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Emma Pooley’s 5 top bike and kit tips

Emma Pooley’s 5 top bike and kit tips

Emma Pooley knows how to get the better of some of the world’s toughest bike courses… Here's her top 5 tips

1 Cornering & descending

Don’t turn the bike by the handlebars, turn by leaning your body. Get the weight on your outside foot and inside hand. Try it in an empty car park around cones. Once you get it, it swoops under you, then when you see the exit for the corner you can cut back in. But take the speed off before the corner not in it, otherwise braking will throw your weight forward.

2 Ascending

You’ve just got to try hard! You’ll find people who are super powerful and their power-to-weight ratio is great, but they claim they can’t climb – everyone can climb, it’s just a matter of having the correct gears. It’s not a mystery, it’s not difficult maths, it’s basic ratios and really thinking about whatever race you’re going to attend.

3 Saddles

It’s often something people are embarrassed to talk about because they think sitting on a bike is meant to hurt. Yes, okay, if you sit down for six-hours plus it’s going to be a bit sore, but there’s a saddle out there to suit your bum, I can assure you. You just need to try out a few. This is also a health issue, it’s not just about performance, so it’s crucial.

4 Gears

I always think about gears for a race. I won’t accept compromises on which way around my brakes are, either – I have a right-hand front brake and that’s the way it is.

5 Wheels

Wheel choice is another thing; I chose what some thought to be stupid wheels for some hilly races. I raced a road bike in the Philippines and Alpe D’huez, for example, and some people thought I was nuts but I knew I was going to be quicker on those courses, on that bike, because of the descending and the climbing, and the weight issue. It’s trusting what I’ve learnt. I’ve also learnt to go into races with humility because you never know what might happen. Racing is so unpredictable.

Emma Pooley factfile

BORN: 1982

LIVES Norwich

TRAINS Australia, Switzerland, UK

1st, Powerman Malaysia 2016

2 x ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Champion

1st, Alpe d’Huez Triathlon 2015

1st, Embrunman 2015

Emma Pooley: her 5 key preparation areas

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