Apr 9, 2013 article & images by Nick Salazar

Amy Marsh was the first woman back on her bike. She looks good aboard the P5. But there's something interesting about that front end ...
Amy Marsh was the first woman back on her bike. She looks good aboard the P5. But there's something interesting about that front end ...

As we've done several times in the past, we're taking a closer look at some of the equipment choices made by the pro athletes at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside. And at TriRig, we don't just show you the pictures. What's the fun in that? I like to weigh in on the gear choices. That includes, the good, the bad, and the oh so ugly. Here are a few tidbits from Oceanside.

Tags » deeper,  oceanside2013
  • Amy Marsh was the first woman back on her bike. She looks good aboard the P5. But there's something interesting about that front end ...
  • ... as you can see, Marsh was troubled by the biggest drawback to Magura's hydraulic brake levers, which is their incompatibility with Di2 base bar shifting. Marsh had her bike fitted with some simple tactile switches epoxied right to her Magura levers, and custom wired into her Di2 7970 electronics. It's a mod that requires some electrical knowledge, and a bit of skill with a soldering iron. Not something for your average DIY'er. I've done custom Di2 switches myself, and it's a bit of a pain, but the only way to get results like this. Moreover, this hack ONLY works with the old Di2 7970. It won't work with 9070, which uses a proprietary signal protocol to send shifting signals. The old system just used simple signal shorts, which were easy to 'hack' with tact switches like these. Technically, you could do the hack with Di2 9070, but each custom shifter you wanted to create would have to begin life as a standard shifter, so you could gut the circuit inside each Shimano shifter that translates button presses into their proprietary signal. Much more expensive than a little solder job.
  • Heather Jackson kept it simple at Oceanside: ride for show, run for dough. She's also on a nice simple Cannondale Slice. Nothing too fancy, but it works for her.
  • Jackson is riding the Kask Bambino helmet, which I personally think looks cooler with the integrated visor, but can obviously be work with sunglasses as well. Custom paint job to reflect her Wattie Ink allegiance.
  • Jackson's front end is similarly straightforward, with mid-range Vuka Alumina clip-ons and a Vuka Bull base bar. No fancy integration here. I really wish Jackson would ditch that boat anchor frame bottle and stick to Speedfil's superior A2, but there's no accounting for taste. On that note, I think she'd be better off with a sleeker front brake than the SRAM Red road caliper.
  • Brandon Marsh had his rig set up much like wife Amy's, but went with a P5-Three rather than the P5-Six.
  • Looks like no custom base bar buttons for Brandon (unless he's running them for the rear derailleur only - this shot could be hiding them).
  • Andy Potts ... what else can one say? He absolutely OWNS this race.
  • Potts has recently gone a long way to clean up the front end of his bike, with the new Pro Missile EVO bar/stem (a pain to set up, but a nicely minimal frontal profile), and the most beautiful front brake ever made! Some of the Di2 wires could be moved inside the frame to clean things up just a tad more. But Andy himself ... he's dialed.
  • Paul Matthews on his Sped Concept. Not a lot to pick apart here, the Speed Concept is a nice clean rig for the most part.
  • A lot of Trek athletes use this custom mount to put a Bontrager Speed Bottle between their arms. Trek doesn't make this mount available to the public, but it definitely LOOKS cool. I wonder how it tests compared to a standard BTA setup.
  • Matty Reed. His position looks pretty good ... but that bike it mostly hideous. Don't get me started on the frame ... the Fuji D-6 might be my least favorite tri bike ever. At least he's riding a Dash saddle, which is awesome. Haven't seen too many pros experimenting with those, since most of them have saddle contracts.
  • Yikes. Gels taped to your base bar? There go a few watts right there. Old Jetstream aero drink? Go for a BTA, Speedfil A2, or Torhans. And is that really the fastest aerobar setup that will fit you? Say it ain't so, Matty!
  • This part is cool - the Rudy Project Wingspan is a nice lid if it fits you (my head is too big), and the paint scheme here is pro.
  • The chase group of women riding into transition.
  • Heather Wurtele at the front of the pack. The theme of many modern tri bikes is to make it easy to ADD stack to your rig without compromising aerodynamics. You can see how tall Wurtele's rig is, yet it stays very clean. Good job, Cervelo.
  • Wurtele riding into transition.
  • Here's a closeup of Wurtele's bar setup. She's doing everything right. The XLAB Stealth bento box behind her bars is a perfect aero match for her front end, and is an excellent solution for carrying nutrition, flat kit, etc. She's got a BTA setup using the Aduro's integrated bar mount, and she keeps her computer forward of the bottle for easy viewing. Nothing to criticize here - it all looks great, Heather!

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True to its name, this race by the ocean had an expo right on the beach. We're here covering the race, so be sure to check back for more as the weekend rolls on.