Imagine this… on this joyous Saturday, 14 March 2020, you have been to the auditorium to collect your race pack, shopped a little, taken some selfies, and then pasted the necessary stickers on your bike and helmet. You push your bike to the transition area to check it in, and the technical official rejects it because it fails to meet the standard requirements. Blood quickly boils over, and you panic as the race is tomorrow.
Well, this could be the worst nightmare for any Powerman duathlete. We have seen such scenes a number of times during our coverage in previous editions, and we do not want to see it happen to you. Ever.
Powerman Malaysia 2020 will continue as the Asian Championship race in the global series. It is also an Asian Triathlon Confederation (ASTC) sanctioned Middle Distance Championship in the 10km-60km-10km category. This means that Powerman will be a high standard event with a number of basic rules in place meant to safeguard participants’ safety and to uphold a fair competition; so they need to be adhered to strictly.
Let us summarise what types of bikes are allowed and not allowed.
Allowed: Triathlon and Time Trial bike
If you are a seasoned duathlete, you would probably swear by the triathlon bike. There are several benefits when you use this bike including the seat position or bike geometry that puts less strain on your quadriceps and hamstrings (for use in running segment), better aerodynamics and more storage space for nutrition and drinks.
Allowed: Road bike
If you’re new to duathlon and are not willing to spend on a triathlon bike, or do not have the confidence to handle a triathlon bike, or just do not have the space at home for one more bike, then a road bike will be fine. The road bike will not have all the same benefits of the triathlon bike mentioned above though.
Allowed bike: Mountain bike
A mountain bike is typically heavier than a triathlon or road bike, so that means you will likely expend a lot more energy and not be as efficient. However, if you are a casual cyclist, and are taking part in a relay or for social reasons, then a mountain bike will be sufficient for your purpose.
As a comparison, for the same amount of energy used, you will be fastest on a triathlon bike, followed by a road bike and then a mountain bike.
NOT allowed: Fixed Gear bike
A fixed-gear bike does not have brakes. This poses a safety issue in a race environment like a duathlon. Therefore, it is not allowed in sanctioned races.
NOT allowed: Fat bike
A fat bike has fat tyres, is typically heavy and is primarily designed for off-road use. Due to its heavier weight and bigger dimensions compared to other types of bikes allowed, it will pose a safety hazard to other duathletes in a crash situation.
NOT allowed: Electric bike
Self-explanatory, perhaps. The battery-powered electric motor on the bike gives an unfair advantage. You need human power!
NOT allowed: Foldable bike
According to the International Triathlon Union Rules 5.2.(d)(i), “The frame of the bike shall be of a traditional pattern, i.e., built around a closed frame of straight or tapered tubular elements, (which may be round, oval, flattened, teardrop-shaped or otherwise in cross-section). Bikes built around a diamond shape (no saddle down tube) or with a rear triangle which does not connect at the top of the down tube / top tube section are considered acceptable.”.