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Road Bike v. Tri Bike(2 posts)

Road Bike v. Tri Biketrimiadtri
Oct 14, 2003 4:07 PM
Newbie to triathlon and have had good success in my first season, narrowly missing a qualifying spot for Short Course Worlds. My current bike leg is a bit slow relative to field. Am riding a road bike (Bianchi Giro) with fwd seatpost and aeros but am looking into a new bike with a better fit. Any opinions on whether to go with a strict tri bike or go with a road bike? I train in an area with large hills and am a bit concerned about going with tri bike for that reason alone. Thoughts?
re: Road Bike v. Tri BikeFixie-ated
Oct 15, 2003 4:50 AM
That is the question! I agree with your concerns about hills. But you mention something about a better fit. Does this bike fit you or are you referring to not having a tri-specific bike?

I prefer road(74) geometry as opposed to the 78+ degree angles because of the varying landscape in my area. Plus, I found that an extreme forward seatpost actually slowed me down a bit due to handling deficiencies created by the weight balance changes, too much weight on the front.

My suggestions, FWIW.

Have a race specific bike.
To race competitively, a race specific bike is a plus. Not necessarily a tri specific, but not a do all bike. If the bike is just used for Tri training and racing, loose the STI's and go for a set of bar end shifters. This is critical to being aero.

Fit, Fit, Fit
If you can stay in an aero position and apply power to the pedals, then you will realize the true advantage of the aero bar you bought.

If you are constantly moving from tuck to shifters, to drops to hoods and back to tuck, you are spending too much energy moving the wrong muscles.

Get comfortable on the aero bars, then focus on power transfer. If you are comfortable on the Bianchi, it will be fine.

If the bike truly fits well, you should be able to power up reasonable hills in the aero position.

Wheels, Tires and Tubes
I see racers come in to the shop with sub three pound frames, FSA carbon cranks (big $$$) and carbon shell saddles AND some wire beaded "Armadillo" type 700X25 tire with thick butyl tubes.

The biggest bang for the buck and gain in efficiency at any price, invest in some racing wheels, tires and tubes. Most of the time I can cut someone's wheel weight by 1/3 with an investment of about $50.00.

If however you think you want to try a steep angle bike, I recommend the Q-roo Kilo's. Lot's of bang for the buck there, but be ready for very low resale value. You may want to try ebay, if you are comfortable knowing what size you need. Remember what I said about fit!