Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

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MattyK
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Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:31 pm

Can't afford a tri bike, so I have hacked up this instead:

Image

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New saddle, seat post, stem and aero bars. Under $200 of mods thanks to ebay and gumtree bargain hunting.
Fits fairly nicely, though I need to do some longer sessions on it. Might need to work on the aero bar extensions/angle of, the forward weight position makes it easy to slide forwards on the S-bend shape.

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Tim
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby Tim » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:17 pm

It looks okay to me.
Not half as ugly as most purpose built TT/Tri bikes and you can always convert it back to road garb when you like.
You won't be stuck with a design monster if the TT enthusiasm falters.

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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby koshari » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:26 pm

Agree with tim. Personally i think bikes like the giant trinity look awfull.
Image

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MattyK
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:59 pm

Ugly beast had its debut race on Sunday.

Since the pics above I had it back in road made for a while, then back to aero mode, and left one spacer under the stem, so it was 10 mm higher than pictured (no race day photos unfortunately). Used it for commuting for several weeks to get used to the position. I'd say the main benefit of this is getting your neck used to the strain, and learning to turtle or peek over the top of your glasses...

https://www.strava.com/activities/855454026

20.3km in 33:49 (officially 34:16), including 4 hairpin turns and dismount. So above 36 km/h average, closer to 37 km/h if you ignore the run out and last corner/dismount. Kept the pace very even between first and second halves (Flyby shows I dropped a few people on the 2nd lap :))

Really happy with how it rode (run is another story - stomach cramps from km 1 to 3). Comfortable, stable, kept up with some (and passed many!) much fancier bikes, which is always satisfying. Easy enough to shift from the aero bars.

Finished 20th of 86 in my age group, happy with that for my first full sprint distance event. Reckon I could have been about 15th if my run wasn't affected (tip - full strength gatorade is not good on the bike; compensated with too much water in T2).

Next steps? I might squeeze the saddle a little further forward (there is about 1cm between the limit mark and the point where the rails bend), as I did slide forward on it a little (easy enough to slide back occasionally), but otherwise the ISM is a really nice place to be.
Some longer aero extensions would be nice as they are too short for me (were cut short as purchased).
If I can find some ABS sheet I might hack up an aero wheel cover. The rims are vaguely aero (30mm) but real eggbeaters with 60 spokes to whirl...

Next event is Corporate Tri (only a 10km bike leg) so I might drop the stem lower again.
And keep working on the engine of course!

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MattyK
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:45 pm

Oh and it must have been a good ride cause I got a random kudos from Shane Miller /GP Lama :). Don't follow him nor vice versa...

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:52 am

It's always tricky to review still photos of anyone's position and I'm usually hesitant to do so, but it looks to me like you might want to consider moving your saddle back a bit.

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MattyK
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:28 am

Thanks Alex. Can you give a reasoning behind that thought? Power generation? Body shape/aero? Comfort? Stability?

Bear in mind the seat is an ISM Attack so it is very easy to just move myself back on a bit; I am right on the nose of it in that photo.

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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:06 pm

MattyK wrote:Thanks Alex. Can you give a reasoning behind that thought? Power generation? Body shape/aero? Comfort? Stability?

Bear in mind the seat is an ISM Attack so it is very easy to just move myself back on a bit; I am right on the nose of it in that photo.

How's the handling? Just looks like head (and overall COM) is a fair way forward to me. But as I said, still photos are usually a poor way to assess such things.

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MattyK
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:21 pm

Handling seems fine. Granted, I've never ridden a dedicated TT bike to compare, but I'm not having any problems with it. It's not the stable freight-train my commuter bike is, but as a road bike it was never overly twitchy anyway.

It was a concern about forward weight distribution before I set it up, given TT bikes often have more reach and a longer front-centre, but comparing a few frame geometry numbers, it all seemed pretty marginal. And on the road, as I said, all is good.

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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby Jash Rider » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:14 pm

Your bike looks real nice. I'm almost too ashamed to post pics of my bike. It's a Schwinn Le Tour GSX 2008 model with a triple chainring and Tiagra running gear, originally purchased for a 40km round trip work commute I used to do until the end of 2010.

I've put some aero bars on it and a new saddle pushed forward, and 70mm stem to bring my elbows closer to my body. I ride with a group of triathlon nuts on Sunday mornings and I'm yet to be left behind by them. We regularly cruise along flat ground above 40kph and I rarely drought them. Usually ride next to the third or fourth rider in the group depending on how many rock up for a ride.

Most of their bikes are running Ultegra or Dura Ace gear, full carbon frames and other good kit, and cost between $3,500 and $8,000 for their actual proper triathlon bikes (Cervelo seems to be the flavour they like).

As much as I'd like a new bike (and I am saving), I really don't need one as I doubt it would make me any faster or more comfortable. I can ride a century and still feel pretty good in the saddle, even though everything on my bike is entry level gear.

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MattyK
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:16 pm

Yep, running gear makes no difference to your performance, and the frame only a tiny one. By far the biggest impact is your body position.

Did over 37 kmh average for 10ks at Corporate Tri (when on the bike). 1 kmh faster than last year when I didn't have the dropped stem or forwards saddle. https://www.strava.com/activities/887994819

Next season I'll probably be hunting for a deeper wheel set, or a front wheel and a rear wheel cover. Maybe a cheap aero helmet and I'll call it a day.

BTW Jash I disagree with your approach of shortening the stem - I reckon you need to get the saddle further forwards instead.

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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby Jash Rider » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:11 pm

Yeah, I did put the saddle as far forward as is possible with the stock seat post, but perhaps I need to get either a zero-offset seat post or a forward facing one. Just not sure how aggressive I want to be as I use this bike for more than just aero position riding. Aero probably makes up maybe 20% of my riding if I'm lucky. I spend a lot of time on the brifters, as we do a lot of Mt. Mee and Mt. Coot-tha rides.

My bike has to be a jack of all trades for now.

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MattyK
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:17 pm

My forward seat post is only for tri season, then it's back to the regular seat post and saddle with one bolt.

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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby Jash Rider » Wed May 31, 2017 8:58 pm

Found I could simply turn around my seat post to make it a forward facing. Also got a 100mm stem dropped 4cm lower than the 70mm I had on there. My average speed over 70km has gone up almost 3kph. I feel a lot more comfortable in the aero position now. And it will only take a few minutes to convert it back when I need to.

Picked up the stem (Pro LT) for $15 on sale at 99 Bikes MacGregor.

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MattyK
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:46 pm

Nice stuff! 3kmh is huge, so I doubt you could put that all down to the stem and seatpost. Put up a photo though.

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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby Jash Rider » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:08 am

Image


Yeah, I'm fairly certain I just had a ripper day the other day. However it did feel a lot better being further forward in the aero position. I could definitely spin a lot easier.

One thing I did that made a big difference was remove all of the original grease from the hubs and replace it with Inox machinery grease. It made an instant difference on the first ride enabling me to glide past everyone on the downhills, which I could never do before. True story.

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MattyK
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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby MattyK » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:09 pm

Nice 8) Proper ugly. :mrgreen:

If it were mine I'd add a proper Tri saddle to alleviate some pressure. Also you've got plenty of room to dump the stem if it suits your flexibility.

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Re: Ugly - but hopefully effective (DIY TT setup)

Postby Jash Rider » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:44 pm

It's definitely not pretty, but it is fast when your legs have enough fire in them.

I'll be looking at a new saddle some time soon, and dropping the stem lower as my flexibility improves.

I found myself cruising along at 40kph with little effort this morning. Very comfortable. Whereas I almost always was relegated to the back of the group before I really tuned my aero position, I now find myself riding wherever I want even after 70-80km of decent riding.

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