Using road Bikes for Tri



wowkster

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Aug 23, 2004
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My brother and I just entered into Ironman WI for 2005. We ride mostly road for fun and some century rides and have done some Tri racing in the past. What are the disadvantages of taking a rode bike like a Trek 5200 and making it into a Triathlon bike by adding aerobars? I have heard the the steep seat tube angle saves the legs for the run. Is this true? Can you create the same position on a Trek 5200? We would like to save the money and not buy a Tri specific bike if possible.

Thanks for the help

Matt
Madison WI
 

pauly a

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Aug 24, 2004
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I just did the Lake Geneva Triathlon (only the sprint though) and I just used my road bike, although it's probably nowhere as nice as a Trek 5200. Anyway...in terms of the seat post angle, you can purchase what are known are forward seat posts which essentially have a bend in them and place the seat further forward of where it's typically located. Profile makes one and I'm sure there's a number of other brands that do as well.
 

Gonzo Bob

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Feb 13, 2004
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wowkster said:
My brother and I just entered into Ironman WI for 2005. We ride mostly road for fun and some century rides and have done some Tri racing in the past. What are the disadvantages of taking a rode bike like a Trek 5200 and making it into a Triathlon bike by adding aerobars? I have heard the the steep seat tube angle saves the legs for the run. Is this true? Can you create the same position on a Trek 5200? We would like to save the money and not buy a Tri specific bike if possible.

Thanks for the help

Matt
Madison WI

You shouldn't retrofit a road bike to ride steep. It puts too much weight on the front wheel which upsets the handling of the bike.

There are a number of aerobars designed especially for road bikes. You should check into some of those.

Alternatively you may be able to get a pair of tri-bike aerobars to work if you buy one size smaller - i.e. if the sizing charts says you need a medium, get a small. This will enable you to stay back on the seat while in the aero position.

I recommend heading into a local shop that knows about tri-bike fit.
 

armchair_spacem

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Oct 19, 2003
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wowkster said:
I have heard the the steep seat tube angle saves the legs for the run. Is this true? Matt
Madison WI

"Tri-specific" bike geometry is designed to achieve two things - The steep seat tube angle helps to promote spinning rather than mashing big gears - invoking calves and hamstrings more, with the idea of saving the big (weight -bearing) muscle groups like your glutes and quads for the run; and facilitate a more aero position b/c drafting is not legal in many tri events.
 

larue

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Aug 24, 2004
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Get a clip on aero-bar and leave it at that, or actually you might want to look at changing the wheels. If you are currently using 700cc's then try some 650cc's 'cause bikes with 650cc's usually have a steeper geometry.
Don't get rid of your roadie, you may find that Tri's are not right for you and if so you'll still have the bike. If the opposite is true and down the road you love Tri's then save up some money and get a Tri-bike, but it's never a good idea to rush into things.
 

pauly a

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Aug 24, 2004
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armchair_spacem said:
"Tri-specific" bike geometry is designed to achieve two things - The steep seat tube angle helps to promote spinning rather than mashing big gears - invoking calves and hamstrings more, with the idea of saving the big (weight -bearing) muscle groups like your glutes and quads for the run; and facilitate a more aero position b/c drafting is not legal in many tri events.
Are there differences between a "tri-specific" bike and a TT bike? If so, what, and why?
 

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