Are there any techniques to help break the fall off a road bike?

Keep in mind that once you begin to fall, you can’t control falling— but you can control landing. The biggest mistake people make is struggling to resist the fall, which leaves them in no position to control the impact. The next biggest mistake is trying to cushion the fall by putting out an arm, which leads to the two most prevalent injuries in cycling, broken wrist and broken collarbone.

So what to do? When you sense the fall, tuck your elbows to your sides and try to land on your rump. Not saying it won’t hurt, but your rump has the most flesh, and if you land on it, you will minimize impact to your bones— road rash and bruised muscles will heal much faster than bone breaks.

If you are going over the handlebars, try to land on your shoulder. Put your hands in front of your face, palms towards the ground, and try to absorb as much impact with your shoulder and not your head, and your whole body. The reason is that more area that absorbs the impact, the less damage will be done in any one place.

By all means, do not land flat on your back. That might injure your backbone, and is likely to cause a “whiplash” injury to your head. If you find yourself going down on your back, twist so that you land on your side, or as off-center as possible. Again, this will distribute the force, and minimize head injuries.

Did I mention wear a helmet? My helmet has paid for itself at least twice, and I know two cyclists who are alive because they had on helmets— one crashed in a group ride, and a truck drove over his head— the helmet kept its shape and he got up from that. And if you are keeping track of the 2017 Tour de France, you know that Richie Porte had an awful crash at about 45mph where his head slammed into the granite embankment. He suffered a concussion, but without his helmet he would likely be dead.

What is the purpose of a fixed-gear bicycle?

Aesthetics and hip factors aside, you get way more “value” when buying a fixed gear bike for a given budget.

For instance, US$250 or so gets you a new SE Draft Lite fixed gear. It may not win you any bike races but is a perfectly good starter bike for city riding or flatter terrains.

Try getting a geared bike with the same budget. You will end up with a heavier frame and/or lesser components. Inexpensive parts require more maintenance thus cost more money over time.

Having said that, be prepared to always be slightly uncomfortable. You will be in a constant state of under- and over- geared, unless your routes are perfectly flat without head wind.

Once you get used to that, no bike connects you more with the pavement that a fixie!

What are some must-have and cool bicycle accessories?

Must have:

  • bottle holder
  • portable pump holder
  • saddle bag
  • rear red blinker and front light

Cool(my personal opinion):

  • speedo/cadence meter
  • mobile holder

What type of mountain bike is suitable for a triathlon?

Welll, none really – ideally you want a road bike.

But if you’re just entering for the fun of it, as a personal challenge, then who cares what you ride? If you’ve only got a mountain bike, ride your mountain bike. If you’ve got the spare cash, I’d put some slick (smooth) road tyres on it rather than off-road knobbly ones, but apart from that it’ll be fine.

I used to race road criteriums (city centre circuit racing) on a mountain bike just to annoy people who take these things too seriously. The important thing is to be there, to show up. Get out there and race, and enjoy yourself!