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Time trialing on a road frame?


I did some homework of my own, and know that to time trial, the seat tube angle is usually more than 76, and that time trial geometry has shorter top tube, and head tubes. Thats fine, but for a student at UNI who doesn't really have that much money to buy both road bikes and time trial bikes for different distances, I was wondering if one could THEORATICALLY buy a really small road frame and sort of adjust the saddle forword so that the actual effective seat angle would be greater than 76 degrees, and still be able to mount TT bars so that your shoulders makes a 90 with the arms, as supposed to being stretched out on a road bike with tri bars?

One more thing, I noticed that on some website, the Look 486 was described as being capable of TT, but how, I mean the top tube is too long, seat angle is all wrong and yet they say its a TT Frame??

Have a look:



A Picture


I'm still very new to cycling only started in Jan, but am I missing something?




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    TTX PROTTX PRO Posts: 225
    i would never use a road bike for TT.Time-Trial bikes are more compact and aero than roadDont forget TT Bikes are wind tunnel tested and are disigned to cut the wind.Road bikes arn't
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    mini__Cmini__C Posts: 44
    while I would agree with you if your going 25mph and over, for an newbie like me, its not really wise to spend over 1000 on a bike I don't deserve, however that said I still would like to position my current road bike for TT practicing.

    Are there any seatpost that allow a wide range of adjustment to make the road frame capable of being a tri geometery frame?



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    zoezoe Posts: 28
    My time-trial bike is build off a road bike frame because I'm too small for most time trial frames- I couldn't get in the right position. My bike is awesome!!

    So yes, it is possibile to build a Time-trial bike up from a road frame.

    Being a road-frame against a specific Time-trial frame does not make that much difference unless you're at that end of the scale. Some frames are more aero-dynamic than others and weight is again another factor to add in, but that can be said comparing time-trial frames to each other.

    More important is your position on the bike. At the national relays we watched scores of athletes on time-trial frames who's positions were appaulling. They'd have been much better off on a road bike.

    Go for it, you can build up some awesome set-ups from a road frame, don't be put off because its not a specific Time-Trial frame.


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    mini__Cmini__C Posts: 44
    Hi Zoe

    What seatpost did you use to make up the seat angle steeper and closer to the bars??

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    tony btony b Posts: 57

    There's absolutely no reason whatsoever why you can't time trial on a road frame. I was for ten years and got under 55 minutes for a 25mile TT. Yes, I was using tri-bars, and a pointy hat, but to worry about the difference in aero advantage of a TT bike over a road bike is missing the main point that the biggest obstacle to the air is rider and position, not the bike.

    Use a road frame and some aero (not necessarily expensive) wheels. You can buy seat posts that curve forward (don't know the make) which would recreate the steeper seat tube angle. I could never get my elbow pads low enough so I bought a Look Ergostem, which helped a lot. Eventually I bought TT bike, but after ten years, and finding I could never quite get the position I wanted (I was never going to on that bike). However, for someone like yourself, with a bit of lateral thinking (and some stretching - that bent over position isn't particularly comfortable) you should be able to get closer to the classic TT position that the pros make look easy!

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