So I did my first sprint triathlon last weekend. I was pretty happy with with my performance on the bike, but my swim and run times were weak.
Anyway, while I was being passed by several tri-bike riders, I wondered if there wasn't something to their special triathlon bikes. So I did some reasearch on the subject. I found this nice little link
That link describes the difference between the tri bike and road bike. The major differences seem to be the aero bars, a shorter top tube, a shorter head tube, and a much steeper seat tube angle.
So I was thinking of trying something like this out. But I don't like new bikes, and I don't want to spend any significant money.
So my question is-- could a person build a decent fitting tri bike from a nice cheap vintage frame??
If so, what would I look for in a frame?
It seems like you could approach this in two ways. First, you could try a road bike that is one size smaller than normal. That would give you the shorter top tube. A maybe find one with relaxed fork rake.
But maybe you would be better off just going with normal sized frame and using a short stem. My circuit was set up with tri bars and short stem when I got it.
And then there is the question of the seat tube angle. Did any vintage bikes have steep seat tube angles? Can you use a seat post backwards to make one? The article I linked to says that the bottom bracket on a tri bike is moved back, and not with the seat tube moved forward, so maybe this would not work.
Anyway, this may be a dumb bunch of questions, but I ask anyway. I considered asking this in the tri forum, but it seems like the vintage guys would know what frames are out there that could work.