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bikes with aero or not to aero...


I'm still very new to tri...yet to do my first tri at the BUSA triathlon event in may....anyways, I've been wondering for a very long time about this...here it goes:

IF there are specifically designed tri bikes with aero-bars, why do the elites who do olympic distance use road bikes?? instead of going for the time trial type tri-bike??

Would it be suitable for me to use a road bike for sprint~olympic distance, rather than a TT bike?




  • I think it depends on a few variables to be honest...

    I would suggest that the majority of folks new to Tri use anordinary road bike for their initial event(s). Many use whatever bike they have so you see a good number of mountain bikes too.

    I used a road bike last year and will be doing so this year too. I have added some retro fit aero bars but to be honest I haven't used then much and I'm considering taking them off again.

    Time trial bikes make a difference but at a hefty expense and at the standard I'm competing at it would not make that much difference. A mate of mine has just qualified for the GB age group team at European Duathlon Championship in Edinburgh later this year and he was using a road bike (with aero bars) and kicked a lot of TT bike riders into the long grass. At the end of the day Lance Armstrong would kick my backside riding a kids tricycle against me on a many £k TT bike. Whatever you ride you still have to pedal it...

    If you go for an aero approach I think you have to practise in that position which I haven't felt comfortable doing and for that reason I think they won't add much to my performance.

    Enjoy your first Tri...



  • PC67PC67 Posts: 101
    I definitely find aero bars a help, but they're not the be-all and end-all. They defintely make you more aero dynamic and if you're cycling into a head wind it helps you "pierce" the air a bit, though sometimes I think that just being closer to the ground makes you feel a bit faster.

    However, one definite benefit for me - purely personally speaking - is that it gives me an extra option. Over a 40km race I'd say I spend roughly a third of my time in each of the following positions: using my drop bars, using my aero bars and using my brake covers. The ability to change position makes a ride that bit more comfortable.

    I'm a fan. I even have them on my hybrid commuting bike, even if they do look a bit stupid. Craig is right: you do need to practise in that position. Initially you feel really unstable but after time it's second nature. This is why I have them on my commuting bike.

    I only have £35 Profile aeros but they're fine.
  • pdundepdunde Posts: 99
    elite events are draft legal, and the rules only allow specific short areobars (Profile hammer etc). Some do use aero frames (such as Felt B2 - emma snowsill used to ride that in 2006) but with dropped handlbars and short aero extensions.......so its a case of rules are different for elite events.
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