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Convert road to TT bike
CREATED: 03/05/11 by toru REPLIES: 7
toru's ravatar toru    JOINED: 1/16/11    POSTS: 40
Convert road to TT bike
POSTED: 3/05/11 7:36 PM


I own a road bike but cannot afford another for TT. So I bought DH bar and forward bended seat post to make my road bike TT-ish.

During winter, I use Minoura trainer over an hour with road bike. But after placing DH bar and replacing seat post, it is really hard to keep the pace and length.

Is it normal for a transition period when different muscles are used? Or is something wrong for my setting?

I joined NTP. I know there are a couple of bike buying clinic but wonder if there is a bike "riding" clinic. It is easy to ride a bike but not that easy to ride correctly.

Can you give me some advice?

Thanks, toru

siehndel's ravatar siehndel    JOINED: 11/25/05    POSTS: 1104
RE: Convert road to TT bike
POSTED: 3/05/11 8:24 PM

Hi Toru,

I'm really not an expert when it comes to bike design so don't take my opinion as the rule.

The frame geometry of a road bike vs. a TT bike is really quite different. At the end of the day, no matter how you set up your road bike, it's still a road bike. It likely has a longer top tube than a TT bike and the seat tube is at a different angle. So when you change the handle bars and seat post, you still have that longer top tube and a less steep seat tube.

So it could be that by changing the handlebar/seat post set up, you're actually putting yourself into a position that might make it much harder to ride than if you'd kept the orginial handlebars. If you're having trouble, I'd suggest that you consider keeping the original set up on your road bike. It might prevent injury and/or give you more speed.

Just my opinion. You may want to swing by a bike shop and ask their opinion. It could be that you are on the right track but you just need to adjust your seat height or something minor like that.


toru's ravatar toru    JOINED: 1/16/11    POSTS: 40
RE: Convert road to TT bike
POSTED: 3/06/11 9:19 PM


Thanks for great advice! I will adjust DH bar and seat post little by little and see how it goes.

Thanks! toru

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 685
RE: Convert road to TT bike
POSTED: 3/06/11 10:57 PM

to answer your question.

yes if you transition from a road position to a tri position even if you are set up right on two different bikes a road and a tri bike, my opinion is that it takes a bit of an adjustment period even if you are fit by a professional. i think there are even articles on this where some pros will ride road bikes for a lot of training then transition to a tri position but it will take some time for them to be at full power on it because there is a slight different in well position so different muslces are used.

also as travis said, setting up a road bike to simulate or get to a tri position can be done but its like anything else, will it be exactly liek a tri bike? of course not because its not. but you can get it very close (and this is important if you are not loaded with cash you can save a bunch of money and make due) but there may be some tradeoffs at times regarding handling and such because you are modifying something to do what it wasn't really built for. Not to say that its bad, but its just something you have to be aware of.

and of course if you want to put your mind at ease go to a good bike shop that knows about this type of conversion and have them help your or give you advice.

and if you can't do that like you say make small changes and see how you feel and work from there.

good luck.

SSPT    JOINED: 5/28/09    POSTS: 87
RE: Convert road to TT bike
POSTED: 3/07/11 4:15 PM

As Travis mentioned, the most notable difference in a road versus TT bike is the frame geometry, especially the seat tube angle, which is much steeper on a TT bike than on a road bike. Changing to a forward-bending seatpost is helpful, but it may not be enough to create the proper hip angle to maximize efficiency and keep a rider safe from injury. A 2-position seat post may be more appropriate in this case.

Another consideration is elbow angle and position in relation to the aerobar pads, in addition to the amount of drop between the saddle and aerobars. For every 1 cm or so of drop, there should be about 1 cm of knee movement forward of the pedal spindle. It's as if you are rotating the rider forward on an axis (not just dropping them down) to try to keep the proper hip and knee angles with the "change" in geometry from using a different seat post and aerobars.

Also, flexibility and strength play a role in performance/injury prevention when riding in a more aerodynamic or aggressive position.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at (Sonja Evers, Sports + Spinal Physical Therapy).

toru's ravatar toru    JOINED: 1/16/11    POSTS: 40
RE: Convert road to TT bike
POSTED: 3/07/11 10:26 PM

Justin and Sonja,

I really appreciate your help. For a moment, I go back to road style.


vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 685
RE: Convert road to TT bike
POSTED: 3/07/11 11:49 PM

i see the ssptc people have put in their opinion and the idea of all the hip angles, and shoulder upper arm/upper arm to lower arm angles you can read about in various traithlon books to gain a better understanding.

i encourage you to contact them or other professionals as they have a much better understanding to all of this than any of us not doing this for a living.

if you have to pay a professional to fit you on a bike, its probably the best money one can spend besides the bike itself.

that being said, if you don't have the money for this (and trust me i know for a long time i coudn't afford these services) you can read up on the stuff and experiment with different positions on a gradual basis to see what works for you. As with anything make the changes in small amounts, for example a change in seat height of 1-2mm up or down for some people will make a drastic difference in the way the bike fits.

have a great season.

toru's ravatar toru    JOINED: 1/16/11    POSTS: 40
RE: Convert road to TT bike
POSTED: 3/17/11 10:44 PM

Thanks for comments, everybody. I have been in deep sorrow for earthquake in Japan. I survived from another devastating one sixteen years ago. I have been out from this site and training.

Anyway, it seems that I moved seat forward in too much aggressive position. Now it is getting better by adjusting gradually.

See you if you show group ride on Sunday! Thanks!

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