Tri bars / riding position making a big difference ??

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Tri bars / riding position making a big difference ??

Postby Trev Campbell » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:44 am

Hi Guys, I've done a few triathlons now and have used a few different bikes. I've used my road bike, A CF Norco with combo of Ultegra and Dura Ace running gear so it's pretty light (I ride on the drops during a tri). But just as a bit of a project I rebuilt an old steel frame that I'd been given with some bits and pieces I had lying around (None of the gear is as good as on the road bike) including a set of old Tribars that had come with an old bike I'd purchased and crashed. I've ridden the restored steel bike in 2 of the last 3 Tris I've done, the bike is much heavier than my roadie but in the last tri, I just took 3 minutes off my last time on the roadie. (It was a perfect day with no wind tho) on a 25k bike leg

The only thing I can think of is the tribars, do they and the position they put you in on the bike alone make a huge difference to bike speed, they appear to be for me. Has anyone else had a similar experience ???

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by BNA » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:25 pm

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Re: Tri bars / riding position making a big difference ??

Postby nescius » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:25 pm

Yes, TT bars make a huge difference by putting you in a more aerodynamic position, probably worth about 2kmh on a flat course (maybe more). On a flat course it's all about being aerodynamic, weight isn't such an issue, if you added an aero helmet and some deep section wheels you would most likely see another couple of minutes improvement.

Here's an article with some numbers in it that you might be interested in - How aero is aero?
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Re: Tri bars / riding position making a big difference ??

Postby Trev Campbell » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:36 pm

Thanks Nescius, All I can say is wow. I Wouldn't have believed that it would make that much difference to a hack rider, but the proof is in the ride !!!! Cheers
Great Jens Voigt Quotes:
"I get paid to hurt other people, how good is that?"
"Shut up legs"
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Re: Tri bars / riding position making a big difference ??

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:57 pm

Hi Trev

You should use clip-ons for time-trialling. What I would do if I was you, is go to your LBS and get some clip-ons that fit your road bike bars. Should only cost you about 60 bucks. Then look out for some cheap deep dish wheels, even chinese 60 or 80mm ones would be ok. Ride your good bike in the races and use the steely for training.
I think you need to drop your handlebars down more, as clip-ons sit on top of the bars. Aero is everything in time-trials.

My son is a great time-trialler but only has a road bike. For TTs I just slide his seat as far forward as it will go and put the clip-ons on. We have a rear disc wheel (bought on here second hand) and a front 60mm. Works brilliantly. We also picked up a second hand aero helmet which helps as well.

PS I did 3 years of triathlons many moons ago
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Re: Tri bars / riding position making a big difference ??

Postby enigmatic » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:44 pm

Relevant to my interests! I have just signed up for my first tri (a sprint distance, so nothing major). At the moment all I have is a flat bar roady and a mountain bike... I am considering buying a drop bar roady (was considering this anyway!) but am not sure if I should do this or wait and see how I go in the tri! I think I will enjoy it, as I love all three sports! THen, do I go a roady with the bars out front or a tri bike? I think I am thinking too far ahead! Haha. Will have a read of that article!
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