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  1. #1
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    What's wrong with riding a triathlon bike in a road bike crew?

    From an earlier post, some people advised me that some biking groups don't enjoy having triathlon bikes as part of the riding crew. I can't believe that they have such a hard time turning that people worry for their safety. Is this true at all, and if so, what's the reason why tri-bikes don't do as well when riding in a group of road bikes?
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    Nemesis of the mountain Cot Du Trent's Avatar
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    I ride in a group with a few tri bikes and nobody has a problem with them. I've heard of people getting irritate when they drop to their aero bars in the middle of a group because of the lessened stability, but I can't think of another reason.

  3. #3
    Poseuse. sweetharriet's Avatar
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    Depending on how tri-bikey the bike is (full bullhorns, bar-end shifters), it's harder to control the bike in a large pack when you're aero. People just don't want to end up in a pile. That could be socially awkward.
    Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    I don't mind riding with a tri bike or road bike equipped with aero bars, but I get very nervous when the rider goes into the areo position because they are much more unstable. I usually leave a larger gap when the person does this.

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    Senior Member jimbud's Avatar
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    As urbanknight said it's just when the multi-sport bike riders get in a aero position with there arms together and away from their brakes levers.

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    It's only partly the bike. The other part is what a tri-bike says about the rider. Triathletes don't ride in packs during their event and so their pack riding skills are suspect, even if the bike doesn't handle so badly.

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    Nemesis of the mountain Cot Du Trent's Avatar
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    It's only partly the bike. The other part is what a tri-bike says about the rider. Triathletes don't ride in packs during their event and so their pack riding skills are suspect, even if the bike doesn't handle so badly.
    Huh. Never thought of that. That's a really good point

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    I would think that Triathletes would be some of the BEST pack riders - they're probably some of the most competitive athletes out there, and I'd bet a huge percentage of them ride in training groups more than most non-racing road cyclists.
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    Senior Member gearmeout's Avatar
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    i have no problems with triathletes and enjoy riding with them.

  10. #10
    Cycle for life... woodcycl's Avatar
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    No problem in the least. The only thing you wouldn't want to do is ride in the aero bars (unless you are in front). Otherwise, it is all good.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000
    I would think that Triathletes would be some of the BEST pack riders.
    Here's some advice - don't think. Unless you've tried to ride with some geek who drops onto the aero bars in the pack or when rolling back along the paceline with the bike wandering around and his hands 2 seconds away from the brakes you ought not to issue opinions.

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    Don't go for little sprints along the way on group rides either. Someone tried that once and took out five of us.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Super_Socks
    This has to be the most ingenious training regimen ever devised.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000
    I would think that Triathletes would be some of the BEST pack riders.

    Why? Triathletes aren't allowed to draft in their races, so they would not have a need to learn pack riding. Riding in a pack is something that takes experience and practice. I have a friend training for some Tri's next year and specifically does not want to even draft when we ride together, as he doesn't want to get used to it.

    It has nothing to do with what kind of athlete they are, it has to do with what skills they practice.

    It's not that a triathlete is automatically bad at pack riding, but a hardcore triathlete has to practice 3 sports, so he likely may not have the time to practice paceline technique etc.

    -D

  14. #14
    Old fart redden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath
    Why? Triathletes aren't allowed to draft in their races, so they would not have a need to learn pack riding. Riding in a pack is something that takes experience and practice. I have a friend training for some Tri's next year and specifically does not want to even draft when we ride together, as he doesn't want to get used to it.

    It has nothing to do with what kind of athlete they are, it has to do with what skills they practice.

    It's not that a triathlete is automatically bad at pack riding, but a hardcore triathlete has to practice 3 sports, so he likely may not have the time to practice paceline technique etc.

    -D
    I've heard that the Florida IM has lots of drafting, so if your from that state no worries.

  15. #15
    Pull, Red, Pull!!!
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    Some of us were very experienced cyclists before we became Triathletes. Just because we have aerobars on a road bike or a full Tri setup, doesn't automaticly mean that we can't ride in a group.

    Yes, we have three sports to practice, but we tend to be very hard core about them. Any decent triathlete can ride in a group.

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  16. #16
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000
    I would think that Triathletes would be some of the BEST pack riders - they're probably some of the most competitive athletes out there, and I'd bet a huge percentage of them ride in training groups more than most non-racing road cyclists.
    Not necessarily true. As mentioned above, some triathletes prefer to train alone since they can't draft in competition. That being said, I have ridden with triathletes with no problem and most of the real triathletes know not to use the aero bars in a pack. My concern is the neophyte who just spent his CEO bonus on a $5000 bike and outfitted it with tri bars just because they looked cool. True triathletes actually control their bikes in the aero bars better than newbies can when in the tops, so I don't worry about them as much. The hard part is deciding which kind of a person it is the moment you see someone tucking into the aero bars.

  17. #17
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    I think a lot of the fear of tri-geeks (no offense intended, lots of friends who are tri-geeks) riding in a group is that when they are tucked there are two main concerns, their hands bein away from their brakes, and lack of sudden control like when theirs a pot-hole or they have to swerve to avoid something. I'd say urbanknight says it best also, theirs a lot of people (specially in so cal) that are new to riding road bikes in general, then they throw on areo bars for the wrong reasons and try to use them at the wrong times.

  18. #18
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath
    It has nothing to do with what kind of athlete they are, it has to do with what skills they practice.

    It's not that a triathlete is automatically bad at pack riding...
    -D
    prolly the byword in most group rides out here. Riders with 'geek bars' on their bikes doesn't exclude them in any way from most of the rides. In fact our Saturday club ride is very oriented to bringing new (new to the area, new to group riding) riders out, and ocassionally a TRI geek. If a rider is obviously 'new' or unaccustomed to being in a peleton type group, then their 'approach' to being in the ride is quickly measured by everyone. I can't remember anyone ever being spoken to. More often they learn to adjust quickly and find a comfortable place and 'learning pace'. So they are certainly welcome in most rides around here.
    Commonly, even though the TRI population out here is quite big; very very few seem to join regular road rides. Commonly I usually see TRI riders out on their own or if in a group, its 3-4 riders all working a small pace line. I rarely see anyone with TRI equipment in our hills, climbing.
    Why, I don;t know... maybe its a gearing/equipment thing. Maybe climbing is perceived by TRI to not be of much use. In any case, the more climbing sections on rides, the less frequently we see TRI with us.

  19. #19
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADlBOO
    I think a lot of the fear of tri-geeks (no offense intended, lots of friends who are tri-geeks) riding in a group is that when they are tucked there are two main concerns, their hands bein away from their brakes, and lack of sudden control like when theirs a pot-hole or they have to swerve to avoid something. I'd say urbanknight says it best also, theirs a lot of people (specially in so cal) that are new to riding road bikes in general, then they throw on areo bars for the wrong reasons and try to use them at the wrong times.
    I'm starting to think the poseur concern is more rampant in CA btw I stopped worrying about the brakes part when I noticed plenty of roadies riding in the tops, which is really just as far from the brakes as the aero bars. Definitely agree with you on the quick reflexes issue though.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight
    I'm starting to think the poseur concern is more rampant in CA btw I stopped worrying about the brakes part when I noticed plenty of roadies riding in the tops, which is really just as far from the brakes as the aero bars. Definitely agree with you on the quick reflexes issue though.
    Its not so much the distance from hand to brakes, as it is the shifting of weight and body position. On a road bike you pretty much stay in the same position, now going from tuck to brakes, you have to untuck, while moving your hands to pretty much the same position your elbows were just at...

    Yeah, stupid poseur tri-geeks...

  21. #21
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    im used to shoulder to shoulder touching durring a turn in a crit. but when i ride my TT bike, i cant turn for crap. so in the end, i prefer not to ride a tight pack with a guy on a tri bike. I still enjoy riding with them, just not so tight.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxanadu
    im used to shoulder to shoulder touching durring a turn in a crit. but when i ride my TT bike, i cant turn for crap. so in the end, i prefer not to ride a tight pack with a guy on a tri bike. I still enjoy riding with them, just not so tight.
    And tri-geeks always thought it was an accident when they ride next to me in groups and my elbow graces their face... 'maybe thats why they never ride with me again?'

  23. #23
    SpIn SpIn SuGaR! FIVE ONE SIX's Avatar
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    for me personally, it's not about the rider or the bike, it's what the rider does ON the bike...

    i have plenty of friends that are triathletes, that use aerobars on road bikes, and my rides with them are DEFINITELY different than my club rides...

    i don't know what it is, but most riders that use aerobars will drop to them when they don't need to, when riding in a pack. the only time a rider should be on an aerobar is when they're by themselves, which is what they're designed for, period. even if you're in the front of a line, i personally don't feel it's appropriate to drop to the aerobars, because you may not be able to get to your brakes fast enough. for that reason alone, you put yourself AND EVERYONE BEHIND YOU in danger, period...

    i used to ride with aerobars, when i first started riding, and after i got more experienced i took them off. i learned that in a line, there's no advantage to using them, and like i said all i it does it put you and everyone around you in danger. there's certianly a place for them, but it's not in a bike line, it's for when you have to ride alone...

    now, i like the drops the best. i also like having everything at my fingertips, for safety reasons, which is why i stopped using them...

    like i said though, i have some friends that don't adhere to my feelings above, but like i also said my rides with them are definitely different than my club rides for that exact reason...

    the solution is simple, just use the aerobars for tri's or time trials, and leave them alone on club rides or rides when you're asked to do so...

  24. #24
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_wmn
    It's only partly the bike. The other part is what a tri-bike says about the rider. Triathletes don't ride in packs during their event and so their pack riding skills are suspect, even if the bike doesn't handle so badly.
    For me it's that too, but mostly the lessened stablity and braking ability with hands not near the brake levers. That being said it's more fear than reality, because for all the times I've ridden with these guys thinking this there has never been an incident...

  25. #25
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX
    the only time a rider should be on an aerobar is when they're by themselves, which is what they're designed for, period. even if you're in the front of a line, i personally don't feel it's appropriate to drop to the aerobars, because you may not be able to get to your brakes fast enough. for that reason alone, you put yourself AND EVERYONE BEHIND YOU in danger, period...
    Pfft.

    Depends entirely on the rider. When it's championship (state/nats/masters) season around here a good fraction of the people at the local velodrome sprout geek bars and ride them in the groups on the track where plenty of people aren't on them. Some of them are preparing for Individual Pursuit, some for Team Pursuit. It's fine. A few who are focused on TT riding use them all the time and they're ok, too. People ride them in the front of the line, in the back, and sometimes in the middle. It doesn't seem to bother anybody. Then again, we don't have brakes, either...

    Out on the road it depends on who it is-- there are plenty of people I know who'd I'd be comfortable in a line with on aero bars. In a random pack ride it's different because the group tends to shuffle around a lot, and people can make sudden unexpected moves, but in an organized paceline with skilled riders aerobars are fine.
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