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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-13-14, 09:25 PM   #1
SoCalRoadie
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Advice for a Clyde that wants to get into Tri's

First let me say hello,

I am still on the losing wagon Started out as 335# unfit smoker and have worked my way down on my mtb to 260# my goal is to get down to between 200 -220#
I am looking to move into a road bike but am also very interested in getting into doing Triathlon and have been looking at bikes in road bikes i have been looking at Endurance Geometry bikes but with wanting to train for Tri's i have also been looking at used Kuota K-factors and Cervelo's I would love to know what other Clydes that do Triathlon think and any opinions would be so appretiated

Thanks in advance

Tony
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Old 04-13-14, 10:44 PM   #2
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I have no interest in tris but... welcome to the forum!

I would say - if you're going to to sprint length tris, you can probably get away with anything, including a normal road bike with clip on aero bars. If you're going to be doing seriously long time trials then you would probably benefit form an actual TT bike.

if you can only have one bike, then lean towards road bike with bars you can clip on or off at will. "comfort geometry" road bikes tend to have a higher head tube, which can be counter productive for getting into an aero position, but they're dead handy for older, fatter guys like us who want to ride a bunch.
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Old 04-14-14, 12:10 AM   #3
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You're description of yourself sounds a lot like me, I'm just a few years ahead of you.

I'm doing my first Tri this May, and as TrojanHorse said, I'm just going to use a road bike. You could probably get away with borrowing or renting a road bike for your first tri (if it's a sprint). You can do a 20km ride on a bike that's not your own.

Once I'm happy with my first Tri, I'd like to do an IronMan next year (aiming for Whistler in 2015). I'm looking for a used Tri bike to that end.

If I was doing it all over again, with a little more knowledge, and the understanding that 98% of my road riding is done solo, I'd have bought a Tri Bike instead of my road bike. Live and learn.
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Old 04-14-14, 01:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SoCalRoadie View Post
First let me say hello,

I am still on the losing wagon Started out as 335# unfit smoker and have worked my way down on my mtb to 260# my goal is to get down to between 200 -220#
I am looking to move into a road bike but am also very interested in getting into doing Triathlon and have been looking at bikes in road bikes i have been looking at Endurance Geometry bikes but with wanting to train for Tri's i have also been looking at used Kuota K-factors and Cervelo's I would love to know what other Clydes that do Triathlon think and any opinions would be so appretiated

Thanks in advance

Tony
Welcome to the forum Tony,

Interesting that you chose the username SoCalRoadie when you've been primarily riding an MTB and are just now considering a road bike or tri frame. But, meh, whatever makes your tires hard:-)

Anyhow, I have done a tri in nearly 30 years. But, I was just as much a clyde then as I am now.

I'm going to recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Slowtwitch website and forums. Particularly in their "Bike Fit" category look in the "general fit" heading for an article labeled "Tri, Road or Tweener?". That should give you an excellent foundation from which to consider what might be best for you.

Without knowing your height, but, assuming that you're still somewhat overweight and considering that with the exception of some of ultra events like Ironman, tri frames are about getting your torso low and out of the wind, I'm going to suggest that a road bike, even an endurance geometry one, is probably a better starting point.

You're more likely to ride a bike that you are comfortable on. And, at least initially you'll probably be wanting to build your endurance on the bike (depending on how much distance work you've been doing on the MTB). Even if you've been doing reasonably long trail rides, churning along on the road, at the same cadence, can be very different from the pedal, pedal, pedal, coast...... of the quicker ups and downs of mtb riding on trails. But, I don't know how you've been using your mtb.

Anyhow. Give the article a read.

Rarely is having a good road bike in the stable a bad idea:-)
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Old 04-14-14, 09:20 AM   #5
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I am considering this later this year. Semper Tri / Devil Dog Duathlon ? Hard Corps Race Series. It is 500m swim, 5k run, and 30k open road. Good beginner event, and I would do it om my conventional road bike. I may or may not add aero bars. If you are only going to have one bike, I would forgo the tri-bike. If you are going to have a different bike for different kinds of riding go for it.
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Old 04-14-14, 09:36 AM   #6
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I started at 252 and got as low as 192. I've done 4 Sprint Triathlons. My baseline advice is in order of Swim Bike Run

Are you a confident swimmer? If not become one first. I was raised on the west coast and often swam/played in heavy surf. While a slow swimmer, you can't scare or drown me. I've been run over a couple of times in Tris, it's no big deal but I've seen it freak folks out in open water.

The bike part is easy, just ride lots and make sure you get off your bike with your heart rate under control.

The run, we're big folks and the potential for significant damage is great. I followed the 10% rule (never increase your weekly mileage or longest run by more than 10%). Never run hurt at all. Even if you're sore, rest up. I didn't start running until under 210, not that that's some magic number it's just the one I picked. I've now been running 2.5 years and really enjoy it.

Have fun! Tris are an absolute blast. Never had so much fun sucking at something.

Oh, Triathletes spend a rediculous amount of money on stuff. I don't. I've got one pair of Tri shorts and some swimming goggles that I do the event in. In T-1 I put on a T-shirt and that's it. I've passed a wad of folks riding high dollar Tri bikes on my roadie. Of course they all pass me back on the run
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Old 04-14-14, 04:33 PM   #7
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Hey, welcome to the Tri Clyde Herd.

Each event is different, but I'd say that every one that I've been to (5 events done, plus 1 as a cheer squad .... so: 4 venues and 5 different event organizers) has been noobie friendly.

Personally, I would get a decent road bike and multi-task with it (touring, tri's, whatever) as you refine your tastes and styles. Get some miles under you, build up some base cardio, and then start to refine your equipment.

My advice:
- I started Tris at 250/255 on a road bike. I am 195# today; Tri's certainly played a role in that.
- I still use the same bike for races today; some upgrades and adjusted slightly.
- I didn't go crazy with Tri-specific equipment at the start and worked into it over time. I didn't get a tri-suit, for example, until Season 4 (before that I wore normal athletic-style swim trunks and tossed a loose jersey on in transition 1).
- I have never been a good runner, don't enjoy running at all, and beginning last season I began to seek out "aquabike" events (Swim/Bike/DONE, no run). This lets me push my distances out to Olympic and Half-Iron instead of being stuck in Sprints.

Post back with questions; we're here to help.
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Old 04-14-14, 04:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
Have fun! Tris are an absolute blast. Never had so much fun sucking at something.

Oh, Triathletes spend a rediculous amount of money on stuff. I don't. I've got one pair of Tri shorts and some swimming goggles that I do the event in. In T-1 I put on a T-shirt and that's it. I've passed a wad of folks riding high dollar Tri bikes on my roadie. Of course they all pass me back on the run
The first line is worth a Quote of the Week.

My first tri, I swam once beforehand to make sure my goggles didn't leak. I wore an old pair of swim trunks and tossed on a loose jersey in T1. All the equipment is FUN, but it's not mandatory. Just go race.
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Old 04-14-14, 05:36 PM   #9
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I'm in SoCal and have done two tri's, both were the Race on the Base at the Los Alamitos armory. As a photographer, I've been hired to shoot one particular corporate team for the past 8 years or so at the Natuica Malibu Tri. There is a reason I've done the Race on the Base. It's a mini reverse tri, so it's run, ride, swim. I would much rather swim at the last than run in a wet diaper, but that's just me. I'll tell you, the Nautica is a much more hard-core tri. Even so, I'd estimate 5%, MAYBE 10% of the bikes are dedicated tri bikes.

Which tri are you thinking of doing?

Oh, and yes, welcome to the forum!
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Old 04-18-14, 08:49 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum!

Training for a tri got me into cycling. I borrowed a friend's hybrid (he is 5'6 130 I am 6'1 210) and found that cycling was the only part I honestly like. You can complete a sprint tri on any bike trust me I did. As for swimming, make sure you have plenty of practice in open water, if your swim is not in a pool.

Best of luck!
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Old 04-19-14, 03:52 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forums.

I've never done a Tri but have always considered it. If it's just something you're going to do a couple of times, just invest in a nice road bike. I got myself into a Trek Domane 4.0 recently and it's fantastic. It's a carbon road bike with endurance geometry, but this thing can fly! I'm 5ft 8in, 240lbs. I can go for hours on this bike with a fairly steady pace of just under 30km/h, with 65+ km/h on the way down a nice hill.
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