Partner Advertisements
DC Tri Club Forum {dialogue}

Previous Page   Page: 1   Next Page

Road bike v.Tri Bike
CREATED: 06/05/13 by MikeTri REPLIES: 13
MikeTri    JOINED: 5/23/13    POSTS: 9
Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/05/13 3:05 PM

Hey all,
I'm new to the sport and after a couple Olympics last year just finished the Lake Anna HIM in May. I used my Cervelo road bike and looked more than a little odd with I think the only road bike there. If I wanted to step up to a full IM or stay at the HIM level is it really necessary to invest in a tri bike? My wife is very understanding but I'm going to need a some persuasive arguments to shell out a couple grand for a new tri bike.

Gracias for any comments. I'm just getting started and really enjoy just how nice people are in this sport.
Best,
Mike

chucifer    JOINED: 3/14/13    POSTS: 6
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/05/13 4:27 PM

I've seen this question a bunch of times and I guess the best answer I can give is that 'it depends'. Clearly, you can use a road bike for a full IM so really, the decision to pull the trigger on a tri/tt bike depends on a bunch of other variables.

I started on a road bike, too, and here are the factors that helped me pull the trigger:

-Position on a tri bike will save me energy during the bike leg due to increased aerodynamics, which will lead to more resources on the run.

-I'm committed to the sport for several more years so it's an investment that will get me a good amount of usage.

-I can set one bike on the trainer and use the other whenever I want to ride outdoors. Preventing the need to swap tires all the time.

-I already have an aero helmet (best aero bang for the buck)

-It looks sweet as hell.

gabroe's ravatar gabroe    JOINED: 8/27/10    POSTS: 69
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/05/13 4:43 PM

I agree with chucifer, if you are committed to the sport go for it. I have road and tri, I use them a lot and even though I spend a lot of money on both I dont have regrets, I spend hours and hours on both of them, even more than my car (and the car was more expensive). If you are going to have it on the basement accumulating dust then dont do it. Also I guess that if you pick something at a good price you might be able to resale it and dont lose a bunch of money if you dont want it anymore.

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1331
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/05/13 5:14 PM

Is it necessary for HIM/Ironman? No. As Lance Armstrong once said, it's not about the bike.

Your "couple grand" tri bike will be on the low end/entry level. If you feel inadequate about having a road bike in the transition area of a HIM, you are really going to feel inadequate with your entry level tri bike among the sea $5k+ tri bike setups at an Ironman. That's not a joke. That is a reality :)

The world of triathlon is full of people with disposable incomes. Having a nice tri bike is their way of using that income and expressing themselves. There is nothing wrong with that. I'm in that same boat. Golfers buy nice sets of golf clubs. Tennis players buy nice tennis rackets. Auto enthusiasts buy nice cars. Congressmen buy nice hookers ... etc.

None of it is necessary. People do it for pure enjoyment and quality of life reasons. People will justify it by saying it's faster, it's more fitting for triathlon racing, and etc. All those factors may be true, but truth be told, they just buy the tri bike for the toy and bling factor more than anything else.

The argument I would make to your wife is that this is your hobby. This is what you are passionate about. It brings joy into your life. It improves your quality of life. You work hard, but need an outlet to relieve stress. The road bike is nice, but you don't wear pajamas to a wedding. A road bike at an Ironman is a pajama at a wedding. You would like to wear a nice suit. That's what a tri bike is. A nice suit that makes everyone complement your handsomeness to your wife.

It's no different than gardeners buying nice plants and planting equipment for their gardens. The initial cost for a tri bike is high, but you plan on keeping the bike for the foreseeable future. Spread that over years, the cost it a lot less, per month, than a gym membership. Plus, tri bikes hold their values better than cars. If you get tired of it, you will put it on Craigslist and get enough money back to buy her a neckless that will complement her beautiful eyes and wonderful smile.

You plan on riding a lot. Your ass will become hard. She will enjoy squeezing them and telling her girlfriends about them. Your active lifestyle will be transferred to your children. It's about the children after all :)

Whatever you do, don't talk about racewheels until your anniversary, birthday milestones, or when the kids go to college :)

Side note: All the women reading this right now are rolling their eyes, but that's only because they hate to see men happy.

--Tuan

redsv's ravatar redsv    JOINED: 10/26/09    POSTS: 45
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/05/13 5:26 PM

What Tuan said...Ah-men brother!

rpcvadriana    JOINED: 1/3/12    POSTS: 16
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/05/13 7:43 PM

As someone who also rides road bikes (including Lake Anna!), any gauge on immediate difference (keeping fitness, course equal) in overall time savings in switching from a road to tri bike? How much does it help in terms of conserving the legs for the run (a common argument I hear to buy a tt bike)?

Nate's ravatar Nate    JOINED: 2/23/10    POSTS: 68
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/06/13 7:07 AM

I haven't bought a tri bike yet, but something to consider is that not everyone is physical ready for one. I was thinking about it, but when I had a recent bike fit done, I was told that my back wasn't really flexible enough yet to settle into an aero position that the tri bike is set up for. It would have been a really big mistake for me to plunge into it too early.

I also rode a road bike at the Kinetic Half (the race I think you're referring to), and there were lots of us with road bikes! :-)

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1331
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/06/13 7:15 AM

Not sure what you mean by conserving the legs. If you mean that for equal power output, you'll end up at T2 faster on a tri bike than a road bike thus giving you more energy for the run, it helps. If you mean that the tri bike is configured somehow to utilize different muscles or put less strain on certain muscles than a road bike, it's a myth. All a tri bike does is put you in a more aero position so that you face less air resistance. Less resistance mean you go a little bit faster. Going a little faster means you end up in T2 faster. Ending up in T2 faster for the same amount of energy used means that you have more left in the tank for the run.

How much time does it save by going from a road bike to a tri bike? The answer is not at all, a few seconds, and a few minutes over 40 km. Not all road bikes are the same. Not all tri bikes are the same. You have entry level tri bikes at $1k and you have top of the line ones that are around the $7k-10k range (not including the race wheels). Same goes for road bikes. You have low end road bikes at around $500 and you have high end road bikes in the $7k-$10k range.

Not all bike courses are the same. If you are on a flat and windy course, like Eagleman, being in aero on a tri bike will save you a lot more time than being on a road bike. If you are a hilly course like SavageMan, the time savings between the two bikes will be smaller.

If you are going from a 30 lbs road bike to a P5, you will be saving a bunch of minutes over 40k. If you are going from a 14 lbs road bike to a 21 lb tri bike on a hilly technical course, you may be slower on the tri bike or not see any difference at all. If you are talking about similar tri and road bike builds, you are not going to magically go from an 18 mph biker to a 20 mph biker on the Kinetic Half course just by switching between a road and tri bike.

--Tuan

morunner66's ravatar morunner66    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 708
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/06/13 10:41 AM

Tuan - Thanks for the entertaining posts, yet again. I was just racking up some billable hours and getting extremely bored. Thank you for the relief.

I agree with everything in total in both your posts, but would only add, Secret Service Agents with the reference to Congressmen.

I have 2 Tri Bikes - 1 entry level and 1 totally awesome custom carbon ride that I value more than any other possession. I ride the entry level on my trainer and throw it in the back of the car when I want to ride at lunch. My totally awesome custom ride is a weekend and racing pleasure for the most part.

Some "tradtional" bike races - ie, Richmond Grand Fondo - said no Tri Bikes which made me think about buying a road bike (I have an aluminum Cannondale Road Bike from 1991 that I keep for "casual rides" with my kid for the most part), but lacking in disposable income and with a spouse varialbe I have not added to my bike collection. I enjoy being in aero position better than holding the drops - thus I favor Tri bikes anyway.

What exactly is a a Grand Fondo anyway? I decided I didn't really need to participate anyway.

Thus, I ramble bc Tuan distracted me.

Good luck with your bike selection.

Maureen

MikeTri    JOINED: 5/23/13    POSTS: 9
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/06/13 11:47 AM

Chucifer, Gabroe, DSGRunning, Redsv, rpcvadriana, MoRunner66 thanks so much...great posts that are giving me real world insight....now if only I can get my swim figured out...the GPS map of my Kinetic HIM swim looks like I spent four hours at a two-for-one martini happy hour....like a zipper...but onward I go and hope to meet you all in the water, maybe on the bike or perhaps the run.
Best,
Mike

MikeTri    JOINED: 5/23/13    POSTS: 9
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/06/13 12:06 PM

Chucifer, Gabroe, DSGRunning, Redsv, rpcvadriana, MoRunner66 thanks so much...great posts that are giving me real world insight....now if only I can get my swim figured out...the GPS map of my Kinetic HIM swim looks like I spent four hours at a two-for-one martini happy hour....like a zipper...but onward I go and hope to meet you all in the water, maybe on the bike or perhaps the run.
Best,
Mike

morunner66's ravatar morunner66    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 708
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/06/13 12:53 PM

Oh yes, the swim - Tuan is an expert. I could shave a good 4 mins per mile if I could swim straight. The drink break is a novel idea - they may help me actually and couldn't hurt Tuan.

jdubon3's ravatar jdubon3    JOINED: 8/11/12    POSTS: 23
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/07/13 9:44 AM

Well with the recent modifications to official IM races, maybe we can talk to somebody about setting up floating bars next to the resting rafts ;)

pdurb's ravatar pdurb    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 8
RE: Road bike v.Tri Bike
POSTED: 6/07/13 5:53 PM

If you're comfortable on your road bike and don't need to shave a few minutes off your time to win price money, qualify for Hawaii, etc., you might pause to consider what you really need a tri bike for. As has been noted, for shorter course, particularly hilly or technical ones, it's not going to make a ton of difference (and again, who cares if it does?). I'm not discounting the appeal of trying to fit in, and chances are you would be more comfortable on it for longer rides, but it's probably worth considering the motivations and if they're worth it. If anything else it can help reign in mission creep if and when you do get a tri bike!

Previous Page   Page: 1   Next Page

New Post

Only logged in and active members of the DC Triathlon Club may post messages on the Forum.


Search Terms

 
Match Criteria