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Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by hestilowt, Mar 20, 2005.
why would i not want to use TT bike for a road race???
For starters; besides the handling, there's the issue of the bars usually employed on most TT courses not being UCI legal for mass start races.
what if i got two sets of handlebars, one dropped, one aero???
You normally will not have optimum geometry switching back and forth. The riding position is usually significantly different on a dedicated Tri/TT frame.
Too uncomfortable hours of racing.
I'll call you out on this one. My Tri bike is WAAAAYY more comfortable than my '01 GT.
You'll "call me out"? What the hell does that mean???
I've ridden more bikes than I care to remember.
No way I could ride a TT frame for the length of a road race. If you can, good luck to you.
Watch any Ironman competition. A LOT of those riders ride Tri/ TT bikes for 112 miles. Long enough? And they're in good enough shape to run a marathon afterwards. I think that alone should debunk the "uncomfortable TT bike" Does it take a little getting used to? Yes. But my buddy got off his new road geometry bike hurting as well. If you expect to hop on a TT bike after riding a road bike for a long time, the position IS gonna be different, and therefore hurt. But a new rider who doesnt have to adapt his old ways should be fine. Do they ride like a Lincoln Towncar? No, but mine is no more harsh than any other Alum frame/ carbon fork bike out there
There are exceptions--you and your TT rig might be one of them--but there's an oft' referenced rule of thumb which suggests that if your posture on a track or TT ride is comfortable, you're not doing it right. Again, there are exceptions, so don't take offense.
Additionally, TT handling is bound to be innappropriately tweaked for a general road racing, as far as I understand it. You're looking at different steering characteristics. Could you get "used to it," or even prefer it? Sure. Anything's possible. Everyone's different, and everyone's needs are different.
That said, for most folks, it's not the best advice.
I agree with ya on the steering part for sure. I'm still not 100% confident around hard right hand turns. There seems to be a gap between easy and hard turning. I think it is my one "complaint" about the bike.
I can see how people could find it uncomfortable. I tend to find the vast majority of road bikes "cramped" even tho they technically fit me. Even swapping out stem sizes doesnt really help. I think the stretched out position on the TT bike is to my advantage in that respect.
set-up on a triathlon bike is different to that for road TT racing.
I would concur with both opinions. Moreover, the question definitely makes sense to me!
Triathlon bikes seems to be set up for muscle "economy", necessary for the following running stage, even tho good Triathlon bikes are essentially TT machines. My guess is that geometry has a role on this, and if this is true, perhaps the subtle angle differences also lead to some degree of comfort. Triathlon athletes surely cannot setup their bars as low as possible because of the strain it would cause in the back. Straining the back would make the runnig phase an even greater challenge.
Drafting is not allowed on TTs and triathlon races. This is a major thing to take into account. In road racing, you can use slipstreaming as part of your strategy, and yet must find the best balance between speed, acceleration and handling (not to mention severe climbing, usually not found on TTs).
TTs bike are all about speed, not comfort or endurance - you give what you get and that's it. I know this is controversial, but I also dare say that a good TT machine would be heavier that it’s road racing counterpart. A TT bike takes aerodynamics more seriously than any other factor.
As for me, I would happily use a single aero frame for everything… of course, I compete for a good pitch of beer and not for $100,000 prizes!
what are all the differences in the geometry??? the only thing i know of is the angle of the seat tube (i dont know if thats what its called but the vertical tube where the seat post goes into) on a tt bike is steeper than a road bike, but on all the bikes for my size it's only a degree or at most 2 off, would that make a difference???
steeper head and seat tube angle on dedicated TT frames.
Very fast handling.
Trek Team TT/ Equinox 11 Geometry:
Head tube: 73.3°
Seat tube: 73.8°
Seat tube: 73.8°
Trek Equinox 7/9:
Head tube: 73.0°
Seat tube: 76.0°
Not so much a difference is the Team TT and higher end Equinox, but these are just 2 angles, the propotions of tube lenghts and such WILL make a difference. The difference between the Equinox 7 and the 1500 is a LOT. And it impact the position and handling a lot as well. Combined with a straight fork, the steering tends to be a tad bit responsive.
the small degree figures also puzzles me. on a 55cm frame, a seat tube 2 degree steeper should move the seat post forward no more than 3mm (if i did the math right...ok that's very unlikely).
why can't we just slide the saddle forward on it's trails?
that's a thing to think about… maybe it's because this would not change the way the rider's weight is transferred to the seat and top tubes, and from there to other parts of the frame. why this make a difference i can't tell… and the fact we aplly power in 360° does not help my comprehension at all, there are forces going everywhere.
is there any mechanical engineer available to explain the dynamics involved?
if there is, please have mercy, i'm just 8...
Here is a link that does a pretty good introductory job of explaining the basics to newbies as to why true TT/Tri bikes are great for aero-tuck postion solo runs and lousy at handling and general all-around use.
great article, thanks very much!
I have both setups TT and std road race and I have used std road frames for both. I still would not ride my TT for long rides because of the configuration, not the angles.
I have sety my TT with aero as a prime constraint, ie: I have maximized the drop between the top of my saddle and the top of my handle bars. 10 cm and have shifted my position forward.
My road setup has 7-8 cm drop and slightly pushed back saddle.
Now I an not an expert on fitting nor a great racer (just a weekender) but I can still see the difference ..