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  1. #1
    i ride a bicycle
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    Ghetto-rig a TT bike, or just suck it up?

    I just finished a stage race, and while my results in the two road race stages weren't anything to write home about, they weren't really disappointing either. The TT was another matter; I lost BIG time there. Of course I want to blame my equipment (or lack thereof) for my failure.

    I have a 54cm Allez that is sitting around collecting dust (I now ride a 56cm Tarmac that fits better). After being destroyed in the TT, the idea of converting it into a ghetto-TT rig ("ghetto" b/c it would be budget-limited - likely a hodgepodge of used parts) is dancing in my head. I had promised myself that I wouldn't spend any money on non-essential equipment for a while, but I love breaking promises that result in me getting new stuff.

    Would it be worth it to get a TT cockpit, aero helmet, and set forward seat/seatpost? Or at this point (rookie racer), should I just suck it up and train more?

    Mac

  2. #2
    W.W.DZ.D? cedricbosch's Avatar
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    If you plan on racing more stage races, you will need a TT bike and you will need to spend serious time on it. Get one, TT's are actually a pretty fun part of stage races and they'll make you a better racer in general. You can get cheap TT frames on eBay for less than $300, sell your Allez and buy a real TT frame.
    Cat 1 meter- 15%

  3. #3
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    I just spent serious money on my new Tarmac; the TT bike thing will only happen the absolutely, positively cheapest way possible, i.e. no new frames.

    Mac

  4. #4
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Just get yourself some aero bars, that's all you need. Don't jack the saddle forward or lower the bars because it will destroy your fit.

  5. #5
    Village Idiot
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    Aero bars, set forward seatpost, and a saddle you can use on the setup.

    Maybe an adjustable stem if you need to get lower.

    Add in a TT helmet and you're done.
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member marsh283's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
    Just get yourself some aero bars, that's all you need. Don't jack the saddle forward or lower the bars because it will destroy your fit.
    Errr, putting some aero bars on is going to jack up his fit. A TT fit is entirely different than a road fit so he might as well get things that can help facilitate this on a non-TT bike. See above^

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nate552's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sac02 View Post
    I just finished a stage race, and while my results in the two road race stages weren't anything to write home about, they weren't really disappointing either. The TT was another matter; I lost BIG time there. Of course I want to blame my equipment (or lack thereof) for my failure.
    Fayetteville?

  8. #8
    i ride a bicycle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
    Fayetteville?
    Yes

  9. #9
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    Also, can anyone comment on whether it's good or bad that the Allez that is the candidate for this conversion is a size smaller than my road bike?

    Mac

  10. #10
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marsh283 View Post
    Errr, putting some aero bars on is going to jack up his fit. A TT fit is entirely different than a road fit so he might as well get things that can help facilitate this on a non-TT bike. See above^
    You can't force a road bike to be a TT bike. Aero bars will get you into the proper streamlined position but that is it, and for the most part that is all you need.

    These are great bars because they are designed to be used on your road bike without any adjustments:



    I've won several TT's with these bars on my road bike with no fit adjustments. I have a nice TT rig now but quite frankly have ben thinking about ditching the TT bike and using these clip on's why? Because first of all when you travel with your friends and teammates it's a pain in the ass to be the guy that has to take up bike rack and hotel space with all his gear. And more importantly if you train mostly on your road bike than that is the fit that you are used to and so will be most proficient at. I only get out on the TT bike maybe once a week. If you train a lot on the TT bike then it may be a useful tool to you but if not, like I do, then you may be better off with simple clip ons.

    The OP is trying to save money and not get a TT rig and my point is that trying to convert a road bike to a TT bike is a waste of time, effort, money and most importantly, watts.

  11. #11
    W.W.DZ.D? cedricbosch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sac02 View Post
    Also, can anyone comment on whether it's good or bad that the Allez that is the candidate for this conversion is a size smaller than my road bike?

    Mac
    Very good thing. If you were buying a real TT bike you would probably want to go one size smaller anyway. Most people do.
    Cat 1 meter- 15%

  12. #12
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marsh283 View Post
    Errr, putting some aero bars on is going to jack up his fit.
    True dat.

    Setting up a dedicated TT rig can be done for pretty cheap with the Allez, probably around $150 or less if you do some bargain shopping and use your other wheels.

    If you plan on doing more stage races and TT's, and are willing to put in at least a couple of hours a week on it, I don't think it's a bad idea, and would be a lot better than slapping some aerobars on the road bike. If you're debating if $150 would be better spent on a new iPod and you were hung over for one or more stages this weekend, don't bother.

    What was your time at F-ville BTW? (you can PM me with it if it was >20mins)

  13. #13
    Village Idiot
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
    You can't force a road bike to be a TT bike. Aero bars will get you into the proper streamlined position but that is it, and for the most part that is all you need.
    Blah blah blah.
    Dude. You're not getting it.

    If he 'converts' his Allez into a TT bike with aerobars, set forward post, and a stem to get low enough (if needed) he has the fit for a TT setup. This is the most bang for buck way of getting a TT rig in terms of priceerformance.

    Sure, he could save a second every mile with a dedicated TT rig, but this will be much faster than just clip ons on his road bike.
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member marsh283's Avatar
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    Plus just slapping aero bars on a roadie and not adjusting seat angle/height, reach etc is really gonna close you up. Trust me (dont care if you do actually) I am a converted triathlete who tried to pull this for a year, and you can produce soo much more power with a steeper seat angle because you have more open hips (kind of like sitting up when going up a hill). Do what you will, but the set forward post isnt that expensive so if you have a little dough layin around id get it

  15. #15
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I'm doing this with my Trek 5200: forward seatpost, aero/cowhorn bars, bar-end shifters, and a rear wheel cover. All I need now is an aero helmet. The wind won't know or care that it's not a TT designed frame.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    What was your time at F-ville BTW? (you can PM me with it if it was >20mins)
    It wasn't over 20min but it was disappointingly close to that; let's just say I lost 3 minutes in a 6.6 mile TT and was in the bottom quarter of my category.

    Sat morning I felt good and finished top 10 (with the pack's time). For the TT I did about a 40 min warmup. I planned on doing the first 2 miles of the TT at a HR of 175bpm, then 2 miles at 180bpm, then 2miles at 185bpm, then whatever I had left for the finish. Unfortunately I just couldn't seem to "hurt" myself in the TT though, I had trouble making myself work hard enough to get my HR over 175. My legs felt warm like they were working, but not on fire like I was really giving it my all. I don't really know how to describe the fact that I wanted to push harder, but just couldn't.

    While I want to believe a TT rig would help me, I'm pretty sure it's me that's the problem. But at this point I'm not sure if it's my mental toughness (that I just need to suck it up and make myself work harder), or if it's my body that wasn't ready to do two hard efforts in one day (which I had never done before).

    Mac

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    Convert your allez to a ghetto tt rig (cockpit, zero setback seatpost, seat forward, etc). That is what I have done with my cdale (it is back to my road bike now, but will evolve back when I get my new bike). I'm concentrating on the major cross sectional area. If I ever become a threat tt'ing and start losing races by a relatively small time period (I haven't been able to do many this year), I'll consider getting a TT frame.

    Then make sure you follow the doctor's advice here:
    Before you start another TT thread, click here.
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  18. #18
    VeloSIRraptor
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    Interesting thread- I'm actually in the process of converting my '06 Allez into pretty much this.
    I am adding a set-forward seatpost, mini-aerobars, and if the budget can stretch- a tri saddle.

    Granted, mine is for draft-legal tris, but the principle is about the same. I would second the thought that opening up the leg angle is a big deal. I did some TTs on this bike with a standard road setup, in which I stayed in the drops and tried to get aero as much as possible. I didn't get all that much sustained power because I was just too bent over.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

  19. #19
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sac02 View Post
    While I want to believe a TT rig would help me, I'm pretty sure it's me that's the problem. But at this point I'm not sure if it's my mental toughness (that I just need to suck it up and make myself work harder), or if it's my body that wasn't ready to do two hard efforts in one day (which I had never done before).

    Mac
    You're right on both counts. It's you and the bike.

    Bike: You're going to add at least 45-60 seconds on that course using a road bike instead of a TT rig.

    You: Bad course to try to pace on HR, better to do on PE, better still on power. And pacing on HR after a road race can be pretty problematic. Mistake one.

    Obviously don't know your training, but you ought to come into a TT like this having recreated a similar effort many times. Anything much over 17:30 on that course means there's some big flaws in your preparation, mechanical and/or physical.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 03-23-09 at 02:12 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Nate552's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sac02 View Post
    Unfortunately I just couldn't seem to "hurt" myself in the TT though, I had trouble making myself work hard enough to get my HR over 175. My legs felt warm like they were working, but not on fire like I was really giving it my all. I don't really know how to describe the fact that I wanted to push harder, but just couldn't.
    RacerX is right, because you did a RR earlier in the day your heart rate wasn't a good indicator as "drift" was occurring. I ditched my HRM and went off of perceived effort.


    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Anything much over 17:30 on that course means there's some big flaws in your preparation, both mechanical and physical.
    Whew, thank goodness I did a 17:29.

  21. #21
    Senior Member jvan12345's Avatar
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    Whew, thank goodness I did a 17:29. [/QUOTE]

    16:59 here. Do I have the RacerX seal of approval? (oh, and the top time of 14:08 in the p/1/2's...that's just wrong)

  22. #22
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvan12345 View Post
    Whew, thank goodness I did a 17:29.
    Quote Originally Posted by jvan12345 View Post
    16:59 here. Do I have the RacerX seal of approval? (oh, and the top time of 14:08 in the p/1/2's...that's just wrong)
    Approved. The wind had a big effect, I got unlucky and went out during one of the peaks, higher power than last year and only a bit faster, but that kid just killed it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Nate552's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvan12345 View Post
    Whew, thank goodness I did a 17:29.
    16:59 here. Do I have the RacerX seal of approval? (oh, and the top time of 14:08 in the p/1/2's...that's just wrong)[/QUOTE]

    A Junior had the best time!

  24. #24
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    You can use your 54cm Allez to make your TT bike. I used a spare frame for a year or two as my TT bike that was a size smaller.

  25. #25
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
    16:59 here. Do I have the RacerX seal of approval? (oh, and the top time of 14:08 in the p/1/2's...that's just wrong)
    A Junior had the best time![/QUOTE]

    I was thinking to myself that it was really windy and slow, other folks were telling me it was no bigge. Check out the wind data:

    http://www.wunderground.com/weathers...r=2009&month=3

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