In his efforts to shave crucial seconds off his triathlon race times, the Danish athlete Kasper Bay has adopted Zubits closures as his lacing method of choice. He kindly shared his process and results with us for our blog:
After more than 50 tri- and duathlons I have built up a natural hobby around optimization. In my world, there are several types of optimization and in the past months I have been focusing on my tri- and duathlon competitions. Before I ordered Zubits I thought about what benefits they could provide.
The first optimization is located in my philosophy about "a saved second is an earned second", which is a direct time-optimization. Most often is about optimization in transition zones, which can gain 5-20 seconds on opponents who spend this time tying shoelaces in these transitions zones. With Zubits the transition could not be easier! The shoe opening is wide and easy to get in, and in just 1 second, the shoe is closed and ready for take-off.
Many would argue that you can change just as quickly with elastic laces, which is true. I have used these for years, but I've often also felt the dark side of using them. This is where we come to the indirect time optimization. With elastic laces you cannot tie your shoes in an optimal way, and you will constantly slide back and forth in the shoe, due to elasticity. To get the shoe to fit properly during the race, the heel needs to be firmly in the back of the shoe and the elastic shoelaces cannot allow for that.
It is here Zubits can do something outstanding. Zubits allows for the same kind of tightening that normal shoelaces achieve. When closed, the foot will fit perfectly in the shoe and keeps the heel within the shoe all the way to finish line. Zubits will also reduce the risk of blisters and foot problems during the race.
With all the above in mind, I ordered my Zubits and got the package 3 days before Ironman Copehagen in August 2015. I would be lying if I said that I was not a little sceptical. Would it work? Would I save time? Maybe I would have to stop and close them at every step? I always advise other athletes to NEVER try new equipment for competitions, but now I was in a dilemma.
I went for a short run a few days before and Zubits exceeded all expectations, they did not open during the run, even though I had tightened them strongly and tried to jump, making quick accelerations and other extreme moves that I thought could cause problems for the magnets - but they were just perfect. So I decided to try them for the Ironman. It ended up with me making 16 fastest in the T2 / AG group (with short toilet visit :-) and an improvement of 20 minutes overall for the marathon - where Zubits made sure that the shoe was perfect all the way.
Zubits lived up to all my expectations in long distance triathlon. Normally I would use 30-60 seconds to tighten and tie my shoes, which only took 5 seconds with zubits. One month after I was at a short duathlon where Zubits helped to give me the fastest transitions ever. I finished with the fastest T1 and T2 of the day and my Zubits closures got a lot of attention from all the other athletes who couldn't believe their own eyes. I love my Zubits, and will definitely use them for all my competitions in the future!
Kasper Bay – Danish Triathlete