Training bike

From bike riding in your bathers to making the distance

Training bike

Postby koolkat » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:04 pm

I've tried to find info about this on this forum and through google but I can't find the exact issue addressed.

I'm looking to do my first triathlon next May (Busselton 70.3).

I've been riding for years, currently on a MTB, though previously on a road bike, and regularly do distances up to 100km.

I need to get a time trial bike for the triathlon, however I have limited training time other than to and from work due to work/family commitments, currently managing about 2 hours a day by stretching out my commute to 1:00-1:15 each way. The MTB is great for this as it is rugged and reliable with disc brakes for the wet days (I ride every day - even through storms).

I will need to put a lot of time in in an aero posture prior to the event for obvious reasons, which for me means doing it whilst commuting. A super-lightweight time trial bike would not be optimal for commuting and is clearly not going to last well as a daily commuter. As I also commute in the wet I would ideally like disc brakes on any commuting bike as well.

What are peoples thoughts on getting a hybrid type bike or lower spec/more durable road bike with thicker tyres/tougher aluminium rims/disc brakes more suitable for commuting and setting it up to ride in the aero position for training purposes?

My thoughts are that riding a heavier bike with softer/bigger tyres can only make your legs stronger - a bit like adding a few degrees of slope to your entire ride. Is this a fair assumption?

Is it possible to simulate the riding posture of a time trial bike closely enough to be valuable as a training bike?

Obviously I would be putting many hours on the actual race bike in the final month before the event.
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by BNA » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:46 pm

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Re: Training bike

Postby Matthews » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:46 pm

I am hoping to be doing that triathlon as well. I have a standard road bike, entry level. Unless you are going in it to win it i think you can use a normal bike. Sure it will make you go faster but how much??? I am enter a few of the short one races over the summer to start with and then see how i go come Busselton.
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Re: Training bike

Postby koolkat » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:34 am

Thanks. I spoke to a couple of the guys at the LBS yesterday and came to the same conclusion - just get an OK road bike, do a few races, and see how I go.

My thoughts were that the more efficient the bike, the fresher the legs for the run leg which will be the killer for me. For me the difference in drag between a TT bike and road bike is likely to be very minimal compared to the drag from the 90Kg I'm putting on it so may only gain a couple of percent. I'm sure practice getting myself into the most aerodynamic position is far more valuable. I ended up buying an entry-mid level road bike for the moment that will do me for six months or so. I might put higher spec carbon wheels on for racing but otherwise it should be fine.
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Re: Training bike

Postby Matthews » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:02 am

I think that is the correct move. I went to watch the HIM last year in Busselton. There was 1 older man on a mountain bike and not everyone had the best bikes. Unless you are trying to be competitive then just finishing it will be the main goal. After that it becomes a matter of reducing time. Also look at doing a few of the short races during summer. At least you know what to expect.
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Re: Training bike

Postby Undertow » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:45 am

koolkat wrote:Thanks. I spoke to a couple of the guys at the LBS yesterday and came to the same conclusion - just get an OK road bike, do a few races, and see how I go.

My thoughts were that the more efficient the bike, the fresher the legs for the run leg which will be the killer for me. For me the difference in drag between a TT bike and road bike is likely to be very minimal compared to the drag from the 90Kg I'm putting on it so may only gain a couple of percent. I'm sure practice getting myself into the most aerodynamic position is far more valuable. I ended up buying an entry-mid level road bike for the moment that will do me for six months or so. I might put higher spec carbon wheels on for racing but otherwise it should be fine.


Having not ridden a TT bike I can't really comment, but even in the short tri's i've done (20km ride leg max) there's a huge different between just a normal road bike (mine's a 2009 aluminium frame with 8 speed sora, so not at all flash), and the same bike with clip on aerobars. And i'm 100kg so them claiming your 90kg is going to negate any aero gain is crap.
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Re: Training bike

Postby bpmhigh » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:24 am

I think you're on the right track. An entry level road bike is fine for your first few seasons but there are two things you can do to improve aero and just as importantly, save your quads and hammies.

Get some clip on aero bars to reduce your frontal area but also try and get your seat as far forward and possible - you might even consider a "forward seatpost" - yes it looks odd but it increases your effective seat tube angle. This in turn rotates you forward, flattening your back and putting more weight on your elbows. Best of all however is that it engages your quads and hammies in a slightly different way to a road position which keeps your legs fresher for the run.

Here's a converted specialized:

http://sg-hubble.blogspot.com/2008/05/f ... metry.html

Also for what it's worth, I am an advocate of HEAVY training wheels and featherlight race wheels - my training wheels are already 2100 grams before I add 2 tubes in each wheel (one with the valve cut out then split down the middle and used as a tyre liner), and then heavy Rubino wire bead tyres. I also train with an 11-21 cassette which doesn't give me a bail out gear up hills.
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