converting road bike to TT / tri bike

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  • converting road bike to TT / tri bike
  • RealMan
    Member

    You could try improving your flexibility through stretching. It’s free, it will improve your life, and your riding.

    Now and then I’ll go for a 3 hour ride and spend it almost entirely on the drops. Aches a bit at the end, but means it’s complete piss to stay in the drops for an hour of racing. Riding a bike isn’t a particularly natural position, you have to get used to it, and that does take time.

    Also, phantom aero bars > clip on tri bars.

    tracknicko
    Member

    if it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right.

    i’d love to help more, but backwards seatposts is starting to get all manner of wrong. and i’d consider myself mainly a roady these days.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    How far are you dropping your bars? Used to work OK for me but then the tri-bars sat quite high so I wasn’t bending much more than I would using the hoods on the normal bars. It also takes a lot of flexibility and work to be able to hold a decent TT position without risking injury, did you make a big change in one go?
    Personally I’d just go with a relatively high TT position and if the seconds you’ll lose start to become a big deal to you then you’re probably into it seriously enough to warrant getting a TT bike, you still won’t automatically be able to hold a position like Wiggo’s though…

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    I’ll post a pic later after it’s been used in action tonight, but I’m doing exactly as the OP suggests. Focus road bike, with a Bontrager XXX seatpost which can be flipped round so you have forward offset – effectively making the seat tube steeper.

    This also make the TT effectively shorter than a geometry chart states (i.e. more akin to a TT frame). I have mega long legs, so the longer head tube of the road bike works well. I have zero spacers under the stem. I’m just tweaking position, and am on the lookout for a 90mm spesh adjustable rise stem at a reasonable price so I can drop the bars a little just to see what it might be like with a shorter headtube (i.e. a TT frame).

    Handling is good! It works really well as a means of making a TT bike from a road bike you currently have, and for shapes like me, it can actually work better.

    FWIW with this set up, my back is pretty flat, so in a good aero position.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Def try a forward facing seatpost, minimum cost, bound to help a bit.

    richardk
    Member

    First pass, I’d bring your seat forward as far as possible on your existing seat post, or move to an inline post (if you aren’t on one already).

    You could also raise your bars, I also widened mine slightly.

    TT bikes are very specialist, so I wouldn’t go down this route until you know you are committed to doing TTs or tris regularly. Clip on bars are used regulary by lots of people for improvements, I did all my early TTs and tris with them.

    AntLockyer
    Member

    I’d say moving your saddle forward is the opposite of what you need.

    To be aero you need to bend over to achieve the flat back, moving the saddle forward (and up at the same time) will open the hip angle a little but you’ll then be relying on a different muscle recruitment to pedal and will have more weight on your arms.

    Mary Hinge
    Member

    I had a Retul bike fit done last year, and as part of the deal, I bought a 2nd seatpost and saddle, and some tri-bars from them, and they did a TT/Tri fit free.

    I simply bolt on the tri bars and swap seatpost and saddle as a unit and I’m good to go.

    The position is noticeably different. I started with the handlebars at the road height when first using it in TT mode, and have slowly been dropping/flipping the stem to get a lower front. Still a way to go, but one step at a time.

    The hip angle change is better for running off the bike in a tri.

    You could get a proper bike fit then a) your road bike would be set up properly for your flexibility and b) you can get a TT set up done at the same time so you know what components you need to buy/where the saddle etc should be.

    For me, having a bike fit has meant that i’m on the drops 100% of my riding time in chaingangs/races/TTs and I’m way more aero/powerful than I was before. I’d probably use them the whole time if i didn’t feel so small/not visible enough in traffic. If i was even vaguely interested in doing well in TTs (i’m not, find them boring compared to racing) I’d get a bike fit done for a TT position with tri bars.

    Otherwise i’ve seen friends add tri bars and move their saddle forward.

    AntLockyer
    Member

    Understand that Tri and TT have different goals in terms of muscle recruitment because I can barely walk after a TT let alone run 🙂

    Premier Icon charliemort
    Subscriber

    antLockyer

    my thinking used to be same as yours – as stretched out as possible.

    Having now sat on a TT bike it was luxury after my road bike with tri bars. Basically TT bike replicates the angles of a road position but tilts you down and forward by having seat further forward. it feels natural

    trying to do this on road bike for me basically folds me up in the middle, knees virtually hitting chest, back ache etc – hence forward facing seat post to shove your hips forward and keep that 90 degree-ish hip angle

    richardk
    Member

    Its not just about Aero though Antlockyer, its a compromise between aero and power delivery. There’s quite a few pros are actually going less aero-extreme because they can’t deliver power consistently.

    Running off the bike – just a matter of practice 😀

    Premier Icon charliemort
    Subscriber

    Morning

    Am doing a few TT’s / Tri’s on road bike with tri bars. Having flexibility of a brick, this gives me back ache and discomfort in bits of legs I didn’t know I had, and knees start coming out to compensate

    This is because I am bending over too far due to relaxed road bike seat angle, I think, so hip angle is all wrong

    instead of going down the extreme darkside TT bike route, am thinking of running second forward facing seatpost and TT saddle to steepen seat angle and get me forward and open up hip angle

    have spoken to 2 Retul bike fitters – one recommends it, one says buy a TT bike, which would be a step too far at my level I think

    Whilst obviously a compromise, has anyone tried this? worthwhile or waste of time?

    or just stick to the mtb?

    thanks

    AntLockyer
    Member

    I’m not in the most extreme aero position myself, I’ve compromised to find what’s fastest for me. For someone who is not flexible though I think saddle forward is maybe not the way to go. Just a different thought process I guess.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    As promised, this is what my butchered road bike looks like in TT mode!

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    Inline post and an old mtb saddle is the best upgrade I’ve got for tts, made riding in the extensions possible. Feels super fast, despite the clock perhaps not agreeing!

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