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Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?(42 posts)

Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?Fez
Sep 11, 2002 5:21 AM
Obviously there is an element of stereotyping here, but like the aerobar/MUT post below, it seems like there are a lot of bad riding manners from the triathlete/cyclist stereotype.

I see this often: triathlete type on aerobars with knees flapping to the outside, no helmet, and riding on the left portion of the right lane (major roadhog). Usually wears a running tank top or no shirt at all.

Could this contribute to all the anger that cars show us on the road?

Are triathletes usually poor cyclists (jack of 3 trades, master of none)?

Or are there lots of very good triathlete cyclists, but those folks wear bike clothing, helmets, and ride like the rest of us and what I described above is a freakshow?
re: Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?brider
Sep 11, 2002 5:27 AM
Triathletes poor cyclists? They may not have the best pack riding skills, but I've never seen them to be anything of the sort you describe.

Apparently you're not seeing the same people I am, as I see just as many "cyclists" do what you describe.
re: Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?jefajones
Sep 11, 2002 6:06 AM
as a past multi-sport athlete (MSA), and possibly again someday, I feel inclined to answer as well. As many road bikers are not as good on the trail as primary MTB's (due to the technical component), many MSA's are not as good in pack riding as pointed out above.

regarding the clothing, roadies ride in road clothes because that is the norm in road riding, often dictated by what pros wear - or the trickle down effect. MSA wear what is the norm in their disciplin. You may as wear clothes similar to what you will race in, and no one is going to want to run in bibs and a jersey.

That said, I only wear cycling clothes and only ride with roadies. In fact, I've never been on a ride with just MSA's.
Over the year However, I have witnessed many road cyclist performing amazing feats of stupidity while on the road, and feel that road bikers have in fact shed the bad light on themselves.

One other factor, IMO, is the time frame involved. People have been "road biking" for many years and sharing the roads with cars. However, MSA have been more recently hitting the roads. During the time line above, say from the 1960's until now, the number of cars on the roads have increased greatly. The result, many more cars on the same or similar capacity road system as shared with the cyclist over the years, is going to have ramifications. Therefore, MSA are not causative, merely coincidental in their time. With the number of cars on the roads today, anyone who slows them down, or is perceived as potentially slowing them down in going to be shed in a negative light. After all, look at the great increase in "road rage" over the last ten years.
Yeah too much stereotyping.....african
Sep 11, 2002 5:52 AM
But yes I have seen some triathletes in tank top, no shirt riding in packs, but wait they are on a bike having fun.

And in the same pack there is a roadie with no helmet, ok good riders but no helmet.

I speak for myself here: I try to stay off the bars at all times in a pack, if I am pulling I stay off the bars, If I get off the front then I get on the bars, or if I get dropped.

My suggestion, next time you see that tri geek talk to the person and help them become a better rider. But don't help them with their dress sence as I want a laugh too.

I get very pissed with roadies that shout and yell "do this don't do that" heck if they just talk nicely and try help you out then I will be nice back and not tell them to buck off. My $1.00 worth.
Yeah too much stereotyping.....akatdog
Sep 11, 2002 6:22 AM
Considering myself both a triathlete and a cyclist from my point of view Tri athletes try everybit as much as cyclist to be curteous and follow the rules of the road. One of the biggest things that contributes to the bad stigma of Tri geeks is that most Tri's dont allow drafting or pack riding. In fact you get disqualified. This means that pack riding skill are generally not high on the priority list or learning curve. The problem lies in the fact that we still put in the milage when we train alone or in loose packs. When triathletes join join pack rides they have good intentions and because of training are generally strong enough to hang with the higher level groups. Therein lies the problem dedicated cyclist who are at the same level strength wise have reached that point through many group rides and learning experiences that the triathlete has not been exposed to. The cyclist forgets about when they started riding in groups when they were being bounced around with the other newbies. From what I've seen most serious Tri geeks recognize bike handling in packs as being one of there weakest areas and want to correct it. Give them a hand if they are being unsafe politely let them know what they are doing and be constructive about how to fix it rather than just yelling at them. Most will be responsive, listen and appreciate it more than 20 people yelling at them for the same thing as he/she goes by. My .02 and a whole lot more

ride on
Full tiltfiltersweep
Sep 11, 2002 10:05 AM
OK- a few days ago I encountered a guy on a tri bike wearing a tank and short bike shorts... he was training for an IRON MAN this weekend 2.5 miles swim, 112 miles bike, followed by a full marathon. We talked for quite awhile. This guy was ripped, was right out there with acknowledging cycling was his weak event, and in fact he only had this bike for less than a week (was replacing a standard road bike with his QR).

Anyway- I have ALL the respect in the world for anyone who can even finish an ironman! A baby triathlon is a different story...

I also see the tri guys who DO ride on the left side of the road (a one-way affair going counterclockwise around a lake), tri guys flying on aerobars on crowded MUTs, etc... I guess I don't really care unless they bother me... and they do bother me when I pass them on the right when they are riding on the left side of the road, and traffic is forced to thread the needle between us... oh, and I've never seen a tri guy even slow down for the stopsigns on that lake route.
re: Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?PEDDLEFOOT
Sep 11, 2002 6:42 AM
I ride alone alot although I have ridden with groups and do have reasonable handling skills.I tend to do long solo rides on country and farm roads.Whenever I come across another "roadie" with the teaam jersey or traditional road riding clothes I wave and they respond .Whenever I see a "trigeek" and wave I get no response or a blank stare.I don't know if others have noticed this or not but it seems to happen way to often in my case to considered isolated incidents.I just wish that there could be some sort of respect to fellow riders since we are all out there together against the same problems that can happen on the road.I consider myself a roadie since I do not do triathalons nor do I intend to.
Sep 11, 2002 6:56 AM
I have noticed that but I see it as opposite. The triathletes wave and the roadies look straight ahead. We will see though as I start to take my road bike out more. All the roadies know me as a tri guy on a litespeed, now we are starting to see what they think of me as a roadie on a colnago. Oh $h_t I have those yellow carnac triathlon shoes on a colnago.
just dont give in and buy gloves. or sti.Steve_0
Sep 11, 2002 8:43 AM
only if they are also rock climbers...nmmr_spin
Sep 11, 2002 6:42 AM
Who cares where other riders come from?dzrider
Sep 11, 2002 6:46 AM
If riders join a group they should accept the ethos of the group while they are in it. If the ethos makes them uncomfortable, they shouldn't come back. If a group finds certain actions unacceptable, they can, as pleasantly as possible, make it clear to the people whose ride inapropriately.

The issue is not whether the rider comes from mountain biking, triathlons, bmx or the zoo. Other than wearing a helmet, which many shop rides rightly require, and not wearing long, flowing scarves, a rider's outfit is nobody's business but their own. I ride no differently in bibs and a coolmax t-shirt for touring, or bibs and no shirt on really hot days, or bibs and a team jersey. The issue is whether they are clear on what the group considers safe and/or acceptable riding and are willing to ride that way while they are with the group.
A lot of ASS umption if you ask me...mlester
Sep 11, 2002 6:57 AM
triathlete type on aerobars with knees flapping to the outside, no helmet, and riding on the left portion of the right lane (major roadhog). Usually wears a running tank top or no shirt at all.

Since when does how a person rides, or what that person is wearing classify them as a "tri-geek" or a "roadie"??????? When did we all start putting up walls between the two. I am a triathlete and I also ride for fun. Regardless of why I am riding (tri training, recreational, exercise), what I am wearing, or how I am riding I am a cyclist. Motorists don't discriminate against cyclists, tri-guys, or recreational riders when they see them doing something unsafe, so why are we trying to place blame on one type of rider or another?

re: Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?PEDDLEFOOT
Sep 11, 2002 7:10 AM
I did not intend to categorize anyone with my response.That is why I used the quotation marks around trigeek and roadie.If I did offend I appologize.My response was merely an observation on my part.I don't race and consider myself a recreational rider who loves cycling.I hope this clarifies my intentions.Can't we all just get along!!
Tri-geek clothingfbg111
Sep 11, 2002 7:17 AM
I got into biking in the first place b/c I'm getting into triathlons. I'm a swimmer first, biker second, and runner by necessity. Just want to address the roadie clothing prejudice against tri-geeks.

In case roadies don't know this, the reason tri-geeks wear no shirt or a running shirt is b/c the swim comes first. We get out of the water in speedos (or a wetsuit), jump on the bike and go. That transition from swim to bike, and later from bike to run, is where you can save precious seconds if you do it right. Hardcore tri-geeks are *all* about reducing their transition times. Whereas roadies have weight-weenies, tri-geeks have transition-weenies. Every millisecond you can cut off your transition times could mean one higher spot on the podium at the end. With that in mind, why waste time putting on a shirt, or even more time putting on a biking shirt, biking pants, or a bib during the transition? Most triathletes, being swimmers as well, shave their whole body, not just legs, essentially removing the need for a shirt (unless they crash, but nobody counts on that). Much quicker to jump out of the water, strap on your single-strap bike shoes and helmet, jump on the bike and go. Same with the transition to running - the less clothing to deal with, the quicker you can transition. If all you have to change is your shoes, then you can get off the bike and go pretty quickly.

So if you're going to race your tri's shirtless or in a jogging shirt, it's best to practice riding that way too. Hence why you see so many tri-geeks out on bikes without shirts, or not wearing standard road clothes.

Hope that helps some of the hardcore roadies see the situation from the triathlete's point of view.
"knees flapping to the outside"??fbg111
Sep 11, 2002 7:20 AM
What's the optimum knee position for road riding? I assume, based on that comment, and from head-on pictures I've seen of pro's, that knees-in is the way to ride. Why is that? And if that's the correct technique, why do triathletes ride with knees out? Anyone know of any books/websites that teach proper riding technique?
"knees flapping to the outside"??No_sprint
Sep 11, 2002 7:22 AM
Save your knees, pump them straight up and down.

Transition-weenies. I like that. LOL
No cycling shirts = No pocketsSpunout
Sep 11, 2002 7:39 AM
Has anyone ever rode a route after a triathlon? What a mess. Gell packs and wrappers all over the place. One thing good about a cycling jersey is that you can pocket your garbage.
Gel wrappers not restricted to triathletes. . .js5280
Sep 11, 2002 8:11 AM
Worst case of this I saw was actually 24 hours of Moab. Strangely, I haven't noticed this problem being out of hand at tri's. I can understand someone racing the podium trying to make up seconds might not have the extra second to stuff it back in their pocket. However, I think whomever does throw their stuff on the ground and doesn't make the podium should get manditory cleaning duty. Think of it as an incentive to win. . .
many racesSteve_0
Sep 11, 2002 8:48 AM
are now imposing time penalties to athletes found littering.

To reiterate others though, this is not specifically a 'tri' issue. I've seen plenty of road racers discard their trash/empty bottles to the ground.
many races?????african
Sep 11, 2002 9:09 AM
Only heard of IM Lake Placid.
More races than than just Roch and Paul talked about. nmSteve_0
Sep 11, 2002 10:38 AM
Put wrapper back where it was stored?fbg111
Sep 11, 2002 8:25 AM
Most tribikes I've seen store those things in a stem-bag or seat bag. It's just laziness or competitive necessity, not a lack of storage, that leaves a mess.
Thanks, but...fbg111
Sep 11, 2002 8:20 AM
what about this pic of Cadel Evans that I found at His knees are pulled way in.

Standard procedure...No_sprint
Sep 11, 2002 8:29 AM
Generally, the motion is straight up and down for knee saving and a more powerful technique. In the drops and when down low like he is the knees are in a bit, never out.

Pro cyclists, even ams are not generally known to do all possible to salvage skeletal and joint health in the long term.
thanks. nmfbg111
Sep 11, 2002 11:12 AM
"knees flapping to the outside"??Fez
Sep 11, 2002 7:44 AM
I always thought that knees that pointed to the outside was bad form, bad aerodynamics, and inefficient (pedaling motion is less circular)

But it may also appear that using an improperly setup aerobar may encourage this. The cyclist wants to get the torso low and moves the knees outward to prevent the legs from hitting the torso while riding the drops or the aerobar.
"knees flapping to the outside"??fbg111
Sep 11, 2002 8:28 AM
what do you make of this shot. Cadel Evan's (the leader) knees are definitely pulled inward. This shot is what made me wonder about knee position in the first place. Is this just abnormal?

Sep 11, 2002 8:25 AM
in the 60-0r-so triathlons i've competed in, ive never noticed this 'knees out' phenomenon which you describe.

Have you ever even been to a tri?
knees infiltersweep
Sep 11, 2002 10:02 AM
Knees in for aero (watch and pro ROAD race).

Knees out for... I don't know... bad form because the quads are too huge? Usually I don't see anyone with chickenlegs going knees out- usually the seat is too low and they guy has spent too much time doing squats.
you guys remind me of high school.....cdale02
Sep 11, 2002 7:58 AM
You don't sound like elitists - you sound like snobs.

"did you see what he wears - can you believe that"
"he didn't say hi to me"
"can you believe he wears that shirt with that bike"

I stopped caring what other people think when I grew a pair. The beauty of sport is that regardless of what you look like, wear, or ride it's still about getting from point a to point b faster.

So don't worry about what the riders are wearing - be happy there are more of us out there supporting the sport.
don't really care what a cyclist wearsFez
Sep 11, 2002 8:05 AM
as long as he at least has a helmet. a shirt would be nice for the cyclist's protection from sun and road rash and overall visibility from traffic.

the road hog thing - taking an entire lane by riding on the left side - is not good.

how can we as riders expect some courtesy and respect from car drivers if we look like we have a total disregard for safety?
seems that you domr_spin
Sep 11, 2002 8:13 AM
Stop trying to be everyone's mother. It's very annoying.
dont talk back young man. nmSteve_0
Sep 11, 2002 8:30 AM
Right on, dude!!mlester
Sep 11, 2002 9:14 AM
I had tried to make that point but think I used too many words and my point got lost...thanks for makin' it sweet and simple.

re: Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?peter1
Sep 11, 2002 8:17 AM
Actually, I've found the triathletes in my area (Central NJ) and other places I've ridden to have excellent skills and, because they tend to ride solo with a lot of, um, intensity, they're not a menace at all. They just quietly go about their business...contrast that with a typical saturday morning club ride, with people yakking, weaving, barreling thru intersections etc.

But those weird Zipp/Kestrel carbon frames make some odd noises under heavy braking!
no, i think its the road cyclists.Steve_0
Sep 11, 2002 8:23 AM
what i often see... large groups of road cyclists riding 3 or more abreast (illegal in most jurisdictions), blocking traffic, running stopsigns.

Regarding your observation

1. what makes you think the people you see are triathletes? I've never encountered one w/out a helmet (and I know far more triathletes than cyclists)

2. why would riding shirtless contribute to anger from car-drivers?
Since you referenced my post below, I feel I must respond.MXL02
Sep 11, 2002 9:05 AM
Let me assure you that the guy I saw using aerobars riding on the MUT was NOT a Tri-athelete. In my opinion, some of these goofs purchase a road bike and put on aerobars because they look "cool". They are not accomplished cyclists in any discipline, pace lines or TT, and could never get confused as one. Yes they wear sleeveless T-shirts and ride with their seat too low (probably so they can reach the aerobars)but just because they are using aerobars doesn't automatically make them triatheletes. More often they are rank amateurs trying to show off on the bike path.
No, that's reserved for roadiesSingleThreaded
Sep 11, 2002 9:37 AM
Obviously different things piss off different people, but what pisses me off is when riding down the road multiple road bikes are riding two or three abreast carrying on a conversation and blocking traffic whether knowingly or not. Secondly, packs of riders that blow through stop signs out of turn comes in a close second. Followed by riders who zip in and out of traffic between multiple lanes going the same direction as traffic. Now, everyone of those characteristics is the mark of a roadie and not a tri-guy.

Cycling with knees flapping on the outside is just a mark of a novice and should only shed bad light on form.
re: Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?MasterBlaster
Sep 11, 2002 11:55 AM
I always chuckle when I see an "athlete" using a tri-bike
in full "aero" position going at a speed around 10 mph. But still they are athletes and at least not on recumbents!
Its not about the Aerobars: The Dichotomy of US Cyclingfunknuggets
Sep 11, 2002 12:39 PM
tee hee, I cannot believe the frequency with which this subject comes up. For whatever reason some members of either group wants to appear better or different than the other. It is human nature to want to be seen as part of something, but to degrade and or trys to determine themself as better than another through some type of bizarre elitism shows a self confidence problem. Fact of the matter is that there will be the ass-kicker on the cervelo that blows past the roadies, or the roadies wing past several tank-top laden tri-people. Strange thing is that when you spend as much time as we do on the bikes... we are all cyclists regardless of what they do when off the bike.
Agreed. Cyclists of the world, unite! ;) nm.fbg111
Sep 11, 2002 2:28 PM
re: Do Tri-Geeks Put a Bad Light on Road Bikers?flybyvine
Sep 11, 2002 9:40 PM
I wonder if runners make the same division between Triguys & "real" runners ??

I never nocited it when I was a swimmer.

I got into cycling as a failed Tri - can't run to save my life.