day or race day, you can’t perform at your best if your gear is
shot. So before you head out on the road, make sure your equipment
hasn’t already seen too many miles.
should be replaced every five years or so due to cracking and drying
of the rubber, says Chris Kegel, president and owner of Wheel &
Sprocket bike shops.
The weight and
quality of a tire will contribute to its lifespan. Road tires usually
last 1,500 to 3,000 miles; hybrid tires will take you about twice as
far. But, notes Kegel, "old tires get a lot more flats than
Check your tires for any glass caught in the tread, and always bring
tools, pump and a spare tube.
have a lifespan of 300 to 500 miles — less if you’re wearing a
lighter weight "natural" shoe, according to Jessica Hoepner,
owner of Performance Running Outfitters. For most people, that means a
new pair of kicks every six to 12 months to reduce the likelihood of
Some runners are
just hard on their shoes. "Inefficient running form such as
excessive heel striking, a low cadence or shuffling can cause a shoe
to wear out more quickly," Hoepner notes. Even running outdoors
is harder on shoes than treadmill training. Either way, though, the
shoe’s cushioning takes a beating.
Watch for your shoes’ tread to flatten out and notice when your
shoes have lost their "spring."
Sports bras get
less (ahem) supportive over time — in as little as six to eight
months, says Joelle Michaeloff, a lead designer for lululemon
athletica, which has a store in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. A bra should
be comfortably snug and not chafe.
degrade the fabric," notes Rebecca Zach, a salesperson and
cycling instructor at Attitude Sports in Pewaukee. Watch for breakdown
of the fabric and seams, dried-out elastic or see-through spandex.
Baby your bras by washing on the gentle cycle (or hand-washing) and