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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:17 am 
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maybe some of you can enlighten my ingnorant self as to why triathletes are the way they are...

today i met a lad along the way. he had a Merida TT frame, with the whole set-up: bars, helluva deep wheels, skinsuit (!), and some funky aero bottle mounted to the seat tube. he looked like he was about to break the air in half. thing is, it wasn't the best of my days, yet i caught the guy, hung with him for like half an hour and, well, said 'see ya' and left him doing his TT thing.
and that's cool with me, everyone has his thing, his own pace, equipment, etc. i respect that as much as i respect guys whose wheel i can't even suck for a second. but with this one, it was different. i couldn't help but ask about his TT setup. his replies were more or less like this: "in triathlon, we have triathlon bikes, better suited for triathlete's needs". "riding a regular road bike just doesn't do the job". "my coach set this TT bike for me, it's biomechanically perfect". "TT bike is faster". "it's taken me to another level, riding a TT bike"... etc.

apart from the fact that he wasn't any faster, he was evidently struggling with his TT position on numerous occasions, not to mention having no power at all whenever road went slightly uphill, is there any reason behind training on a TT bike (instead of a 'regular' road bike) and racing on one? TT=aero, i get that, but in the real world, with traffic, junctions, wind, rolling terrain, is riding on such TT bike anyhow beneficial? what about this awkward position that apparently isn't best suited for other than plain flat roads? last but not least - don't triathletes, despite triathlon not being a team sport, ride in groups after all..? can't they just suck a wheel, like normal roadies do..? :noidea:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:53 am 
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Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:53 am 


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:56 am 
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Probably they would be even slower on a normal road bike... ;p

Cycling is often not their main interest BTW, most Tri guys I know are basically runners who get into triathlons because they see it as a better or more complete sport, the "biking" thing is just part of it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:06 am 
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tymon_tm wrote:
apart from the fact that he wasn't any faster, he was evidently struggling with his TT position on numerous occasions, not to mention having no power at all whenever road went slightly uphill, is there any reason behind training on a TT bike (instead of a 'regular' road bike) and racing on one?


Sounds like a poor fit. It's not uncommon for there to be a slight power loss going from a road setup to a TT setup, but the substantially better aerodynamics more than make up for it. Also, he could just be slow :noidea:

Quote:
TT=aero, i get that, but in the real world, with traffic, junctions, wind, rolling terrain, is riding on such TT bike anyhow beneficial?

Yes
Code:
                     Setup                        Estimated Ave CdA (m^2)       Speed (km/h)   Power (W)
Tarmac SL2 | road helmet | drop bars                    0.310                     40.10         306.6
Tarmac SL2 | road helmet | clip-on aero bars            0.267                     40.27         268.6
Tarmac SL2 | TT2 helmet | clip-on aero bars             0.256                     40.38         261.0
Transition | road helmet | aero bars                    0.265                     40.17         262.9
Transition | TT2 helmet | aero bars                     0.230                     40.05         229.0


Traffic/Junctions/Hills aren't particularly common in the races (at least compared to road races), so it's still beneficial to put some training time on the TT bike, even if you aren't just doing flat intervals. Professional cyclists still overwhelmingly choose TT bikes, even on rolling/hilly TT courses (See: ToC TT stage this year, almost all TT bikes despite a substantial climb at the end). However, I do think a lot of triathletes spend too much time on their TT bikes and not mixing up their training on road bikes with groups (to gain handling skills if nothing else)

Quote:
what about this awkward position that apparently isn't best suited for other than plain flat roads? last but not least - don't triathletes, despite triathlon not being a team sport, ride in groups after all..? can't they just suck a wheel, like normal roadies do..? :noidea:


Draft legal triathlons are typically reserved for ITU Pros (A specific type of event, any WTC Ironman or other race still has the pros maintain distance). Of course TT bikes aren't as easily handled as road bikes, so they make sure to require some space between competitors. Amateurs are required to have about 23 feet (7m) between them. Even if you took away the TT bikes to make it safer, and allowed drafting, it would completely negate the purpose of the bike portion of the race. You'd have everyone swimming as fast as they could to not "miss" the pack as it left the transition area, then you'd just sit in and wait until the run to make a move. Draft legal triathlon would be incredibly boring to participate in if you weren't a phenomenal swimmer.

Triathlon is a bit weird to be honest; most people who consider themselves triathletes have probably participated in a race of some sort, whereas with cycling, a very small subset of people you see out on bikes have ever raced. And even amongst the people who do races, because it's an individual sport, you have some people who are very competitive, and some people who just want to finish in the allotted time.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:56 am 
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Some of the tri guys around here are absolute monsters. Sure, maybe they would get dropped during surges, in a race, or on a long climb, but when they are motoring on the flats or rollers in steady state they can chew my legs right down to bloody stumps.

They are also great to draft on century rides because they simply don't care. It is just a different sport. I never disrespect the tri riders.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:16 am 
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I never disrespect anyone on anything that's two wheeled and powered purely by human power!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:56 am 
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Yup there's plenty of tri-geeks but let's not look in the mirror too closely, roadies aren't generally the coolest bunch in the world either. One has to remember too, esp for ironman,you shouldn't be killing yourself on the bike.

Re: ITU

Happened to watch the Madrid round on ITV a few weeks ago and the bike legs was actually interesting cause it was a hilly circuit. Also, at that distance, the guys can take a few risks attacking on the bike. Of course, in the end, it's all down to running, one of the Brownlee boys just hopped off his bike, attacked hard on the run and cruised to victory. I was actually surprised the guys weren't more aero geeked in their set ups than they were.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:03 am 
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Cyclists like to cycle
Triathletes likes to train.

As Salsa lover mentions I also think that most Tri guys come from running or swimming and have to learn the finer points of TT'ing.
That said there is plenty of tri guys around here that rides really well on both their tt bikes and their standard roadbikes.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:09 am 
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Gotta remember triathletes don't ride at their FTP in their events because if they did they wouldn't be able to run afterwards. They take it a lot slower. Just because he was motoring along slowly, doesn't me he couldn't go fast.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:53 am 
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Kenny Powers says it best:-;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De7rbB2bteE

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:35 pm 
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BeeSeeBee wrote:
Sounds like a poor fit. It's not uncommon for there to be a slight power loss going from a road setup to a TT setup, but the substantially better aerodynamics more than make up for it. Also, he could just be slow :noidea:


euan wrote:
Gotta remember triathletes don't ride at their FTP in their events because if they did they wouldn't be able to run afterwards. They take it a lot slower. Just because he was motoring along slowly, doesn't me he couldn't go fast.


spot on, which leaves the equipment question even more reasonable: what are the benefits of all this 'aero' below, say, average speed of 40 kph(though i'm being tremendously generous here, for most amateur's it's probably closer to like 30 kph)? wouldn't a regular, thus more comfortable, and dare i say, better "biomechanically suited", road bike allow them to squeeze a bit more, both during training and a race?

Musiker wrote:
Cyclists like to cycle
Triathletes likes to train.


:thumbup: ha! thing is, there's probably an equal percentage of roadies, triathletes, mt-bikers etc 'training' rather than riding. personally i know a lot of guys with that kind of serious-to-death approach, they're no fun to ride with at all..

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Heh Its not that I don't ever do a "boring" training ride, but imagine having to do the same for swimming and running. 3 sports to train for (albeit all endurance ones).

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:49 pm 
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One thing you have to remember is triathletes do three sports. You might be able to bike as fast as the guy but can you swim? Can you bike 50 miles and then hop off and start running? I doubt it.

I was on beater mtn.bike yesterday and rode with a triathlete on a full blown tt bike for about 35 mins. He had the deep rims, aero bottles, etc. I basically used two gears the whole time and spun as fast as I could. We took turns pulling. He tried to drop me but couldn't. He said he won his age group the previous week and seemed fit and fast. Do I feel like a big shot because he couldn't drop me? Hell no, the guy was swimming before I met him and probably went jogging later that night.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Some sentiments in this thread remind me a bit of territorial behavior that you get in so many adjacent sports: skiing, snowboarding. Surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, etc. There seems to be a strong urgency to differentiate ourselves from people who do something similar, but slightly different, and who we have to share our territory with.

In the end you get nice and less nice people anywhere. Live and let live is my motto, even if the people seem weird at times :-). So +1 on what Mark and RickGiardini write above.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:54 pm 
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today on my way home i met the guy again. turns out he just moved in a couple houses from me :D we're set for some BBQ later this week, but from what i've learned so far from a friendly, neighbourly talk:

-he (Greg) doesn't swim, neither does he run. does some MTB marathons though, uses his TT bike for 'training' only
-his brother in law is some big time triathlete and (probably a self-titled) expert on bikes, fitting and everything
-Greg doesn't hang out with local roadies, because they're... roadies. and he's a triathlete. at least in 1/3rd he is...

well, i look very much forward to meeting the guy, evidently he has some issues that could be straighten out, like being under the influence of some evil triathlete :twisted:. other than that he seems a nice guy, didn't say my seat's too high, neither treated me with other regular roadies' patronizing BS talk that's pretty common during the meet&greet phase :thumbup:

as for allegedly offending character of discussing certain equipment habits - :roll:

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Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:54 pm 


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