TriPainRelief ($10, tripainrelief.com)
If ever there was a time to look after your body after a beating of a season, this is it. And the wide world of medicine, not much beats the homeopathic benefits of Arnica Montana, derived from the flower of the Arnica Montana plant. Containing compounds that can modulate inflammatory response as well as dissipate trapped fluid from within injured muscles, issues including sprains, bruising and joint pain have been treatable with Arnica.
With Arnica being the key component within TriPainRelief (along with the topical analgesics Camphor, Menthol and Methyl Salicylate), Tri Pain Relief an inexpensive no-brainer that will not only help your loved one get over a taxing season, but will get ‘em ready for a new season in 2013 after an offseason of low training volume and intensity (and high volume of pastries and turkey!)
3T Computer Mount Bridge ($32, 3tcycling.com)
While a lot of brands are coming out with some sweet Garmin-compatible mounts for road bikes, no one has yet addressed that valuable space between the aerobars. Until then, 3T has the best option: the Computer Mount Bridge, a useful product that allows to any mount computer devices to be installed on this bracket that straddles the extensions.
We’ve used this one, and have found that even for those running between-the-aerobar bottle setups, there’s potential mounting room on the extensions behind the pads, close to the stem, allowing you to keep that clean aero profile.
Lifeproof iPhone cases ($70-80, lifeproof.com)
I cannot say enough good things about this product—this from a guy who used to carry his iPhone in a Ziploc bag. Things quickly went from “safe the phone from water damage” to “safe it, but make it usable underwater in a bulky zip-locked baggie,” to “safe the phone, make it waterproof—and make it elegant.” The Lifeproof phone is that final solution, and the perfect one for triathletes. It’s minimalistic with an elegant form factor, but rugged enough to not only withstand daily banging in your swim bag, courier bag and briefcase, but also presentable enough to place on the boardroom table.
Not only will a Lifeproof case protect your phone from rain sitting in your jersey from the surprise downpour, it’s capable of safely going in the pool or ocean, making it possible to do underwater photos and videos to 6.6ft underwater. And to prove its worth in quality of images as an underwater camera, we submit the attached image from a recent pool swim, shot from our own iPhone 4s.
The iPhone 4/4s phone prices at $70, with the company now taking preorders for the $80 iPhone 5 ($80) and Samsung Galaxy S3 (price TBA).
AceCo K-Edge Chain Catcher ($30, www.acecosportgroup.com)
While some brands are knocking it off, this is the one original. Co-developed by Joe Savola, husband to Olympic time trial gold medalist (and former triathlete) Kristin Armstrong, it was the solution for chains falling between the crankset and frame when dropping from the big ring to the small ring. The small guide simply keeps the chain on the small ring.
This one little 10-gram piece of insurance is the difference between a perfect race and a perfect bike, and the delay of a dropped chain in a race, or worse: a damaged inner chainstay. Again, we’ve used these the last few years and swear by them.
AceCo makes these little guys in their original braze-on version, as well as in special editions for triple cranksets, clamp-on front derailleurs, mountain bikes and cyclo-cross bikes. And for the fashion-conscious, the Chain Catcher is available in a range of colors to match your bike.
Specialized EMT Pro Road Multitool ($25, specialized.com)
The EMT Pro Road multitool takes care of all the basics; 3,4,5 and 6mm hex wrenches and a Phillips head for those on-the-road derailleur limit screw adjustments. And the hex keys are hollowed out, helping get this down to a paltry 65 grams, not only taking up minimal space in your tool bag, but also contributing minimal weight.
But why are we big on this particular CNC-machined, chrome-plated multitool? It has one key we hope to see on more multitools: the T25 Torx. With several manufacturers (particularly Zipp) using stem faceplate and binder bolts, these impossible-to-strip heads so ubiquitous on mountain bikes are finding their way onto our tri bikes. And this multitool is one of few that will serve you well—across all sizes and types of bolt heads—out on the road.