Entries by GazTriMan

Giro Bike Helmets review

Giro Helmets started life in a garage belonging to bike racer and designer Jim Gentes in 1985. The first helmet that came out was the Giro Prolight. This design was fine-tuned with the help of a friend at NASA. Giro sort of transformed the bicycle helmet world because their helmets were lighter, better looking and […]

Best Bar End Shifters

Our Top Bar End Shifters For Triathlon

The key to any successful bike setup is being able to get into the gear you need as soon as you need it.  

That’s why we recommend a solid set of bar end shifters.  

If you are serious about triathlon racing you will have a bike with a set of aero bars fitted...

and for these, you will need a specialised set of gear shifters.

best bar end shifters for triathlon

#1 – ​SRAM R2C TT 10

When it come to triathlon style shifters there is no better name than SRAM.

The RC2 shifters are exceptional, especially if you are one of those triathletes that strives for maximum aero positioning.

Made from carbon and titanium these top of the line shifters are designed for winners.

With only 3mm of action required to change gears you are guaranteed the best aero positioning in the market.

sram rc2 tt shifters review

SRAM RC2 shifters review

Here’s a closer look.

Quality: The SRAM RC2 shifters are designed for triathletes and are used by some of the biggest names in racing. The unique return-to-centre shifting setup keeps you as aero as possible at all times.

Gear changing is smooth and with only 3mm of action required you can dance through the gears instantly.

The blades are made from carbon and the centre pins are titanium so all up you have a very strong unit that only weights in at 175g a pop.

how big are gel packs

Setup: Setting up these shifters is pretty straightforward but you do need to keep and eye on the cable tension to allow for smooth gear changing.

There is plenty of adjustment available here so you get the exact setup you feel comfortable with, plus you can trim these out to get a smooth chain line all the way through.

best bar end shifters

Overall Thoughts: If you are striving for maximum aero positioning when on the bike then these shifters should be top of your list. Setup is simple enough but just keep an eye on the cable tension.

The only issue we really have with these shifters is the price, but then again how much is a personal best worth to you!!

#2 – Shimano Dura Ace 9 Speed

If you are wanting to get yourself a first set of bar end shifters then the Shimano Dura Ace kit is perfect. 

They work with double or triple cranks so for a lot of guys out there upgrading a standard road bike, these shifters are ideal.

Price wise these are cheap enough but still come with the quality you expect from Shimano.

dura ace shifter review

SRAM RC2 shifters review

Here’s a closer look.

Quality: The overall build quality is what you come to expect from a brand like Shimano.

Solid design and construction makes for a great set of shifters.

how big are gel packs

Setup: Setting up is a breeze. There are detailed instructions if you are that way inclined but installation couldn't be any easier.

You can switch between index and friction shifting which really helps on longer journeys. It also helps after long term use when you get some play or stretch in the gear cables.

best bar end shifters

Overall Thoughts: We particularly like these shifters and at this price point they are a fantastic addition to any bike.

For people transforming their road bike into a tt style setup these are ideal. Get yourself a set of tt bars, clip these bad boys on, any away you go.

We especially like the fact they are compatible with double and triple chain rings so you have many more options available to you gear-wise.

Fitting Bar End Shifters

Setting up or fitting a set of bar end shifters is pretty straightforward. There are only a few things you really need to look out for.

Cable tension plays a bit part in the gear changing action of your shifters so make sure you check the instructions to be 100%.

Fitting to the end of your TT bars is simple. Most designs have a small screw under the lever that spreads out the end of the shifter within the bar end.

This causes a solid friction fit and once you bind over the end of the shifter with some bar tape they will never move.

Top Tip: Make sure you have the cables in place before you tighten up the shifter screws or you will have to start over. 🙂 


Not much to worry about here except every so often you should add a drop or two of oil to the level mechanisms to keep them running true and free.

After a lot of miles you may notice the cables stretch a bit and tis has a knock on effect on gear changing.

Just loosen off the grub screw on the derailleur, tighten up the cable and you should be good as new again.

Our best Triathlon Bar End Shifters for 2018 season

No products found.

Best Energy Gels for Triathlon

The Best Energy Gels in 2018

The other day, we witnessed a famous triathlete (whom we won’t name) ‘hit the wall’ midway during a triathlon.

He had to retire halfway through the bike section of the race!

It wasn’t lack of conditioning or improper training that caused him to bonk.

Instead, it was miscalculated long-run nutrition.

Having witnessed the event firsthand, we figured it was a great time to create a list of the best energy gels for our readers.

Oh yes, those pocket-sized gooey lifesavers that tuck into your jersey pockets and deliver an instant glycogen boost (with some caffeine to boot).

Like it or not, there’s no better source of instant-energy on a size-to-nutrition perspective. Having a few of these can keep your body fueled for any long-distance sporting event.

Fuelling up during a race is critical, but choosing one of these isn’t as simple as walking into a supermarket and picking a granola bar.

Energy gels have exploded in popularity off-late and the market today is flooded with hundreds of varieties, many of which are overloaded with more carbs than what one typically needs. That’s a ticket to gastric distress folks.

Others taste like industrial byproducts and you’d do well to push that down your throat even with a beverage amidst a run or a cycling event.

To make things easier, we tried the most promising ones for their palatability, energy, size and ease of access and rated them accordingly. This isn’t the most definitive list of options you have because we know that different people react differently to nutritional products and some of these may or may not agree with you.

However, we have tried to jot down the best features as well as highlight any nits in an unbiased fashion. We hope this helps you make an informed choice.

Here’s our review of the best energy gels.

#1 – Huma Chia Energy Gel

Huma, a recent entrant into the world of endurance sports nutrition, draws its name and inspiration from the Tarahumara tribe of Mexican Indians, or so it claims to.

Despite the fancy name and the unique ingredient blend, this gem of an energy gel is our personal favorite in this list.

It tastes fantastic and has an impressive nutritional profile that goes beyond the typical carbohydrate-caffeine mix.

best energy gels

HUMA CHIA energy gel review

Here’s a closer look.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The Huma Gel contains 24gms of carbohydrates in a single pack which is similar to most other brands.

But it’s the carbohydrate source that differs. Huma uses a blend of fructose and cane syrup. That’s a natural sugar mix that’s absorbed faster and will be gentler on your tummy.

The electrolyte content is equally impressive.

It packs in 240mg of Sodium, 60mg of Potassium, 25mg of Calcium and 14mg of Magnesium.

And to top it off, there’s a chia seed blend that gives it a unique texture and throws in some fiber to aid in digestion.

Palatability: We found the taste, consistency and flavoring spot on.

 We tried the Strawberry Lemonade and the Apples and Cinnamon. Both the flavors taste amazing.

They are not overly sweet nor do they have the chemical aftertaste.

The Chia seeds are very finely crushed and you’d never realize that they are there except for some very tiny bumps that can be felt.

We were able to gulp the gel down without water.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: With 25mg of Caffeine and the fast absorbing carbs, we noticed an energy spike after 5-10 minutes of popping one of these.

The energy release is slower due to the chia mix and this actually keeps you going for a longer time frame.

how big are gel packs

Size: The packing is pretty small and not bulky either.

You should be able to tuck in five to six of these easily in a hydration belt.

Ease of access: You can easily tear the top off even with sweaty palms.

The slightly watery texture makes it easy to extract the gel.

Possible cons: None!

#2 – Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel

SiS or Science in Sport is a brand that we first came across during the Tour de France last year.

‘Team Sky’ happens to be one of their sponsored athletes.

And they even retail a Team Sky four-hour nutrition kit. (On our wishlist)

science in sport energy gels

Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel

They have been around since 1992 and have an ensemble range of endurance nutrition products that are quite popular in the UK and Australia.

The Go Isotonic Energy Gel happens to be their flagship.

Here’s the low down on it.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The SiS Go Isotonic Energy Gel gives you 22gms of fast absorbing carbohydrates per gel pack.

With a recommended average of 60gms of carbs per hour for vigorous physical activity, you’d need to carry a bunch of these if you are participating in a long sportive event like a triathlon.

We’ll come to the size part in a bit. The primary ingredient is Maltodextrin.

Palatability: The term Isotonic means that you do not need to gulp water or an energy gel to wash this down. 

That means that there are fewer chances of barfing or feeling bloated. It has a watery texture which is a welcome change from the chewy energy bars of yore.

On the flip side, we did find the flavor slightly bland. We tried the lime and the pineapple flavors. But that’s precisely what makes this lighter on the stomach.​​​​

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: The fast absorbing carbs give you an instant hit and keep you recharged for about 30 minutes or so.

Clubbed with an energy drink and some food which you’d typically carry, this can easily keep you fueled throughout the event.

how big are gel packs

Size: These are not the smallest-sized energy gel packs.

And considering that you’d need at least two of these per hour, you’d have to pack light or reduce the other things that you’d carry in your jersey or hydration belt.

Ease of access: The packing is extremely easy to open.

We had no difficulty whatsoever accessing the gel during cycling and running.

It flows out nice and easy.

Possible cons: The only possible downside to the SiS Go Isotonic Gel is the slightly bland flavor. Also, the packet will take up more space than some of the other options in this list of the best energy gels.

#3 – CLIF SHOT – Energy Gel

Clif Shot is the on-the-go fuel version of the famed Clif Bar. 

It is one of the more popular energy gels these days due to the natural flavoring they use and the compact-sized packets.

Also, it packs in a whopping 24gms of fast absorbing carbohydrates per pack making it a slightly better choice than the SiS Go Isotonic gel on a carb-level rating.

CLIF SHOT Energy Gels

However, a non-isotonic design means that you’d need to gulp this down with water or a beverage of your choice.

Here’s a closer look.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: 24gms of fast-absorbing carbohydrates in a reasonable-sized pack.

The primary ingredient is Brown rice syrup which seems a little strange because Maltodextrin is the more popular and commonly used choice. That doesn’t affect the absorption rate or the taste. So, no complaints!

Palatability: Flavor-wise, the Clif Shot rates among the best in the business. They are available in a whole range of natural flavors.

We tried the Strawberry, Razz Sorbet, Cola, Double Espresso and Mocha. We loved the Mocha with the blend of natural cocoa and the sweetness of the brown rice syrup.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: There is a noticeable energy boost within 5 minutes of consuming the gel. The hit (if that’s the right word for it) lasts for about 30 minutes or so. So, two of these should be more than enough to get you through the last hour of your sportive.

The caffeinated version delivers an extra kick with about 100mg caffeine. That’s akin to an 8 ounce serving of coffee.

how big are gel packs

Size: A single gel pack of Clif Shot is slightly smaller than the SiS Go Isotonic gel.

It is a 1.2-inch foil pack that features the famed ‘litter-lease’ that prevents the tiny stub on top of the pack from falling off and littering the place. This also allows you to anchor the pack on to your hydration belt or sternum strap.

Ease of access: Tearing the foil pack is reasonably easy.

However, due to the typical gooey consistency of the gel, it isn’t easy to squeeze out the entire content of the pack.

No matter how hard you try, a little amount always remains in it.

Possible cons: Not as easy as some of the other gels in the market to extract from the pack, especially when you are cycling or at the end of a marathon with fast-dwindling energy levels.

#4 – GU Energy Gel

GU Science has undoubtedly been one of the most popular brands in sports nutrition for a while now and the Energy Gel remains their bestseller despite facing stiff competition from newer brands like Huma.

Often known as the good-old gel, it has remained unchanged in its flavoring, consistency and ingredient list over the years.

energy gels comparison

GU Energy gel review

But why fix it if it works?

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: The GU Energy gel delivers 20-23gms of fast-absorbing carbohydrates with the primary source being maltodextrin and fructose.

It also contains a blend of electrolytes and amino acids that help reduce muscle fatigue and cramping.

For athletes and endurance runners who frequently experience cramping, there’s a Roctane version of the gel that contains double the amount of amino acids and electrolytes.

Personally, we like the regular version of the gel more than the enhanced one.

Palatability: These gels have a slightly thicker consistency as compared to the HUMA or the GO Isotonic gels.

You will require a beverage to chug these down. The flavoring is pretty good in the Chocolate Strawberry, the Vanilla bean and Peanut butter versions.

However, some of the other flavors, like the Island Nectar are a tad oversweet for our liking. That’s subjective though.

They also have a flavorless or bland version of the gel if you prefer that instead.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: You will feel an energy surge in 10-15 minutes of taking the gel.

It’s not the easiest to digest though and without water or a beverage, you might experience some stomach distress.

how big are gel packs

Size: The packs are pretty small and compact.

You can easily pack at least four to five of these in your shorts or jersey pockets without them looking bulky.

Ease of access: GU gels are frequently used by cyclists and runners because the packs are easy to tear open, even when you are on-the-move.

The thicker consistency does make it a tad difficult to squeeze the gel out of the pack during a run.

Possible cons: Inconsistent flavoring and a thick consistency/texture are a letdown, especially when you have newer, better tasting options in the market.

#5 – Powerbar PowerGel Energy Gel

Last but not the least, we have the PowerGel Energy Gel from Powerbar that contains the maximum carbohydrates in a single gel pack that we have ever tested.

Club that with the C2MAX 2:1 glucose to fructose blend that delivers more energy in lesser time and you have, what seems like a winning bet.

 At least, in theory, it does appear like one.

power bar power gel reviews


Here’s what we found though.

ingredients for science in sport gel

Ingredients: With 28gms of carbs in a gel pack, you can do with less of these in your jersey pockets.

To add to the carbs, there’s about 200mg of Sodium for electrolyte replacement.

Not a bad nutritional profile at all. It is available in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions.

Palatability: The flavoring is a hit or miss.

We found some of the flavors to be overly sweetened, a problem that seems to be common with many of the popular energy gel brands.

The green apple was decent. But it’s only available in a caffeinated version.

The consistency of the gel is thicker than all the others in this list of best energy gels.

Powerbar recommends that you consume one pack of the gel with at least 150 ml of water.

energy gels for triathlon

Energy: The extra carbs and the fast absorption rate gives you an instant energy spike in as less as 5 minutes.

The energy boost lasts for almost 45 minutes.

No complaints there.

how big are gel packs

Size: The PowerGel energy gel pack is the same size as a pack of GU Gel.

It can easily fit into your shorts or jersey pockets as well as your hydration belts.

It is compact and lightweight and you can easily pack a lot of these without adding too much weight or bulk.

Ease of access: You can easily tear open the pack.

But extracting the gel during a run had us fumbling with both hands.

A thinner consistency would have made this a lot easier to squeeze out.

Possible cons: A thick consistency mars this promising energy gel with one of the best nutritional profiles.

To sum it up

Eventually, it all boils down to the palatability, the nutritional profile and the number of carbohydrates one typically needs to fuel the body. Serious athletes and marathoners need about 60gms of carbs in an hour while a casual runner can do with a lot less.

Consider your energy requirements, the flavoring, the caffeine levels and the size before you pick an energy gel for your next endurance sporting event.

Triathlon Transition Bags. Best Gear Bag for Tri

Triathlon bags or transition bags, while not essential for race day are a must of you want to get to and from a race without stressing on whether you have everything you need to complete. I spend a fair amount of hard-earned money on my tri gear. The last thing I want to happen is for […]

Best Clip On Aero Bars for Triathlon 2018(Updated)

A great modification to your standard road bike is to install a set of clip-on aero bars.

These bars will allow you to get into the aero position while on the ride section of the race.

There are many benefits to this riding position – number one is being more aerodynamic.

When you ride normally you sit upright and act sort of like an air brake.

best clip on aero bars

Getting aero pulls you down below the wind and significantly reduces you resistance mass allowing you to cut through the wind.  

In this post, we are going to review the best clip on setup and provide details on some of the features of each set.

Best Clip On Aero Bars of 2018 - Profile Design T5+ Aluminum Aerobar

When it come to clip on bars for your triathlon bike Profile Design rule the roost.

Our overall choice for the best tt bars go to the new T5 aerobars.

For somebody starting out they are ideal but are also suited to seasoned professionals.

Yes they are made from aluminum but they still come in well under the weight of a lot of the competition.

best budget tt bars

Profile Design T5 review

Here’s a closer look.

aerobar build quiality

Quality: Overall quality is perfection. Profile Design have invested a lot of time and effort into getting their products just right and it definitely shows here.

Finish is exceptional and the coated bars are super strong.

The EVA pads give you plenty of support and comfort even on longer rides.

how big are gel packs

Setup: Setting up these bars is very straightforward. 

You have a couple of options on the bar diameter, 26mm or 31.8 bars will work here.

The trick with setup is to not tighten everything up too much at the start. Leave enough slack on the bolts until you test the fir for comfort.

You may need to slide the bars along a bit in the clamps to get the bar reach spot on.

You also have optional riser clamps you can use to adjust the height of the bars. This really helps if you bike frame size is a bit off or you suffer from sore hips - move you position up a bit and you will notice the difference. 

best bar end shifters

Overall Thoughts: Every time you add something like aerobars to your bike you are increasing your aero-ability (if there is such a word).

By clipping on a set of Profile Design T5's you are getting the best budget aluminium aerobars on the market.


Extension Shape

The bars have a nice 13° bend in the extensions to give you that ultra aero position but still give you the comfort of a ski-bend style aerobar.

Armrest Setup 

A great feature with the armrests is that the bracket to attach them is separate to the main bar bracket. This gives you plenty of additional adjusting options so you can get really comfortable.

You can spend anything from a few dollars up over hundreds of dollars for professional clip-on aero bars. They basically do the same thing but when you spend more money you start to get a lot of additional features.

Primarily the bars will be carbon fibre – massive weight reduction compared to the cheap aero bars.

A lot will also depend on your budget and how serious you are about racing. Because of the variety, we have put together this selection to get you started on your decision process.

We may not cover all options for temporary aero bars but hope you can find something here that suits you. These are the most popular on the market at the moment.

What to look out for?

This question always comes up and has many answers.

How much do you want to spend?

What are the aero bars for?

A practice bike for training in the park or for your primary tri bike.

The beauty of these types of triathlon bars is you can swap them out fairly easily. A couple of hex head bolts are usually all that holds them onto the normal handlebars of your bike.

What are they made of?

The cheaper sets tend to be made of some sort of alloy and as you go up in price you start to see carbon fibre introduced into the range.

Carbon fibre is much lighter so if you have the budget then go for these instead.

As stated earlier the beauty of clip-on bars is you can take them off the bike without much effort if they do not suit your riding style or you prefer the standard set-up.

You will find though over time that you will adapt to the aero position while racing and you bike times will reflect this.

Fitting Aero Bars to a Road Bike.

Most of you reading this will be looking to add clip ons to a road bike and here is a great video explaining how this is done.


Some great tips in this video explain how to adjust your bars to suit, the type to go for maximum customisation.

In this instance, they focus in on ski type bars. These are ideal because you can adjust the length of the bar to suit you forearm length.

Another top tip is to add a piece of electrical tape to the existing handlebars before you install the extensions because if they do not suit, you don’t want to have unnecessary marks left behind.

Best Budget Clip-On Aero Bars

No products found.

Carbon clip-on bars

If you are serious about triathlon and want to compete at a higher level then you will need something much lighter and sleeker than the intro sets above.

Carbon aero extension bars will definitely be on your shopping list for their massive weight reduction.

Using these carbon aero bars does change a few things though.

You will have to spend a few more dollars to get a set of tri bars you can work with, to keep the weight down and to get down and in the full aero position.

Comfort plays a bit part in this too.

Getting set up with a good comfortable set of tri bars is critical on longer rides.

We suggest you try out a few different sets first if you can to make sure they suit.

Watch out as well if you buy a second-hand pair.

Sometimes the previous user will cut down the stems a bit and they may be too short for you.

I have seen quite a few people start out with detachable aero bars on normal handlebars and then step up a level by purchasing a new Carbon Base Bar.

Go to any Triathlon event and they are everywhere.

This gives you the ability to reuse your existing bars but builds up a full aero set of handlebars without the expense of a pro set.

However, as you progress in the sport you will most likely get yourself a full TT bike with an integrated setup.


Addition items you may need when you install clip-on bars are some new bar end shifters.

These gear shifters are designed to sit at the end of each aero bar – making it easy to change gear while you are in the aero position.

We have more information on those throughout the site

Clip on bar benefits

There are many benefits to using aero bars on a bike during a race but the primary one comes down to aerodynamics.

triathlon tt barsWhen you are down in the aero position you remove quite a bit of body mass out of the wind.

Because we are not the most aerodynamic of creatures getting down low you are giving yourself a huge advantage over the opposition who will sit upright and act as an air brake into the wind.

The price of entry for a basic set of aero bars is very low.

You can get something from as little as a few dollars.

A couple of things to check out first though is the diameter of your handlebars.

Make sure the bars will fit.

Also as stated at the start of this post you can always remove the bars if you are not comfortable or happy with the riding style.

Disadvantages of using clip-on bar extensions

If there was one thing we could say about the disadvantages of this type of setup is that because you are shifting your weight forward on the bike you are losing some of the stability and ride comfort of the original setup.

It took me quite a while to get comfortable and feel really aero when I first installed the bars.

I had to slide my saddle forward to its limits on the saddle rail and eventually ended up getting a kicked saddle post to move me even more forward.

Road bikes are not designed for this type of setup but if you are looking for any sort of an advantage over a standard road bike set up for triathlons then installing tt bars are going to give you the best bang for your buck.

It’s the closest you will get to a full TT bike setup without having to shell out 1000’s of dollars more for a frame etc.

Any other Aero Tips

What else can you do to increase Aero potential with a road bike? There are really only two other upgrades you can get that will help you in your quest to be an aero speed champion…

After clips ons I would then look to get a decent aero bike helmet. This will really help reduce drag and can make a huge difference in split times for your bike section of the race.

The last thing I would look to upgrade is my wheels.

Aero bike wheels don’t come cheap though and can be a bit challenging in windy conditions.

I strongly suggest you go for something with a shallow enough profile to start with. 50mm deep is standard enough and will suit most conditions.

The 100mm deep tri wheels and full dish rear wheels look awesome but are a pig to use when it’s windy…


The final thing we want to discuss today is how you can quickly modify your road bike and turn it into a triathlon style bike with two quick changes.

Here is a great video showing you how to install a set of clip-on aero bars to your road bike. This handy upgrade is inexpensive but will help get you into that all-important aero position.

First, you will need an angled seat post. This pushes the rider forward in the frame.

Couple this with a nice set of clip on aero bars for a road bike and you are set.

The video below shows you how to do this and the benefits of getting aero for the ride.

We hope you found this post informative and as always let us know with a comment if there is anything else you would like to know or any other products you are currently using that you think we should add to the list.

Also, we would really appreciate if you would spread the word about us and hit one of the share buttons to tell your friends.

My First Triathlon – Training plan and Tips

Training For Your First Triathlon – Basic Steps My very first triathlon was the result of a wager with a friend over a few drinks. He had often talked about racing and during the year you would see his physical appearance change dramatically as the racing season kicked in.. I was far from fit, smoked […]

Best GPS watch for open water swimming

GPS and Fitness tracking devices are everywhere and come in all shapes, sizes and prices. The right one for you comes down to a few basic requirements. Are you swimming in open water? Do you need it to track swim strokes or just for GPS tracking? Will you use it for multi-sport events like triathlons or […]

Speed Laces Review

My second ever Triathlon I made a very stupid mistake. I had been training for months and was determined to beat my personal best this time out. Everything was going to plan. I headed to the transition area to get all my gear setup. While there I met an old school friend so started chatting […]

What to wear under a wetsuit

My very first triathlon race was a day to remember. Apart from the sheer excitement on race day I also remember not having a clue what to do, where to go or even what to wear. You learn a lot the first race you compete in and usually, it’s the difference between how fit you […]

Best Triathlon Aero Bars (Updated)

There is a multitude of options available when looking for the best triathlon aero bars for your ride. Whether you are looking for the most comfortable aero position or get way down into the aero ride, you will have plenty of choice with this selection of the best triathlon aero bars. You can also spend […]