycling kept you from doing! In a way, triathlon is a sport that actually saves you money.

This may be a bit of an overstep, and not quite the point I’m trying to make. Here it is though, and I sadly have to admit… bike gear doesn’t last forever. Unfortunately there is this horribly corrosive and unsolvable issue that deteriorates equipment, and we all have it: sweat. 

As we continue on in our triathlon journey, training continues throughout the seasons and we still remember our big investment we made like it was yesterday. That is, until you realize your pedals are rusted, your shoes are separating from their soles and your helmet foam has disintegrated. Even with the best care and maintenance, equipment does wear out. 

Look at your gear, is it safe? Is it wearing out? Should you upgrade to new technology? If the answer is yes or even maybe, decide what one to two things you would be most interested in improving. Breaking it down into smaller purchases makes it more palatable in your research, decisions and bank account.

This small enhancement will make a big difference in the way you feel about your performance. I bought new pedals this winter. I hadn’t bought new bike gear in a few years. I was so giddy when I left All3Sports, I took the pedals to my daughter’s basketball game to read more about them before the game started. I didn’t even know Wahoo bought Speedplay, and you no longer need a specific pedal wrench to install, what a concept! I love my new accessory and am excited to try it out. 

So I encourage you to find one thing you would like to replace and go for it, a little upgrade can go a long way.


Catherine Meihofer is a 20-year veteran in triathlon, 3x-Ironman Finisher, USAT All-American.


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