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Tri and Road ride differences?(4 posts)

Tri and Road ride differences?ed178
Jul 26, 2002 5:48 AM
Looking for some info on ride characteristics of aero-tubed tri-bikes and regular road bikes. What's the difference?
re: Tri and Road ride differences?brider
Jul 26, 2002 7:47 AM
Well, the "aero-tubed" part has nothing to do with it, first of all. Second, the main differences are the position that the rider is put into. Tri bikes tend to have steeper seat tube angles, shorter chainstays, longer front-centers, and lower head tubes. Some tri bikes use 650 wheels (nothing magical about them, but for smaller frame sizes they allow a lower bar position). The idea behind the tri position is to open up the hip angle and facilitate an easier transition to running.

I've posted some more detailed info on the Traithlon board. Search through some older stuff there.
re: Tri and Road ride differences?SteveO
Jul 26, 2002 8:11 AM
Road: General riding position.
Tri : Head-down, dont look up, hope you dont have to turn position.

Like brider said, has nothing to do with aero tubing.
check the tri board for coupla good threads regarding this.
My $0.02grzy
Jul 26, 2002 8:29 AM
Tri bike = straight line efficiency with an eye towards having to run afterwards
Roadbike = handle all kinds of road riding for hours on end.

Tribikes have a bad reputation when it comes to handling especially when roads become twsity or steep. They tend to be optimized for single rider efficiency which makes them not very useful in a pack. Nobody wants to be around you if your only position is in the aerobars when you're in the middle of a paceline. Throw a cross wind in and it gets really ugly.

Seriously think about what kind of riding you're going to do - are you really just going to race tris all the time? If so then a tri specific bike *might* make sense, but only if you really are already experienced and an accomplished triathlete. Many people think they want to become full on tri-geeks only to find that while it's fun at some level it isn't really that fun. If you really enjoy riding then you're going to be better served by a more versitle road bike - something that can and will handle everything you trhow at it - you can eve slap some aero bars on it for when you want to do the tri thing - or just really long rides. The road bike will climb, descend, corner and do just about everything better except maybe drill along in a perfectly straight line solo. Once you're with other riders you start working together and this makes a bigger difference than some aero bars and 650 wheels. Tri bikes are very hard to sell on the used market and they're expensive to buy new. Standard road bikes are easier to move so your risk is lower.

You really need to be committed to the tri thing to even think about a tri specific bike - you give up far too much.