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Did my first Sprint today

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Did my first Sprint today

Old 05-11-24, 02:24 PM
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What’s the opinion on Bikes Direct? I found a bike about 2 hours away that is one of their brands, Motobecane Nemesis. It’s advertised as a tri bike. The listing is for a model a few years old and $350. I checked Bikes Direct and it looks like their 2024 model has a more tri style frame. Looks like a new one is $924. Definitely would need to get it assembled at REI or LBS. Any opinions on this bike?

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products...hlon-bikes.htm
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Old 05-11-24, 03:13 PM
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Those BD bikes are fine, from my experience. My main trainer is a BD Motobecane Record. High quality aluminum frame, very well made. But, I have greatly modified it. The entire bike was upgraded, only the frame remains. It's comfortable and flies. That Nemesis looks to be a nice bike. 105 rear shifter and solid entry level aluminum wheels. You can always upgrade the wheels and such. Good start.
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Old 05-11-24, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
Those BD bikes are fine, from my experience. My main trainer is a BD Motobecane Record. High quality aluminum frame, very well made. But, I have greatly modified it. The entire bike was upgraded, only the frame remains. It's comfortable and flies. That Nemesis looks to be a nice bike. 105 rear shifter and solid entry level aluminum wheels. You can always upgrade the wheels and such. Good start.
.
Thanks! I think this may be the bike I go with. I just have to figure out what size to get. I am seeing different sizing charts for this bike. I am 6’1” and Bikes Direct shows this at the top of the 56cm sizing and beginning of the 58cm sizing. It looks like the 58cm bike is sold out on the Bikes Direct. The bike I have found near me is 61cm. I emailed the seller and he said 6’1” was perfect. But he may just saying that to get a sale.
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Old 05-12-24, 09:08 AM
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TX, I like to look at the top tube length to determine the correct size. My BD bike is a 56 and I'm 5'8. It's too big! But I modified it with a very small stem and short reach bars, and it works well. Keep in mind that a TT bike puts you "forward", leaning over the bars (at least more so than a road bike.) If I'm in your shoes, I'm using the BD sizing chart and then making whatever modifications are needed to make it fit well. A proper length stem works wonders, and it's a cheap and easy swap.
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Old 05-12-24, 03:07 PM
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I don’t think I am reading the BD sizing chart correctly. When I look in t/t effective, it says 561/22.1. What do those numbers translate to?

Also, starting to second guess myself and starting to lean towards a road bike with aero bars installed on it. If I do go the road bike route, is there any specific frame design I should look for? I guess the real question is what road bike frame would lend to getting closest to being on my elbows in the aero bars instead of being on my forearms?
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Old 05-12-24, 10:34 PM
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I am far from an expert in the matter but of the road bikes I've seen, some Kestrels have a pretty aggressive angle. The other thing you might want is the shortest crank arms you can find, which tend to be around 165. The point being when you drop down on the aero bars, you won't be closing up your hip angle too much. That reduces your leverage and impinges on your breathing. When I was fitted for my road bike, the fitter suggested 155mm arms for a road bike and 145mm for my TT bike. I didn't go that radical because I am more of a grinder than a spinner. You'll have to figure out which you prefer. A slower cadence where you put more power in, or a faster cadence with less power.
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Old 05-13-24, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by TXRunner78
I don’t think I am reading the BD sizing chart correctly. When I look in t/t effective, it says 561/22.1. What do those numbers translate to?

Also, starting to second guess myself and starting to lean towards a road bike with aero bars installed on it. If I do go the road bike route, is there any specific frame design I should look for? I guess the real question is what road bike frame would lend to getting closest to being on my elbows in the aero bars instead of being on my forearms?
TX here's my suggestion: get a decent road bike and throw some Zipp Vuka aero bars on them. A little pricey, but I have a set and their adjustable and solid. Any road bike will do, Try to get something that has at least a 73.5 seat tube angle (or higher.) You can find out by Googling the make and model of the bike and asking for the "dimensions." You'll be fine.

561/22.1 likely means that the TT is 56 cm or 22.1 inches from the center of the steerer tube to the center of the seat tube. In other words, it's basically a 56 cm frame. Each bike manufacturer has their own distinctions concerning how they measure size, but most fall within a measuring system that relies a little heavier on the length of the TT. Pinarello is an exception, but you're not going to buy a Pinarello, correct? So, if a road bike has a 56 cm TT, then you have a good idea that it's about "56" frame. Some will argue this point, but I find that it's a fairly accurate method. Go to a local bike shop this weekend. Get on different size bikes. See what fits best (what you're most comfy on.) And then you'll know the size.
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Old 05-13-24, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
I am far from an expert in the matter but of the road bikes I've seen, some Kestrels have a pretty aggressive angle. The other thing you might want is the shortest crank arms you can find, which tend to be around 165. The point being when you drop down on the aero bars, you won't be closing up your hip angle too much. That reduces your leverage and impinges on your breathing. When I was fitted for my road bike, the fitter suggested 155mm arms for a road bike and 145mm for my TT bike. I didn't go that radical because I am more of a grinder than a spinner. You'll have to figure out which you prefer. A slower cadence where you put more power in, or a faster cadence with less power.
Thank you. Trying to understand length/style relationship. For a grinder, you would want a longer crank to generate more power? If I had to guess, based on the make up of my legs, and also how I run, I would guess I am going to be the slower cadence with more power.
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Old 05-13-24, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TXRunner78
Thank you. Trying to understand length/style relationship. For a grinder, you would want a longer crank to generate more power? If I had to guess, based on the make up of my legs, and also how I run, I would guess I am going to be the slower cadence with more power.
I think Jen is correct about the 165's. In fact, I've decided to go with 165's on my TT build. But with that said, I really don't think it will matter in the long run. I think I really like this sport and want to compete at a higher level. Hence my decision to build a dedicated TT bike. And I may as well get the specs correct now, right? But you're testing the waters now and can always trade things out down the road if you decide to stick with this.

And please, listen to Jen......get in the pool!!! I've really focused on the swim and my fitness has improved dramatically!
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Old 05-13-24, 10:22 AM
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I am headed out of town this weekend for a business trip. I think that when I get back, if this bike is still available, I may go check it out.

Fuji Sportif 1.5
Frame: Fuji A2-SL aluminum
Fork: Fuji FC-770 carbon
Rims/Wheels: Vera Corsa
Hubs: See Rims/Wheels
Tires: Vera Helios, 700 x 25
Crankset: Fuji, aluminum
Chainrings: 50/34
Front Derailleur: Shimano 2300
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Sora
Rear Cogs SRAM 820, 8-speed: 11-32
Shifters: Shimano 2300
Handlebars: Oval 300S
Tape/Grips: Oval 300 suede-padded tape
Stem: Oval 313
Brake Levers: Shimano
Brakes: Dual-pivot
Pedals: Platform
Saddle: Oval R300
Seatpost: Oval 300

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Old 05-13-24, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
I think Jen is correct about the 165's. In fact, I've decided to go with 165's on my TT build. But with that said, I really don't think it will matter in the long run. I think I really like this sport and want to compete at a higher level. Hence my decision to build a dedicated TT bike. And I may as well get the specs correct now, right? But you're testing the waters now and can always trade things out down the road if you decide to stick with this.

And please, listen to Jen......get in the pool!!! I've really focused on the swim and my fitness has improved dramatically!
When I get back from trip, getting a membership to 24 Hour so I can use the pool before work. Interesting though on the strategies. I have a co-worker that has done two IM. He told me to not focus as much on the swimming since it is such a small portion of the event. He said to focus on the bike more. He told me that if I got 6-8 swims in before the event I should be fine. I was like that seems very low to me. But I do want to do the swimming just for the health benefits. I think that the swimming will help with the marathons I have planned in January.
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Old 05-13-24, 10:58 AM
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That's a little older bike but it will serve you just fine for a while until you decide if this is something you really want to spend time and money to do. That all depends on how it fits and the price. Being an older bike, I would not pay more than a couple hundred for it. My first "serious" bike was very similar to that and I well overpaid for it at the time.

As for the swim, I suggest it not so much for the training and fitness, which is fantastic all by itself. But to get comfortable in that portion of the event. I have not been big to promote pool swimming. That's great and all, but the open water swim with a dozen other people around you is vastly different. You need to get super comfortable in water that's not always clear, no lane markers, no walls to push off and people slapping your feet or kicking your head. It can be very unsettling at first. In my experience, most people who start but DNF a triathlon lose it on the swim.

Last edited by VegasJen; 05-13-24 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 05-13-24, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
That's a little older bike but it will serve you just fine for a while until you decide if this is something you really want to spend time and money to do. That all depends on how it fits and the price. Being an older bike, I would not pay more than a couple hundred for it. My first "serious" bike was very similar to that and I well overpaid for it at the time.

As for the swim, I suggest it not so much for the training and fitness, which is fantastic all by itself. But to get comfortable in that portion of the event. I have not been big to promote pool swimming. That's great and all, but the open water swim with a dozen other people around you is vastly different. You need to get super comfortable in water that's not always clear, no lane markers, no walls to push off and people slapping your feet or kicking your head. It can be very unsettling at first. In my experience, most people who start but DNF a triathlon lose it on the swim.
The seller is asking for $300 for the bike. I could probably get down to $250 if I really wanted to haggle.

The sprint I am planning to do in July is in some dark/murky water. So sounds like I should get a taste (hopefully not literally) of that type of swim. Side note, the sprint that is in my town, got canceled this past weekend because the small lake they swim in (same lake as IM Texas) had too high levels of bacteria in it. Sounds like the big storms we had recently dumped a bunch of crud into the lake.
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Old 05-13-24, 11:23 AM
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I would absolutely haggle. Not that it's not a good bike, only you will know that, but it is definitely an older frame. The frame itself is not the concern, just all the stuff associated with it. Those "brifters" are really not well supported by Shimano any more. I have similar ones on my Lexa and I cannot find replacement hoods anywhere. The 8 speed should be pretty much indestructible but it's still older and somewhat limits your options. Additionally, I notice it's only a two speed chain ring. That will be fine so long as you're not going to be doing any steep climbing, but a 50 tooth front chaingring will limit your max speed on any descents. So it's a good bike as-is, but you buy it, ride it for a little while and then you figure you want to upgrade this and upgrade that. How much money do you want to invest in upgrading a ~20 year old frame? Maybe see if you can get it down and just ride it as-is for now but keep an eye open for something a little newer with some higher end components on it.

Just as an example, I picked up this bike a few months ago for $160.

I hardly needed another bike, but I tripped over this deal and couldn't pass it up. It's a 2015 Synapse with a 2x10 Shimano 105 groupset and Shimano wheels. I may use it in a tri where there's more climbing involved, but not really sure just yet. The point being, the deals are out there if you're patient.

And yes, go swim out there in that murky water. Practice sighting. During your event, they'll have big, brightly colored buoys out there for markers, and from the shore, you'll think "those are easy to see." But when you get out there and your eyes are only a couple inches off the surface and the water is rolling and people are kicking, it will be very easy to lose sight and go off course. I can tell you now, even after more than a dozen triathlons, every time I swim, I swim at least an extra 100 yards because I end up swimming a zig-zag course. Not intentionally, it's just the nature of it. Get psychologically prepared to be disoriented and tired. Do that now and remember to stay calm and not panic. That's what I'm suggesting.
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Old 05-13-24, 02:02 PM
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VegasJen Thanks for the advice. Saving me from buying a bad bike! I will go back on the lookout. The Nemesis bikes seem to be still available from the sellers, but they are about 2.5 hours away and I won't be able to get out that way for at least 10 days. The search continues. Thanks for all the advice everyone. Some of this stuff I had zero clue on or about. What am I looking for in a chain ring?

Last edited by TXRunner78; 05-13-24 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 05-15-24, 09:50 AM
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I am now officially registered for the sprint. Headed out of town this weekend and when I get back, getting my gym membership so I can start swimming in the mornings before work. I have my eye on another bike (Bianchi Nirone 7) and hoping to check it out next weekend if it's still available.
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Old 05-23-24, 08:00 AM
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Still on a search for a bike. I think I have found a couple that I am really interested in, but there are several hours away. Trying to find some time to go check them out. Any thoughts on which of these bikes you think would be better.

2003 Specialized Allez Comp Max SLX - $350 (gear shifter and rear derailer are Dura-Ace and front derailer is Ultegra)

2010 Bianchi C2C Via Nirone 7 Sora Compact - $595

Trek Equinox 7 - $875

Giant TCR - $600

I can post some pics in a bit. I was originally leaning towards the Bianchi. But then I saw the Specialized Allez Comp. With that cheaper price, i could have some money leftover to upgrade.

Last edited by TXRunner78; 05-23-24 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 05-23-24, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by TXRunner78
Still on a search for a bike. I think I have found a couple that I am really interested in, but there are several hours away. Trying to find some time to go check them out. Any thoughts on which of these bikes you think would be better.

2003 Specialized Allez Comp Max SLX - $350 (gear shifter and rear derailer are Dura-Ace and front derailer is Ultegra)

2010 Bianchi C2C Via Nirone 7 Sora Compact - $595

Trek Equinox 7 - $875

Giant TCR - $600

I can post some pics in a bit. I was originally leaning towards the Bianchi. But then I saw the Specialized Allez Comp. With that cheaper price, i could have some money leftover to upgrade.
TX! I was just thinking about you this morning while shaving! I said to myself, "I wonder if TX found a bike yet?"

As for the bikes, the Bianchi is "okay", but overpriced. The Via Nirone is entry level, even with the Bianchi name. I've always wanted a Bianchi, but you're up-paying for the name. I think the Trek Equinox is an actual TT bike. So unless you want a dedicated TT bike, I'd avoid it. But that's expensive also. Giant makes the most underrated bikes around. They build for other brands. The TCR is a nice bike,but I'd need to know how old it is and what components are on it. I personally wouldn't bother with the Specialized (really old components.) And I must re-emphasize: WHEELS! I just picked up a set of DT Swiss Dicut 1400's with the DT Swiss 240 hubs, barely used, with new tubeless tires for less than a grand! Those are $2,500 and up a set. There's where you want to invest!
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Old 05-23-24, 12:45 PM
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Here is a pic of the Giant. This is what the description says:

Giant TCR Composite bike with triathlon handlebars. Includes both regular peddles and peddles for clip-on shoes (not shown). Easton EC90. Large Frame. See photos for condition.

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Old 05-23-24, 12:53 PM
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Looks like a carbon frame, which should be well made, being Giant. Good front forks, also carbon. Already set up as a TT bike, with the Bull Horn base bar and aeros. Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels. They're very good, as I understand it (I never rode them.) Retail new for over $800. Mavic has a very good name in the industry. TX, that looks like a winner for $600. Try to negotiate for $550 (just ask "can you part with it for $500?") All the guy can say is "no". He may work you to $550. I negotiate money deals for a living! Just be sure the wheels are in good condition. Tires don't matter; you can always get a new set. Even if the chain and derailleurs are older or worn, they're a cheap fix for the most part. I just bout a like-new 10-speed Shimano rear derailleur off eBay for about $20. If you're not a garage mechanic, I advise that you bring it to your local bike shop for a tune up.
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Old 05-23-24, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I reached out to the seller and he still has the bike. I am meeting up with him on Saturday afternoon to check it out.
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Old 05-24-24, 08:03 AM
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Assuming this bike pans out, need to start gearing up to ride. Any helmet suggestions? I have been looking at the Oakley ARO3 helmet. But then I really don't know much about helmets. LOL.
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Old 05-24-24, 09:58 AM
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Wear whatever you have. Serious. Unless it's one of those old German WWI helmets with the spike on top, that I see some Harley guys wearing. If you get into it, then seek out a more aero helmet. Virginia Tech put together a list of hundred of helmets that they tested. It's really impressive. Using it, I nailed down a Bell helmet that was rated way at the top, yet priced very well ($50.) Here's the link: https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicyc...t-ratings.html
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Old 05-24-24, 10:13 AM
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Thanks. I don't have any helmet. LOL. First bike and will be my first helmet.
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Old 05-24-24, 10:26 AM
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This is my helmet: https://www.bellhelmets.com/bike/p/f...300000083.html

I got it for $50, new. I think because of the cheesy camouflage pattern. Virginia Tech had it rated very highly in terms of its impact rating. It appears to still have a very high rating. The point is, look around and find something that is not ridiculously priced. No need to pay $250-$300 for a helmet you may use from time to time.
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