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-   -   Slight upgrades to train/compete (http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/934075-slight-upgrades-train-compete.html)

bluegold04 02-13-14 01:01 PM

Slight upgrades to train/compete
 
(If this thread should be moved, please just let me know)

Hello, first post, so please forgive my lack of forum familiarity/vernacular.

I have a Haro V2 with all original parts and I am beginning to train for triathlons. I plan to compete in a couple of sprints at least, this year. Not really positioned financially to purchase a new bike, nor do I think it prudent given the novelty of my interest.

I would like to change a few parts of the bike so I can make use of it during competition:
Fork (Rigid) [Can anybody tell me the dimensions of the fork on it (•RST CAPA T6 75mm) or recommend a compatible replacement? Thing won't lock and I think I lose a lot of energy to it.]
Seat [Any recommendations ideal for distance?]
Tires [I assume road tires of some sort?]
Pedals [This is a maybe, but if someone can tell me a solid direction to go I will do it]

Any other parts it makes sense to upgrade/replace?

Thank you very much for helping with this. I just want to train and compete without buying a new bike or dropping large sums into the one I have.


bg04

Retro Grouch 02-13-14 01:18 PM

Put tires at the head of your list. Slick tires will give you the most performance benefit with the least effort and cost. If it was my bike, I'd stick with a moderate width and relatively moderate air pressure but people have wide ranging opinions on that topic.

The next thing to think about is your position on the bike. Once you get over about 15 MPH the energy that's required to push your torso through the air is, by far, the biggest factor. The closer you can get your back to horizontal the better but it might not be comfortable.

aaronmcd 02-13-14 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluegold04 (Post 16493061)
(If this thread should be moved, please just let me know)

Hello, first post, so please forgive my lack of forum familiarity/vernacular.

I have a Haro V2 with all original parts and I am beginning to train for triathlons. I plan to compete in a couple of sprints at least, this year. Not really positioned financially to purchase a new bike, nor do I think it prudent given the novelty of my interest.

I would like to change a few parts of the bike so I can make use of it during competition:
Fork (Rigid) [Can anybody tell me the dimensions of the fork on it (•RST CAPA T6 75mm) or recommend a compatible replacement? Thing won't lock and I think I lose a lot of energy to it.]
Seat [Any recommendations ideal for distance?]
Tires [I assume road tires of some sort?]
Pedals [This is a maybe, but if someone can tell me a solid direction to go I will do it]

Any other parts it makes sense to upgrade/replace?

Thank you very much for helping with this. I just want to train and compete without buying a new bike or dropping large sums into the one I have.


bg04

Get a new (used) bike. Find a cheap road bike on craigslist. One of my first bikes was a Novara Strada road bike for $150. It had down tube shifters and was 10 years old, but the condition was like new. $150 is cheaper than pedals/tires/fork/seat, and much much much faster than a hardtail.

Btw, you can ride the distance on the bike you have of course. The fact that you (A) want to train, and (B) want to upgrade for performance tells me you don't "just want to finish", but rather you want to do it as fast as you can given constraints. Which is why I suggest getting any road bike you can afford (and is in decent condition).

Tim_Iowa 02-13-14 02:23 PM

I agree with aaronmcd.

You could put a bunch of money into your Haro MTB (new fork, new bars, tires, etc) and it will still be an ungainly frankenbike. Whereas, it's a decent MTB right now. Keep it for hill training! And fun!

You should be able to find a decent, used road bike for $200-300. An 80's or 90's bike with new tires, cables, and brake pads (full tune-up) would ride way faster than your Haro, even after modifications. If it needs a tune up, lower the price significantly.

BruceHankins 02-13-14 03:31 PM

I also agree a new to you bike is the best idea. By the time you replace the fork, tires and possibly wheel set, and a set of bars or clamp on ends/areos, you'll be way over what you could get a better bike for. Not better than what you have, that's a matter of opinion, but better suited to what you want to do. Keep your eyes open for a good deal, read the C&V appraisal forum to learn what to look for. Like a lot of people, I got my first road bike from CL. I picked it up for $10, put new tires, new bar tape on it and I still ride it today. It's a 1989 12 speed with down tube shifters and a decent steel frame, nothing special. I would try to pick up a used road bike from a known good rehabber in your area. For about $150 you can expect 27" wheels, mid-level components and look for something without a high tensile steel frame, chromoly tange, Reynolds, or tubing of that nature. YMMV.

bradtx 02-13-14 09:33 PM

bg04, I've seen mountain bikes used in sprint triathlons. Just use some street tires and leave the bike as is otherwise. Have fun!

Brad

bluegold04 02-14-14 12:26 PM

Thank you all very much for your input. I think I will use what I have now for training, and keep my eye out for a decent used bike.

If all else fails I will replace the tires on my Haro and just gut out the road portion of the race.

Cheers!

knobster 02-14-14 03:34 PM

How about borrowing a bike? If you aren't wanting to be that competitive, then the bike you have is fine, just replace the tires. If you want to be competitive, I wouldn't do a thing to that bike. Either go get one from craigslist like others have said, or find a friend that'll lend you theirs for the short ride of a sprint.

Dudelsack 02-14-14 04:41 PM

For pedals, get SPDs M520s. You can get MTB shoes for under $100. If you get a road bike, just buy a second set of M520s.

RPK79 02-14-14 04:44 PM

Aero bars and a sleeveless jersey should be your first purchase.

Coluber42 02-14-14 04:50 PM

I used to occasionally provide mechanical support for triathlons, and on the sprints especially I saw all kinds of bikes, from ones that people just dropped $5k on to ones they borrowed that their neighbors dug out of the basement. You can certainly get started with anything, and if you are reasonably fit there's a good chance you'll pass at least SOMEONE who spent more on their bike than you did.
But that said, you can get a very substantial and noticeable performance improvement over the bike you have fairly easily. The tires and a rigid fork are the biggest factors. But I agree with everyone else who recommended against spending the money on this bike, especially once you factor in the labor costs of having your LBS do it for you. Start training with what you have, and keep your eyes open for something better suited.
As far as saddles go, that's another issue entirely. Again, start with what you've got until you find out if and how it doesn't work for you. There's no one saddle or even category of saddles that optimizes performance or distance comfort or anything like that, and there are many variables. There's a good chance you'll need something narrower than what's in the picture you linked to. But again, you'll have to asses the needs of your own posterior as you find out what they are.
As for pedals, having some way of attaching your feet to the pedals really does give you some performance benefit. If you buy clipless pedals and shoes, they can perfectly easily be transferred to any other bike you get later. So that's one case where maybe it is worth it to buy them sooner rather than later since you'll be able to keep using them regardless. It can easily run you $100 for pedals and shoes, and there's also the complication of positioning the cleats. So another option is to start with toeclips (those cages with straps that you slip your feet into) on the flat pedals you have, which you can use with regular shoes, even your running shoes. Not to mention that in a sprint triathlon, not needing to change shoes in the transition might just save you more time than you'd gain from riding in good bike shoes for such a short distance.


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