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Steer me away from a Tri bike

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Steer me away from a Tri bike

Old 03-26-10, 07:16 PM
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Steer me away from a Tri bike

I'm looking into purchasing a new road bike. I've been riding steel road frames in the past and am planning on moving into full carbon. I've been to a few LBS to try out what they have to offer and most of the road frames I've tried have had pretty relaxed geometry making the ride really boring and "loose". Most of the previous road bikes and fixed gear bikes I have owned have had a tight geometry.

As of right now I'm still trying out other bikes but it's between a BMC SLT01 Team Machine (2009) and a Cervelo P2. Getting on the P2 just felt right, geometry was perfect, nice and tight bike, steering was very precise and it felt great all around. I'm used to riding with bullhorn bars and have rode with aero bars in the past so I do enjoy them. But for a road bike I'm torn between going the P2 route vs the SLT01.

I'm aware that with the Tri Bike many group rides won't allow me in and I can't do crits at the local races, but those aren't a huge deal to me. Most of my rides are usually fairly flat going from Dana Point to San Onofre or up through Laguna Beach. The only thing I'm worried about is riding a tri bike in some of the hillier situations where a drops would be easier to climb and more versatile. I'd like to get into triatholons later on, but obviously I can ride a road bike through these, where as I would be limited to strictly TTs and tris with a tri bike.

Tell me some negatives to steer me away from buying the P2, but I'd also like to hear some positives of people use tri bikes as their daily road bike.

Pros and cons I've weighed out so far of having a tri bike vs road bike:

Pros:
Tighter geometry
Bullhorn/aero bars vs drops
Tighter and more responsive steering
Feels better

Cons:
No group rides (I usually ride alone or with one or two people)
Will be tough climbing (most rides are flat)
less versatility


Cliffs: Looking for new road bike, want to go all carbon, I enjoy tight geometry of triatholon bikes and I prefer bullhorns/aerobars over drops as I usually never go down on the drops. Thinking about picking up a tri bike for my daily road bike, want to hear pros and cons of this decision.

Thanks!

Last edited by Phiberglass; 03-26-10 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 03-26-10, 07:24 PM
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If you want to ride in a group, climb, or steer, don't get a tri bike.
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Old 03-26-10, 07:34 PM
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I rode P2 for a few days (loaner bike while mine was in repair). I actually loved it and had no problems doing long/century rides either even though I'm somewhat older guy (49 yo). Funny that you wrote it but I found one on special and fighting the same problem - someone tell me not to do it
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Old 03-26-10, 07:54 PM
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I own a P2.. I would not recommend it to anyone for general road riding.

Horses for Courses.

If you want to TT's or Tri's, you should get a TT bike.
For general riding, you're much better off with a road bike.
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Old 03-26-10, 08:15 PM
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Tri bikes are one trick ponies. A road bike is much more useful. If you want something tight and snappy, try looking for a CAAD9 or similar. A full on race bike style thing. However, I really don't like snappy race bikes, not even for racing. They are unpleasant to ride after too long, too stiff and not stable enough. I have an old Marinoni that I much prefer to more recent bikes I've ridden, hence I'm racing it and using it for centuries and using it for commuting. That's a bike!
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Old 03-26-10, 08:40 PM
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If you get a tri bike, you will experience an irresistible impulse to ride in Speedos.
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Old 03-26-10, 08:50 PM
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modern relaxed geometry bikes are "loose"???

wtf does that mean?

tri bikes are all sorts of wrong for general road riding, take some time, go get a clue and a real road bike and you'll wind up much happier than with a tri bike (since you apparently dont do tri's and all...)
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Old 03-26-10, 09:03 PM
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If you ride at all in traffic you won't be too happy on a tri bike. With the shifters on the aero bar ends and the brakes on the pursuit bars, your hands are always in the wrong spot for something you need. I've tried it with mine a couple of times and decided that it's an open road only bike.

They're great for going really fast in a straight line. I love mine for what it is, but like someone else mentioned they're kind of a one trick pony.
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Old 03-26-10, 09:05 PM
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If you smell bad and can't ride a bike in a straight line you should probably get a tri bike.
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Old 03-26-10, 09:08 PM
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I don't know of any group ride in Socal that would ban anyone from runin' what they brung. You can't race it in a crit but you don't race crits so.. so what? I actually like the shorter wheel base on my TT rig for climbing. You can set up your bars wherever you want them. The reason I don't like it for general riding is that you have to change position to use your brakes. And riding in aero bars does not cut it when sharing the road with motorized vehicles. Anybody that says you can't steer a TT bike probably can't steer a road bike either. If you want a TT bike get one. It's just not practical for riding stoplight to stoplight in dense urban conditions.
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Old 03-26-10, 09:09 PM
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I consider my TT bike a rolling torture rack. I kind of like it.

But as my only bike? Get serious.
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Old 03-26-10, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by curiouskid55
I don't know of any group ride in Socal that would ban anyone from runin' what they brung. You can't race it in a crit but you don't race crits so.. so what? I actually like the shorter wheel base on my TT rig for climbing. You can set up your bars wherever you want them. The reason I don't like it for general riding is that you have to change position to use your brakes. And riding in aero bars does not cut it when sharing the road with motorized vehicles. Anybody that says you can't steer a TT bike probably can't steer a road bike either. If you want a TT bike get one. It's just not practical for riding stoplight to stoplight in dense urban conditions.
I can guarantee you'd get filthy looks if you showed up at Montrose, Donut Ride, Rose Bowl, Telo or Nichol's with a TT bike with the intention but riding anywhere than 20 ft off the back of the pack.
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Old 03-26-10, 11:05 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys. Most of my rides aren't too urban. My usual ride is actually down to Las Pulgas / San Onofre area and much of the route isn't even along the street. I don't think I'd have a huge problem moving from the aero bars to the brakes but it still could be a risk in those tight and quick situation, especially going along PCH north through lagune/huntington. Many group rides don't want tri bikes coming along, because if you're behind the group drafting/trailing and someone brakes you're out of luck on the aero bars. I've seen many groups not allow tri bikes, but I usually don't ride groups. I may end up ordering the STL01 and see how that is. I'm going to try out a few more road bikes before I make my decision though.
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Old 03-27-10, 12:50 AM
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As a triathlete, I advise you to get a TT bike. If you will be riding near cars, other cyclists, joggers, civilization, etc. you will probably end up spending most of your time on the bull horns. It is a pain to constantly get down into the aerobars then back out to the bull horns (but good core work), and you end up giving up. However, I am not familiar with your planned route, so it may be fine, but it still limits your options.

Note: I have gone on group rides with my TT setup (when I had only one bike), but never went aero unless I am bridging a wide gap alone & need the aero-ness, or was leading a single-file charge a'la Team TT. But different groups will have different expectations of course.
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Old 03-27-10, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Phiberglass
Steer me away from a Tri bike
if you had a tri bike you'd have trouble steering away from anything.

Last edited by rollin; 03-27-10 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 03-27-10, 05:14 AM
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it's only the one route you are riding?
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Old 03-27-10, 07:23 AM
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If you get a tri bike you'll have to tell your parents that you're um, um, aw never mind.....
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Old 03-27-10, 07:46 AM
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you wouldnt catch me on the PCH on a tri bike, thats for sure.
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Old 03-27-10, 07:56 AM
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Get on the Cervelo web site and find the Community section where there's the forum. Post there. For me, I would end up with two bikes.
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Old 03-27-10, 08:18 AM
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Old 03-27-10, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rollin
if you had a tri bike you'd have trouble steering away from anything.
That actually made me lol.
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Old 03-27-10, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fauxto nick
I can guarantee you'd get filthy looks if you showed up at Montrose, Donut Ride, Rose Bowl, Telo or Nichol's with a TT bike with the intention but riding anywhere than 20 ft off the back of the pack.

I don't know. I've seen many TT/Tri bikes on SoCal rides. As long as the rider isn't trying to ride on the aero bars in a pack, it generally isn't a problem. They're a little slow to shift gears, but if the rider knows what the hell they're doing then it's really no big deal.
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Old 03-27-10, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fauxto nick
I can guarantee you'd get filthy looks if you showed up at Montrose, Donut Ride, Rose Bowl, Telo or Nichol's with a TT bike with the intention but riding anywhere than 20 ft off the back of the pack.
Some people show up with TT bikes at the hammerfests around here. Even when they are in the front they don't ride on the aerobars. At that point they just have an aero frame, which isn't that uncommon now.
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Old 03-27-10, 10:26 AM
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As a roadie who came back to cycling via triathlon and rode primarily tri bikes for a couple of years, here's my take:

You can ride a tri bike as your primary bike and be comfortable..if you set it up in a compromised position (i.e., bars jacked up high). Then you still have the negatives of shifting and braking separately. If you set it up as it's designed to be used, with the bars low and a forward position, it's just not the perfect choice for easy, sociable rides. Fast and fun, yes...

A well set up road bike usually offers much better handling, more hand positions for variety, usually much better braking with road levers, and it's just all around more of a pleasure to ride. I'm in Spain right now and I brought one bike..guess which type. I'd be scared to descend in the mountains here with the TT bike..I'd kill myself.
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Old 03-27-10, 11:21 AM
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Find yourself a road bike your happy with and add clip-on aerobars for those times you need them.
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