Triathlon - Upgrade Road Bike or Buy TT Bike?
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I have a carbon TCR that I've used on distance rides. Its a very comfortable bike for me and I intend to continue using it for distance rides, however this year I'm starting triathlons too. I'm not too worried about the mini, or even the sprint triathlons that I intend to start with. I figure aero bars will probably even be sufficient for the olympic distance triathlon. I am however considering doing an AquaBike next year, and I want to know the opinions of people who do distance races of this nature on bikes. Will dropping the weight and adding aerobars be efficient for these types of races in my future? Or do I need to consider a TT specific bike? Please tell me the pros and cons of both. Also aerobar reccomendations would be fantastic as well.
01-14-09, 08:05 AM
Hey buddy welcome to the multisport world. I say go into it slow and upgrade bars maybe new tri seat and see if you like it first. once you have the bug you can better understand the type of rider you are, and see what everyone else is riding. Most people, the vast majority are using Road bikes with bars. Nothing is more gratifying than pounding people in my roady old school cad 3 c-dale, who are riding full tricked out tri- bikes, You will find that comfort is far faster than aero..of coarse th eideal is to have both and that is where a f true tri bike will be great ....just my thoughts.
Yeah I'm going to add bars for my triathlon this year. I'm trying to decide if that will be a working set up however for an AquaBike with a 112 mile biking leg. I'd really like to do one of those eventually.
01-14-09, 08:25 AM
Aerobars are fine for what you want to do now. The main advantage of a tri/tt bike is the steeper seat and head tube angles (78 degrees versus maybe 73 on your road bike. That gets you more forward and into a better aero position. It also avoids using your hamstring muscles as much which saves the legs for the run portion of the tri.
If you're doing a 112 mile leg of an AcquBike, you might want to consider a tri/tt. A tri/tt is just enough quicker to make a difference over that length. A tri/tt usually has aero wheels over the typical road wheels which also gives you speed and saves time.
I'm obviously no math wiz. I do not understand how the seat and head tube angles make a difference. It seems that if I scoot my seat forward, I change my angles (I've tried to figure this out for a long time).
FYI Last year I purchased a custom etched and painted frame from Lynskey. Later in the year I caught triathlon fever. I cannot bear not to ride my new frame so I'm converting it.
01-14-09, 03:29 PM
It's hard to explain without graphics or a diagram. You are faster aerodynamically with a flattened back (actually a back with a slight hump like a teardrop). The way to get that is being forward on the bike with your arms outstretched. With a traditional road bike geometry, you are limited in how far you can be forward, in part, by the seta tube and headtube angles.
Part of that can be overcome on a road bike by using a forward leaning seatpost. Scooting the seta forward as you said also works. But the problem with both is you find your knee too far ahead of your ideal foot position on the pedal. That sets you up for potentail injury plus doesn't allow for optimum power over a variety of situations. You can also use a longer stem but the handling starts getting bad. You can also scoot your seat forward
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