Home Chat General Chat

Road or Tri bike

Hi
I'm totally getting into triathlons. Iv'e completed a couple of tri's this year. (Blenium/Windsor/London Olympic) And i have now entered the UK 1/2 ironman 2011. And my goal is to do a full ironman the year after. Question? I've been using a Giant bike, rented from tri uk (retail £450) i decided to keep the bike for training for the winter. But come Feb/March i want to invest in a better bike! My budget will be around the 2k price. But what do i go for? Road bike or Tri bike. (i'm new to cycling) I've heard the UK 1/2 ironman is very hilly, so is it worth me buying a tri bike???

Comments

  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Very tricky one and very much will be a personal choice. I would say you would be better off with a road and stick some tri-bars on them. Use this time to get to get used to the aero postion and then with time by a TT.

    I started off with a cheap road bike, then bought a really good road bike and then coverted to the dark side.

    I personally use Bridgtown Cycles in Cannock - Mike is a top bloke and is so enthusiastic about bikes. So much so that I'm travelling down from Scotland again very soon.
  • I am suffering exactly the same dilemma. I have actually put a deposit down (a refundable one I might add) on a comically expensive Cannondale carbon bike. The reasons were that a) they import about 3 per year and it was sensible to put a deposit down to secure one, and b) I thought that I want to do this properly and not want to upgrade again in a year's time. I have been, and am torturing myself over this decision. I desperately, desperately want and need a new job, and am using the prospect of a new bike as a carrot to help me stay focussed and motivated (yes, I know, utterly sad).

    But....by the same token, I love Tri, as I am sure most of the people on this board do, and want to 'go long' in the next few years, and with that in mind, a Tri bike would be more appropriate. I am limited in choice by my height, but there are some great, good value Tri bikes out there.

    I suppose it depends on what your aspirations (distance, frequency of participation etc) / budget is.

    If you are really into it, and see yourself as a regular competitor, you may as well bite the bullet and go for the Tri bike.

    Having just reread what I have written, I am wondering why I am not going for a Tri bike myself.

    :roll:
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I agree with above rteally, depends which way you want go.

    As with S11 I wnet from an MTB to a road bike (not a mega one) but then went tri.

    If you get a tri bike it is built for purpose i.e. getting you into an aerodynamically efficient position but also helping you launch off into the run with minimal jelly legs due to its 78deg geometry it does however limit you in training, you can't do sportives or group rides etc.

    If you get a road bike you have more flexibility but your tri effort will not be as efficient. Now you will see peeps on road bikes thrashing tri bike riders but can almost guarantee that the thrsahers will be even faster on a tri bike (unless they go from an amazing road bike to a crap tri bike) and also have a quicker run time.

    If you go the road bike route I wouldn't splash out £2k as for about a grand you will get a tidy carbon frame with decent groupo e.g. Boardman http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... i&istBid=t
    or my particular fave at the moment the PX with SRAM Red http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/CBP ... n-sram-red
    Both can be had under the State Subsidised Triathlete Scheme oops sorry the Cycle to Work Scheme (nice to get something back eh?) which means both would cost you net about £700. If your employer doesn't have one here is some info on setting one up http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/cycle-scheme

    Now this is where I am become one who tempts you to the dark side. If your budget is £2k and you can get one of these bikes for £700 you have £1300 left: ....
    Tada http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/PBP ... sram-rival

    Whilst recognising your goal of UKIM 70.3 I would not get too fixated with the needs of that course. If in any doubt I would opt for either of the bikes above; they are fast, well specced have good pedigrees and offer more flexibility but if you intend to go long and want to really go for it then a tri bike is thge way to go IMHO
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Very tricky one and very much will be a personal choice. I would say you would be better off with a road and stick some tri-bars on them. Use this time to get to get used to the aero postion and then with time by a TT.

    I started off with a cheap road bike, then bought a really good road bike and then coverted to the dark side.

    I personally use Bridgtown Cycles in Cannock - Mike is a top bloke and is so enthusiastic about bikes. So much so that I'm travelling down from Scotland again very soon.
    Thought you got your TT bike from Stephen Colbert not bridgetown?





    Bridtown are great though
  • GGBGGB Posts: 481
    You have a road bike so personally I would go for a TT/Tri bike - IMUK 70.3 isnt that hilly - there are 2 steep climbs that can be done on a Tri bike if your fit enough and the rest is just undulating - I did IMUK and IMUK 70.3 on Tri bike this year and cycling isnt my strongest.

    I would chuck a set of cheapo TT bars on your road bike beginning of next year and see how you fair riding them for long distances before splashing out though, some people can not get on with the position.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Thought you got your TT bike from Stephen Colbert not bridgetown?
    I didn't say I bought a TT from Btown butI should compliment www.colbertcycles.co.uk as well. Stephen is a top bloke and sells some really good kit.

    My argon came from Btown and is my fav bike, raced the Argon in abu dhabi and at IMUK..

    I'm heading back to Btown next week.....
  • BexHBexH Posts: 226
    Hmm for my two pennies worth I'd say I really struggled with my TT bike and sold it on in the end. If you are a gutsy sort (and I'm no sensitive flower) then maybe it will be great: but I found mine tricky with gear changes (lost all momentum going up hills by the time it changed gear as so fussy), found myself hanging on the brake levers going downhill especially if you aren't familiar with terrain and generally my road bike with tri bars is more comfortable/stable and thus the advantages of that are more worthwhile for me personally. I feel comfy on downhills on tri bars within reason but never did on a twitchy tri bike. So how gutsy are you on a bike I guess i mean?
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Hi BexH I know where you are coming from on the descents, my balance is not 100% and am wary about dropping down a hill on the bars and then coming up to grab the brakes. I now set my steering to very stiff so there is minimal or no oscillation to help me with that. I have also started to use Mapmyrun, Google maps street view and Google Earth to carry out a recce of the route and have always tried to ride the route if poss and at very least drive it. Coupled with my newly acquired Garmin 305 where I ride a route I can build up a profile and some hills that I used to be wary of are now more doable particularly when I compare them to ones I have already done.

    But you are absolutely spot one about identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a bike and your decision obviously works for you, there's no point riding a bike you are not confident in and the proof is in the the pudding so to speak.
  • kevy427kevy427 Posts: 10
    I'm having a similar dilemma and have (hopefully) narrowed it down to a FELT AR series http://www.feltbicycles.com/International/2011/Road/AR-Series/AR0.aspx or one of these http://www.canyon.com/_en/triathlonbikes/specs.html?b=1827 although I fear the FELT AR0 is a little bit out of my price range! I do like the Canyon as it's a very well specced machine and good value for money - has anyone got/ridden one of them? It had a very good write up in TP magazine...

    Am swaying towards the Canyon but after a visit to the Cycle Show next weekend, who knows I may change my mind...again!
  • For 2k you could probably get a pretty decent road bike, eg Planet X Sl carbon Sram red (£1099) AND a decent Tri bike. Best of both worlds.
  • Ps Wiggle have this http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/triathlon/10/ ... 360045310/ on offer at the moment, looks pretty sweet.
    I have a Focus carbon road bike and it's great!
    I'll admit, my tri bike wasn't cheap, but I would certainly not be ashamed to be seen on either of these.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Galveeno - well spotted. I had an Izalco Tria and thought the Culebro was a minor revamp but on closer examination - intenal cabling, Ultegra mechs, curved aero seat tube, braze on derailleur instead of a band - very nice; they have relaxed the seat tube angle to 76deg which may suit more people making it a very effective entry tri bike.

    Kevy - what a choice! Mate has a Felt B12 and he's bloody quick and that's with the standard Felt wheels - so many choices eh? I know get both - in different clolours then just pick the one that suits your mood on the day.
  • kevy427kevy427 Posts: 10
    Zacnici wrote:
    I know get both - in different clolours then just pick the one that suits your mood on the day.
    I like your thinking Zacnici, but that would also mean an additional investment in more clothes as I need to make sure that at least I look good on the bike when I'm being overtaken by someone on their butcher's bike
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Absolutely, tri suit , helmet, shades, running shoes, cycling shoes, transition bag, car etc. all coordinated - can't do things by half
  • JimbaJimba Posts: 15
    I have read a few times that a Tri bike benefits your run times. I have seen little evidence/data on this. Does anyone know or have experience of the impact?
  • 101SUSY101SUSY Posts: 53
    Jimba wrote:
    I have read a few times that a Tri bike benefits your run times. I have seen little evidence/data on this. Does anyone know or have experience of the impact?
    I'd probably need some technical details from the more mechanically-minded types on here, but the short answer is that the set up of tri bikes 'saves' your legs a little bit, so that you don't need to put in as much effort to cover the miles, you are a bit more aerodynamic, and you use your muscles in a slightly more efficient way. The result is that your legs should be less tired and 'jelly-like' after you hop off in T2. Of course, the deciding factor is more often than not the person and not the bike, and a couple of tweaks on a road bike can make all the difference - Zacnici can give you the best advice there !
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Lots of evidence most notably the Garside study; concluded that a steep angle i.e. tri bike geometry led to an increased performance over the first 5km of a 10km run compared with a road bike geometry. After 5km the residual effects - jelly legs - had dissipated.

    From an aericle by Dan Empfield
    http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/ ... angle.html
    Garside utilized triathletes, but: "All participants were naive to training and racing on bicycles with steep seat tube angles (>76-degrees); all participants used a 73-degree frame geometry as standard."

    Garside’s protocol called for the tests to be conducted, "as fast as possible under race-like conditions." The test called for triathletes to ride a 40km simulation on both a 73-degree set-up and then on an 81-degree set-up, each followed immediately by a fast-as-possible 10km run on a treadmill.

    The results were groundbreaking, for three reasons. First, these triathletes absolutely blew away their "duathlon" performances in the steeper configuration. The average time it took subjects to complete the 40km/10km "brick" was about 1:50 at 73 degrees of seat angle, and it was a full 5+ minutes faster at 81 degrees.

    Second, as this test was performed in England, the triathletes there were (as previously noted) "naive" to steep seat angles, that is, they all normally rode shallow.

    And finally, these tests only measured the physiological responses to the biomechanical change generated by a steeper seat angle. As this test was performed in a lab on stationary equipment, the aerodynamic benefit one derives from the ability to achieve a lower frontal profile with a steeper seat angle was not part of the equation.

    Where in this 40km/10km exercise did the time savings occur? There were some time savings achieved during the bike leg. Average 40km times were 1:04:10 in the 73-degree configuration and 1:02:54 for the riders when at 81 degrees. But it was in the first half of the run that the big time savings occurred. It took riders 24:15 to complete the first 5km off the shallow set-up, and only 21:41 after riding the steep bike (and remember, these triathletes had never run off a steep set-up before).

    The time savings continued during the second half of the run, but the gap narrowed. The subjects ran 22:01 and 21:14 in the second half of the 10km after riding in shallow and steep configurations respectively.
  • JimbaJimba Posts: 15
    Thanks Zac , nice to know there is more time that I can buy!!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    The problem is once you get the bike, the position, the helmet, the wheels etc you then run out of excuses

    Guess I'll have to train a lot harder
Sign In or Register to comment.