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Everything WIMBLEBALL the thread

Hi Guys and girls

Thought i'd start a Wimbleball thread as i know a few of us will be down that way around 17 June.

So any advice or questions about training, accommodation, bike gearing, THE HILLS! swim start,THE HILLS! Transition etc etc just post on here to keep as a useful guide.

I know a few on the forum have done it before and will help us out.

I have just booked a camping pitch right next to the lake 01398 371257 places fill out quick in the New Year. £36 for a family of 4 (2 adults 2 kids) for 3 nights. £5 per adult per night - bargain about 10 min walk to start line.

Hope everyones training well




  • Good call...gonna be staying at me Inlaws I think about 30minute drive to the start...

    So what about gearing? any ideas?

    My theory at the minute is as low a ratio as possible to save energy...or maybe normal gearing but make the lowest lower

  • Hi loon - my podium spot was a never-to-be-repeated surprise - and only the first 2 went to the worlds!

    Have moved up a category now, and the competition is a lot fiercer so next year's ambition is to pass a few more men on the bike (very satisfying!) and then to run the run - rather than walking most of it!

    Guess this should be on the Wimbleball thread - but I have just booked the campsite for June .....

    See you there ????

    ah shucks..its mad that there next age up is faster but don't give me this never to be repeated nonsense you won a race the other week when you were ill and I accuse Madnurse of being part machine

    you will certainly see me there probably overtaking me if I ever get in front in the first place

  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    Fees paid, babysitter and campsite booked (thanks for the phone number, Ian) ..... just a little bit of training to do then we're off .....

    My colleague I train with just used the standard gearset last year with no problems, but I've a got a triple and I need every gear! The hills really are nasty, there's no flat (other than over the bridge) and the wind round there seems to come from every direction ....

    If it helps any, I generally average 15-16 mph on a long ride over an undulating route, but Wimbleball had me down to around 13.5mph - and I was still overtaking people!
  • Loon how would you make the lowest lower? - is that easy? that sounds a good idea as i reckon i could do with just a little more help in the lowest end (shift my lazy arse and get up and down some hills more like it) -and conserve energy for the run.

    My gearing is 52/42 13/26 9speed cass. Don't mean much to me.

    Generally i find this ok for undulating courses but if we are constantly climbing i'd like some options. preferably easier ones!!

    Stick on a compact? how would that change things - i've heard they are good for climbing?

    Don't worry plenty more daft questions to come!!


  • RobRob Posts: 209
    Pete, I did it last year on an Allez with a 53/39 front & 12-26 rear. That just about got me up the hills without having to get off. But it was a struggle second time round! I'd call myself an average rider, average between 15-18mph on a ride. Don't know how good your riding is, but you might struggle with a 42 up front(?). My best advice is find lots of hills..... & ride up 'em!
  • Hi RobThanks - yes i would be an average rider i guess similar mph. The run is by far my strongest leg (1.21 half) so i don't want to be completely wasted from the bike leg.

    You said i might struggle with a 42 up front - what do i need to do to change (sorry a complete bike muppet).

  • RobRob Posts: 209
    Hi Pete, you could change your complete front chainset on the front (say for a compact), or you might be able to just change the 42 tooth for a 39 ring. This may involve a change of the front derailleur. The other alternative is to swap your cassette at the back for one with lower ratios ie more teeth on the bigger sprocket. Not sure how big you'll be able to go on that, if it gets too big you'll need to change the rear derailleur for a long one to cope with the bigger sprocket, if you haven't got one fitted already. Your best bet is to have a word with your local bike/tri shop & see what avenues are open to you.

    If you can, get down to Exmoor to ride the course, that'll tell you whether you need to change the ratios, or whether you need to train harder! Or you could find a 14% hill near you & try & ride up it with what you have.


  • Cheers Rob - it will be the train harder option!

  • The final option is to change individual sprokets on the cassette this will probably require drilling the cassette to "Lossen" the sprokets so you can make a custom cassette with ratios you need...

    but it probably alot easier to follow robs advice and just change the whole cassette.. (which is my plan)

    the only real advantage of the custom option means you can have your normal gears plus one "climbing gear" but it is very speciallised (a former road racer mate of mine suggested it)

  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    Congrats to susiep who was posting on this forum pre-Wimbelball last year - I see in 220 she came 10th in her age group at the 70.3 worlds in Nov. Well done Susie!
  • entered last night wimbleball here I come...am bricking it
  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266

    Now what was it ....

    A big hill after the swim up to T1 ...

    52 hills in 56 miles .... including 4 long 14%ers ....

    A major hill on the run to be climbed 3 times ....

    And an uphill finish!!!

    Welcome to Wimbleball!!

  • Well done Loonytoon

    I think Pat was just kidding about the hills!! Surely. Wheres that compact gone

    Have a great Christmas everyone and keep the training going

  • Pat - you getting the S&M streak out again?

    yeah tell me about it peter compact is already on will see how the training goes but may well change the cassette as mentioned above...off to my parents-in-law for new year who live near by so might drive down and have a look..
  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    Loon - you must be into the S&M too or you wouldn't do Wimbleball ....

    I'll be interested to know what you think when you take a look at it!
  • loonytoonloonytoon Posts: 673
    pat didn't manage to look at it - no time really with in-laws and stuff...

    as for s&m - If I could only pursaude the wife of its merits (was that out loud oooppss)

  • entered wimbleball on the 31st dec - last chance before the price went up!! procrastinated for ages - a friend was trying to get me to enter the Nice ironman, reading this thread i think i should have done!

    a question though, only started triathlon in 06, hadn't ridden a bike since i was a kid, so know nothing about bikes, (cheers for the info above guys) - changing gear sets - how big a difference does it make? a big yes definitely for something like wimbleball? Or dependent on the rider & just something i need to try out for myself?

    off home to count teeth on my gear set.....

  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    hi andysven - and welcome to the Wimbleball madhouse.

    All depends on how strong a cyclist you are! I definitely need the triple ring, and even with that the only way I got up the bad hills was to mentally convince myself it was just downhill skiing! (yes, loon, I think its rubbed off from mad ...). The graph on the website really doesn't do it justice - somehow it is very unforgiving. Last year there were people walking up the hills within 3 miles of the start .... but there were others who lapped me on the bike so not everyone found it really hard!

    Looking at the DVD of the race might help if you can get hold of a copy.

    Loon - really disappointed you didn't get to take a look - you'll have to go again later in the year - probably cheaper than s&m!!

  • loonytoonloonytoon Posts: 673
    yeah was a bit miffed Ms Loon found the lake on the map ...

    Plan 2 reccies between now and then so lots of parent's in law action comming up for me [;)]

  • Hi Guys,

    I thought it was about time that I actually started to get involved with this forum instead of merely reading everyone elses posts.

    I'm pretty new to this whole triathlon thing, completing my first one last year (London Olympic distance). The problems is that now I'm hooked.

    So now I have found myself entering the Wimbleball 70.3 and am pretty nervous about the whole idea. All the talk is of hills, hills and more hills. I was aware that the bike was bad but as pointed out in this months 220 the run is also hilly. Guess there is only one thing for it - get out there and pound some hills.

    Like many of you I am unsure about the gearing for such a race and so as soon as we get a bit of decent weather I intend to go down and ride the course, it would be good to join up with some of you guys if you have similar intentions.

    Happy training

  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    Hi Dave - and welcome.

    The good thing about Wimbleball is the countryside is very pretty. And there's very little traffic on the roads. Apart from that, there's the hills, and a few hills too. And the occasional hill! Plus a hill or two.

    Go and look. You'll either wonder what we're all going on about or you'll reel with shock!. Let us know what you think!
  • If anyone does want to go and look at it this might be a good way:


    one of the stages goes through wimbleball, (haven't checked if the route actually overlaps with the ironman course).

    Thankfully you can enter individual stages!!
  • pat (as i know you have been before) and anybody else

    Hope training is all going ok, just a quick one - how is the swim kicked off? age groups? those that look most like they may drown?

    it's getting a little closer now - is that a good or bad thing i'm not sure.

    have fun!

  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    Hi Ian

    Swim start was by age groups(ish). Elite, then under forty men, over forty men and then all the women - I think! I was pleased, because I could start at the back and it reduced my risk of getting swum over!

    Am just recovering from abdominal surgery so my training is non-existent at present - hope yours is going better!

    Still having nightmares about those hills, tho ....
  • Great motivation tool is the vertical graph you can download showing the bike route as elevation. I printed half a dozen off last year and pinned them up all over the place. Made me go out on my bike, (and it stopped the traithlon widow moaning about the lack of time I spent in thehouse)

    You can get it from the wimbleball website. Enjoy!
  • Hi Naveydavey

    regarding gearing this is from the 70.30 site

    am unable to ride the course myself, prior to the race, what gear ratios should I use?


    The Race Office recommends 12-27 on the rear and 39-53 standard on the front for intermediates. For novices a triple is recomended for the front and 12-25 on the rear. If you require any further advice please call Chris or Richard at Tri UK who will be happy to assist.

    Not sure why it came out like that?

    Even for intermediates they reccomend a 12-27! cassette.

    Good luck

  • SamutriSamutri Posts: 143
    Blimey - I entered this one late last year as a bit of a challenge! Have done several sprint and standard tri's and have done marathon running for years. Up to the point where I read this forum, I was feeling pretty confident but the talk of the 'lumpy' course has made me re-evaluate my training a little! Luckily I live in the North East of Scotland which has one or two wee hills, if you know the Cairn O'mount, keep an eye out for me - I plan on doing most of my training there from now on !!

    I heard they were going to try and make the swim uphill as well [;)] !!
  • I'm totally new to this malarky, but I've ridden the cycle route a couple of times to familiarise myself with it (It's on the way down to my parents, so breaks up the drive a bit). There are two killer hills, one short and steep, the other longer and just as steep. Not being technical I don't know what size cogs I've got, but I've got a triple chainset and I had to use my lowest gear but one to get up the hills. (I would have used the lowest, but it was adjusted slightly wrongly and wouldn't change down). Basically if you're a novice get the lowest gearing you can. If you can get a triple, great, if not smaller chainring, and more teeth on the rear sprocket are the way forwards. I think moving to smaller chainrings would probably be the easiest option especially as the only downhill is steep enough that even without pedalling I scared myself.
  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    Steveaich, deeply embedded in my memory after last years 70.3 trauma is 2 long, steep killer hills (and 2 laps, so that's 4) plus a great many other almost killer hills. I needed every gear I had on my triple. 52 hills in 56 miles ..... so why am I doing this again??

    Samutri - if you live and train in Scotland I don't think you'll have too much difficulty!
  • Hi there - I'm new to 220, this thread and new to Half Iron Men but nice to meet you all & read your advice. I have a question for all those who have ridden/raced the course - what is the thinking on tri-bars? I have currently never used tribars (nor own any) - is it worth the time & investment for the hilly Wimbleball course do you think? Happy to invest both but not if there is only a short distance where you can actually get use from them...

    Thanks for any advice!
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