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  1. #1
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    Bought a tri bike. Good idea?

    Hello everyone. I just purchased a used 55cm 2007 Javelin Narni Tri today from a local bike shop. Let me start off by saying that I barely know anything about bikes. That being said, heres a little background info. Recently, I participated in a mini triathlon that had us use a stationary bike. I want to do many more tri's (sprints) so I figured that I needed a bike. I don't have a big budget so I decided to go used. I have no desire to be a super serious competitor, I just want to do tri's for fun with a little bit of a competitors feel to it (not come in last) . Anyway, I'm a 5"8 female and I got this bike for $600.

    Here are the specs:
    Its a 10 speed x 2 (20 speeds total)
    Has campagnolo veloce shifters and derailleurs
    Brakes = Tektro rx 40s
    Wheels = 650c easton vista SL
    The aero bars are oval concepts
    It has carbon fork, crankset, and seatstay.
    The frame is aluminum.

    Some other words I found written on it are "velomax", "truvativ rouleur" and "centaur".

    -It seemed to fit me well and I enjoyed riding around on it. One big problem is the seat. Good God it hurts! Maybe just because I haven't ridden a bike in a long time... Anyway, the seat is genuine leather selle italia tri matic 2.

    Ok, basically what I'm asking is if someone experienced could tell me (without being too bashful or condescending) whether this was a good purchase or not. Maybe point out some strengths and weaknesses of the bike. And whether or not I can use it for all of my rides as a substitute for a road bike( I dont have one). I know some people say its not safe because of the aero position, but I can also hold it like a regular road bike with my fingers on the brakes, so I don't see the problem.

    -Ok, I'm done ranting. Any help or advice is appreciated. Please take pity on a poor, new, bike enthusiast who doesn't know what shes doing.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotshotennis View Post
    Hello everyone. I just purchased a used 55cm 2007 Javelin Narni Tri today from a local bike shop. Let me start off by saying that I barely know anything about bikes. That being said, heres a little background info. Recently, I participated in a mini triathlon that had us use a stationary bike. I want to do many more tri's (sprints) so I figured that I needed a bike. I don't have a big budget so I decided to go used. I have no desire to be a super serious competitor, I just want to do tri's for fun with a little bit of a competitors feel to it (not come in last) . Anyway, I'm a 5"8 female and I got this bike for $600.

    Here are the specs:
    Its a 10 speed x 2 (20 speeds total)
    Has campagnolo veloce shifters and derailleurs
    Brakes = Tektro rx 40s
    Wheels = 650c easton vista SL
    The aero bars are oval concepts
    It has carbon fork, crankset, and seatstay.
    The frame is aluminum.

    Some other words I found written on it are "velomax", "truvativ rouleur" and "centaur".

    -It seemed to fit me well and I enjoyed riding around on it. One big problem is the seat. Good God it hurts! Maybe just because I haven't ridden a bike in a long time... Anyway, the seat is genuine leather selle italia tri matic 2.

    Ok, basically what I'm asking is if someone experienced could tell me (without being too bashful or condescending) whether this was a good purchase or not. Maybe point out some strengths and weaknesses of the bike. And whether or not I can use it for all of my rides as a substitute for a road bike( I dont have one). I know some people say its not safe because of the aero position, but I can also hold it like a regular road bike with my fingers on the brakes, so I don't see the problem.

    -Ok, I'm done ranting. Any help or advice is appreciated. Please take pity on a poor, new, bike enthusiast who doesn't know what shes doing.

    For a rank beginner, the make/model/etc of bike and components have exactly zero importance. You're not good enough yet for the equipment to make any difference. :-)

    The saddle issue may be because it simply doesn't fit you well. If you haven't been riding in a long time, it may be just that you need to get accustomed to the pressure again. So just keep riding it, and if it doesn't get better, then consider checking out other saddles.

    FWIW, my son has a Javelin Dolce tri bike that he uses strictly as a road bike. The quality is very good for the ( closeout ) price we got it at.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your input! I definitely haven't been riding in a long time (besides lots of stationary bikes at the gym). I was wondering if tilting the saddle down a little bit might help. Its not even so much my butt that hurts. Sorry, but its true. When I'm on the base bars, its not too bad, but when I reach out for the aero bars, it becomes hell.

    Now I know that right as of right now, I could have a top of the notch bike, and still be a super slow rider, I understand that. But as I improve over time, and for the future, I would still like to know if this is a good set of parts. I guess I'm mostly concerned with durability and I want this bike to last me a long time. (I sacrificed a lot to get this bike)

    Lastly, I was wondering if it would be possible to switch out the tri bike bars for simple road bike drop handle bars. If this is a completely ******** idea, let me know. I'm just curious if maybe that way, it would be a bit of an easier transition for a beginner like me.

    P.S. If it would help anyone to look at the bike, let me know and I can post a picture up of it.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  5. #5
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    Small picture of it, but yep, thats the one!

  6. #6
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    You might go to the shop and ask them to fit you....it might be charge, but if good fitting can be really helpful....small tweaks can make a big difference.
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    You might go to the shop and ask them to fit you....it might be charge, but if good fitting can be really helpful....small tweaks can make a big difference.
    I did get the bike from a shop. He did some minor fitting like adjusting the saddle height, but nothing substantial.

  8. #8
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotshotennis View Post
    I did get the bike from a shop. He did some minor fitting like adjusting the saddle height, but nothing substantial.
    a full fit will probably have a charge with it, but should involve a look at everything from crank length, seat height, seat position, handlebar height and reach.

    some links (and google tri bike fit)

    http://www.active.com/triathlon/Arti...n_Bike_Fit.htm

    not try specific
    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

    Tri bikes are pretty specific in design so things like switching to road bars are not as simple as they seem http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...l-vs-Road-Bike
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  9. #9
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    Great, thanks for the links!

  10. #10
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    Let me start off by saying congratulations on deciding to jump into triathlon!

    It is going to be harder for you to get a good fit on a mans bike being a woman. My guess is that your bike is too big for you. Women tend to have relatively longer legs and shorter torsos then men. So a man who is the same height will have a shorter inseam and longer arms and trunk. My wife is two inches shorter than me and yet we have identical inseams.

    So what does that man to you? The saddle height might be ok, but my guess is that the top tube is too long for you. To an extent you can ”fix” that by using a shorter stem.

    Concerning the saddle. There is no universally perfect saddle. Saddles are like shoes. My local tri shop has loner saddles that you can try before you buy. I don't think that is a common practice for shops but it should be. Go ahead and see if adjusting the angle helps at all.

    Also, there are tri specific shorts and the padding is pretty minimal. Basically a thin piece of felt or foam. In my experience it does little in terms of comfort.

    Just curiously what are your rides like? How long, what type of terrain?

    Oh, and you can put drop bars on your bike and even get aero bars for them but that is going to be pretty expensive by the time you get bars and integrated shifters and having them installed.

    IMHO it would have been better to have bought a road bike and added some clip on aero bars.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by corynardin View Post
    Let me start off by saying congratulations on deciding to jump into triathlon!

    It is going to be harder for you to get a good fit on a mans bike being a woman. My guess is that your bike is too big for you. Women tend to have relatively longer legs and shorter torsos then men. So a man who is the same height will have a shorter inseam and longer arms and trunk. My wife is two inches shorter than me and yet we have identical inseams.

    So what does that man to you? The saddle height might be ok, but my guess is that the top tube is too long for you. To an extent you can ”fix” that by using a shorter stem.

    Concerning the saddle. There is no universally perfect saddle. Saddles are like shoes. My local tri shop has loner saddles that you can try before you buy. I don't think that is a common practice for shops but it should be. Go ahead and see if adjusting the angle helps at all.

    Also, there are tri specific shorts and the padding is pretty minimal. Basically a thin piece of felt or foam. In my experience it does little in terms of comfort.

    Just curiously what are your rides like? How long, what type of terrain?

    Oh, and you can put drop bars on your bike and even get aero bars for them but that is going to be pretty expensive by the time you get bars and integrated shifters and having them installed.

    IMHO it would have been better to have bought a road bike and added some clip on aero bars.
    From what I understand and what the bike shop told me, this tri bike was designed for a woman. He mentioned some details as to how he can tell, but pretty much the only thing I remember is that the wheels are 650 instead of 700 which he believed was one of the indicators that its a woman's bike. I also know that the previous owner was a woman.

    I bought bike shorts, but due to school conflicts, I have yet to ride the bike with them on.

    My bike rides aren't very long right now. Only about 6 miles at a time and on flat paved road. I have to stop at a few red lights along the way. Apart from some cracks in the road and debris, I ride the bike on a relatively smooth and safe surface so I don't cause any damage to it.

    How much would drop bars and integrated shifters cost?

    Also, I adjusted the saddle angle a bit downward and it seems to help.

    I was going to buy a road bike, but they were all super expensive and I felt like this was a great deal for the bike. Haven't really regretted the purchase so far, I'm just not sure if it will come back to bite me in the butt in the long run... haha

  12. #12
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    If you bought the parts used and did all of the work for free you might be able to do it for as little as a hundred bucks. It really only takes a couple of metric Allen wrenches and maybe some cable cutters. You don't have where you live on your profile so it is hard to give more specific advice. I know that many regions around the US have bike coops that have spare parts that are free or cheap and have tools and advice for people to work on there own bikes. If you have something like that you could probably do the cheap. I bought a complete groupset (shifters, brakes, cranks and derailleurs) in really good condition on craigslist for $150. If that is not the case however, it could cost several hundred dollars. It sounds like you are already make a lot of progress. If you feel like things are getting more comfortable than you might want to stick with your current setup. It is normal for there to be an adjustment period. If you continue to have problems than there are definitely things that you can do. Good luck.

    Oh, and let's say worst case the bike doesn't work out for, you can probably sell it without losing much if any money on it.
    Last edited by corynardin; 03-12-12 at 10:59 AM.

  13. #13
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    Ok, thanks! It seems to be working out pretty well for me so far. So I'll just wait and see.

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