I'm training for my first tri this summer. There is no tri bike in my future for at least a couple years, if at all. (Picked up a Trek Madone last summer which I have little interest in modifying a whole lot) So I thought I'd take my old roadie (Marin Argenta) and do a little conversion. A friend sent me a Deda Aeroblue aerobar. Wow. For about $20 I can fit it on my Marin. While the idea of a $450 high tech aero wing is pretty cool, I have no idea how practical it is.
I'm all for converting my existing bike to more of a tri set up (this bar and a seatpost basically), considering it will cost around 100 bucks or so. But how practical is this aero for tri's? For that matter is it even worth the $ on any level? My main thought is the muscle groups used on a tri vs roadie and the run afterwards.
This tri super newbie thanks you for any thoughts on this.
Trek 1500 road bike, Giant Trinity Alliance tri bike
Definitely invest in the clipons and a seatpost that will give you an effective Seat Tube Angle of at least 76 degrees (preferably 78 or higher). If you can get the seat forward enough and the aerobars mounted low enough, you're 90% of the way to a full-on tri bike!
P.S. I have a Profile Fast Forward seat post I could sell you for cheap if you were interested It will turn your 73 degree STA Madone into a 78 degree "tri bike" instantly!
P.P.S. You may also want to consider a triathlon-specific saddle, such as the Fizik airone Tri or the Profily Tri Stryke. It will allow you to sit on the nose and be comfortable, while getting even further forward relative to the bottom bracket. Also, that way you can have a seat/seatpost combo for your road setup, and a seperate seat/seatpost combo for your tri setup!
Not everyone runs the same. Some people use their hamstrings, some use their quads, some use their hipflexors, some use their calfs. Moving into a position that uses mainly your quads is no guarantee that you'll run faster off the bike. It works for the majority of people, but not necessarily everyone.
You are right on in thinking that you shouldn't go jacking a good bike up. Leave your madone as is. Expirement with the marin, at first just try moving the seat up.
Thanks for the comments. I probably should have pointed out I don't expect to run faster with a tri set up. I just thought it would help in the overall mechanics of getting off the bike and then running.
Partially related question here, I thought I read that many people train on a road and compete on a tri. Any thoughts on that or am I mistaken?