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  1. #1
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    First tri this weekend, should I make any changes to my road bike?

    I don't want to spend any money on the bike so no clip on aero bars but should I make any free changes to the bike to get a more aero position? The bike leg is 14miles and I got a professional fit last year and can comfortably use the drops for >30 mins at a time. I read that using the top of the hoods with flat forearms was slightly more aero, and was thinking if I should slam the stem down the last 10mm or so and not use the drops at all, and alternate between the hoods and a narrow position on the tops(IAB). Finally for the seat should I move it forward at all?

  2. #2
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    With only 2 sprint tri's under my belt (last year), I'm hardly an expert. But I would think that now is NOT the time to change anything, with your Tri so soon. Finish that first one, enjoy it, and then work on tweaking the bike as you deem warranted.

  3. #3
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    Thats what I was thinking too but didn't know if there was any quick changes that could be made for a more aero position. I know some triathletes make some small changes when attaching aero bars to their road bikes without training in that position too much. Thanks for the advice, will probably just leave it the way it is now.

  4. #4
    alpine cross trainer Ludkeh's Avatar
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    The only time you make any changes is when your on a training ride!!! When I decide to make minor changes, I always mark my old position, make the change and go for a few rides. I bring the appropriate tools along to make additional changes as needed during the ride. I evaluate my changes to determine if they were beneficial or not.

    Note: These minor changes are only made after I've gotten a professional bike fitting.Well worth it! It makes no sense spending big $$$$ on a road bike and than just winging it when it comes to bike fit.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludkeh View Post
    The only time you make any changes is when your on a training ride!!! When I decide to make minor changes, I always mark my old position, make the change and go for a few rides. I bring the appropriate tools along to make additional changes as needed during the ride. I evaluate my changes to determine if they were beneficial or not.

    Note: These minor changes are only made after I've gotten a professional bike fitting.Well worth it! It makes no sense spending big $$$$ on a road bike and than just winging it when it comes to bike fit.
    As I stated I already got a professional fit at the end of last year. The bike is optimized for fast group rides, which has a different emphasis on handling and distance than a short TT that is a part of a triathlon. I know that small changes should be made on training rides, what I was hoping for was some direction and explanation on what types of changes a typical roadie would make to their bike for a triathlon to either improve aero, or to shift the work onto different muscle groups to conserve for the run portion. For example, slamming the stem or moving the seat forward so I'm not on the rivet the whole time since I'll be putting in a substantial effort for the whole course as opposed to pacelining where the effort and positioning is more variable.

  6. #6
    alpine cross trainer Ludkeh's Avatar
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    Sorry, I didn't catch that you've already been fitted. In that case, I probably wouldn't do to much. Sounds like your bike is set up for maximum power transfer. I find that if I get too low on my aerobars, (close my hip angle) I begin to loose a fair amount of power. Having said that, as the Tri season progresses I've been able to stay in my aero position for extended periods of time. So I've begun to lower my aerobar setup slowly by removing 1# headset spacer at a time. For me, removing 2# spacers gave me a more aero position with a flatter back, I could still maintain sufficient power and my average speed increased. When I removed 3# spacers, I started to run into trouble with decreased power.

    Easy experiment and only takes a few minutes to undo if it doesn't work for you.

  7. #7
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    Don't change a thing from how you have trained. Pay attention to smooth transitions and proper hydration/food (prior and during). That will net you better times than fiddling with things. Plus it's only 14 miles.

    Have fun.

  8. #8
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    "Run what you brung" is from drag racing and I follow those words. No changes for the race. Good luck and enjoy.

  9. #9
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    If you haven't been running IABs on training runs/group rides, now is not the time to start practicing it. If you can stay in the drops for 30 minutes at a time, that should see you through most if not all of your 20kms in the event.

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