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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 07-05-13, 01:16 PM   #101
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I bought the wrong iPad. It doesn't have the cellular option, so I was out of touch with you all for the last three days, being up in the Wilds of Clear Lake. I'm taking the iPad back and getting the right one next Tuesday.

I've been spending a lot of time researching TT framesets. I've found out that the "normal dimensions", like seat tube length, a kind of standard for road bikes, doesn't mean a damn thing for TT frames. So, I went to Competitive Cyclist (as suggested) and used their fit calculator, and it said that I need a really small bike - 484 to 504 ETT. My Felt B2 is really small, and it doesn't fit! OMG...

So, because I am going to be in Davis over the next weekend, I am going to make an appointment with Davis Wheelworks for one of their fitting sessions (I already talked to them about it) so I can sort this all out, and not spend money I don't have on a bike that won't work - again. They told me to bring the Felt. I should get a good understanding as well as a good basis out of that session.

The season is about over. I'll be targeting TT's next season, and I will be on a proper fitting bike - whatever it might be.
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Old 07-05-13, 01:24 PM   #102
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Excellent decision. Bringing the Felt will give them a baseline.
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Old 07-05-13, 02:56 PM   #103
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I feel like Bob Guccione posting pictures of women in his magazine.

Here she is on the Felt at the track.

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Old 07-05-13, 08:22 PM   #104
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Oh, memories! Thanks, Hermes! That was two years ago, before I started racing, and just two weeks before I had that nasty crash. Bike fit looks awful! AND I was wearing tri shoes, AND I had an absolute death grip on those aero bars!!!
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Old 07-05-13, 08:33 PM   #105
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You know, I don't know that I'll get a really aero fit on that old Felt B2 frame. From what I've read, Felt intended the older B series (that 2004 bike) as a tri bike first and a TT bike second. The seat tube angle is fairly relaxed, and the headset is high. When they introduced the DA, Felt dropped the head tube and gave the choice of two saddle/seat tube positions/angles, one "tri" and the other "TT". They also went to the "bayonet" steerer and the adjustable stem with the DA. Learning that caused me to notice than MANY "TT" bikes out there seem to be tri oriented. That makes sense in that's where the customer base would be. The Ridley Dean, Orbea Ordu, Felt B's and S's, Fuji D - all are "more relaxed" than truly aero bikes, like the Shiv and the Felt DA1. I guess that's why I've had such a hard time figuring out what I'd need for a TT bike/frameset. It really is going to take a thorough fitting to tell me what size range I fall into, and that would not necessarily be specific to a make, but model lines. Don't try this at home!!!
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Old 07-06-13, 04:40 AM   #106
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I think it looks like a pretty good place to start. I have seen much, much worse.
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Old 07-06-13, 07:29 AM   #107
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I think it looks like a pretty good place to start. I have seen much, much worse.
Thanks, Shovel. I'll find out next week what can be done for the fit. It would definitely be much less expensive to change handlebars and saddle on that bike than the alternative, if that's all it would need.
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Old 07-06-13, 08:50 AM   #108
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You know, I don't know that I'll get a really aero fit on that old Felt B2 frame. From what I've read, Felt intended the older B series (that 2004 bike) as a tri bike first and a TT bike second. The seat tube angle is fairly relaxed, and the headset is high. When they introduced the DA, Felt dropped the head tube and gave the choice of two saddle/seat tube positions/angles, one "tri" and the other "TT". They also went to the "bayonet" steerer and the adjustable stem with the DA. Learning that caused me to notice than MANY "TT" bikes out there seem to be tri oriented. That makes sense in that's where the customer base would be. The Ridley Dean, Orbea Ordu, Felt B's and S's, Fuji D - all are "more relaxed" than truly aero bikes, like the Shiv and the Felt DA1. I guess that's why I've had such a hard time figuring out what I'd need for a TT bike/frameset. It really is going to take a thorough fitting to tell me what size range I fall into, and that would not necessarily be specific to a make, but model lines. Don't try this at home!!!
I do not think most of that is true. An aero fit can be obtained on most any bike. Price drives the frame market and UCI regulations assuming one cares about them. Many triathletes want a very aero fit. In fact, the guy running the Retul Aero fit business at Velo Sports Center is targeting triathletes. Relaxed geometry can be made aggressive by using a more negatively angled and longer stem.

I think the way to look at your current fit is what do you like about it and what needs improvement. If you see nothing to like and only rely on an unknown third party to help fix it, what makes you think a new fit will be better? There are only a few people who actually know how to fit TT bikes for speed and even fewer athletes capable or motivated to adapt and train in the fast position. Otherwise, everyone could do it.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:42 AM   #109
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There are only a few people who actually know how to fit TT bikes for speed and even fewer athletes capable or motivated to adapt and train in the fast position. Otherwise, everyone could do it.
That's pretty much the best summary when it comes to this issue.

A lot of the TT bikes out there are biasing towards triathletes with taller head tubes. Depending on how much proprietary built-ins there are you may or may not be able to get really aggressive. If you're doing half or full Ironmans you need a position for that distance (I did the fit for a recent Kona age group winner). If you're doing sprint or 70.2's you might get more aggressive depending on the person.

This is where most of the tri market is, but most people are set up in "sit up and beg" positions by fitters because that's where the riders are most comfortable.

There are more bad fits than good fits (and fitters) out there.

The considerations I'd use when buying a TT frame are:

-Will it fit, now and in the future? (you should have a good idea of what you need in head tube and top tube (see stack and reach) as a starting point, but you may get more aggressive as you adapt and don't want to be on the end of a range)

-Is it fast? (ask me, I've got tons of data)

-Can I train on it? (older aluminum frames tend to beat the carp out of you)

-Does it handle? (the good frames are getting closer to road bike geometry and *gasp* go around corners pretty well)

At this point I've done a lot of fits for men, women, and juniors. I can get within a point or two of best CdA and know how to make sure the athlete isn't going to be on the bad side of the power v. aero curve. I look at 90% of the positions out there and cringe at what people end up with, regardless of the bike. When they get close there's a lot of subtlety that can produce better drag or power.

One of the keys to doing this is to provide a stable "locked in" position that provides leverage to the pedals without holding a lot of muscles needless in tension just to stay on the bike or in the position. This also gets missed a lot.

Unfortunately with all the racing we never got a chance to really play with your position.

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Old 07-06-13, 09:43 AM   #110
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I do not think most of that is true. An aero fit can be obtained on most any bike. Price drives the frame market and UCI regulations assuming one cares about them. Many triathletes want a very aero fit. In fact, the guy running the Retul Aero fit business at Velo Sports Center is targeting triathletes. Relaxed geometry can be made aggressive by using a more negatively angled and longer stem.

I think the way to look at your current fit is what do you like about it and what needs improvement. If you see nothing to like and only rely on an unknown third party to help fix it, what makes you think a new fit will be better? There are only a few people who actually know how to fit TT bikes for speed and even fewer athletes capable or motivated to adapt and train in the fast position. Otherwise, everyone could do it.
Good points, Hermes. I was hoping you'd chime in!

I based my assumptions on reading several articles on bike design "intent". In each case the authors/testers/company reps pointed out that they had specific "aero" tt/tri bikes intended for different aspects of "multisport". Generally, the lower priced bikes were more generic, with more relaxed geometry, and the implication was (because the term was used often) that these bikes were aimed towards triathletes. At the other end of the spectrum, the more narrow focused, more expensive (and more exotic) bikes were aimed towards "Tour de France" - time trialers, although triathletes certainly were not excluded.

What do I like about my current fit? One thing only - I already own the bike. Other than that, I can't make any power on it, the saddle is unimaginably painful (I'd love to send you Vulcan Mind Meld so you could feel it), and the wheelset is 650c. I am having a bike fit done, using that bike as the baseline, so I know what I need as far as sizing when I do finally replace that B2. I know, too, that tt bike fit is a narrow focus field of expertise. I picked the LBS in Davis because they have the reputation of being very good tt fitters, AND they have tt bikes in different sizes from different builders in stock. I'll get to try different bikes, as well as get a fit. As far as adapting to the fast position, sure, there are problems I have to solve in order to be able to adapt, but I intend to do it. You know me, I'm like a pit-bull - the only way to get me to let go of your leg is to shoot me!
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Old 07-06-13, 09:58 AM   #111
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That's pretty much the best summary when it comes to this issue.

A lot of the TT bikes out there are biasing towards triathletes with taller head tubes. Depending on how much proprietary built-ins there are you may or may not be able to get really aggressive. If you're doing half or full Ironmans you need a position for that distance (I did the fit for a recent Kona age group winner). If you're doing sprint or 70.2's you might get more aggressive depending on the person.

This is where most of the tri market is, but most people are set up in "sit up and beg" positions by fitters because that's where the riders are most comfortable.

There are more bad fits than good fits (and fitters) out there.

The considerations I'd use when buying a TT frame are:

-Will it fit, now and in the future? (you should have a good idea of what you need in head tube and top tube (see stack and reach) as a starting point, but you may get more aggressive as you adapt and don't want to be on the end of a range)

-Is it fast? (ask me, I've got tons of data)

-Can I train on it? (older aluminum frames tend to beat the carp out of you)

-Does it handle? (the good frames are getting closer to road bike geometry and *gasp* go around corners pretty well)

At this point I've done a lot of fits for men, women, and juniors. I can get within a point or two of best CdA and know how to make sure the athlete isn't going to be on the bad side of the power v. aero curve. I look at 90% of the positions out there and cringe at what people end up with, regardless of the bike. When they get close there's a lot of subtlety that can produce better drag or power.

One of the keys to doing this is to provide a stable "locked in" position that provides leverage to the pedals without holding a lot of muscles needless in tension just to stay on the bike or in the position. This also gets missed a lot.

Unfortunately with all the racing we never got a chance to really play with your position.
1) Agreed!
2) Agreed!

Other points - that frame does get buzzy and rough, but the saddle, umm "interface" is so bad that the poor ride qualities are masked. I can NOT "push" on that bike - get the power down. I can't climb on it at all. My hips feel constrained somehow. For handling, tell it to turn, and it will fight you. The first time I rode it I ran it off of the MUP because I didn't know it wouldn't go around corners (what was even funnier was the first time I put myself on the aerobars - I'm glad there were no cars behind me!). It is a high head tube bike, too - you can plainly see that in the photos of it.

All that said, I've gotten used to the handling, I'm stable on the aerobars, and mechanically the bike is quite sound. It will be a good starting point.

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Old 07-06-13, 10:07 AM   #112
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I have never ridden a TT bike. They did not exist in the 80's. I am looking at one picture. FWIW.

Your saddle seems about 1cm too high and between 0.5 and 1cm too far forward. The B2 may be a tri bike with a taller head tube, but you ride a tiny frame. It can only get so short. I see that your base bar is up above the headset top cap and there are spacers. Things to work on. As Ex says a negative rise stem may be a part of the answer. The ride qualities you dislike are affected by fit. It may never be a Shiv but in my very ignorant opinion there is potential.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:14 AM   #113
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You want your TT tweaking done by Ex, period. He knows TT, and he knows YOU. If the fitter is really good, he/she might get you onto a frame that works, but very few fitters are really race-oriented.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:17 AM   #114
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You want your TT tweaking done by Ex, period. He knows TT, and he knows YOU. If the fitter is really good, he/she might get you onto a frame that works, but very few fitters are really race-oriented.
Absolutely.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:20 AM   #115
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I have never ridden a TT bike. They did not exist in the 80's. I am looking at one picture. FWIW.

Your saddle seems about 1cm too high and between 0.5 and 1cm too far forward. The B2 may be a tri bike with a taller head tube, but you ride a tiny frame. It can only get so short. I see that your base bar is up above the headset top cap and there are spacers. Things to work on. As Ex says a negative rise stem may be a part of the answer. The ride qualities you dislike are affected by fit. It may never be a Shiv but in my very ignorant opinion there is potential.
There is, yes.

Just a note about the handlebars. They're one piece (no stem), and the steerer is 1 inch. Old school stuff! Not that it can't be overcome.

One more view, with me on it. There are few things that look small with me in the shot, but that bike sure does!

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Old 07-06-13, 02:39 PM   #116
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So, i'm totally not an expert, but what i see in that picture is your cranks are long, which could be what your constrained hips/no power feeling is about. And it looks like there are 3-5 cm of spacers between the top of the head tube and the bottom of the handlbar clamp, it's hard to see what is going on in the picture, but it sure looks like you could lower that handlebar a lot.

i just switched to 165mm cranks and kind of wish i had gone to 160's. Feels like a whole different bike.
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Old 07-06-13, 05:48 PM   #117
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Race Rigs - What is Good for the Goose

Ex told me to go to shorter cranks. The ones you see are 170's. As for the bars, yes. There is a lot of adjustment that can be made. Down or up!
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Old 07-07-13, 07:41 AM   #118
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Why are there so many Orbea Ordu framesets for sale on eBay? Is there something undesirable about that bike?
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Old 07-07-13, 08:56 AM   #119
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Why are there so many Orbea Ordu framesets for sale on eBay? Is there something undesirable about that bike?
Not undesirable, but nothing super desirable either.
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Old 07-07-13, 10:01 AM   #120
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Not undesirable, but nothing super desirable either.
What do you look for in a desirable TT frame?
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Old 07-07-13, 10:16 AM   #121
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What do you look for in a desirable TT frame?
For me it's all about speed and fit. And not doing a company's beta testing (hello Cervelo).

But because I'm at the pointy end of the results saving that extra few seconds is a bigger deal. And I'm going to have pretty good position discipline so I'm not going to lose those seconds. And the economic question is a pretty tertiary consideration.

The speed part is more in play the faster you go too. Most of my TT's are ridden between 29-31 MPH depending on the distance...possibly faster for a 5k. If you ride 23-25 the differentiation between frames gets a lot smaller. You might be better saving a few hundred on a frame v. frame and investing in a really nice aerobar with a lot of flexibility.

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Old 07-07-13, 11:05 AM   #122
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For me it's all about speed and fit. And not doing a company's beta testing (hello Cervelo).

But because I'm at the pointy end of the results saving that extra few seconds is a bigger deal. And I'm going to have pretty good position discipline so I'm not going to lose those seconds. And the economic question is a pretty tertiary consideration.

The speed part is more in play the faster you go too. Most of my TT's are ridden between 29-31 MPH depending on the distance...possibly faster for a 5k. If you ride 23-25 the differentiation between frames gets a lot smaller. You might be better saving a few hundred on a frame v. frame and investing in a really nice aerobar with a lot of flexibility.
I'm leaning towards that "flexibility" genre. I've noticed that most of the super-aero frames have a proprietary handlebar interface to the frame, with a very limited (if any) choice of stem length/height. My thinking has come around a bike with a "conventional" steerer, so I can swap stems and handlebars if needed. That lowers the price point, too, and that's a good thing. With that in mind, I'm paying attention to the rear of the bike: where is the rear brake caliper (preferably it's under the chain stay); does the seat tube offer 80 degree and 74 degree positions; is the cabling internal; does it have horizontal drop outs with allowance for adjustment; and finally - is it sexy? That counts, really, it does.

I've noticed, as well, that many of the "conventional steerer" bikes were previous year(s) flagship models. Used, those framesets and complete bikes are going for affordable prices.

Finally, I am starting to back away from the Chinese frames. Their quality is not an issue, but build up is. The FM086, sexy as it is, offers little in the way of adjustment, needs a lot of expensive components to make work, and also needs a lot of labor. It's not a simple "swap parts" proposition, and that holds true for many of those "import" framesets.
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Old 07-08-13, 08:22 AM   #123
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@sarals, just to add some fuel to the fire.

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/produ...IT-KESABMPB-BK

Ex won a few races on this frame a few years ago.
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Old 07-08-13, 11:23 AM   #124
Racer Ex 
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Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
@sarals, just to add some fuel to the fire.

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/produ...IT-KESABMPB-BK

Ex won a few races on this frame a few years ago.
Terrific frame. I took 2nd at Nats on it.
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Old 07-09-13, 10:06 PM   #125
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Cleave, Ex, I've seen several of those frames on eBay. I'm a little put off by their unusual looks, but then an A380 isn't a pretty airplane - but it certainly does the job. Endorsement from you two certainly goes a long way! I'll look in earnest after the fitting this Friday. I'll know what sizes to concentrate on then.
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