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Old 02-20-04, 05:07 PM   #1
DogBoy
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To buy, or not to buy a bike...

I've decided to put away the potato chips and turn off the TV. I signed up for an olympic distance Tri in Aug. I figured if I sign up, I have to train for it, right? Anyway, I'm hoping to get some advice from some of you more experienced folks. I have a bike, but it is a hybrid. I live up north, and haven't been able to ride outdoors, but on my fluid-trianer, @ my long-ride heartrate (1 hr), I average 14 mph. I am comfortable on my bike, and wasn't really thinking about buying a tri or road-bike, but one of the competitive tri-people at work told me I would lose a LOT of speed by riding my hybrid. Is there any truth to that? If it's just 1-2 mph, no big deal, but if it is closer to 4, I would think about upgrading.

I was a high-school swimmer, so that part has been going fine, I run like a turtle, but I'm at the point where I can run for an hour (from 5 min at first of year). The bike is the part I'm most concerned about.

Oh, since you always ask for goals/use: My goal is to comfortably finish the triathlon in about 3 hrs. My swim pace is about 1:30 per 100 yds, I'm hoping for a bike pace of 16-17 mph and a run pace of about 9:30. Right now, my run pace is about 10:00-10:30. So...my questions:

1. Are my goals for bike & run reasonable given my current pace/endurance?
2. What would be the advantages of upgrading to a road/tri bike?
3. I can't wear contacts and I have crappy vision. In HS, I didn't have a problem swimming, since you can always see the wall for the turns. I'm worried about finding my bike after the swim. Any blind people out there that don't wear contacts? How do you get your glasses after the swim?

Thanks for the help and advice in advance.
-John in Madison, WI.

I forgot to add...I am currently at about 225 lbs, so I'm not sure the lighter road/tri bike would actually help as much as the weight-loss associated with the training will. Thoughts?

Last edited by DogBoy; 02-20-04 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 02-20-04, 07:35 PM   #2
back bacon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy
I've decided to put away the potato chips and turn off the TV. I signed up for an olympic distance Tri in Aug. I figured if I sign up, I have to train for it, right? Anyway, I'm hoping to get some advice from some of you more experienced folks. I have a bike, but it is a hybrid. I live up north, and haven't been able to ride outdoors, but on my fluid-trianer, @ my long-ride heartrate (1 hr), I average 14 mph. I am comfortable on my bike, and wasn't really thinking about buying a tri or road-bike, but one of the competitive tri-people at work told me I would lose a LOT of speed by riding my hybrid. Is there any truth to that? If it's just 1-2 mph, no big deal, but if it is closer to 4, I would think about upgrading.

I was a high-school swimmer, so that part has been going fine, I run like a turtle, but I'm at the point where I can run for an hour (from 5 min at first of year). The bike is the part I'm most concerned about.

Oh, since you always ask for goals/use: My goal is to comfortably finish the triathlon in about 3 hrs. My swim pace is about 1:30 per 100 yds, I'm hoping for a bike pace of 16-17 mph and a run pace of about 9:30. Right now, my run pace is about 10:00-10:30. So...my questions:

1. Are my goals for bike & run reasonable given my current pace/endurance?
2. What would be the advantages of upgrading to a road/tri bike?
3. I can't wear contacts and I have crappy vision. In HS, I didn't have a problem swimming, since you can always see the wall for the turns. I'm worried about finding my bike after the swim. Any blind people out there that don't wear contacts? How do you get your glasses after the swim?

Thanks for the help and advice in advance.
-John in Madison, WI.

I forgot to add...I am currently at about 225 lbs, so I'm not sure the lighter road/tri bike would actually help as much as the weight-loss associated with the training will. Thoughts?

John; Personally I would not worry about the bike right now. If you have to do anything, I mean if it really feels like you have to do something in regards to the bike just make sure you have a good "road" tire on and not something knobby or hybrid. A tire that is going to give you some good rolling and that's all. You are just getting at this, and you have signed up for Olympic distance instead of sprint or short course or Try-a-Tri. Did you investigate the Clydesdale division of any races near you to at least put you in the right field of competition? A new/used tri bike is not going to help you push your heavy weight around. In the summer of 2003 I was racing at 183lbs and that weight looks like a bear compared to most of the serious racers. I was too light for Clydes and too heavy to be taken seriously in the competitive field. But I stayed the course and continued training with specific goals in mind. I have just hit 164lbs this week and will use a serious racing bike in 2004 to attack short course Duathlon. I say just go out and do the race WITHOUT any specific time or speed goals but rather just to finish as a happy and proud participant. Then evaluate that experience and look into Clydes, or sprint races while you go after some short and long term physical fitness goals. I would rather see you reach your healthy ideal racing weight which suits you, compete in a season of races, and then if you are still gung-ho for multisport...treat yourself to a bike and a whole new you and a new season in 2005!!! As far as your sight goes and finding your bike you decide to use at the race, you may need to set up reference points in the transition area like remembering you are the third row of bikes from the entrance and fifth in from the end or something along those lines if the race you have chosen is that large. I think you'll figure something out and it won't be a problem.
Anyway I have given you my two cents worth and I hope you have a great time participating and that you stay with the game........it's a blast!!
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Old 03-30-04, 07:39 PM   #3
cerewa
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"Is there any truth to that? If it's just 1-2 mph, no big deal, but if it is closer to 4, I would think about upgrading."

Having ridden a variety of bikes, I don't think there's any chance it's more than 2 mph of difference between a hybrid and a fancy expensive bike.
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Old 03-31-04, 10:11 AM   #4
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I would put road slicks on the bike. They can run at a higher pressure as well as being smoother. There will be end of year sales when you get the bug.

I was 225 when I started training for my first tri also. Race day six months later I was 180. Best of luck.
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Old 03-31-04, 10:54 AM   #5
RiPHRaPH
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Tribob is right on here. slicks can negate many needs to upgrade now. it feel it is far more effective to get narrow than to get low.
you will spend > 60% of the race on the bike, so 2 mph is huge. at 25mile bike portion 14mph vs. 16mph is huge. just something to think about. i am far from an expert. i am toying with doing 2 tri's this year. i know, i just need to commit and train.
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