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Age old question, Tri Bike vs Road Bike


I know this has more than likely been discuss to death, but I did a search and I could not find any good post.

I have just done Wimbleball 70.3, mega hilly bike route, and whilst I was passing a lot of people on my very battered 2007 Specialized Allez, once there was any sign of a flat piece of tarmac any advantage I had made was soon lots to the tri bike as they came flying past me. Obviously this could be down to them not being very good climbers, the advantage on the flat was plain to see.

However, a tri bike does look quite awkward to climb on, my next 'A race' is Germany 70.3, also a hilly course, looking forward, I intend to do Wimbleball again next year and then eventually a Ironman, probably a year after?

I have about £1,500 to spend on a bike, that would cover a Quintana Roo Seduza and a bike fitting. And in that case I would keep my Specialized, however if I went for a road bike I could probably trade the Specialized and thus get a better spec road bike.

So, can anyone help me decided once and for all, I'm quite keen to get this sorted so I can get used to the bike before Germany.


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    combatdwarfcombatdwarf Posts: 258
    Being one of those you no doubt screamed past on the hills of exmoor....I would still go for a tri bike as on the hills/flat I was overtaking road bikes (who were pedalling) whilst I was free-wheeling (I know the shame of it....)

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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Obviously, you need both.

    If I was you though, I would go for the Tri/TT Bike now. Then, when you've saved up, upgrade the road bike. I think you will get most bang for the buck. You can use the Tri bike for competitions, TTs, and the road for training/sportives - where weight/performance of your steed is less of an issue.

    If you find the Tri bike too uncomfortable for long distances, then you still have the Road Bike to fall back on. Chances are, you won't though!
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    gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    I think Jack's hit the nail on the head. Tri/TT bike otherwise you are only really replacing something you've already got with a newer variety. Tri/TT bike would boost you training and give you greater choices.
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    danny_sdanny_s Posts: 235
    I'd also vote roady on this one. You've already got the Allez which is a completely reasonable road bike that you can keep around for training and when you don't feel like having your chin over top of your front wheel. The QR seems like its right in the sweet spot of their line at your budget. All the major aero and geometry benefits without the extreme cost.

    The only other thing to consider might be a Cervelo S1 which is designed to be the best of both worlds. You can set it up as a road or TT bike and while it would probably stretch your budget north of 1500, you'd have the flexibility and excellent frame for whatever type of riding you want to do. My buddies never want to go for a group ride with someone on a TT frame if that's a consideration.
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    grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    I have been looking at the S1, and wondered how easy it would be to swop the road bars to tri bars? Plus they seem a bit of a nightmare to buy, I can only find a frame set, I wouldn't be confident enough to guess my size without sitting on it...
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    danny_sdanny_s Posts: 235
    Well, if you have separate cables for your road and tri handlebars, then after the first time or two, you can probably change in 20 minutes. I think that they are really easy to thread the cables through the top and down tube.

    Don't know about geometry but if you've got shops that sell other Cervelo's around you, the proportions of the frame don't change from the S1 all the way up to the R3, just the materials and shape of the tubing. If you fit a 58 on an R3, then a S1 will do the same, and shops will usually have at least 1 or 2 models built up in common sizes at all times.
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    grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    Would I save some money by buying a frameset + groupset and then have a shop put it together for me?

    It's just that I have seen a Cervelo P2C 2008 Frameset for £799, Sram Force Groupset - 2009 for £699.95, could probably get it put together for £100, that's £1,598.95 for a lush Cervelo.

    Has anyone else sorted a bike with this method?

    Any advise to pass on?
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    ga02clrga02clr Posts: 11
    Do not forget wheels.... bars (can be expensive), saddle etc...... when costing. Then add labour at your local bike shop if you need someone else to build it and the fact they may not build what you have sourced else where...

    In my experience the benefit from self build is you get exactly what you want so if you are going to alter an off the peg then is may work out cheaper to build it up. You have to remember that the manufactures get to buy everything at bulk reduced prices.
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    grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    Here is my short list of bikes and scenario's.

    Option 1, Buy the Quintana Roo Sudza for £900 (second hand off a buddy) or nearest offer and keep the Allez but update the group set.

    Option 2, Buy a Cervelo S1, sell / trade Allez: http://www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx?bike=S12009

    Option 3, Buy a Trek Madone 4.7, sell Allez: http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/ro ... madone47e/

    I'm going to see the Cervelo and Madone on Saturday, I looked at the Roo last Saturday, very nice.

    Feel free to throw in your suggestions...
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    gunforhiregunforhire Posts: 457
    What about a combination of the two?
    Cube Aerium Pro 2009 came out tops in a recent test by another Tri mag.
    http://www.cube-bikes.de/xist4c/web/AER ... 31090_.htm

    Best of both worlds?
    Definitely has me thinking of transferring my road kit to a Planet X Stealth frame or Ribble TT!
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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Orbea ORA has I believe a variable geometry from 73deg to 78deg about £1800

    I'm away at the moment so limited search facilities (just posting when bored at work but odn't tell)
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    grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    That's a good shout, looks like a really nice bike, spoke to a dealer not too far away.


    Also available in Black & White, but hear Red & White is faster
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    grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    Has anyone ridden the Ora as road bike? That's what is would be used as 80% of the time, hence the interest...
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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Another thought I had which is slightly OT, I have an Focus Izalco Tria and was wondering about my next bike. Thoughts are would get a frame, transfer over the cockpit to the new frame and get new carbon/red components for it. The brakes, chainring, Fr and Rr deraileurs from the Tria swap to my Giant SCR, get new STI's. Result 2 mega bikes, Tri and Road and a frame that I could sell.
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    I recently had the same dilema, but with a slightly lower budget. My choices were the Trek Equinox 7, the Trek Madone 4.5 and the Cervelo S1.

    I was pretty tempted by the S1 which my LBS rekoned they could build up for about £1600 however In the end I decided my budget couldn't stretch that far - especially since the componentry didn't look that good - the general rule with building up is that it wil be more expensive than ready built bikes, the only advantge is that you get to choose exactly what you want... if you are prepared o pay for it.

    In the end it came down to moey for me so I went for the Focus Tria... it came in at just over a grand (25% off at wiggle at the moment), the componentry is much better than I would have had on the S1 and £500 cheaper. While I long for a full carbon TT setup I love my Tria, the bike is definately not the limiting factor any more, and for that price I doubt there is much that could beat it! Plus you can either save £500 of your budget, or you can blow it on a set of race wheels, which is probably offers more extra speed per £ than paying the extra for the S1.

    http://www.220triathlon.com/gear-review ... lebro-tria
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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Yea the Tria is fantastic value. I totted up the component cost and it worked out that the frame, cables and assembly came for free.

    At the St Cerney (I am a rubbish swimmer) I quickly caught with loads of people and on the flat defintely had the advantage but on several tight left and right handers the road bikes grabbed some distance back but overall the Tria had the advantage.

    With my previous note, should a carbon frame beckon the Tria's components could be put to very good use either on the new carbon frame where they would not be disgraced or on upgrading an existing road bike (e.g. my Giant SCR2 or an Allez etc) if you went for getting new shiny red/carbon bits for the carbon frame. That way the result would be a mega Tri bike, an excellent road bike for practice, etc. and a frame that you could sell on and would be snapped up by someone wishing to build a Tri bike from an existing road bike with some upgrades - all sorts of possibilities.
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    okennyokenny Posts: 231
    that Cube Aerium Pro 2009 looks fantastic. Anyone actually ridden one?
    I have the feeling that my 2008 Giant SCR2.0 isn't quite up to the job.
    But with a newer more Aero & lighter bike, how much time could one actually save actually in an OD or 70.3 Tri?
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    BradsterBradster Posts: 23
    Since the other half wont let me get a speed machine until i start coming in the top 100 in races, i was wondering what would be the best modifications i could make to my current steed, Giant SCR3, to get some extra speed? Considering that the Cube Aerom Pro is all alluminium like mine. Judging from previous articles i would imagine lighter wheels and perhaps a different group set? Any ideas?
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    sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    To be honest with you mate, for the kind of money you are looking to spend I would recommend Focus from wiggle. For that money you will get a decent bike with some top quality components.... much more for your money. Failing that, Planet X have a excellent deal on now for a full Dura Ace road bike at an excellent price.

    So check out wiggle and planet x

    Tri bike-wise I would look at the Felt range too.
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    hussler.hussler. Posts: 390
    buy a TT bike..... then you have both types.... Road bike for extremely hilly courses, TT for every other course.

    I have an Argon E112 TT bike and a Specialized Tarmac S-works, Argon is built up using components from my previous TT bike (Dura Ace) and the S-works has SRAM Red on.

    I know that these bikes will prob be well out of your budget brand new.... but its still provides me with the same options for races if you bought a TT bike.

    Tri bikes are not awkward to ride up hills, the only difference is that you have to move hands to change gear from the hoods, so if your not one for very good balance using one hand on the hoods then that would be the only prob but with practise you would be fine.

    If you are in the position to keep the roadie AND buy a TT, my advice would be do that.

    If you choose to upgrade the Roadie then you will prob still find that youll be minced on the flats/downhills by a TT bike.... thus not gaining anything on what your current set up is.

    Therefore having a TT bike you should have less people over taking you on flats/downhills and if you can climb well youll be gaining places on the ups and at very least maintaining position on the flats generally:)

    BUY A TT BIKE!!!!!:) The QR is a very good bike:)
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