What’s your favourite “marginal gain”?

Get your tire pressure right. This is harder than you think, and the fast feeling is counter intuitive.

When I get my tire pressure dialed – and it is different for every bike, and if you’ve lost more than 5-7 lbs. you’ll need to re-adjust – is the best thing I can do to get a bit faster with very little effort.


The marginal gain question didn’t say anything about racing. So I just assumed it was in general. I take Sudafed along with my asthma medication because that’s what my doctor told me to do since I have a number of respiratory issues.

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I’m sorry, that’s not true. I have a script from the doctor for various respiratory drugs. And I don’t race. So I’m not ‘doping’.

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Improving my mental game! Hell, that’s not a marginal gain at all, I put it more at 10-15%.


Strictly speaking, whether a substance is prescribed or not does not enter into consideration for doping. If you enter a sanctioned competition while taking a banned substance, you are subject to doping regulations even for prescribed medication.

The prescription thing is a pretty common misconception.


Ok, fair enough @bikedawg, but in this context the way you phrased it made it sound like you were taking it for the gains.

Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that I race and do that. But, I have to take my medication and discovered that it helps a great deal, especially on group rides where people are faster than me.

perhaps not my favorite marginal gain, but what has surprised me most, in recent years, have been the shoes with carbon soles (Fizik R1): I never expected the feeling of greater and better thrust as if all the expressed power really ended up on the pedals and not (partly) dissipated by the flexing of the sole (as in those not carbon)

In tris, for me it’s thinking about the best positioning for your water and nutrition on the bike. So many beautiful bikes, made less aero than my old clunker thanks to poor bottle choice and positioning. Please continue!

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I know when the TR guys went on training camp with the Clif bar team they said something different. Aside from 10km repeat time trials how else would you figure out your bike’s/tires ideal pressures?

Maybe you could ask @Nate_Pearson for an ENT doctor recommendation? :crazy_face:

Sudafed is banned during racing but not outside of racing and you are still allowed like 150 micrograms during competition in your urine. Don’t throw out a doping accusation unless it is doping.

Check here if you are wondering



My issues are more pulmonary then ENT…

Well, subject to the 150 u-gram/ml limit, of course. But also, I believe any quantity of pseudoephedrine in combination with a diuretic is an adverse finding. So proceed with caution! :neutral_face:

No socks (or no show) is a great marginal gain, and I like the zero fuss solution vs trip socks that need proper fit/alignment.

To answer the actual question and get back on topic (this stuff mainly applies for road and crits):

  • Molten Speed Wax with Race Powder applied

  • Skinsuit instead of bibs and shorts (I think skins are more comfortable in general too)

  • Glue number on with 3M Spray Adhesive 77 instead of pinning

  • Low CRR tire (Specialized Turbo Cotton or Conti GP 4000SII) inflated to correct pressure

  • Shoe covers

  • Aero road helmet

  • Take bottles and cages off (for crits at least)

  • Shaved legs

Seems like a bunch of little stuff but it definitely adds up.


I’m into using velotoze, but they are such a pain in the ass to get on and off I’m about down with them unless it’s a TT or cold.

I’m sorry but that’s ridiculous. “Doping” doesn’t mean anything unless you are partaking in an activity where the participants have been asked to adhere to WADA or other doping body’s regulations. Outside of those events the only question one might have is if the substance is legal (Sudafed is). It’s only cheating if it’s against the rules. And the rules are pretty arbitrary. Caffeine is an obvious example.

Of course, in events where athletes do agree to abiding by these rules, they are great because they level the playing field.


100% this. I’ve gotten 1 or 2 funny looks for wearing a skinsuit at XC races this year, but it’s way more comfortable when shifting around on the bike, stays in place, and honestly was cheaper than most of the pairs of bibs that I own.



28c Conti GP 4000S II’s with latex tubes (will be switching to 5000’s soon). These, at about 70 lbs, felt so good last year and made long ride so enjoyable.


Enve wheels on my XC bikes. (originally switch to Enve AM’s, but now running the M525’s). So much better on the punch XC climbs and super durable.

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