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Who races on a TT, who races on a road bike?

Hey all,

Just wondering as to who races on a TT and who races on a road bike (with or without clip on aero bars) and why? I know about the aero benefits of a TT and that you enter the run fresher, but any other insight would be interesting. Would you perhaps chose to race a road bike on a more technical tri course where less time will be spent in the aero position, and at what point does it becomes counter productive to be racing a TT (if you only spend half the distance on the aeros, 2/3rds on the aeros?) Also if money was no object would you all be racing a TT and have a road bike just for group training etc? Would be interested to see what all you guys think. Thanks all


  • Road bike cos I can train on it too as I can't afford a TT bike.........but if money was no object and I stepped up to Olympic distance I'd get the TT bike.....
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    I train and race on a road bike because that's all I got. If money were no object i'd have a tt, and all the different wheel combo's for every weather and race condition. Until then it'll probably still be a roadie and i'll make sure I only do hilly races!
  • hussler.hussler. Posts: 390
    TT all the way.......but then I am in the position where I can choose as I have both TT and road bikes, and both are awesome..

    I have an Argon 18 E112 all kitted up for my TT bike, and a specialized S-Works Tarmac for my road bike.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Tri bike.
    The tri bike was the brainchild I believe of Dan Empfield founder of Quintana Roo who designed it from the aerobars back.
    Why a tri bike? see my very very first post the-old-question-which-bike-etc-t14316.html#p14326

    I still have my £60 Halfords MTB and my Giant SCR2 but then I am a kleptomaniac (recovering)
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Road bike here, my trusty alloy felt, but would love a TT bike for the relatively flat tri's around London. One of each would be nice, but that means more storage space and more ££ !

    Speaking of Q Roo, anyone own a Q Roo tri bike? I still havent seen any reviews on the handling of their more recent models, except a few comments on poor customer service.
  • AtomicAtomic Posts: 126

    But my cycle to work voucher arrived this morning....... so it's a weekend of shopping.

    Happy days.
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    Last year was my first year and did about 2 duathlons and 5 triathlons .. inc a half Iron on a £250 Roadbike ... this year I plan on doing a couple of duathlons, Wimbleball 70.3 and IMUK on my newly purchased TT bike ... still figuring out the WAT.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    When you arrive at your WAT - double it

    Good luck with the bike
  • Road bike with clip on aero bars. It does make a huge difference being in the aero position.

    I have overtaken a TT bike on my 72' fixed gear though. That was quite funny.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Road bike with aerobars. Planning to get a TT when I can afford it.
  • LexLex Posts: 65
    Ive just bought a TT bike to use in races, both triathlon and time trials. I bought a road bike last year to start doing races on and this felt like the natural progression. I plan on still spending most of my training time on the road bike and will even race it if the course doesnt suit the TT. My feelings were to keep the entry level road bike for training and spend a few bob on the TT for racing.

    Its a massively different riding position, even more so than I expected. It doesnt even really compare with clip-on aero bars on the road bike, much more aggressive.

    Personally, Im very pleased with it. I would be weary of a cheaper TT bike, I think you'll get a better road bike for that kind of money.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I've got a road bike.

    Argon 18 Krypton aka Battlecat.

    I also use her a kinda TT. Turn the seat post around, stick on the Zipp Vuka clip ons and add the race wheels. Vioula....

    I can't justify a TT bike at the moment, not because I don't want one but generally until I see some real improvement on my cycing then I'm not buying one... (WAT won't let me either!!!)
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    I am riding a road bike and its a bargin£250 Viking tourino. (look that baby up on the interweb thing and get it on the bike porn thread)

    Heres a big statement and It might come back and bite me on the dairy aire one day----

    I dont think if I had the cash to spend on a TT bike that I would bother!! I reckon I dont need a TT bike! I only have room at home for one trusty stead and I would buy a nice carbon road bike!!!
  • i have both, will nearly always race on the tt, unless it's an icredibly technical bike leg,
    the road bike is alu/carbon forks+aero bars, but i felt the biggest difference when climbing,
    which obviously is less to do with aero, more to do with weight,
    so if you can only have one bike, costs allowing, whichever you chose, make it a good light, carbon frame.
  • Road bike-all the time. I do a couple of triathlons a year (basically because of cost), either half or full distance, so comfort is my only concern. I never come last and always, always overtake folk on techno, carbon, NEW bikes that must cost several £1000's more than my trusty Giant and generally keep overtaking people on the run (ok, I get overtaken a lot too). I've tried aero bars on a normal road bike and of course they just don't really work because the position is wrong and I spend just as much time on the hoods as usual. Dan Empfield at http://www.slowtwitch.com has some really useful and sensible advice re bike fit for triathlons and aero position - well, it seems sensible and useful. If I had the cash, would I get a TT bike? No, definitely not, I'd spend it on going to another exotic race or 2. If I had 40 hrs a week to train? Probably still No, I'd just get a better road bike. If I was going to win Hawaii? Maybe. I wonder for mere mortals how much of a conspiracy there is in making us believe that we must have a very specific bike to do triathlons. Learn and train to be a cyclist first! Would an average roadie with miles under their belt always beat an average triathlete with all the gizmos on a 25/56/112m ride? Ok, enough.
  • True, you're absolutely right. Now, how much are new aero spokey dokeys?
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    ok so the debate heats up.

    Would I like a TT bike... hell yes. can I justify it yet it - No.

    Would I prefer an Argon 18 E114 or an Argon 18 Krypton - Thanks very much I'll have the E114.

    TT's look amazing and are cool. So I want one naturally.

    I also want to be as fast as I can and be better than I am. A TT bike will come for me, just not yet. I've promised myself if I do a sub 12hrs IMUk then I'm getting one.

    On another note, will I ever get rid of battlecat - Not a chance. Ever, ever, ever.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Demonclimber hear what you say and yes the engine is the thing; a road biker with miles on their legs will shift. Having said that from my own experience I have found that a tri bike suits me better for triathlons. Yes I have had people pass me on their road bikes and yes I have seen people on their road bikes in front gradually diappear but but I have certainly whizzed past more than have ovetaken me including people on road bikes 25 years junior to me. I have then proceeded to pass more on the run (which is my strongest discipline) and again from my own experience this has been helped by the tri geometry which for me results in fresher legs and faster run times.

    I am sure we can post all day about who passes whom but in the final analysis a tri bike is designed for the job and if you can afford it then a tri bike is the way to go, it has certainly worked for me. But not everybody can or indeed wants to buy a tri bike, fine, they will enjoy no less a sense of achievement whether they fit aerobars or not and all power to us all.

    I love my Focus Izalco, cost less than a grand, not much more than the equivalent specced road bike. Would I do a tri on a road bike given the choice? Resounding no from me.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Conehead wrote:
    Road and TT bike call it a fiver each, triathlon bike at least £20 per spoke

    Cycle shorts; Buy it Now from £5
    Triathlon shorts; Buy it Now from £19
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    I have a road bike and a TT bike.

    I have done all of my tris / duathlons and TT on the TT bike; it's not a very steep seatpost as the frame is several years old, but I have clearly swallowed the marketing. I also have a couple of road bikes - one for "all weather" and a new Boardman waiting to be unleashed as the weather improves.

    If I were racing a technical, very hilly, or twisty course where I couldn't stay on the aero bars, I would probably ride a roadie. Milton Keynes bowl, for example - I was planning to do a du there on the 20th of this month (but can't make it now) - from what I understand there would be no point riding a TT bike on that course due to the short, multiple laps, and numerous corners...

    I would probably put my aero front wheel on though.
  • Darnit Zacnici, you present a well reasoned, structured and convincing argument, humph. So, all I need to do is win the lottery or is there anyone out there willing to sponser me with a tri bike? (I'm doing the Barcelona Ironman in October and the only thing which will spoil my win is the 900 or so finishers in front of me). I guess it would be kind of nice to have a go on a 'proper' tri bike.
  • Fox5Fox5 Posts: 21
    Seem to have opened a bit of a can of worms here! Loads of great points, like others have stated i've overtaken people on TT's and they have overtaken me - lets not go down that road as its not the bike doing the over taking or be over taken its the athlete. However it does seem an expensive way to save a few minutes on an OD bike leg, although added to potential savings on the run the advantages do seem to become larger. http://www.bikesportmichigan.com/bikes/difference.shtml in this article (below photo of chap running) they report on an experiment where riding a TT opposed to a roadie over 40km saved subjects an average of 5 minutes on the 10km run directly afterwards (all done in the lab on turbo's and tread mills). So based on these results there is a potential saving of getting on for 10 mins overall as they give an average saving of 4 minutes on the bike leg (doesn't seem quite so bad now!). I completely understand TT bikes are not a magic solution to improving performances and you need to be a good cyclist first to take full advantage but the prospect does seem to be quite attractive, they also look very cool!
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Do what I've done then. road bike, clip ons, turn seat post around. A sort of TT when you need it then when you want a road then take the clips on off, turn the seat post back around etc....now that saves you money!
  • Yes they do look cool - how about this mutha...... My dream machine


    There is no way, no way anyone wouldn't be quicker on that. An absolute impossibility.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Last year was my first year and all my tri's were done on my road bike with clip on tri bars, the position wasn't great, but, I did find that i picked up about 3-5kph (according to the computer) when i dropped down onto the aero bars. I found that a lot of the time i was on the hoods, but then i don't find riding the drops too comfy. I am in the process of building a new TT bike, as based on my expirence on the aerobars, and how little i use the drops, it is 'faster' for me. However, I fully expect that when i'm on the course to see people on road bikes fly past me like i;m stationary, but i will be faster than on my road bike (i guess/hope).

    Anyway, TT bikes just look good so I should have one shouldn't I??
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Demonclimber, good luck in Barcelona and thanks for the compliment but as you quite rightly point out the 'engine' is the important thing and whether you compete on a tri, road or MTB we are all triatheletes.

    Conehead pointed out you can all too easily get sucked in by the marketing razzle dazzle and spend a bomb in this game and it is all diminishing returns but a few bang for buck items can make a big difference for us age groupers; aerobars, aero helmet, aero bottle have all been shown to give a distinct improvement for little expenditure. I have even seen an MTB with aerobars, crack on, making best of limited resources.

    But then you get someone like Willeverfinish who throws in that link ... pure temptation But (big sigh) that would be wasted on me as I would not be able to make best use of it, a P2 ?... mmm maybe
  • I want that Ridley now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    And for those who have far too much time on their hands
    http://data.ridley-bikes.com/customizer ... n2010.html

    Pure filth I believe is the term ...
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    I have a rather lovely Dolan road bike... carbon everything, Ultegra everything else... which I ended up putting a forwards seat post on with base bars, extensions, bar end shifters etc. I still have the drop bars with ulty shifters and cables attached.

    Swapping the bars and seat post and re-indexing the gears takes about 30 mins, so the idea was that for winter I go with the road set-up, then swap to TT for the race season.

    Funny thing is... I'm so comfy in the TT position that I've never bothered putting the road bars back on.

    In short, I train and race/lose on a TT bike.
  • So hold on one cotton pickin' moment, and I know it's slightly straying from the original subject and forgive me for being such a nincompoop, but can I turn my trusty Giant road bike into something of a TT bike by the addition of a Fast Forward type seat post, and a jiggling around of the stem??, comfy enough to ride an Ironman distance race with? And then run faster than if I just rode my normal road bike set up?
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