General Discussion Triathlon Talk » For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars? Rss Feed  
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2012-05-01 7:16 PM
in reply to: #4184933

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Champion
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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
karlaj - 2012-05-01 5:59 PM

bryancd - 2012-05-01 6:52 PM

My Mom was there a few years before Tom with no aerobats. 

She was back a few years later with the latest and greatest. 

And never was allowed to wear a speed suit. 

And was a 2x Age Group World Champion!

So THIS is what they mean when they say, "pick your parents well"? ;-)

Pretty awesome pics.  Not to totally hijack the thread, but out of curiosity, did her splits get better (bike and/or run), or were the conditions too different to make any judgement either way? -J



She held two AG Championships as well as two AG World Records. The first was '85 I and the second was '89. She set the first one as a Female Masters, F40-44. She raced in 1987 but was third, and then came back in '89 to win W45-49 and set that record time and yes was faster, like in the sub 11:30 range.
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Edited by bryancd 2012-05-01 7:18 PM


2012-05-01 9:04 PM
in reply to: #4182718

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Champion
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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
mll1605 - 2012-04-30 10:35 PM

Regarding aerobars - don't have them on my bike either yet, but the wind in Hawaii is no joke. I'm on Oahu, not the Big Island, but I regularly see my speed drop from 17mph to 12mph for the same effort. Makes me want to cry. Anything you can do to minimize that type of impact I would think would be beneficial. 


This sounds like riding in Dallas, TX. I'm riding 17 mph or 12 mph. I always thought Kona would be too hard for me to do... but gosh, I ride in winds like that all the time!

As for the question at hand, areo bars might be worth it. I will say that when I ride with my buddies who are on tri bikes (I am on a nice roadie), they do much better in a headwind than I do. I wish I liked my tri bike, but I don't. So I suffer in the headwind. So, if you can get aero bars put on, and it doesn't cost you too much to get refit, etc. then go for it.

2012-05-01 9:13 PM
in reply to: #4181858


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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?

This is like asking "I just won a date with Jennifer Aniston, should I brush my teeth and put on clean clothes?"

Of course you should.

This is Kona. Give it your best. This is a big deal and probably a once in a lifetime experience. 

Unless you really love your road bike and have sentimental attachment to use it, get a good tri bike and good equipment. You don't need a P5 or anything crazy, but get a tri bike that fits you well and get a good position.  You can buy one used and when Kona is over you can always sell it and probably break close to even.   If you try to make a tri-bike out of a road bike with aerobars you will be sacificing comfort and likely speed.  This will also probably not be the cheapest route because you will likely need a shorter stem, and might even need a different seatpost to get the forward position.   Probably cheaper to buy and turn over a tri bike after the event. You can't use wetsuits in Kona but a speedsuit is OK. 

This is a big deal and if you are going to take the time and spend the money to fly to Hawaii, don't show up without being prepared. If money is tight, just ride your road bike and save money for hotels and airfare.

Congratulations.



Edited by nickwisconsin 2012-05-01 9:21 PM
2012-05-01 9:50 PM
in reply to: #4182945

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Master
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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
natethomas2000 - 2012-05-01 6:31 AM

When I briefly had clip-on aerobars on my road bike I was about 1-1.5 mph faster than without. I'm about 2-2.5 mph faster on my tri bike than road bike, even in the drops. I'd definitely say it's a worthwhile investment.

As an example, if you averaged 19mph for the 112 miles it takes about 5:53. At 20mph it takes about 5:35. If you rented some aero wheels and aero helmet you'd save even more time. Combining clip-on bars, aero wheels, and aero helmet could net you a good chunk of 'free' time!

Another way to put this is instead if going 20 mph, you go 19 mph and have all that energy left for the run.  Being more aero can mean less power consumed on the bike.  The run portion will be more "fun" if you've got lots of gas left in the tank.

2012-05-01 10:22 PM
in reply to: #4181858

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Master
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Royersford, PA
Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
I was a lottery winner at Kona in 2007. No you don't get to wear a wetsuit since the water is amazing. And no you don't need to have aerobars. I did the race without either and did just fine. Understanding that as a lottery winner everyone around you is wicked fast so being competitive may not be an option. Important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience. The pictures in my race report show no wetsuit and no aerobars; however, according to Triathlete magazine mine was the only bike without aerobars that year. But I still had the biggest grin on my face from start to finish just because I was there, living the dream!

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp...
2012-05-02 12:48 AM
in reply to: #4181858

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Master
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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?

definitely get aerobars ! it's a hella long way and you should take the aero advantage as much as possible.

as for wetsuit or speedsuit, I'd say don't worry about it at all, just focus on your swimming. Even if they did declare it wetsuit legal (unlikely) the water is really nice and a speedsuit doesn't help that much IMHO. more of a pain to deal with in transition.

I just did Lavaman last month and was really surprised they declared it wetsuit legal, I was shocked. but did not wear one...



2012-05-02 9:41 AM
in reply to: #4181858

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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?

I was a lottery winner last year.  I skipped the speedsuit--I didn't see the need to spend $200 to save a few seconds on what was going to be a 12+ hour day at best.  I can't imagine doing it without aerobars, though.  I second the advice to buy a used tri bike and sell it afterwards. At the very least, though, get some clip ons.  Last year was very calm by Kona standards, and the winds were still pretty bad--especially the last few miles into Hawi. 

I don't recall seeing a single road bike, let along a road bike without aerobars.

2012-05-02 10:58 AM
in reply to: #4185888

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Elite
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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
kcb203 - 2012-05-02 11:41 AM

I was a lottery winner last year.  I skipped the speedsuit--I didn't see the need to spend $200 to save a few seconds on what was going to be a 12+ hour day at best.  I can't imagine doing it without aerobars, though.  I second the advice to buy a used tri bike and sell it afterwards. At the very least, though, get some clip ons.  Last year was very calm by Kona standards, and the winds were still pretty bad--especially the last few miles into Hawi. 

I don't recall seeing a single road bike, let along a road bike without aerobars.

http://lavamagazine.com/gear/2011-kona-bike-count-cervelo-wins-again/

10 bikes with "drop handle bars" under the aerobar category so there are always a few.  I saw lots of road bikes with clip ons as well.

2012-05-02 11:19 AM
in reply to: #4184579

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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?

arcee52 - 2012-05-01 4:48 PM Congrats! Wetsuit is not allowed.  What you can do is when you get there to a training ride on the Queen K and see if you can sustain riding on the drops for a long time because you have to get low no matter what.  You can always buy one there if you think you need it after that.  The winds there never stops.  

 

For what its worth I would think this is a terrible idea.  I have seen way too many people just slap aerobars onto a road bike and you can clearly see that they are riding in a very upright position.  They would be more aero if they just used the drops. 

Without refitting the bike to be more "tri oriented" the aerobars are a bad idea. 

Also a bad idea to just put them on the day before a race and never ride in them.  I cant imagine riding 112 miles, in Kona no less, on what amounts to a completely new bike.

2012-05-02 5:21 PM
in reply to: #4181858


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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?

I am determined to convince you to buy a tri-bike. 

If you think about the cost of airfare, hotel, meals, and loss of income while away from work, the $1000- $2000 used tri bike and $500 for kit and misc gear is a drop in the bucket.  When you get back home if you don't want the tri bike anymore, sell it for a couple of hundred less than what you paid and consider that a very inexpensive rental.  That would be a better investment than buying aero bars.  There might even be someone reading this thread that has a bike that would work perfect for you.  How tall are you, inseam, and what size road bike do you ride. Torso/leg proportions?

 

 

 



Edited by nickwisconsin 2012-05-02 5:22 PM
2012-05-03 8:40 AM
in reply to: #4181858


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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?

Aero bars + re-fit = win.

 

Just did this on my road bike and I've been able to ride in aero for long rides with almost no discomfort...



2012-05-03 9:31 AM
in reply to: #4181858

Member
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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
I think if I were going to Kona, which is not likely to happen for me, I would buy both the aero bars and the speedsuit! I mean phuck it right its KONA! 
2012-05-03 5:43 PM
in reply to: #4187869


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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
skinnyterror - 2012-05-03 8:40 AM

Aero bars + re-fit = win.

 

Just did this on my road bike and I've been able to ride in aero for long rides with almost no discomfort...

The "just did this", and "almost no discomfort" part is not super convincing.  

For the record, I did this on my road bike for years because there were no alternatives.  The fit was a compromise and would not have been comfortable for over a hundred miles.  YMMV.

2012-05-03 9:00 PM
in reply to: #4181858

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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
How did you know there were 4 BT'ers that were lotto winners, just curious!
2012-05-03 9:42 PM
in reply to: #4186133

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Subject: RE: For Kona, do I *really* need a wetsuit and/or aerobars?
noofus - 2012-05-02 12:19 PM

arcee52 - 2012-05-01 4:48 PM Congrats! Wetsuit is not allowed.  What you can do is when you get there to a training ride on the Queen K and see if you can sustain riding on the drops for a long time because you have to get low no matter what.  You can always buy one there if you think you need it after that.  The winds there never stops.  

 

For what its worth I would think this is a terrible idea.  I have seen way too many people just slap aerobars onto a road bike and you can clearly see that they are riding in a very upright position.  They would be more aero if they just used the drops. 

Without refitting the bike to be more "tri oriented" the aerobars are a bad idea. 

Also a bad idea to just put them on the day before a race and never ride in them.  I cant imagine riding 112 miles, in Kona no less, on what amounts to a completely new bike.

Yes, I agree you shouldn't install one without a fit and put it on the day before.  I was assuming there was more time than that.  There is a bike shop there, Kona Bike Works, which is a complete bike shop.  I rented bikes there before when I went on vacation and they fitted me first before sending me out.  One was a tri-bike and the other one was a roadie.  They did a pretty good job with the fit both times. 

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