Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Can you convert a Tri bike to a road bike

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Can you convert a Tri bike to a road bike

Old 03-31-21, 05:30 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 2 Posts
Can you convert a Tri bike to a road bike

I'm an over 60 bike rider looking to get a carbon fiber bike. I think I am looking for a used Robaix or similar road bike. At my age riding all bent over doesn't sound like a lot of fun. So the weird thing is I am finding better prices on carbon Tri bikes than road bikes. In my eyes all I would have to do is raise the handle bars and adjust the seat and I could make a tri into a road. Might need to trade out the handle bars but not sure.

So could some of you more experienced riders tell me if I am wrong in my thinking. I'm currently riding a nice gravel but looking to move to a lighter bike to increase speed and distance. I live in East Tennessee so getting up and down hills is also an issue. Not looking to get into racing, just wanting to keep up with a buddy on a Robaix. Thanks.
257Bill is offline  
Old 03-31-21, 05:56 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,515
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 31 Posts
I’ve done it, converted a Cervelo P2-SL to a road bike. With the right stem swap you can get the geometry to work, but a carbon tri bike will not be your best bet for weight savings. While the material gives a good ride, the deeper section aerodynamic tubes add some weight you wouldn’t have in a carbon fiber road bike. (This was my wife’s aluminum tri bike - my carbon Cervelo P2C weighed only slightly less, but was heavier than my Scott road bike)



Last edited by Plainsman; 03-31-21 at 06:04 PM.
Plainsman is offline  
Old 03-31-21, 06:19 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 6,988

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3316 Post(s)
Liked 2,151 Times in 1,217 Posts
Many tri bikes were designed with steep seat tube angles like 78 deg., Vs. 73-74 for standard road bikes. It was supposed to help with upper leg muscle use withe the run following.

I would not want a road bike with that design, not while riding on a standard drop bar.
Steve B. is offline  
Likes For Steve B.:
Old 03-31-21, 07:00 PM
  #4  
Should Be More Popular
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 43,178

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 561 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22703 Post(s)
Liked 9,062 Times in 4,208 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B.
Many tri bikes were designed with steep seat tube angles like 78 deg., Vs. 73-74 for standard road bikes. It was supposed to help with upper leg muscle use withe the run following.

I would not want a road bike with that design, not while riding on a standard drop bar.
Agree with above.

Don’t do it!
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Likes For datlas:
Old 03-31-21, 07:22 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,701
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1265 Post(s)
Liked 1,373 Times in 698 Posts
What you are looking for and what a tri bike is are at opposite ends of the road bike spectrum. I am sure you could get it to work much like Cuba was able to keep 1950’s cars on the road by hacking together a solution. Take a motor out of a tractor put it in a Chevy kind of solution. You would be better off keeping your eye out for a proper endurance bike either new or used within your budget. I find used prices so inflated right now its comparable value.
Atlas Shrugged is offline  
Old 03-31-21, 08:13 PM
  #6  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 2 Posts
Scarcity is part of my problems. I can find a lot of 58 to 62 cm bikes but I need a 54cm. In that size range I'm seeing used prices $1500 and up. I wouldn't mind that price but that is on bikes almost 10 years old. I hate to buy a bike that old and pay that much. I've been to several bike stores and they don't even have a bike my size in stock. On the other hand I have found 3 or 4 tri bikes for less than $900. Just seemed like a much better deal if I could make it comfortable. Thanks for all of the input.
257Bill is offline  
Old 03-31-21, 09:45 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,853
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1067 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 259 Times in 153 Posts
Don't do it. The geometry is all wrong.
Also any savings you might think you made will be long gone by the time you convert it to a drop bar set up, even if you could get the geometry to work.
Dean V is offline  
Likes For Dean V:
Old 03-31-21, 10:52 PM
  #8  
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 16,704

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11050 Post(s)
Liked 7,599 Times in 4,238 Posts
Expand your search radius.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 04-01-21, 06:09 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,563
Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3261 Post(s)
Liked 2,576 Times in 1,533 Posts
It can most likely be done. Give it a try. If at first you don't succeed, it will be try, try again. I'm talking about the bike, of course.
seypat is online now  
Old 04-01-21, 10:31 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 5,978
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1844 Post(s)
Liked 1,716 Times in 991 Posts
This article give some good explanations of the difference between a road bike and a TT bike. However, Tri bikes can have even more extreme differences than UCI legal TT bikes

​​​​​​https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...-vs-road-bike/
alcjphil is online now  
Old 04-01-21, 11:22 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
blacknbluebikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 1,286

Bikes: two blacks, a blue and a white.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 445 Post(s)
Liked 849 Times in 411 Posts
Tri bikes are around because people buy nice tri bikes and then quit doing triathlons, then realize that the bike is "fit for that purpose, not fit for this purpose." Tri/TT's are designed to go fast for a race. Great, but rather at-odds with with important factors for non-racing enthusiasts. So, yes, you can remove the aerobars, shorten and angle up the handlebar stem, maybe increase the effective seat tube angle if it lets you (like a Cervelo p2k) and give it some friendly gearing. But, at the end, you'll probably wish you just found the Roubaix.
blacknbluebikes is offline  
Likes For blacknbluebikes:
Old 04-02-21, 07:10 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
seymour1910's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hampton, VA
Posts: 2,792
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Are you near Knoxville?

https://knoxville.craigslist.org/bik...288148237.html

https://knoxville.craigslist.org/bik...293173660.html

https://knoxville.craigslist.org/bik...287647691.html

https://knoxville.craigslist.org/bik...298984072.html
seymour1910 is offline  
Old 04-02-21, 08:11 PM
  #13  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 2 Posts
Found a road bike

Alright guys, I listened to you. I broadened my search circle out to 100 miles instead of the 60 it was set on. Up popped a Trek Domane in really nice shape. Had to drive 2 hours each way but got it home. Can't wait till Monday and I can take it for a spin. Thanks for helping me not make a mistake. Bill
257Bill is offline  
Likes For 257Bill:
Old 04-03-21, 06:25 AM
  #14  
Should Be More Popular
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 43,178

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 561 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22703 Post(s)
Liked 9,062 Times in 4,208 Posts
Originally Posted by 257Bill
Alright guys, I listened to you. I broadened my search circle out to 100 miles instead of the 60 it was set on. Up popped a Trek Domane in really nice shape. Had to drive 2 hours each way but got it home. Can't wait till Monday and I can take it for a spin. Thanks for helping me not make a mistake. Bill
Let us know how you like it.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 09-09-21, 09:42 PM
  #15  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 2 Posts
Well I have been off of here for a few months. Got the Trek and love it. I've logged a few hundred miles and think I did the right thing staying with a road bike. Thanks for all of the input. My speed and distance have improved and love riding again. Bill
257Bill is offline  
Likes For 257Bill:
Old 09-09-21, 11:24 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
tempocyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 828

Bikes: 2002 Trek 5200 (US POSTAL), 2020 Canyon Aeroad SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 317 Post(s)
Liked 685 Times in 330 Posts
If you love riding again and are loving the Trek road bike, then you definitely made the right decision!

tempocyclist is offline  
Old 09-10-21, 06:39 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
pgjackson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gulf Breeze, FL
Posts: 4,128

Bikes: Rossetti Vertigo

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 229 Post(s)
Liked 119 Times in 70 Posts
I noticed while watching the Olympic triathlon it looked like most competitors were riding either straight up road bikes or Tri bikes converted to road style. Most seemed to ride on the hoods or drops, not the full aero position.
pgjackson is offline  
Old 09-10-21, 06:49 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 15,577

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2017 Workswell 093, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 144 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7681 Post(s)
Liked 3,572 Times in 1,880 Posts
I cannot believe it .... a BF thread with no arguing and a happy ending. My faith in humankind is ..... well, at least not more tarnished than it was before I opened this thread.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 09-10-21, 07:08 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Bolo Grubb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 1,892

Bikes: 1984 Trek 720 with a Nexus hub, 2016 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by pgjackson
I noticed while watching the Olympic triathlon it looked like most competitors were riding either straight up road bikes or Tri bikes converted to road style. Most seemed to ride on the hoods or drops, not the full aero position.
May have been a hilly time trial course. They often use lighter climbing bike with tri bars if the course is hilly enough
Bolo Grubb is offline  
Old 09-11-21, 12:17 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
tempocyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 828

Bikes: 2002 Trek 5200 (US POSTAL), 2020 Canyon Aeroad SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 317 Post(s)
Liked 685 Times in 330 Posts
Originally Posted by pgjackson
I noticed while watching the Olympic triathlon it looked like most competitors were riding either straight up road bikes or Tri bikes converted to road style. Most seemed to ride on the hoods or drops, not the full aero position.
Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
May have been a hilly time trial course. They often use lighter climbing bike with tri bars if the course is hilly enough

Triathlon at the Olympic Games is draft legal, so they'd be mostly on road bikes.

In most other triathlon events (Ironman, Challenge, etc) drafting is illegal, so they use TT / tri style bikes.
tempocyclist is offline  
Old 09-11-21, 02:09 AM
  #21  
Junior Member
 
BHG6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 168

Bikes: Bianchi Oltre XR4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 202 Times in 73 Posts
Sure you can. It all depends what you find to be comfortable though. Most TT or Tri bikes are pretty stiff and unforgiving....I repurposed my old TT bike as a road bike contraption but, it's incredibly stiff so you feel every little bump in the road....on the other hand, it’s great for doing sprints and intervals



Last edited by BHG6; 09-11-21 at 02:15 AM.
BHG6 is offline  
Old 09-11-21, 06:24 AM
  #22  
South Carolina Ed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 3,893

Bikes: Holdsworth custom, Macario Pro, Ciocc San Cristobal, Viner Nemo, Cyfac Le Mythique, Giant TCR, Tommasso Mondial, Cyfac Etoile

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 293 Times in 140 Posts
My Cyfac Le Mythique rides great
sced is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.