General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike Rss Feed  
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2014-02-03 2:13 PM

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Master
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Subject: Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike

This is the opposite of what most people ask.    Couldn't find an answer, so thought I would throw this out there.  

I ride a Griffen Vulcan B4C Tri Bike. (see pics below)

  

This frame was specifically built as a TT bike - Seat tube angle on this frame is 76 degrees.   Head tube angle is 73 degrees.  

I have an opportunity to pick up another Griffen Vulcan frame / fork set (see below) for a great deal and was contemplating building it out as a road bike.  Weird?  

Not sure about the reach - and if offsetting my seat a bit (forward I would think) would make this a comfortable position for a road bike.  This frame is stiff and climbs / corners very well, even with my Tri setup...

Anyone have experience using a TT frame / fork set as a road bike?  Do you recommend it?  If so - why?  If not - why?  

If I do this - this would be my bike for longer rides - group rides - Seattle to Portland (on my bucket list - 200+ miles) - Ride Around Mt Rainier in a day (150 miles - lot's of climbing)

I'm sure I'm completely over thinking this........  

I love my first Vulcan, which is why I'm wanting to do this... not to mention the rarity of these bikes since the company didn't last too long and has been OOB for about 7 years. 



2014-02-03 3:04 PM
in reply to: Muskrat37

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike

I've got a Scott Waimea that I've run as a road bike since I got it. My roadies are fairly slack these days, so I've got an Easton EC70 setback post on it, with the saddle all the way back on the rails. That part gets me close, anyway.

But I also have a steep and long stem on it. And it steers rather... quickly. Not my preference at all. This bike is mainly my trainer bike -- it rarely sees road time. YMMV with respect to the fit on the bike. Just be aware that a tri/TT bike may have a shorter top tube, and sliding the saddle way back may not put the front end where it should be for long distance roadie comfort.

2014-02-03 3:41 PM
in reply to: briderdt

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Master
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike

I was hoping YOU would see this post!  Much respect. 

When it warms up - we have to go for a ride.  

I guess there is one way to find out about the comfort on long rides huh?  

Considering that I will be getting the bike pretty much for free - I guess I don't really have anything to lose.   

 

 

2014-02-03 10:06 PM
in reply to: Muskrat37

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike
I wouldn't. Tri-bikes typically have shorter wheelbases than road bikes. This increases the potential your toe will make contact with the front wheel when cornering. This could cause you to lose control of your bike.
2014-02-04 7:41 AM
in reply to: Six000MileYear

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike

Originally posted by Six000MileYear I wouldn't. Tri-bikes typically have shorter wheelbases than road bikes. This increases the potential your toe will make contact with the front wheel when cornering. This could cause you to lose control of your bike.

Actually, a TT or tri bike will tend to have a longer front-center than a road, for the simple reason that they're usually built with a steeper seat tube angle. Depending on how you look at it, that either moves the BB back relative to the wheels, or moves the wheels forward relative to the rider (two sides of the same coin -- just different ways of describing the same thing).

The two biggest issues with fitting a TT bike into a road bike are (1) being able to get the saddle back far enough, and (2) being able to get the handlebars high enough. If you can't do these, then you'll end up with a lot of weight on your hands, which isn't conducive to long-distance comfort.

2014-02-04 7:25 PM
in reply to: briderdt

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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike

Dave - have the seat tube angles increased over the years?  I'm referring to the Cervelo P3... when you look at that angle - it looks nearly 90 degrees, especially in relation to the head tube angle... 

When you look at the Griffen above (which has been sitting in a box for at least 6 years) - that seat tube angle is 76 degrees - and the head tube is (I think) 73 degrees - they are almost identical.  Aren't most modern road bikes at an angle of about 73 degrees on the seat tube?  

Over the years - the angles of seat tubes have changed a lot (I think) - but I'm also wondering if the position of the BB has changed in relation to the seat tube angle to account for the apparently much steeper seat tube angle - or is that just an optical illusion on the Cervelo?  

I would be willing to bet that the top tube length and BB position in relation to the top of the seat tube on an older TT bike are not that far off from a modern road bike - whereas on a modern TT bike vs a modern road bike - it's probably pretty drastic.  

My point is that outfitting an 8 year old TT bike like the Griffen to be a road bike is probably less likely to have major impacts on riding style, weight on hands, and comfort factor than if you tried to do that with a brand new Cervelo right?  (I tried to make sure this is a question, because I really don't know)

- Skrat



2014-02-05 12:28 PM
in reply to: Muskrat37

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike

Typing on a Kindle sucks...

Anyway, various manufacturers have been all over the map for STA. 80 wasn't uncommon, though 78 seems to be considered steep in most production frames in the last 5 years. At 76, yours is right in the middle of the market. With a setback post, you can get it to probably 74 easily, and pushing the saddle back should get the back end into a decently balanced position. 

Now for the front end... It may end up looking a little goofy, but if you don't mind that, then ride it like you stole it.

2014-02-13 11:24 AM
in reply to: briderdt

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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Frame outfitted as a road bike
You certainly can, its just less than ideal. I did this with a Trek Equinox, because I could not get used to the aero position (and I'm sure it doesn't fit me right, anyway). As brider aluded to, you will likely end up with significant pressure on your hands, which sucks, unless there is a way to make it fit you.

Currently looking to get another TT frame and suck it up and learn, or a purpose-built roadie.
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