The most substantial – and, yes, expensive – upgrade for a triathloner's bike is a new set of wheels. Given the weight one puts on the front tire with aero bars, a strong set of wheels a necessity. We went all out and replaced a standard, perfectly serviceable set of seven-year-old road wheels with a pair of tubeless aerodynamic Aura 5 TLR ones ($1,200 a pair). Amazingly, at just 1.7 kg (3.7 pounds) together, the two weigh about the same as just our old rear wheel, and on the road, the wide aerodynamic rim made its presence known thanks to a satisfying whir. The tubeless aspect of the tires were an added bonus – without tubes, you can dial back the air pressure a good 20 or 30 PSI and get better ground feel, which is great for the tight turns of a course. [$1,200; bontrager.com]
Gear of the Year
The best tools, tech, and toys of 2013.
Plus: Lance Armstrong's Downfall
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.