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2013-07-16 3:56 PM
in reply to: mrbbrad

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Subject: RE: New Cyclist: Tri Bikes REALLY that unstable downhill?
Originally posted by mrbbrad
Originally posted by Jason N

Originally posted by mgalanter Your LBS is full of BS. They understand roadbikes and are trying to sell you what they know. like the old saying goeas: To some people with a hammer and every problem looks like nail.  

Or maybe they're giving advice based on being a roadie, who also race on time trials on TT bikes...and are generally stronger/faster than 90% of triathletes?  I wouldn't say their advice is good for all triathletes, but to say they are full of BS is not accurate. 

" aero bikes are too unstable on downhills " What part of that statement is not BS?

If you take every statement that comes out of a person's mouth to be 100% literal, then everything anyone ever says will be BS. 

There are benefits to using a road bike.  Not everyone chooses to take advantage of those benefits.  The quoted statement is just a way to illustrate (by exagerrating) the benefits of a road bike. 

If I make a statement such as "if you choose to ride your bike at night without lights you are asking to die"...that is an exaggeration.  There are pleny of people who do such things every night without dying...but that doesn't mean there is some truth to the point being made.



2013-07-16 4:06 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: New Cyclist: Tri Bikes REALLY that unstable downhill?
I think what they were trying to say is that in a pack, triathlon bikes are not going to work. In fact, try doing a criterium on a tribike. I dont do them but as I understand it, it's not legal. Why? Because in a pack you can't shift and brake on the fly on a tri bike where the shifters on on the aerobars like you can on a roadie. As far as stability, as long as you get used to it and you don't suck at riding a bike, the tri bike is as stable as a roadie. Or at least mine is when I'm riding it.

Personally I've owned a tribike for many years and never had a need for anything else. If you want to do triathlons, get a tri bike. I experienced NOT having a tribike last weekend in NYC and I dont know that I could do another tri on a road bike. If you want to ride in crits or in big packs of road bikes, then get a road bike. If you have the money, get both.
2013-07-16 4:26 PM
in reply to: Chokebait


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Subject: RE: New Cyclist: Tri Bikes REALLY that unstable downhill?
Originally posted by Chokebait

Thanks for all of the advice so far! That really helps set my mind at ease.

I think that quells my fears about downhill on the Aero bike. I was REALLY having a tough time understanding why anyone would ride one if they couldn't keep one upright on downhills, what they were saying just didn't add up. The math came out like this: Aero bikes are faster, but you can't go fast on an aero bike without tanking it. 2 + 2 = 3....

As far as needing a road bike for other races or for group rides, I guess I just don't see it being applicable for me right now. I consider myself a strength based athlete, but challenge myself to be well rounded. I don't foresee myself doing cycling races, nor do I see myself doing swims or road runs. The combination of skillsets and physical challenge of SBR is what allures me to triathlon, and hence, to get a tri bike. As far as group riding goes, maybe it's a mental thing I picked up in weight lifting, but I don't play well with others . If I go run or ride with someone, either they're faster than me, or I'm faster than them (in weight lifting, one can always lift more than the other), so if I'm riding in a group, either I'm holding the others back, or I'm getting held back. So I'm much more an independent trainer type. Everybody has their pace and distance they need to hit on a particular day, so I just don't relate to group rides. Maybe some people would say that makes me a , I don't know? Ultimately, it bugs me to think that someone is lagging their pace for me a lot more than it bugs me to wait on someone else, so I like to THINK I'm not just a .

Lack of control or hassle of switching back and forth between the bull horns and aero bars is pretty legit, and that's part of my interest in having two bikes.

So I think that pretty well cements me into an aero bike, assuming I can find one that really fits (no doubt). If my tastes change and I find myself needing a road bike, I wouldn't mind getting two bikes, or swapping bikes to suit that specific purpose later on. For now, I want to be sure I'm on the right bike for my application.


I was in the same position as you when I got into triathlons this year. I am not into group cycling or bike races either and wanted a bike specifically for HIM and IM distance races to train and race one (plus my wife wouldn't let me get two bikes ) I only train on a bike specific trail as well with no cars so need for the additional control of a road bike wasn't really needed. Now that my fit has been dialed in and I am very used to the bike, I find the tri bike very easy to control and I've ridden with people, swerved for squirrels, and the occasional runner. Knowing that my brakes are on the drops, I just stay cautious when passing or riding into groups so I stay in the drops a little more.
2013-07-16 5:31 PM
in reply to: andy515

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Subject: RE: New Cyclist: Tri Bikes REALLY that unstable downhill?
Originally posted by andy515

I only train on a bike specific trail as well with no cars so need for the additional control of a road bike wasn't really needed. Now that my fit has been dialed in and I am very used to the bike, I find the tri bike very easy to control and I've ridden with people, swerved for squirrels, and the occasional runner.


I would be even more wary of riding my tri bike on a bike trail. On the roads I'm more concerned about my own safety, but on a bike trail I would be risking the safety of other trail users.

On a tri bike it's pretty easy to do 25+ mph on a bike trail. And if the riding is real training, the goal is to go fast for sustained periods, and to get tired (and hence less alert). In my experience, trail users are rather less predictable than car drivers. They travel in less of a straight line, they include kids that can come out of nowhere. They have no rear-view mirrors. And these days it seems like 75% of them are plugged into some kind of music player, so they can't hear you, even if you alert them as you approach. It's dangerous enough at the 15mph limit that is typical on such trails, but far more dangerous when somebody's racing along in aero position. Some trails are deserted and have amazing visibility, but that's the exception rather than the rule in my neck of the woods.
2013-07-17 8:13 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: New Cyclist: Tri Bikes REALLY that unstable downhill?
Originally posted by Jason N

Originally posted by mrbbrad
Originally posted by Jason N

Originally posted by mgalanter Your LBS is full of BS. They understand roadbikes and are trying to sell you what they know. like the old saying goeas: To some people with a hammer and every problem looks like nail.  

Or maybe they're giving advice based on being a roadie, who also race on time trials on TT bikes...and are generally stronger/faster than 90% of triathletes?  I wouldn't say their advice is good for all triathletes, but to say they are full of BS is not accurate. 

" aero bikes are too unstable on downhills " What part of that statement is not BS?

If you take every statement that comes out of a person's mouth to be 100% literal, then everything anyone ever says will be BS.


Except when people speak the truth. The statement about tri bikes on downhills could have been posed in a different fashion that encompassed several of the factors that could make a tri bike less than ideal in certain situations. At is was presented, it is BS. I tend to say what I mean and mean what I say and expect the same from others.
2013-07-17 9:24 AM
in reply to: mrbbrad

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Subject: RE: New Cyclist: Tri Bikes REALLY that unstable downhill?
Interesting discussions around this topic on today's TdF stage. I'm watching the UK coverage, and just saw a couple of interesting interviews with Jens Voigt and Richie Porte, both of whom know a thing or two about bike handling.

Today's TT stage has two Cat2 climbs and two descents. One descent is more technical, the other less so.

Jens Voigt commented that he chose a road bike over a TT bike because the road bike handling is so much better on the descent than the TT bike. And Richie Porte (Team Sky) said that he and race leader Chris Froome were planning to ride a road bike for the first descent and then switch to a TT bike for the second descent (despite the time cost of a bike change).


2013-07-17 10:00 AM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: New Cyclist: Tri Bikes REALLY that unstable downhill?
Originally posted by erik.norgaard

- You can't shift from the horns to the aero bars fast enough on technical courses where you need to change gear and use the breaks frequently, the road bike wins hands down. Check that thread from last week regarding riding downhill on a tri bike.


I disagree, I didn't have any problem at IMWI last year switching between the horns and aero on the technical corners. When you start a decent, you aren't going fast, get into the gearing you need to be in and then go to the horns. When going up hill it is easy shmeasy to change gears while riding the horns.


Originally posted by erik.norgaard

- Not all races are drafting prohibited, in fact, races under ITU up to olympic distance are often drafting permitted (judging from BT, I have the impression that his is not so in US, or maybe people are just obsessed with IM/HIM?). A tri bike is prohibited in those races, they allow clip on aero bars with the restrictions that the aero bars must be closed (no pointing tubes) and must not extend beyond the hoods. With a road bike you can enter in all races, cycling, triathlon, drafting permitted or not.


No races in north america with the exception of ITU are draft legal. People watch ITU races, but you need a pro-card to race in them. In Canada, in order to get a procard, you actually have to pass a course to be able to race draft legal races. - http://www.triathlonontario.com/draft-legal-cycling-clinics-p148970
2013-07-17 11:42 AM
in reply to: Daffodil

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Subject: RE: New Cyclist: Tri Bikes REALLY that unstable downhill?

 

There are valid reasons for owning either bike. I would find a different LBS though, they are feeding you a bunch o crap. Find someone without such a clear bias to help you.

My first bike was a roadie, bottom of the line Trek, it worked fine and I only rode by myself.

My second bike was a Cervelo P2C, this bike is a rocket compared to the Trek and once I had it the Trek got pretty well completely ignored. 

Trek got sold for a slightly higher end, used Trek. Trek still got ignored as I rode the P2C. Still riding only by myself at this point.

Trek eventually got sold for my current Fuji Altamira 3.0 carbon road bike. I got hooked up with a local group and do a lot of riding with them, I also trained for a rode in the Seattle to Portland ride this past weekend. 204 miles in one weekend dictated using the road bike as did the group rides. This year my P2C has 29 total miles on it and is getting ignored while I ride the Fuji. 

The Fuji is more comfortable, climbs better, more versatile as far as handling, sprinting and group riding. I did a TT on the P2C last week and it sucked. Couldn't hold aero for very long and I was generally uncomfortable on it due to not riding it all year.

So for me, I like the bike I ride the most, whichever that happens to be for the season. For now I am really enjoying the group rides, I did my first crit and I am looking forward to more bike races rather than tris this year. I have actually considered selling both of my bikes and getting a Cervelo S5 aero road bike. I am doing mostly road these days and the S5 is sexy and would work fine in a tri. But I like having a real TT bike so I will likely hold on to the P2C in case my interests change next year.

For you it sounds like you are not interested in the bike scene, more the tri scene so get a TT bike. It will handle fine. I have hit 55mph on my P2C, scary, but stable.

My last word would be, before you buy examine what you really want to do, just tri or road bike stuff too. And don't be afraid of speed differential in riding with a group. We have all sorts of levels of riders in my group, we often split into two groups, but even then abilities vary wildly. Sure you might not win every stop sign sprint but that doesn't mean you can't hang with a pace line without slowing everyone down.  

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