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Road bike vs. tri bikes(5 posts)

Road bike vs. tri bikesPascal Marmier
Feb 20, 2002 1:53 PM
Dear friends,

I am looking at buying a new bike. I plan on riding about 100 miles a week and run several triathlons this summer. What experience do you have with riding tri bikes for fun, f.ex. up hills (climbing mountain "cols")?
Is there any specific bike you would recommend that would offer general comfort and at the same time be competitive for tris?

Thanks in advance.

-- Pascal
Good tri-bike linklaffeaux
Feb 20, 2002 2:53 PM
http://www.chainreactionbicycles.com/tribike.htm
re: yet another link...Akirasho
Feb 20, 2002 5:23 PM
http://www.slowtwitch.com/

Admittedly not a totally unbiased site, but generally fair and accurate in their assessments.

Consider Cervelo... http://www.cervelo.com/ (I've got a P2K)

We abide.

Remain In Light.
re: Road bike vs. tri bikesSteve Bailey
Feb 20, 2002 7:54 PM
From someone who has spent a fair amount of time on traditional road bikes (2 Klein's, a Heron and a Miyata tourer) and on 2 tri specific bikes (C-Dale R700, Klein Aeolus), I would strongly disagree with the Chain Reaction summary of tri bikes. Remember that they mostly sell road bikes, thus may have a biased opinion.

1) The tri bikes I rode had normal length stems that did NOT affect handling. The geometry of the bike(s) is designed to allow dead-on steering and handling when on the aero bar. I was as comfortable as on any regular road bike. I'm not sure that Mike J actually wrote that bit of advice, as he usually gives good advice. That's not good advice.

2) The primary purpose of using 650c wheels was not aerodynamics as any advantage over a 700 is lost to longer head tubes. The 650c was used to allow a steeper seat tube where a traditional 700 wheel would not fit behind the ST and still get good front/rear balance. Note that many tri geometry bikes will come in 700c sizes, thus you get all the advantages of the more common wheel size.

2) It's been pretty much proven at this point that aero wheels such as Rolf's get you little speed on a normal course. Aero bars and staying on them, however gets you a HUGE speed advantage, something like 1-1/2 MPH typically. Same with aero frames, little advantage there as compared to an aero bar.

3) The advice to get a regular road bike has merits if the training mileage and races are in fairly hilly terrain. The steeper angle of the ST on a tri bike works against you on long uphills. Beyond that, if the bulk of your riding is training mileage for Tri races, get a tri bike. If the bulk is regular road riding, with occasional races, get a road bike and adapt it as needed for races.

SB
re: Road bike vs. tri bikespmarmier
Feb 21, 2002 8:38 AM
Thanks for all the advice! How can you guys know so much?? I am sure I will surprise the sales guy with all that I learnt. -- Pascal