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Wheels or TT bike

I have the chance to use the cycle to work scheme. I already have a good (£1500 worth) road bike fitted with tri bars so I have the following dilema.

Should I buy a full on Tri bike for £1,000 - £1,500 (probably Planet X Stealth) OR buy some decent deep rim carbon wheels for my road bike???

Comments

  • risris Posts: 1,002
    i thought the cycle to work scheme only applies to a complete bike...
  • jmurt71jmurt71 Posts: 46
    Interesting one. A friend of mine has just bought some decent deep rims for his road bike, I'm waiting to see what sort of speed increase he's going to see. However, if you go for the good wheels on the road bike you're still not going to have the TT bike seat angle which will help your run times as well. If you go for the Planet X you will be able to get some of their branded carbon wheels which by all reports are pretty decent, and you'll still have a good road bike with tri bars for the hilly courses, as I'm assuming the Stealth Pro isn't the best climber, although I've never ridden one so I could be wrong there.
  • FirestarterFirestarter Posts: 120
    If you bought VERY expensive wheels how often would you use them?? Be Honest....9-10 times a season, max??

    If you bought a TT bike how often would you ride it?? Probably more than some snazzy wheels.

    I would go for the TT frame out of those two choices as it'll be more use to you and, as previosly posted, would benefit you more than some zipps.

    BUT I'll just throw in a curve ball of some swim coaching or a VO2 test and a power meter. That would have more impact for your long term speed. Snazzy kit should be second on your shopping list after you've sorted your technique out.


    But what the [email protected]#k do I know..........
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I'm going to throw a bigger curve ball then.

    Think about spending £1500 on TT and lets be honest the frame is crap. If the TT comes with ultegra or above then sit and price it all out and you'll see the savings come in the materials for the frame. At the end of the day a good frame will rip the arse out of a cheaper one and it will last longer. With all intents, you get a good frame and then build the bike around that.

    you buy a pair of cheap trainers, yes they look good for a while but soon they're wrecked. The bike is cheap for a reason. Sure it might be good just now, but will you still be saying that a few years down the line when you're needing a new one??? Might be a very opinionated view but seriously think where the savings have been made.

    The carbon rim wheels - use for racing only. They will make you go faster, without a doubt. They will be lighter and better than the standard heavy clinchers you use but the fact is if you have nice set of snazzy carbon wheels, then when or if you buy a better bike then you don't the wheels cause you've already got a set that you can put on them or if you want you can flip them between the road and the TT.

    For me, buy the wheels. Save your cash and spend a little bit more money, get a better TT and enjoy the fruits that it brings!
  • aoneill69aoneill69 Posts: 206
    interesting this one, also have the same opportunity..have the same level of road bike with Tri bars and properly fitted....

    Ris : you will find certain bike shops are 'flexible' on what they record for the vouchers spend.....

    but then i decided race wheels would just not get the use, both from the fact i am not good enough to use them yet and i have only entered 5 races!...

    ....and i am not ready for a Tri specific bike just yet...

    As this is a 12 month program I am actually thinking of putting it towards a decent MTB (i already have a decent turbo) which will get used on the crappy days and through next winter, and then use next years voucher to put towards a tri bike....
  • FirestarterFirestarter Posts: 120
    shadowone1 wrote:
    At the end of the day a good frame will rip the arse out of a cheaper one
    I'd wager you would be no faster on a £1500 bike than a P4. (you would be richer though)
    shadowone1 wrote:
    and it will last longer.
    Again, all conjecture. Just because it costs less dosn't mean it won't last.



    Bottom line, if you've got a max budget of £1500 and you want improvements, get coaching. If you want a TT bike for THAT cash a Stealth or a Focus would be a safe buy. But you can get a decent bike for that money.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Re: Wheels or TT bike
    by Firestarter » 01 Apr 2010 12:56

    shadowone1 wrote:
    At the end of the day a good frame will rip the arse out of a cheaper one

    I'd wager you would be no faster on a £1500 bike than a P4. (you would be richer though)

    shadowone1 wrote:
    and it will last longer.

    Again, all conjecture. Just because it costs less dosn't mean it won't last.
    I'll bet you I'm faster on P4 than my old claud butler.... I bet I'm faster on P4 than my current Argon. But then I did go down the route of buying carbon rims and then getting coached along the way

    In terms of lasting longer, sure it might be conjecture on my part but would you really want to shell £1500 hard earned notes to find out it that essentially it was crap and doesn't do what it says on the tin.

    With will all intents with a good set of rims on the roadie then it will be just as fast if not faster than the cheaper TT. I stand by my arguement of the savings been made in the frame. In my view frame first then groupset then wheels.
  • FirestarterFirestarter Posts: 120
    shadowone1 wrote:
    I'll bet you I'm faster on P4 than my old claud butler.....

    Well DUUUHH!!! Really???

    What a numpty thing to say......"I bet I'm faster on a P4 than on my uni-cycle...." :roll:


    The point I'm making is if you had the same groupo, same wheels just swapped frames between a P4 or lets say a PX Stealth your times wouldnt be much different. And the PX is a SOUND frame which has MANY race wins under its belt, but hang on...... it MUST be crap its ONLY £500??!! :roll:

    And yes if I was on a budget the Stealth would definately be in the mix.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I didn't say the PX was crap. What i said was £1500 on TT would be crap. the point about the claud butler was a joke mate, obv you didn't appreciate that one!

    the point I'm trying to make is that the saving has to be in the frame, if its got the ultegra groupset, nice wheels, carbon seat post blah blah then the saving is in the frame. So lets be honest here, do you really want to shell out the dosh and later find the frame is done in or have a good frame and then build a good bike around that?

    I know which one I'd go for. As I say I stand by my point, get the wheels and add them to a good frame then add a group set. I know plenty of people who bought a PX, and its a nice bike but is it as good as a Ridley Dean or Argon E114 etc? Doubt it, so which one is better the Ridley Dean or the PX.....fight!!
  • FirestarterFirestarter Posts: 120
    Lordy!!

    So you'd rather pay £3,500 for a FRAME than less cos in your mind the bigger the pricetag the the better the product?? Strange.....

    I prefer to be slightly more scientific, like am I really going to get thebest out of this? Can I justify this? I'll ride it before I make my mind up etc.....And quite frankly I would eat my own eyes if you were SIGNIFICANTLY (5 minutes over 40km) faster on a top line frame as aposed to a more budget option.

    PX frames are made from the same carbon as frames 3x the price and in the same factory as some verywell known Italian bikes. And they retail at the cheaper end of the spectrum. Yes a p4/dean/e114 will use higher grade carbon but at a very high price and a price I can't really justify. Just going on pub rumour that cheap means shite will only see u spending more than you need. Do your research and come back with a stronger argument.


    Any way back the OPs original question, I would spend my money on some coaching (from reputable coach) a VO2 test (with a training / nutrition plan) and a power meter. Inthe long run you'll be caning past the fat bloke on the ridley dean.........
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Bloody hell a decent debate on 220 hurrah.

    Anyway posted this a couple of months ago and its based upon some science.
    Here's another thought on this debate around how much you need to spend on a TT bike...

    Have you read 220 this month? The Blow meister has been to drag zero and wind tunnel tested two bikes - Cervelo P4 (£6K) and Focus culebro Tria (£876 - Wiggle).

    The P4 was only 3 seconds per kilometre faster - 2 minutes on a 40k bike leg - for an extre £5k.

    He then put the areo wheels on from the P4 to the Culebro and brought the difference down to 2 seconds per kilo only just a over a minute - and the Culrbro is an Alu frame!!!

    Maybee a cheaper TT bike and aero wheels is all you need.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Right,

    Firstly firestarter, I have nothing against the PX so the quicker you realise then we can move on. I tried to add a curve ball and finally this flamming forum is kicking. My point was based on a rationale between a decent set of wheels or a cheap as chips TT.

    If I personally have a decent road bike, then I would rather spend £1k on a decent set of rims and then rest on coaching. I'm not the quickest but I know I've canned it past people on TT's before.

    I still standby what I say, if the there is a decent groupset on the a £1500 TT with a set of ok wheels then you do have to wonder where the corners have been cut. I think its a fiar point.
    I'm just glad I'm the skinny bloke on the Argon as I cane it pass the guy the TT..

    lets not go in the Blowhead's reviews... they're so bloody hypocritical. One month he loves a bike then the nexts its crap. I'm sure I've read in there about the review of the PX or simlar where its loved when they've got in but the following months it slowly starts to drop down the ratings.....
  • jmurt71jmurt71 Posts: 46
    Ok, don't want to get in the middle of a good fight here but I don't own a TT and I'm curious as to how you guys that do would rate them on courses that aren't flat. Obviously a TT is going to beat a road bike on the flat when you're over 20mph, but what about struggling up a 10% gradient? My money's on the roadie but maybe not, I don't know. I was looking at a P2 last winter and could have (nearly) stretched to it but took it for a test ride and was very unimpressed with it's climbing ability. On talking to the LBS owner (pure cyclist) he reckoned TT's were like surfboards or golf clubs - you only use them in certain specific situations, i.e pretty flat courses with good roads - nice to have when you have a few bikes but not a all rounder bike. Seeing as I'm doing two HI's this year and both are VERY hilly, I went with an S1 which is a bit of a compromise, but is a really stiff responsive bike which I love. But I'm curious as to what it would have been like with just the TT...
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    GHarv wrote:
    Bloody hell a decent debate on 220 hurrah.

    Anyway posted this a couple of months ago and its based upon some science.
    Here's another thought on this debate around how much you need to spend on a TT bike...

    Have you read 220 this month? The Blow meister has been to drag zero and wind tunnel tested two bikes - Cervelo P4 (£6K) and Focus culebro Tria (£876 - Wiggle).

    The P4 was only 3 seconds per kilometre faster - 2 minutes on a 40k bike leg - for an extre £5k.

    He then put the areo wheels on from the P4 to the Culebro and brought the difference down to 2 seconds per kilo only just a over a minute - and the Culrbro is an Alu frame!!!

    Maybee a cheaper TT bike and aero wheels is all you need.

    What about the stiffness of these frames, this comparison of the Focus to the P4 was based solely on aerodynamics. When I compare my Alu road bike to my Specialized carbon TT bike on the turbo, the difference in how much the frame flexes is massive....
    The Carbon frame is almost rock solid, even when standing (almost) but the Alu bike is all over the place. This is all a whole heap of lost energy!
    It's probably pretty difficult to make a comparison based on stifness, but I reckon it's pretty important too.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    alas the qualities of a good frame seem to be lost..
  • bunongbunong Posts: 49
    Whoo I'm sorry to have missed out on all the banter. When I posted the question my thoughts were that as the bike I currently have a a resonable road bike (not a £5k bike) with aero bars fitted that the wheels were the way to go.

    The main reason for this is that I don't have a fortune to spead - the wife and kids have that. And I only train a max 5-7 hours a week again as the wife and kids have the rest of my time. So £5K was out of the question and I doubt that the extra money is worth very much time as a £1.5K TT bike would give me 99.5% of the gains that a £5K bike would give me, and both certainly much less time than extra training would give me. Also if a £5K bike is so good why do 'cheaper' Planet X, Focus etc bikes win races - its all to do with the rider, thats why the bike companies want to sponser riders that win.

    The wheels will get my money - the next question is which wheels.

    Come on guys help me out So far I'm with Durarace as there resonably priced and made by a good brand - or do they just sponser the best riders?
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