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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Not the ones I ride with. They're brutal.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:12 pm 
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yup, not many 'informative' answers i was counting on.. so i decided to make use of the TT clip-on bars i bought few years ago and try it on my own. today, persuaded by my new tri-neigbour.... i took part in my first triathlon event :D ... well, frankly it was a 'duathlon' or whatever you'd like to call it, as the race organizers canceled the swimming part - apparently the water wasn't clean enough or smth

so the 'event' consisted of ~5km running, then ~30km on the bike and again some ~5km running. one thing i gotta admitt - it was bloody painful to run after the bike part. finishing the bike part i was probably top 10, but then... well... let me just blame the shoes :oops:

prendrefeu wrote:
The steeper seat tube angles makes the motion of cycling closer to running.


exactly what 'serious' triathletes would say looking at my 'regular' road bike. "your STA is way too low". they also said i 'tried too hard' on the bike which turned against me in the final running part (like hell i did. truth is most of them isn't very impressive on the bike. that's probably one of the reasons why triathletes don't hang out with roadies..)

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Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:12 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:17 pm 
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I am also just starting out in triathlon. I am, first and foremost, a road cyclist; even though I dabbled in competitive swimming when I was in my pre-teens, I suck at it. More so in running; I can't run a decent 5km and usually struggle in maintaining a consistent pace, even in flat areas. That's why my entry into triathlon isn't through the usual route (neither a swimmer or a runner).

That said, I don't think I'm going to buy a tri-specific bike in the foreseeable future. What I simply did was I bought clip-on aerobars and installed them in my CAAD9; I also moved the saddle forward to slightly mimic the increased seat tube angle found in tri-specific bicycles.

For one, I like the option of having drop handlebars and aerobars at the same time, allowing me to fiddle with my position on the bike. Also, having easy access to both the brake levers and shifters helps a lot in bike handling, especially when the road goes up; Chorus 11 shifters allow me to easily dump gears on descents and flats, much like the functionality found in bar-end shifters. Finally, I don't think I'll become much faster in a tri-specific bike.

There's one thing, though, that I have to change in my jump to triathlon. As other posters have mentioned, triathletes are renowned for pushing too high a gear, even if the terrain calls otherwise. Having been taught the fine art of spinning, I am struggling (both physically and psychologically) to remain always in the big ring, to the chagrin of our triathlete mentor. What I like with spinning is it preserves my legs, especially during long rides; I am not that beaten up. Then again, it exhausts my aerobic system; while I haven't joined a triathlon yet, I fear that continuing to do so may adversely impact my performance during the run part.

Does spinning have a place in triathlon?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:47 pm 
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if i were you i wouldn't change a thing in the way you ride. at least not untill you hit a wall (performance-wise). although i'm not planning to switch to triathlon, i made an experiment today and pushed my saddle few centimeters forward. i absolutely hated it, and so did my legs

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:05 pm 
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The saddle forward thing is only useful in a TT setup. It helps you maintain a similar hip angle as on a bike, but get lower in the front. In TT people would do it, too, but there is the 5cm rule. It hasn't got to do with a running motion. If you look at draft-legal olympic triathlon the saddles are in a "normal" place.

Regarding performance: like in any sport, those who are up front are good athletes, those who are at the back are less so. Long distance triathletes tend to be very good at putting out aerobic power for long times (e.g., world class IM athletes put out close to 4w/kg for about 4.5h during a 8 to 9h race) but are not good at anaerobic stuff like you would need in a crit race - they don't train for it and might not have the right profile for it. Short distance triathletes racing in packs tend to be better at the anaerobic stuff (e.g., the Brownlee brothers). So if you would put a world class triathlete in a crit race he would likely struggle, if you put the same crit racers against said athlete in a 180km TT it would probably be closer or the triathlete might be faster. Horses for courses.

Lots of great athletes out there, there will always be a bit of (hopefully good natured) ribbing between the sports. In the end we all ride bikes, that's what counts :-).

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:17 am 
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tymon_tm wrote:
prendrefeu wrote:
The steeper seat tube angles makes the motion of cycling closer to running.

exactly what 'serious' triathletes would say looking at my 'regular' road bike. "your STA is way too low". they also said i 'tried too hard' on the bike which turned against me in the final running part (like hell i did. truth is most of them isn't very impressive on the bike. that's probably one of the reasons why triathletes don't hang out with roadies..)

Interesting, I have heard claims the other way around -- steeper STA (and midsole cleats) would save your hamstrings (and calves) for running.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:38 pm 
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Further forward = less muscle groups = saving it for the run. Yes, primarily saving the hams and calves.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:02 pm 
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Coming from someone who started in running, then made the jump straight to tri's and had to pick up cycling and swimming along the way. I've raced everything from sprints to IM and they all differ in your approach, training, speed. I'm maybe a MOP'er in tris, certainly BOP in the cycling world. Here's a few things I've noticed:

-Yes, lots of guys who have really expensive gear who ride at 16 mph. its very easy to spend lots of money and look fast when your bike is racked and in transition.
-Being aero does help regardless of speed. If you have an 8hr IM split on a tri bike with a 808/disc set up it could have been much worse with a heavy alum road bike and open pros. Since we can't draft, its up to you to hide from the wind or power through it.
-If you haven't tried a brick work out, do a FTP test then run 6 miles as fast as you can. That would simulate a oly tri which consists of a 40k bike and 10k run. It can be eye opening.
-Doing a brick work out with a road bike vs tri bike is night and day difference. My road fit ruins my legs for a run, where as my tri fit allows my legs to feel "fresh" for the run.
-For the long course race training, its all about staying in zone 1-2 of your HR for most of your training and you build aerobic fitness, so most of us will ride relatively much slower than the roadies.
-IMO, riding a tri bike in groups rides is pointless and scary. Thats why i only ride it on my trainer/solo rides.
-Some, like my self, are looking to get in with the roadies however it can be intimidating!

We're not all bad! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:58 am 
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Steep seat angle is much more about maintaining power in an aero position than about muscle usage. It used to be they thought it was about muscle usage, but muscle engagement has a lot more to do with hip/toro angle than seat angle...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:59 pm 
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I know I'm pretty tri dork, despite not having a TT build. Personally, I run at the collegiate level, but the two sports I've always loved watching are cycling and triathlons. For me, a triathlon race schedule in the summer gives me an excuse to get on the bike more. Not that I don't want to, in fact, I want to ride more than is good for my running legs at this level. Doing triathlons gives me a good reason to mount the bike for a few extra hours a week instead of just using it to cross train.

After graduating, I plan on focusing on triathlons and cycling and leaving the sport of just running, although I might find myself toeing the line of a few road races just to sharpen my running tactics and legs.

I do like hanging out with the roadies because they can rip my legs off. Which I need. I don't get to ride often, so when I do, I try to go hard.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Nscott1463 wrote:
-IMO, riding a tri bike in groups rides is pointless and scary. Thats why i only ride it on my trainer/solo rides.


This is the key.....the tri folks in my area ride in big groups, all in their aero bars while drafting and when they get to a hill they slow to a near dead stop while fanning across the road, still down on their aero bars. Stupid.....I always thought that was silly and really doesn't help them training wise, but I guess when you get a medal just for finishing why worry about getting faster? :noidea:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Ya i dont see the point of riding in a group down in aero if you're going to be drafting. None of our races are draft legal and if they are draft legal then you can't ride a tri bike anyways. If you're going to ride in a group, jump on a road bike and enjoy it without the feeling of "oh god someone braked and I can't reach my levers, guess I'll just swerve into the guy next to me who can't brake either".


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:38 pm 
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There are a lot of misguided triathletes out there, unfortunately, they ruin the reputation for the rest of us.

I have a friend that just earned his elite card for triathlons. He rides solo on his TT bike, and on a road bike for group rides.

I will also never understand why some triathletes refuse to break the aero position on big climbs. The only triathlon I did, I did on a road bike without clip on aero bars. There was only about 3 miles (of 13) that were flat. The rest was up or down. People would overtake me on a flat and then I'd drop them on a hill. I don't think I saw one triathlete break the aero position on a climb that day...

That being said, I caught a local cyclist, not even a long distance guy, who was riding in clip on bars and getting dropped by his group. I caught him, had a chat, and then rode with the rest of the group for a bit then over a climb. I was riding with the top guys in that group up the climb. In other words, not all cyclists are that strong either.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:58 pm 
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I did a couple triathlons in the past two years, 3 sprint races and the wildflower olympic triathlon at Lake Bradley. A couple observations:

1. I have met a lot of casual triathletes that just like racing and the social aspect of triathlons and training. They don't have the best gear, nor do they focus on getting faster or have the best nutrition. They just enjoy training and staying in relatively good shape by training for triathlons. I think these kinds of people are great for the sport as these guys tend to be the friendly faces of triathlon clubs.

2. I think the dorks staying in their aero bars while slaloming up an 8% grade is a vanity issue. If they can't be aero - then they have to look it. They just don't know that they look like morons. Also, after hanging out with a bunch of triathletes for some time now I realize how ill-informed this group of triathletes are about the gear that they purchase and use for specific races despite them having the newest and best aerodynamic equipment. An example of this is my buddy who has a $9,000 TT setup with the helmet and all that jazz and barely keeps a 16 mph pace over a flat 40k TT yet insists he is much faster because of the gear.

3. Then, there are the fast guys in triathlon that don't care what kind of TT set up they use and place a lot more emphasis on training, pacing, and nutrition rather than trying to purchase the best and baddest aero helmet. This reminds me of Chris McCormick on the day I raced wildflower. No wet-suit, no goggles, a road bike with clip ons for the hilly course, and downs a beer handed to him by a fan at the end of a very hilly 10k run and still managed to make the elite college kids eat his dust. Wouldn't be surprised if he decided to race in flip flops and a hipster fixie someday.

You meet all types, but after hanging out with a a bunch of triathletes for a year I can separate most of the triathletes I meet into these three categories.

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Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:58 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:46 am 
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There are slow triathletes, and there are slow roadies.

THere are fast ones in both categories too.

TT bikes are in most cases faster than road bikes, when ridden alone.

Say no more.

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