Quick Road Bike conversion

GJM
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Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby GJM » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:25 am

Hi there.
Apologies if this has been done to death.
Unexpectedly, I have a TT race to do in a few weeks time. It's a 15km TT.
I'm set up for mountain (road) climbing, not for TT-ing.
I have a good spare road bike though.
I don't want to buy a whole new TT bike. I want to convert my existing spare road bike.
What should I do? What tri bars should I buy?
And are TT bars simply clip ons (to existing bar), or is there also the option of replacing the entire handlebar with a purpose-built all in one?
I'm new to all this.

dalai47
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby dalai47 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:41 pm

IMO all left a little too late for this year.

Get some clip on aerobars (integrated time trial bars means new brake levers plus gear shifters and cables plus expensive bars), making sure your bar extensions within the necessary UCI regulations and practice riding the aerobars at speed. If you haven't ridden aerobars before I would suggest riding the road bike and I.A.B's for this year and set up properly for next year.

If you still want to try aerobars, extension bend will depend on preference (straight or ski) and if you have room to slam your stem will determine which model, As some aerobars sit high above the tops of your bars which means you will be still sitting high whilst on the extensions...

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Derny Driver
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:43 pm

+1 to what dalai said

My son is a very good TTer and he uses his road bike for them. He goes so good on the roady that i have no intention of buying him a TT bike even though he races every weekend.
Its very simple to set your road bike up, and very effective.
3 things to do.
1. Put on some clip on aerobars. Get the ones which are almost straight, and clip them close to your stem, centre of bars. I got mine for free by asking at my LBS, he rummaged through some drawers of parts and gave me a pair. Disregard the hype and dont pay big dollars, they are just 2 pieces of aluminium with pads on them.
2. Take the spacers from under your handlebars out and put them on top, ie lower the bars on the stem if you can.
3. Slide your seat fully forward on the rails and raise the seatpost about 5mm.

Have a few practise rides in the new forward position before the race.
Hers is my son on the roady, you can see its a very good position. He had fastest time in this TT.
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GJM
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby GJM » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:14 pm

Fantastic advice on both fronts.
Thanks DD and D47. Much appreciated.

dalai47
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby dalai47 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:52 pm

As proven by DD's son, you can be fast on a road conversion as the person accounts for 75-85% of the overall drag. Get aerobars, used to riding them and you will be too.

But it takes time to get used to producing power on the aerobars, so definitely look at get a set and use them. Just probably a bit late for this TT...

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nickobec
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby nickobec » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:37 pm

converting road to TT on the cheap is going to set you back a couple of hundred even on the cheap and take time.

as the race is only a "few" weeks away, do as DD & D47 suggested, get a pair of clip ons, lower the bars if you can, move your seat forward and up (the rule of thumb is 1cm forward 5mm up) and practice as much as possible.

From my expereince learning to ride TTs and TT bikes. Assuming a flat there and back course, if you can't get in at least 4 or 5 practice sessions (ie flat out 15km efforts) in, you are unlikely to be any faster on a bike with aerobars than your regular road bike. After 8 to 10 efforts, you will be faster.

If it is twisty and/or climbing and descending course, it will take a lot longer. I have race one course a dozen times in the past couple of years and I am as fast on my road bike as my TT bike, as I ride harder on descent (ie don't panic and keep pedaling at 60kph+ on descending a rough road surface), faster through the hotdog corners and it is no different on the climb.So if this race is on a similar circuit, my advice use your road bike

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KGB
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby KGB » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:12 pm

All advice is good so far. What you're looking to do is rotate your entire position forward around the bottom bracket - hence moving the seat forward and up slightly. Don't fall into the beginner's trap of just tucking down low on some aero bars.
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GJM
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby GJM » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:29 pm

Fantastic advice, thank you. All the above is extremely helpful.
I'm going to trial clip-ons but if it looks as though it's just not going to work this time around, and I'm better off just riding my normal road bike without clip-ons ... is there any value in still lowering the handlebars / bringing the seat forward / raising the seat ... or is that something you'd only do when clip-on bars are in place?

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Derny Driver
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:55 pm

You can lower the bars and ride it as is, but dont touch the seat unless you put the wally bars on.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:10 pm

GJM wrote:Fantastic advice, thank you. All the above is extremely helpful.
I'm going to trial clip-ons but if it looks as though it's just not going to work this time around, and I'm better off just riding my normal road bike without clip-ons ... is there any value in still lowering the handlebars / bringing the seat forward / raising the seat ... or is that something you'd only do when clip-on bars are in place?

Reminds me of a little anecdote ...my dad was mechanic for 11 years of the Commonwealth Bank Classic in the 90's, he looked after some incredible gods of international cycling. At the end of each tour he would come home and give me something special that the riders gave him out of appreciation for his help. Over the years I got a helmet belonging to Jan Ulrich, shoes off Jeremy Hunt, yellow jersey off Cesary Zamana (tour winner), points jersey off Declan Lonergan, sprint jersey off Raimondas Rumsas etc
Anyway I remember Rumsas winning about 5 stages one year and then it came to the final TT in Canberra. The Polish team only had one beat up bike each so my dad spotted a girl riding around on her bike which had some spinachi bars on it about an hour before the TT started. He offered her a Polish jersey in exchange for a loan of the spinachi bars. She agreed. Dad put the bars on, dropped the stem, raised the seat and brought it forward...and Rumsas won the TT.

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KGB
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby KGB » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:08 pm

I just fitted my old spinachis to my SS commuter. Those were the days!
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nickobec
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby nickobec » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:52 pm

+1 for not moving your saddle (rotating your body forward), it took me 6 weeks of racing + at least one hard training ride a week, before I could even get close to the same power in TT position as I did in my regular road bike position.

I would not even drop the bars, I would try to bend the elbows as much as possible, to get my torso lower and better aero. And practice that as much as possible before the race.

GJM
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby GJM » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:37 pm

Have done a couple of trial runs over the past two days - with both the new setup, and on my second (normal) road bike.
At this stage I'd be surprised if I didn't race on my standard road bike.
Basically, you guys are right :-)

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nickobec
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby nickobec » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:21 pm

GJM wrote:Basically, you guys are right


Yep ;-)

Actually having same issue after 6 months away from TT bike. I am putting put out 20 watts more and keeping my heart rate a couple of beats lower on my road bike for the same speed as my TT bike.

you cannot be sirrus
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:03 am

I've been doing my clubs mid week TT on my roadie for the last six weeks or so. Last night was my first try using the TT bars on the roadie, knocked off a whole 2 second on a 17km course :) . Power was down by 10W, HR down by about 5 bpm on normal. I think once I've fine tuned my position and had a few more rides on the bars I will see the benefits. It certainly feels much more efficient on the TT bars.
Kuota Kharma, Fuji Altamira, mongrel of an Orbea TT bike and an MTB thingy.

you cannot be sirrus
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Re: Quick Road Bike conversion

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:21 pm

One week on, a few minor tweaks and I knocked 30 secs of my PR.
Kuota Kharma, Fuji Altamira, mongrel of an Orbea TT bike and an MTB thingy.

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