What not to do..
..right before a race..
When I was doing last minute additions to my bike (nutrition) in transition - the morning of Ironman Coeur D'Alene, maybe 45 minutes before the race start - a girl approached me (I had actually met this girl the day before in line at the bike tech tent) and asked me why I carried my flat kit in a water bottle on my X-lab. (This is just how I do it for Ironman. I am fine using 2 bottle cages for nutrition because of the bottle exchanges, so I put my flat kit in the 3rd cage and therefore eliminate the bag hanging under my saddle. It's just a personal preference). I explained that to her. Then she said "well maybe I will do that too." 3 or 4 other girls in the vicinity IMMEDIATELY yelled "don't change anything!!"
She had her flat kit in a bag under her saddle. Which is a totally legitimate way to do it. Her reasoning for wanting to change? She thought I "looked fast."
First of all. I'm not fast. (Edit: I may be short course fast-ish but I am not Ironman fast!) And second of all. WHO CARES? This is a general rule of thumb for races and is borderline common sense! You're going to be faster using what you train with than by trying something new on race day and messing it up.
Case in point: I do not do a flying mount or dismount. I don't know how and I am too scared to learn. Would it be faster? Yes - in the long run. But if I decided to do a flying dismount on Saturday at the mini-Mussel, I would most likely crash, therefore adding time to my race and possibly maiming myself (and poor Hedwig) in the process! (This is something that I NEED to learn how to do!).
Keep it simple and make all changes WELL IN ADVANCE!!