A China Man's Ironman – Adrian Li's Journey to an Ironman An Ironman Training Diary for Ironman Western Australia

Category Archives: Equipment

T-6W Training Update Ironman Busselton

With 6 Weeks to go this was a recovery week with a greatly reduced volume and a much needed chance let the muscles to rebuild. I also brought back my replacement aerobase bar which was broken from my crash 3 weeks prior. It was great to have Z3D back in action!

To celebrate a return to the roads and also because of being unable to source a Specialized Evade in time for training I picked up a Giro Air Attack Shield. A perfect blend between a normal road helmet and an aero helmet the Giro AA gains much of the aero advantage from the more traditional styled bullet helmets while maintaining a semblance of acceptability for the fashion conscious! That aside for most age groupers the effect of pure aero helmets is typically negated because of inability to stay in aero position for the entire race and also because the lower ventilation can cause over heating as age groupers spend more time on the bike. The giro AA was what Leanda Cave had worn to Ironman victory in 2012 so it has certainly proven its worth!


Anyway – next week’s training returns to double digits peaking at 13 hours in 3 weeks time. Then it’s a 2 week taper down to the race!

6 Weeks Swim Bike Run  Totals
Date Day Time Notes Time Notes Time Notes
28-Oct Mon
29-Oct Tue
30-Oct Wed 60
31-Oct Thu 60
1-Nov Fri
2-Nov Sat 70 3KM – last 1K@20mins
3-Nov Sun 90 First ride with Giro AA (45K) 45 9KM (fast but easy run)
Totals 70 150 105  5.42

Fit for a Race – My Retul fitting session

Retul Fitting

Last week had the opportunity to do a Retul Fitting for my bicycles. I was originally fitted on my P2C when I bought it at the Bike Boutique 5 years ago however after multiple disassemblies and changing of parts the original measurements and settings have long been lost. Given both a planned century ride on my R3 and the Ironman at the end of the year I thought it would be wise to invest into a proper fitting.


Adrian @ a Retul fitting with ChoonWei

Adrian @ a Retul fitting with ChoonWei

What is a Retul Fitting?

Bicycle fittings have come a long way from simply measuring the extended knee angle when seated on a bike. Retul is the cutting edge of bicycle fitting and they employ a data backed approach along with the skill and experience of the fitter to provide a fit that optimizes power, comfort and efficiency. Essentially, through the use of motion capture of sensors attached to key points on the rider’s body the Retul program captures multiple data points as you cycle for about 3 minutes. By comparing this data to optimal riding positions the fitter then makes adjustments to your bicycle to help achieve the best position. The whole process took about 2.5 hours for fitting both my bikes which included:

- A comprehensive history of my experience
- My goals for the fitting
- Stretch test
- Pre-fit monitoring
- Post-fit monitoring

What were the results and was it worth it?

Aside from the cool gadgetry, professional fitters bring experience and qualifications that can at a minimum help you with a more comfortable and efficient ride. However a bad fitting bike can also be a source for injury ending months of training in disappointment so in my opinion it is important that you are fitted properly if you regularly train on a bicycle.

However side from the adjustments to fitting the monitoring tools also provide an interesting insight into the efficiency of your cycling. For example I discovered that I have a tendency to lift my heels which puts undue strain on the calf muscles. This could be caused by a previously ill fitting bike (for example with a seat post too high). An additional monitor also shows a horizontal trace of your knee movement. lateral movement of the knee is also inefficient and was some tangible evidence that I need to work on improving my pedal stroke mechanics.

Given my plans for a full Ironman at the end of the year and that I’ll be spending anywhere from 5-10 hours on my bike each week. I think that the fitting was worth it. I fit both my bikes for about US$450 and a single bike fit would have cost US$300. Also once you have done the fitting you have a comprehensive report with every measurement on the bike that you need to ensure a proper fitting every time you assemble the bike.


With Choon Wei & Tim Professional Retul fitters!

Below is an except from my fitting notes!


Changes during fit: Neutral cleat position.


  1. (1)  Saddle moved down 8mm.
  2. (2)  Saddle moved forward 1mm.
  3. (3)  Handlebars moved down 7mm.


  1. (1)  Saddle moved down 8mm.
  2. (2)  Saddle moved forward 15mm
  3. (3)  Armrest pad from up to level.



1) Change to straight seatpost and move setback forward by 5mm.

1) Change aerobar extension to allow arms to rest properly on armrest pad, and have a ski bend extension for more natural wrist position. 2) Swap crankset between R3 and P2, 165mm on P2 and 170mm on R3.

Stretching that hamstring and hip flexors. Relax ankles and drop heels.

Z3D with her new HED wheel set

Today I took Z3D on a test drive up and down Sudirman with her new HED Jet wheels. It was quite a blustery day and I definitely had some hesitation in handling her when the gusts of wind came through but overall very happy with my purchase.

On the flats was tapping 40KMH and maintaining that speed quite happily. Also the wheels make a speed lifting airplane sound as they get up to speed – altogether quite confidence boosting!

Looking forward to next weekend when we take her on a sprint triathlon for a proper speed test!