Want some great fix a flat tips to help practice and build confidence for race day?
Watch our 4 STAR ENDURANCE “Fix a Flat” video (link coming soon)!
DETAILED STEPS TO FIX A FLAT:
Open BRAKES / brake calipers first
Rear wheel only: shift into HARDEST (smallest) rear chainring for easy wheel removal (optionally shift into small ring on front crankset for even more slack on chain to make it easier)
Open skewer & loosen with a couple turns
Remove wheel (rear wheel – push on derailleur tab for easy removal)
Remove tire using TIRE LEVERS (starting on the side opposite the valve)
Align tire lever “scoop” under bead of tire with a spoke below. Position a second tire lever and push both in together, then attach one tire lever to a spoke using the tire levers HOOK
Keep tube aligned with label / PSI near valve (to better identify spot of leak/hole/tear)
Inflate tube with small amount of air to identify spot of leak (if possible)
Check inside of tire for gravel/glass and spot source of leak (look for powder)
Patch tube or replace tube
Add small amount of air into (new or patched) tube (to maintain shape and prevent pinch flats).
Starting at valve – insert tube inside wheel & tire.
Place tube inside tirefirst, then align both over the wheel (bead still exposed)
Re-set tire bead starting at valve first (push valve in to help), then work around
Use tire levers or palms to get last bit in (push slack up & pinch tire into center of wheel well if you need more slack)
Inflate slowly, and check for exposed tire bead before fully inflating
Reset wheel and make sure it’s in all the way!
Tighten skewers (should be hard, firm!)
Check brakes – are they rubbing?
Double check outside surface of tire for glass or rocks before riding away
TIP: BARREL ADJUSTERS! If gears aren’t shifting or brakes are rubbing, use the barrel adjusters or manually adjust the brakes to ensure safe braking power! Barrel adjusters are sometimes located on cables coming out of handlebar shifters or on downtube.
TIP: After Fix A Flat… A-B-C Bike Check!
A – Air – should be firm for greater efficiency & speed!
B – Brakes – Not rubbing, but not too loose either!
C – Chain – Shift through all gears
Watch these videos to learn how bike tires work and various tips on how to fix a flat tire if it happens to you!
Want to join our LANDSHARK SWIM-RUN and TRIATHLON multisport club? There are two ways to join us…
1. LANDSHARK CLUB – COMMUNITY & PERKS Simply subscribe to join our “LANDSHARK CLUB” ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP below to enjoy team perks, 4 Star Endurance multisport training plans (Sprint to Iron distance and more!), race day team perks, discounts on training and coaching + a chance to earn some team gear every year! You’ll enjoy the same training plans and group discounts of our 4 STAR CLUB (click to learn more), just without the TrainingPeaks Premium upgrade.
LANDSHARK CLUB ONLY:CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE LANDSHARK CLUB Just want to join Chicago’s first Swim-Run and Triathlon club for exclusive access to team perks, discounts, socials, and at team tents on race day ? Become an annual club member to get access to our training plans, plus enjoy team perks, discounts, and a chance to earn some team swag every year!!! Join via PayPal
LANDSHARK TRAINING: IN PERSON GROUP TRAINING Join our in-person LANDSHARK TRIATHLON TRAINING program at 4starendurance.eventbrite.com to train with us both indoors & outdoors! Joining the season or training program late? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for pro-rated signup options!
4 STAR ENDURANCE draws inspiration from the 4 stars of the Chicago flag – one of the most iconic city flags in the world! And just like the every aspect of the Chicago flag represents a key part of it’s history, each point on each star of our 4 STAR logo represents a key source of motivation and structure that helps to make endurance sports athletes more successful: PLAN. TEST. LEARN. INSPIRE!
But one of the biggest contributors to athlete’s success is their support team – our coaches and volunteers! So if you’d like to help us help athletes succeed, join our team of some of the most fun, friendly, experienced, and certified coaches & volunteers in all of Chicago.
One of our key areas of focus is to help athletes “LEARN” and become more educated athletes through our 4 STAR ENDURANCE volunteer and coaching development pathway which includes clinics and events to help you develop through our 4 main steps:
COACH (USOC SafeSport, CPR/AED, at least 1 endurance certification)
HEAD COACH (multiple certifications; 3-5+ years of experience)
So come join our community whether you’re interested in volunteering or coaching and we’ll inspire you to keep learning, improving, and ultimately become the best athlete, pacer, mentor, coach, or volunteer you can be!
Taking our passion of photography and video analysis to the next level, we’re now offering a new 4K UNDERWATER SWIM ANALYSIS service to help swimmers and triathletes or all levels – from beginners to elites!
There is no better way to identify areas for improvement than truly seeing yourself from every angle, in high quality, and in slow motion. So we’ve developed a few new techniques to analyze your swim technique in up to 4k high resolution and up to 240 frames per second slow motion with some of the latest 360-degree 6-axis image stabilization technologies!
Our video analysis techniques and technology solution has been developed into a custom-designed “4 STAR LAB” mobile cart solution that is currently being piloted at select locations in the Chicago area, including indoor lap and endless pool options. To request an individual 1on1 appointment, or group solutions for training centers, teams, and health clubs, please contact us at COACH@4STARENDURANCE.COM
You can also find our video services available as part of the new LANDSHARK TRIATHLON CLUB programs at LAKESHORE SPORT & FITNESS (LSF) at LSFendurance.eventbrite.com
REMOTE VIDEO ANALYSIS
Want to record your own swim stroke and wondering what type of technology we use? We use some of the latest and greatest video equipment, including some readily available consumer technology that we’ve customized with our own special in-house equipment, workflow, and filming techniques – but you can achieve similar results with off-the-shelf options such as these and then send us your video for remote analysis:
4 STAR ENDURANCE is proud to support LEON’S TRIATHLON – one of our favorite local races and the unofficial start of summer “kickoff to triathlon season” for the Chicagoland area!
Register online at LeonsTriathlon.com and join us at this year’s race! As a new perk this year, for every person who registers for the race, 4 STAR ENDURANCE is providing a free training plan:
12-week SPRINT/OLYMPIC TRAINING PLAN – LINK COMING SOON!
IRONMONSTER TEAM: Join us for the Leon’s Tri Team Challenge! 4 STAR ENDURANCE supports the 100% intimidation-free and friendly Chicago IRONMONSTER triathlon club – so if you’re racing the OLYMPIC distance and not already on a club team, please feel welcome to register for the “TEAM CHALLENGE” division and select the option to join our “IronMonster” team roster on race day to compete for the team cup challenge competition alongside the Chicago IronMonster triathlon club – we always welcome any new triathletes! Click here for more details
TRAININGPEAKS TRAINING PLAN UPGRADE: 4 STAR ENDUARNCE also creates detailed training plans delivered via TrainingPeaks! Join the 4 STAR ENDURANCE CLUB or IRONMONSTER to enjoy our premium training plans that feature fully “structured workouts” that are fully compatible with virtually all smart watches, apps, and fitness devices including GARMIN, ZWIFT, ROUVY, RGT CYCLING, and more! Learn more about TrainingPeaks integrations here, and consider joining our 4 STAR ENDURANCE CLUB to unlock the power of TrainingPeaks Premium! See below for more training tips, resources, and info!
LEON’S TRIATHLON – VIRTUAL BIKE COURSE! Ride the Leon’s Triathlon bike course on RGT CYCLING for free! We’ve created a virtual replica of the Leon’s Triathlon bike course on RGT CYCLING (MAGIC ROADS ID: zv3UR9E5Iw0c). Join the CHICAGO VIRTUAL CYCLISTS (CVC) community for workouts, meetups, and virtual races on the Leon’s Triathlon bike course!
TRAIN SMARTER WITH 4 STAR! Join the 4 STAR ENDURANCE CLUB to get a discounted upgrade to TRAININGPEAKS PREMIUM to take your training to the next level… and you might find yourself on top of the podium!
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY! Join the IRONMONSTER triathlon club to join our community of like-minded, beginner-friendly, and fun triathletes! Team perks, social events, meetups, and a race day tent for socializing pre and post race are just some of our perks… as well as discounts on 1on1 training, group training, races, team gear, and more!
At 4 STAR ENDURANCE, we spent 10+ years building Chicago’s first and only USA TRIATHLON (USAT) Certified Performance Center where we developed enhanced techniques for creating highly curated, accurate course replicas for our most demanding amateur and professional athletes alike. Creating the most realistic training and racing experience at our 16-rider indoor CompuTrainer cycling center allowed us to pioneer hosting some of the industry’s first-ever USAT-sanctioned indoor SPRINT and OLYMPIC distance races under one roof… and even support the development of a professional triathlete, world champion, and UCI eSports World Championship qualifier!
Now, with the rapid growth of indoor cycling platforms and eSports Cycling, we’ve now transferred those skills, tools and techniques over to the 3D and video cycling realms to further develop expertise in designing virtual eSports cycling events for both draft-legal road races, triathlon time trials, and charity fundraisers using various virtual cycling platforms including a few of our favorites, such as:
VidFitnessfor completion-focused video rides with “virtual challenges”:
RGT CYCLING for 3D real-world “magic roads” simulations for draft-legal races and time trials:
At 4 STAR ENDURANCE, we’ve also developed our own internal techniques for curating GPS data to design not only the most accurate, but also the best possible ride experiences across several virtual cycling platforms – delivering the best possible experience for our athletes, partners, and training programs.
See below for a few quick tips for RGT CYCLING specifically, and contact us anytime at email@example.com to inquire about assistance and services in designing your next virtual course, or indoor cycling or triathlon race experience. Whether a private 1on1 Zoom meeting to learn how to create and custom-tailored a course for your own individual training, or a consulting engagement on hosting team rides, charity fundraisers, or help with coordination for a full professional production and marketing promotion with partner organizations – we’ve done it all!
See the ECHELON RACING LEAGUE for inspiring live-coverage examples of some of the world-class possibilities, or visit VidFitness for video cycling examples!
THE TECHNICAL STUFF
DESIGNING GPS ROUTES FOR VIRTUAL CYCLING
Below are some tips and resources for designing virtual courses on platforms like RGT CYCLING.
STEP 1 – EXPORT GPX FILES Go to websites like GARMIN CONNECT, STRAVA, or RIDEWITHGPS to search for routes, or design your own course and export a “.GPX” file. Garmin Connect or Strava workouts would be the least ideal to use direct raw GPS data – we recommend converting to a course file leveraging map elevation data first before exporting, rather than exporting GPS workout data from a GPS device without conversion first.
STEP 2 – AUTOMATED GPS ELEVATION CURATION If the GPX file was created from a GPS watch or bike computer workout, consider smoothing the data with more accurate GPS data from global databases like NASA or USGS. Use a tool like PERF PRO STUDIO or GPS VISUALIZER to convert, smooth, and adjust data automatically based on mapped elevation data from publicly available databases (e.g. with GPS Visualizer, simply select the “Add DEM elevation data” option when converting a file).
WHY? Tools like PerfPro and GPS Visualizer have access to NASA’s SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) elevation data set and/or the USGS’s NED (National Elevation Dataset). If your GPS coordinates do not contain elevation information, this can provide it – or if you have GPS data already, this can help improve your file with great accuracy. If you had elevation data from a handheld GPS watch or bike computer (not very reliable when it comes to accurate altitude data), your data could be “bumpy” with repeated ups and downs of a few feet at a time that shouldn’t really be there to mimic a real-world smooth, flat road.
STEP 3 – FLY THROUGH & MANUAL CURATION Learn to use GPX file editing tools and follow a tutorial like this – or use a 3D analysis tool like GPXmagic to do a virtual “fly through” of the course and consider watching these videos to learn some best practices on how to make these types of adjustments:
FIRST PERSON “FLY THROUGH” – do a fly through to get a better perspective on the course smoothness, hills, corners, and views.
SMOOTH STEEP HILLS – consider smoothing hill segments above 8-10 percent grade for a better riding experience for a wider range of athletes and indoor bikes and smart trainers that often have limitations above 8 percent, causing “tire slip” issues. For time trials, consider smoothing grades to under 5 percent grades as the max. Also, to maximize the cycling drafting experience, consider keeping the bulk of the course segments to under 3-6 percent!
REMOVE OVERLAPS – “nudge” out and back sections to avoid overlapping (check both left/right “tracks” and up/down “elevation”)
SMOOTH TURNS – eliminate sharp turns (unless intended?) by selecting a start point, then clicking SMOOTH BEND, then DROP MARKER – and/or use “TRACKPOINTS” to leverage the “Add 2 track points in place of this one” feature.
SMOOTH ROADS – use FILTERS and CENTROID AVERAGING at 50 percent to smooth out larger sections of “bumpy” GPS data points to eliminate both vertical and side to side jitter in GPS data points.
REVIEW DISTANCE and ELEVATION GAIN – review the final course data for distance and total elevation accuracy. With RGT Cycling, review the “Detailed Interactive Report” in the confirmation email for any errors or areas of concern…
STEP 4 – LOAD DATA INTO CYCLING APP Load your file into a cycling app like RGT CYCLING (premium version) by uploading or emailing the data file as per the app instructions for magic roads to make it ready for a test run in your library!
STEP 5 – TEST RACE Use a tool like the RGT CYCLING phone app (with premium subscription) to schedule a GROUP RACE with 20+ BOTS that have a wide range of FTPs (100w to 300w) to see how fast various riders would complete the course – or schedule a meetup with real people (and bots!).
In RGT CYCLING you can use the new SPECTATE MODE so you don’t have to ride the course yourself – simply view on a PC and click Shift-F6 and use HOME/END and PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN to follow other riders and view the route in 3D from several different camera angles by clicking to drag & zoom in/out to identify any points that need tweaking, then go back to STEP 3 to make any edits and repeat as necessary until the course is perfected to your liking! Once the course is loaded, in the RGT CYCLING app you can use either of these methods to test ride/race a course:
MENU-> MAGIC ROADS -> LIBRARY (click on your map) ->”QUICK RIDE“
MENU->ORGANIZE -> GROUP RIDE or RACE-> “MAGIC ROADS“ then update “LAPS” and add “BOTS” (with at least 50 riders for draft-legal events) with power ranging from 100-300w
With a cold & long winter climate, and a huge population & cycling community, the Chicago area has quickly become a hot-bed for professional level “eSports” indoor virtual bike racing! Check out the highlight reel of footage of several 4 STAR ENDURANCE and xXx RACING ATHLETICO cyclists racing in the professional divisions of the ECHELON RACING LEAGUE (ERL)!
Jacquie Godbe –Surging from the pack (34km to go): https://youtu.be/JG98chbHYRQ?t=2044 “Godbe is 1-2 punching the field” and “You’re not going to beat Jacquie Godbe in a straight drag race to the line!”
Since the start of COVID restrictions have shut down endurance races across the country, Chicago’s standout pro triathlete Jacquie Godbe has taken her athletic talents to the booming virtual cycling eSports platforms… and proven to be the woman to beat across the two most popular virtual bike racing platforms among professional cyclists – ZWIFT and ROAD GRAND TOURS (RGT) CYCLING.
xXx Racing-Athletico is Chicago’s premiere USA CYCLING (USAC) Division I cycling club, having produced state, national, and world champion cyclists. While supporting grassroots development programs, races, non-profits, clinics, and hosting Chicago’s largest weekly group ride… they were even selected by USA CYCLING as DIVISION I “CLUB OF THE YEAR” three times (2010, 2013, 2015).
Now, thanks to Jacquie Godbe and several other athletes from the Chicago Virtual Cyclists (CVC) community’s ScaryFast Development Squad program, xXx Racing is quickly growing one of the top local eSports bike racing teams and development programs! Learn more about the team at xxxracing.org/history
GET STARTED WITH eSPORTSBIKE RACING!
Want to get involved in virtual cycling “eSports” bike racing with xXx Racing-Athletico on the RGT CYCLING platform? Here’s how to get involved!
1. Want to get involved in virtual cycling with other Chicago area cyclists? Get started with our beginner-friendly and free CHICAGO VIRTUAL CYCLISTS (CVC) community on Facebook, Discord, and sign up for our ScaryFast Development Squad to ride with us on Thursday nights (7pm CST) on both RGT CYCLING and ZWIFT!
2. Want to learn more about RGT CYCLING, the free virtual cycling app? Visit rgtcycling.com/get-started to race and ride for free virtually – all you need is a phone, a PC/Mac/Tablet/AppleTV device with a viewing screen, and a trainer or bike with a power meter!
3. Want to participate in competitive bike races through the free ECHELON RACING LEAGUE (ERL) with the xXx Racing-Athletico squad? Visit echelonracingleague.com and sign up for the AMATEUR division to join the Echelon Racing League email list first, then join in the Cat 1/2/3/4 divison races on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (if you’re not familiar with bike racing, Cat 4/5 are the beginner divisions, so start there and work your way up!). Don’t forget to select the xXx Racing-Athletico team jersey under the EQUIPMENT options in the SETTINGS menu of the RGT CYCLING phone app!
4. Want to join Chicago’s top virtual + “in real life” (IRL) bike racing team so you can show your Chicago pride by wearing a xXx Racing-Athletico team kit both virtually and in person? Check out membership info (discounted for 2021!) at xXx Racing-Athletico – and don’t miss the great photos below from featuring their team kit in the ECHELON RACING LEAGUE (ERL) on RGT CYCLING!
5. Need to upgrade to a SMART TRAINER or POWER METER? Most virtual cycling apps require a “power source” to measure your effort in watts. You can get a phone app or heart rate monitor that converts heart rate to power, a power meter for your bike (to have the added benefit of a power meter for indoors and outdoors!), or a “interactive” smart trainer – visit some of Chicago’s top local bike shops like PEREGRINE BICYCLE STUDIO and BFF BIKES!
#SwimSafe #LadyBugProject #FreeSwimBuoy #PassItOn (in one year)
The #SwimSafe #LadybugProject was started by Coach Chris in 2019 as he was completing his 100th outdoor triathlon (achieved while attempting an unprecedented “quintuple” Chicago Triathlon challenge!). Coach Chris decided to celebrate his 100th triathlon achievement by offering 100 FREE SWIM BUOYS TO ANYONE in order to encourage open water swim safety in hopes of inspiring 100 new people to get into the sport of triathlon.
Whether you’re an experienced open water swimmer, or a beginner, wearing a bright buoy anytime you swim in open water helps for several reasons including:
to make you more visible to other swimmers (to avoid collisions)
to make you more visible to lifeguards (in case of emergencies)
to make you more visible to boaters and watercraft (to avoid accidents)
to serve as a floatation aid when treading water (to build endurance)
to take the intimidation out of open water swimming!
The LADYBUG #SwimSafe initiative provides completely FREE “ladybug” swim buoys to anyone who joins Coach Chris for an open water swim or group workout with various communities of open water swimmers and triathletes in Chicago, with one caveat… you have to agree to “pass it on” by giving the buoy to someone else within a year of receiving it, to encourage open water swimming safety, camaraderie, and develop new friendships through open water swimming!
BECOME A LADYBUG SWIMMER! To receive a free buoy, simply follow our news & events via 4 STAR ENDURANCE website by signing up for notifications on the bottom of this page below, follow us on facebook, join our email list, check here for upcoming events, or join our “Landsharks & Ladybugs” Strava Group to stay tuned for upcoming events where we might be giving out buoys… then just show up and ask COACH CHRIS NAVIN for a free buoy! Once you receive a ladybug buoy (or if you are interested in one), please SIGN THIS FORM – especially if participating in an open water swim with us:
SUPPORT & PROMOTE SWIM SAFETY – BECOME A LANDSHARK MULTISPORT CLUB MEMBER or LADYBUG SUPPORTER! To support the LADYBUG SWIMMER initiative, you can help us continue to provide free swim buoys to anyone willing to simply show up, “pay it forward”, and exhibit goodwill towards other swimmers!
Consider joining 4 Star Endurance’s LANDSHARK TRI CLUB to enjoy team perks, exclusive discounts on training/racing/partners, and one annual team swag item every year – or simply become a LADYBUG SUPPORTER by signing up to make a financial contribution of $29.80 or greater to support this initiative. This amount represents the 29.8km length of the Chicago lakefront trail, and the typical dollar amount it takes us to provide a swim buoy for you + encourage 1 new person to get into open water swimming!
Financial support is never expected, but always appreciated to help us continue to inspire others to #SwimSafe… so THANK YOU for any support!!!
If you want to participate but can’t join us in Chicago to get a swim buoy, simply support us via the links above, and then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “I LOVE LADYBUG SWIMMERS!” to arrange for a swim buoy (and a thank you note) to magically find it’s way to you!
OPEN WATER SWIM TIPS– SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL! Subscribe to our 4STAR YouTube Channel for tips and videos on open water swimming, triathlon training, and more!
WANT A BETTER SWIM BUOY? In addition to the basic free swim buoys, we work with sponsors and partners to provide discounts on open water swim gear, including various types of swim buoys above and beyond the basic “mini” ladybug style buoys. So if you’re looking for more robust and reliable buoys that include a “drybag” compartment, “easy inflate” valve, or even a built-in “hydration system” or “LED light” feature, be sure to join our email list and/or join our LANDSHARK TRI CLUB or 4 STAR CLUB to receive promotional discounts on swim buoys and open water swim gear, including 30% off all gear at ZONE3 using our special discount code!
OTHER GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS Need some great open water swimming gear – check out our gear page!
PHOTOS Send us your photos whenever you take a swim buoy and “pass it on” to help expose someone new to open water swimming – or simply use the following hashtags to promote open water swim safety! #Swimming #OpenWater #LadyBugSwimmer #SwimSafe#PassItOn#SwimBuoy
4 STAR ENDURANCE is supporting MULTISPORT REASEARCH to help the endurance sports industry during these challenging times, and that starts with hearing from you – our athletes and community!
We’d really appreciate your input on an anonymous survey to better understand athlete motivations during the current pandemic. Your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time. Stay safe.
Do you swim, bike, or run? Whether you’re a cyclist, runner, triathlete, swimmer, OR a triathlete – there are two different “VIRTUAL CHALLENGES” going on right now as part of the 100% completely free USA TRIATHLON #VirtualTri promotions that feature over $5,000 in prizes – a great way to INSPIRE and kickstart your 2021 season with some added motivation!
NATIONAL CLUB CHALLENGE (NCC)
Simply link, sync, and log all training miles automatically through the FitRankings.com virtual platform through February 14th as part of the “National Club Challenge” #VirtualTri challenge with 4 STAR ENDURANCE’s open Chicago IronMonster club for a chance to win over $3,000 in prizes
– and/or –
#DREAMINGSEASON HASHTAG CHALLENGE
Join the FREE #DreamingSeason challenge to share your goals for the 2021 season on social media to win over $2,000 in prizes during the week of Jan 25th through Feb 1st!
See below for full details & links:
“NATIONAL CLUB CHALLENGE (NCC)” – (Jan 14th through Feb 14th) Sign up to log all your training miles to win prizes! This challenge is completely FREE – simply sign up and select the “IronMonster” club to log your miles with fellow Chicago area endurance athletes! There are options to pay if you want to renew or join your to become a USAT or get some extra swag, medal, etc.!
#DREAMINGSEASON “HASHTAG CONTEST” – (Jan 25th through Feb 1st) Get social and participate in motivating each other to set goals and start your training season! This is “hashtag contest” challenge is completely free with over $2,000 in prizes on the line! Just use the #DreamingSeason hashtag and comment on any official USA Triathlon #DreamingSeason social content to share in with your motivation & goals for the 2021 season!
How do you participate? Simple use the hashtag #DreamingSeason when commenting on any USAT posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and you will be entered into a contest for the chance to win product from various partners!