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Coaches Blog

A Clean Drivetrain = A Fast Drivetrain

At a recent local triathlon, I was taken aback by the lack of emphasis on drivetrain cleanliness and efficiency by some folks who are newer to the sport but quickly making their way to the pointy end of the field. 

Maintaining a clean drivetrain on your triathlon bike is crucial for optimal performance and the longevity of your equipment.   With the advancements over the past few years, it's become so easy to maintain incredible efficiency without much effort.  You no longer need a dedicated crockpot or have to wait for a hazardous disposal day to get rid of the chemicals required to strip a chain, making an inefficient drivetrain inexcusable!

Benefits of A Clean Drivetrain

  1. Efficiency: A clean drivetrain ensures smooth operation, reducing friction and power loss. In this sport where every second counts, having an efficient drivetrain can make a noticeable difference in your overall performance, especially over long distances.

  2. Durability: Dirt, grime, and grit accumulating on your drivetrain can accelerate wear and tear on your bike components.  Wax-based lubricants tend to repel dirt and grime better than oil-based ones, keeping your drivetrain cleaner for more extended periods between cleanings.

  3. Smooth Shifting: A clean drivetrain facilitates crisp and precise gear changes, allowing you to quickly adapt to changes in terrain or pace during a race. Smooth shifting is essential for maintaining momentum and conserving energy throughout the course.

  4. Reduced Maintenance: Proactively cleaning and maintaining your drivetrain and using efficient products reduces the likelihood of mechanical issues. It can also extend the life of chains, cassettes, and derailers.  This means fewer unexpected breakdowns or adjustments, giving you peace of mind during training and races.

Investing time and effort into maintaining a clean drivetrain on your triathlon bike is a small yet significant step towards maximizing your performance and enjoyment of the sport. 

The ease of maintenance with today's products, a 10-20 minute process of cleaning and lubricating, can bring your bike split down more than an extra interval at the end of a long ride.

This means you can potentially shave off valuable seconds from your race time. It's a simple task that can yield significant results, and it's much less stressful!  So, let's keep those bikes clean and the watts up!

Check out this video of me using my new favorite products (Silca Chain Stripper and Drip Wax) and demonstrating how easy it is to gain watts and keep your equipment running like new!

Full disclaimer: I'm very aware of my lack of videography skills, but I do hope it helps demonstrate how simple it is to maintain a clean and FAST drivetrain.


Coach Allen Stanfield is a Team MPI Senior Coach who has been part of TeamMPI since 2012.  He is a Level 1 USAT Coach, and works with multisport athletes of all levels. He has coached a Guinness World Record Holder, as well as first-time triathletes, plus Junior Elite Athletes, ITU and IRONMAN™ 70.3 and 140.6 World Championship Finishers, Boston Marathon Finishers, and numerous first-time IRONMAN™ Finishers. Allen is a passionate ambassador for the mutlisport lifestyle.



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