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Which bike?

Old 06-17-20, 04:00 PM
  #1  
realest777
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Which bike?

Hello all,

I'm new to the forum and to the world of triathlons. I've completed a sprint triathlon last year and had two scheduled for 2020 until Covid19 appeared. Having said that, I'm eyeing a 2021 IronMan 70.3 for 2021. I'm debating on which bike to buy. My goal is to purchase a entry level bike that is versatile. I've been researching the Specialized Diverge Elite E5 bike lately for local trials, but those tires are among the widest from the bikes I'm looking at. The bikes are:
-Trek Emonda ALR 4 Disc
-Giant Contend AR 1
-Cannondale Synapse Disc 105
-Specialized Diverge Elite E5

Any input is much appreciated. I'd like the option to switch wheels for the triathlon, and then back to a gravel bike set up. I might be over thinking this as well. Thank you
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Old 12-27-20, 07:31 PM
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Fredo_Adagio
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For a 70.3, I would think that you would want an actual triathlon bike.

At the start of the year before COVID shutdown all the races, I bought a Specialized Shiv Elite, which has the older-style Shiv frame. I am not entirely happy with it. I purchased the recommended size, but the fit isn't great. I've switched to a longer stem and shorter cranks in an effort to shift my position up and forward to open my hip angle. The rear brake is under the bottom bracket and tends to accumulate road grime. The cable routing has a tight bend, so the road grime tends to muck up the brake operation.





A bike that I find very impressive for the price is the Giant Trinity Advanced. If you believe the Hambini YouTube videos, Giant makes very good frames with tight tolerances. For $2400, you can get a basic 105 model. For $3600, you can get an upgraded model with Ultegra, integrated hydration and storage, and a power meter. The one thing it lacks that I would want in my next bike is disc brakes; however, there is an active debate in the triathlon world regarding whether disc brakes provide any real advantage.




The Giant Trinity frame is about ten years old, but it has been copied by other manufacturers including Cervelo, and it was featured in a recent 100 mile record ride.


Last edited by Fredo_Adagio; 12-27-20 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 12-28-20, 10:05 AM
  #3  
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IMO, disc brakes on a tri bike seem impractical. To begin with...Iíve read that disc brake systems can weigh as much as a pound more than traditional caliper systems. Granted, the stopping ability of disc brake is better...to a point...mostly in wet conditions. And, if youíre riding includes big mountainous descents that require lots of braking they can be a big advantage over rim brakes. But how many triathlons include those conditions? All the tris Iíve ever done were on moderate elevation courses, at most, where rim brakes provided more than enough stopping ability. WRT Ďwet conditionsí...sure, Iíve done a few triathlons when itís raining. But most of the time race management would postpone the start until it stopped raining (I guess because of the concern of lightening and swimming). Roads would be wet but not so much to impact rim brakes. Iíve always found rim brakes sufficient for those conditions. And, generally triathlons donít have major hill descents on the cycling course that would necessitate disc brakes. In other words...triathlons (the bike course) are generally conducted on courses and conditions where the rider would be able to ďlock upĒ properly adjusted rim brakes if necessary. But...the thing Iíve always thought about in the comparison between the two systems is that once you get to the point of having to lock up the wheel...your stopping ability is transferred from the brakes to the few square inches of tire-ground interface. At that point it doesnít matter if you have rim or disc brakes.

Dan
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Old 12-28-20, 02:12 PM
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Fredo_Adagio
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
IMO, disc brakes on a tri bike seem impractical. To begin with...Iíve read that disc brake systems can weigh as much as a pound more than traditional caliper systems. Granted, the stopping ability of disc brake is better...to a point...mostly in wet conditions. And, if youíre riding includes big mountainous descents that require lots of braking they can be a big advantage over rim brakes. But how many triathlons include those conditions? All the tris Iíve ever done were on moderate elevation courses, at most, where rim brakes provided more than enough stopping ability. WRT Ďwet conditionsí...sure, Iíve done a few triathlons when itís raining. But most of the time race management would postpone the start until it stopped raining (I guess because of the concern of lightening and swimming). Roads would be wet but not so much to impact rim brakes. Iíve always found rim brakes sufficient for those conditions. And, generally triathlons donít have major hill descents on the cycling course that would necessitate disc brakes. In other words...triathlons (the bike course) are generally conducted on courses and conditions where the rider would be able to ďlock upĒ properly adjusted rim brakes if necessary. But...the thing Iíve always thought about in the comparison between the two systems is that once you get to the point of having to lock up the wheel...your stopping ability is transferred from the brakes to the few square inches of tire-ground interface. At that point it doesnít matter if you have rim or disc brakes.

Dan
Everything you say makes logical sense, but I participated in three sprint triathlons in 2019 and had braking issues in all of them. The first two races occurred after overnight rains, so the roads were wet. I vividly remember having to make a tight turn into the finish of the second race. Another rider tried to pass me as I screamed that I needed room to make the turn. I had calibrated my approach based on the idea that I could take the corner wide, and I just couldn't slow down fast enough to let him get by. In the last race, I gave my usual "On your left." as I was about to pass a lady, she looked back at me and veered into my path. Again, I couldn't slow down fast enough. I swerved, hit the curb, and did a somersault. I was lucky I didn't break any bones. Yeah, in theory, braking ability isn't all that important in a triathlon, but it can be very important in a crowded event.
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Old 01-04-21, 10:44 AM
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You are very lucky.
Perchance route management should be made aware of such abrupt turns in this course?
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Old 01-06-21, 08:51 AM
  #6  
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That sounds like a route/course and riding issue, not an issue necessitating disc brakes.

The deal with disc brakes right now is budget. If you can afford them on a new bike, get them. That's where things are going and it would be good to already be in that world.

There is zero wrong with rim braked tri bikes. Zero. The fastest (per some people's tests and opinions) tri and TT bikes are still rim brake.

As for which bike? I know a lot of folks use the Giant, but that's a cost thing. It routinely has tested kinda bad compared to the P5-6, Shiv, Canyon, etc.... Like, a bundle of grams of drag. The Trinity is just super popular at the price point.

One thing to consider also is what the bike will look like, or how you will integrate hydration/storage. Some bikes fit better and are more aero with add on storage than others. Some are better from the factory with their storage options.

People hate this suggestion...........but Slowtwitch.com. They know better than Bikeforums for this topic.

For a competent 70.3 rider, you're looking at 2.5hrs or so. If you squirt your nutrition into the bottles instead of eating separate (trick to save time/aero not sitting up to eat), a BTA setup with a liter and a single BTS bottle "just in case" is probably enough. If you want real food, have some unwrapped already at T1 and eat it as you kit up.

If I were newer to tri and about to do a 70.3, I'd get a nice used Cervelo P3 and then get some used Flo wheels for it and a decent cockpit/BTA bottle setup and go from there.
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