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2015-05-21 2:30 PM

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Subject: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Background: I bought a tri bike (Cervelo P2) as my only bike several years ago and was never able to get comfortable in aero. I had an updated bike fit in March and now am comfortable in aero -- but only on flat courses. It's an issue with me, not the bike, that can't be solved -- I'm inherently cautious and can't imagine not having my hands on my brakes flying downhill. It scares me a lot and I can't get past it.

I am signed up for a half ironman in Syracuse on June 21 and Ironman Mont-Tremblant on August 16. Both are hilly courses. Despite the fear issues, I always prefer hilly courses to flat ones (more interesting, more challenging, find varying terrain easier on my body). I don't think I'd be able to ride in aero during these races.

Because of this, I am considering buying a road bike -- not sure what I would do with the P2 -- and racing this season on a road bike.

My concerns:

1. Do I have time to buy, get a fit, and get acclimated to a new road bike in time for my June 21 race? I'm assuming the learning curve with the road bike wouldn't be as steep as the tri bike?

2. I'm assuming I will be faster and more comfortable on a road bike that's fit to me than on a tri bike riding up on the horns for the whole race. Does that ring true?

3. Does this, on the whole, sound like a good idea, or a crazy idea?

I've resisted this move for a long time because it feels like giving up. But I want to love cycling and wish I could ride comfortably without the pressure of needing to ride in aero. Please advise!


2015-05-21 2:42 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?

1. Do I have time to buy, get a fit, and get acclimated to a new road bike in time for my June 21 race? I'm assuming the learning curve with the road bike wouldn't be as steep as the tri bike?

I'd say possible, but you will be fairly unfamiliar with the new bike, so it's risky.

2. I'm assuming I will be faster and more comfortable on a road bike that's fit to me than on a tri bike riding up on the horns for the whole race. Does that ring true?

More comfortable, maybe.  Faster, probably not.  Even on a "hilly" IM course I have to think there will be plenty of places where you'd be comfortable riding aero.  For the occasional steep downhill, there's nothing wrong with keeping your hands on the brakes.

3. Does this, on the whole, sound like a good idea, or a crazy idea? I've resisted this move for a long time because it feels like giving up. But I want to love cycling and wish I could ride comfortably without the pressure of needing to ride in aero. Please advise!

You have to make the best choice for you, and if you don't feel like you can ride the tri bike safely, then yes I'd advise you to switch.  But you'll be giving up a lot of potential benefit as well.  Have you tried other ways to get more confident on the tri bike (for example: training indoors on rollers)?

2015-05-21 2:44 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
First have you gone on rides on a road bike? You should consider borrowing or renting one for a weekend to make sure you like it as much as you think you will.

It will not be much of an issue going from a tri bike to a road bike, I've found the muscles used are slightly different so if your going to change before the HIM make sure you have 4 or 5 weeks to get used to it.

If you only ride your tri bike on the horns you will probably be faster on the road bike, also you can get into the drops on the road bike to stay fairly aero and still be able to shift and brake.

Is it crazy? not if it works for you, the best bike is the one that you like to ride.
2015-05-21 2:47 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Originally posted by meggfishy

Background: I bought a tri bike (Cervelo P2) as my only bike several years ago and was never able to get comfortable in aero. I had an updated bike fit in March and now am comfortable in aero -- but only on flat courses. It's an issue with me, not the bike, that can't be solved -- I'm inherently cautious and can't imagine not having my hands on my brakes flying downhill. It scares me a lot and I can't get past it.

I am signed up for a half ironman in Syracuse on June 21 and Ironman Mont-Tremblant on August 16. Both are hilly courses. Despite the fear issues, I always prefer hilly courses to flat ones (more interesting, more challenging, find varying terrain easier on my body). I don't think I'd be able to ride in aero during these races.

Because of this, I am considering buying a road bike -- not sure what I would do with the P2 -- and racing this season on a road bike.

My concerns:

1. Do I have time to buy, get a fit, and get acclimated to a new road bike in time for my June 21 race? I'm assuming the learning curve with the road bike wouldn't be as steep as the tri bike?

2. I'm assuming I will be faster and more comfortable on a road bike that's fit to me than on a tri bike riding up on the horns for the whole race. Does that ring true?

3. Does this, on the whole, sound like a good idea, or a crazy idea?

I've resisted this move for a long time because it feels like giving up. But I want to love cycling and wish I could ride comfortably without the pressure of needing to ride in aero. Please advise!


having done both courses, twice each I can say that you will be in aero a lot more than you think.

overall, you will be much slower

if you enjoy it more, fine, but you will be significantly slower.

On those courses, you will climb at equal speed out of aero
You will descend at equal speed if out of aero

You will be slower on a very high percentage of the course that is rolling hills.



2015-05-21 3:05 PM
in reply to: #5117312

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Another thing to consider is the run as well. Switching to a road bike will affect your run. You will have "fresher" legs with a tri bike.
2015-05-21 3:06 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?

Another option to consider is putting road handlebars + your aero bars on your current bike. Might need a little adjusting to make it work, but I did this while learning to ride in aero. I had the shifters and brakes on the road handlebars and just the bar end plugs on the aero bars.

Once I got comfortable, I switched them back. 

Now, I've got a tri bike and a roadie. I take the roadie on higher traffic rides & group rides, because that's my preference. 



2015-05-21 5:14 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Originally posted by meggfishy

Background: I bought a tri bike (Cervelo P2) as my only bike several years ago and was never able to get comfortable in aero. I had an updated bike fit in March and now am comfortable in aero -- but only on flat courses. It's an issue with me, not the bike, that can't be solved -- I'm inherently cautious and can't imagine not having my hands on my brakes flying downhill. It scares me a lot and I can't get past it.
...
I've resisted this move for a long time because it feels like giving up. But I want to love cycling and wish I could ride comfortably without the pressure of needing to ride in aero. Please advise!

You're not alone. And you're not inherently cautious. I am a highly experienced triathlete with many years on both bikes and motorcycles. Lots of those years riding very hilly and very technical roads at very high speeds.

But it is not your tri bike, it is the handlebars. With tri bars, I too have to very careful when descending. The bike is constantly trying to toss you forward off the bars. But with a tri bike with drop bars (and some clip-ons), I can descend (safely) like a madman, and I pass other triathletes in a race (most of them on their tri bikes with full tri bars) like they're standing still. I am far, far faster on sharp turns and steep roads with my drop bars. You will be too.

I wrote about this highly versatile "3rd option" in another BT thread here, first post in the thread. It's a highly viable option, it is the way I have raced triathlons most of my life, and I have had lots of success with the set up. As has my wife, whe has won (overall, not just age group) many local triathlons with exactly the same set up.

So don't get rid of your P2, set it up like this, add some clip-ons and you will be set. You will turn your tri bike into a rocket. And you'll be safer, happier, and faster.




Greg @ dsw
2015-05-21 5:23 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?

I'm surprised no one has given the correct answer. The answer any time you are considering a new bike purchase is:

n+1

Seriously, you've got a nice tri bike that is fit to you, why sell it? A P2 that is several years old is not worth a ton of dough. 

You've been doing this for several years, so you've shown dedication to the active life style. You deserve a road bike. it's so nice having both. Others have mentioned group rides, and there are many more instances when I choose the roadie over the tri bike. 

2015-05-21 5:25 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
could you get the road bike and keep the tri bike for awhile more so you could still use it for the HIM ?

I think it's too close to change bikes for the HIM IMO.

Maybe ok to switch for IMMT. Although I did that race with my P2 and it was the right choice.

The majority of the hills are rolling, except the last 10k of the loop, which are short little steep climbs, which most I did out of the saddle.

Notably there were many on road bikes, but they seemed slow in comparison to those on tri bikes...but that could have been my imagination.

2015-05-21 5:30 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Let me provide brutal (and very embarrassing) honesty and see if that changes answers:

1. I've had my bike for three full years, which includes three HIMs and countless olympics and sprints. I have not ever, not once, ridden in aero in a race. I do ride in aero sometimes on my flat training routes, but without doubt I ride upright way more often. I also find that I don't see a speed improvement riding in aero, most likely because I get scared and wobbly whenever i increase my cadence.

2. The circumstances of my life make it difficult to do some of the things that folks suggest to acclimate to riding in aero. I live in the middle of a major city with some of the worst commuter traffic in the nation, so I usually need to drive my bike somewhere safe to ride on weekdays. My very busy work schedule does not always allow enough time for that, so I am often relegated to the trainer. I live in a 450-sq ft apartment, so I do not have room for rollers. I don't want to leave a city and job I love in order to accommodate a hobby.

3. Without going into detail because y'all are not my psychiatrists, I lost several very close family members in a horrific car accident when I was young and I have been terrified ever since of losing control of a vehicle. It is specifically the aspect of not having my hands on the brakes that I cannot deal with. It makes me literally shake with fear. It feels like a huge victory that I can ride in aero at all, but anytime there's even a slight descent, or traffic nearby, or wind -- I go straight back to that lack of control.

4. I am not fast. I've been happy, generally, with my triathlon career (roughly good for a 2:45 oly and a 6 hour HIM), but I'm generally content with doing what I can on the bike given my fears and working hard to put in great run and swim times. I enjoy trying to place in smaller local races, but generally -- this is a hobby, I'm here to have fun, and I'm just not having fun on my bike. I cannot imagine that a well-fitted road bike would be significantly slower or less comfortable than a tri bike that's never ridden in aero, but I suppose that I have never had a road bike so I don't know for sure.

Thanks very much for replies.
2015-05-21 5:35 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?

Nothing embarrassing there  

In that case, I'd either sell the bike & get a roadie... or just swap out the bullhorns and aero bars for drop-handlebars - much like the picture above. 



2015-05-21 5:37 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?

you've answered your own question.  you want a road bike.  it's the right bike for you.

your times are quite respectable- but it doesn't appear as if they are KQ, so a few minutes here are there won't really make a difference in your experience.

that said...  you might wanna' take up trail running instead of doing all that cycling.  (granted... I'm biased, as it's the route I went).

2015-05-21 5:57 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Riding with tri bars in a city environment is not safe or easy, it does not matter what one's background is. I've been on a bike for many decades, and I would not do it. Not regularly at least.

Yes, you can try lots of things, but you have very little to lose by setting up your P2 with drop bars. And it might just save you from having to buy a whole new bike and then sell your P2 (at a loss).

If it does not work for you, you can always try plan B.
2015-05-21 6:01 PM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Another thing, if you do go the drop bar route, you can set up your drop bars to have easy and instant brake access from the tops, the hoods, AND the drops. Just add some cane creek crosstop levers:

2015-05-21 7:07 PM
in reply to: 0


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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?

The trainer is actually the BEST place to getting your back acclimated to aero position! 

 

This still, however, won't alleviate the fear of riding in the aerobars. It shouldn't be a scary proposition and should be easy to learn, but you do have to get out there at least a few times on some safe roads to practice the handling. 

 

Another tip - if your aerobars have your elbow super-close, it makes it more aerodynamic but also makes it more unstable. You might want to have the LBS widen your aerobars so your elbows are more apart - it'll still be more aero than no aerobars, and will feel more stable. 

 

I understand your reasonable fears of road riding, but also to put in perspective, learning to ride in aerobars is exponentially easier than learning to swim! It shouldn't be an onerous or dangerous learning process to ride in aerobars. 



Edited by yazmaster 2015-05-21 7:09 PM
2015-05-21 7:10 PM
in reply to: #5117324

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
So ... what's the size of the P2? And what are you looking to get for it? ??


2015-05-22 12:38 AM
in reply to: jeremyscarroll


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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
You need to some how conquer your fear of crashing. There is very little chance of you crashing, even less chance of you sustaining serious injuries and even less chance of sustaining life changing injuries, this is not an inherently dangerous sport. Yes people have been seriously injured and killed whilst riding, but if you reduce the risk, riding on bike paths, riding in areas where there is little traffic, use lights etc etc there would be very little chance of you coming off. Acquiescing may result in you "giving up" in other areas of life or sport.
2015-05-22 1:00 AM
in reply to: jeremyscarroll

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
As it's been said, you've answered your own question.

You are seeing zero racing benefit from the tri bike from an aerodynamic perspective in the race.

You will have better shifting and handling with a proper road bike, and if using the drops, might be *more* aero than the horns of your tri bike.

More places to put your hands and change things up, safer in the city. etc. etc. etc.

The only question is, would you rather buy a road bike, or convert your bike to a tri bike by adding drop bars?

I'd price things out and go from there.
2015-05-22 7:17 AM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Originally posted by meggfishy

Let me provide brutal (and very embarrassing) honesty and see if that changes answers:

1. I've had my bike for three full years, which includes three HIMs and countless olympics and sprints. I have not ever, not once, ridden in aero in a race. I do ride in aero sometimes on my flat training routes, but without doubt I ride upright way more often. I also find that I don't see a speed improvement riding in aero, most likely because I get scared and wobbly whenever i increase my cadence.

2. The circumstances of my life make it difficult to do some of the things that folks suggest to acclimate to riding in aero. I live in the middle of a major city with some of the worst commuter traffic in the nation, so I usually need to drive my bike somewhere safe to ride on weekdays. My very busy work schedule does not always allow enough time for that, so I am often relegated to the trainer. I live in a 450-sq ft apartment, so I do not have room for rollers. I don't want to leave a city and job I love in order to accommodate a hobby.

3. Without going into detail because y'all are not my psychiatrists, I lost several very close family members in a horrific car accident when I was young and I have been terrified ever since of losing control of a vehicle. It is specifically the aspect of not having my hands on the brakes that I cannot deal with. It makes me literally shake with fear. It feels like a huge victory that I can ride in aero at all, but anytime there's even a slight descent, or traffic nearby, or wind -- I go straight back to that lack of control.

4. I am not fast. I've been happy, generally, with my triathlon career (roughly good for a 2:45 oly and a 6 hour HIM), but I'm generally content with doing what I can on the bike given my fears and working hard to put in great run and swim times. I enjoy trying to place in smaller local races, but generally -- this is a hobby, I'm here to have fun, and I'm just not having fun on my bike. I cannot imagine that a well-fitted road bike would be significantly slower or less comfortable than a tri bike that's never ridden in aero, but I suppose that I have never had a road bike so I don't know for sure.

Thanks very much for replies.


Given your statement that you have never ridden aero during a race, there is zero reason to have a bike set up for aero. You do not necessarily have to sell your bike but you should get rid of the aero bars for drops. See the pics of the cervelo in the earlier post.
2015-05-22 7:20 AM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Sounds like you aero bars are just not for you. If it were a stability problem I would say widen your aerobars and you'll be more comfortable, but that's not what it sounds like.

So your options are adding bullhorns to your P2 or selling and buying a road bike.

Adding bull horns to your P2 will be less expensive, and you'll be able to run off the bike better than if you buy a road bike.

Here is the important question how is your fit on the P2? If you are very comfortable than start looking into adding the bullhorns.

With the bull horn option you should be able to pre-order all the parts through your LBS and when they come in installation should happen in one day.
2015-05-22 7:49 AM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?

1. Do I have time to buy, get a fit, and get acclimated to a new road bike in time for my June 21 race? I'm assuming the learning curve with the road bike wouldn't be as steep as the tri bike?

2. I'm assuming I will be faster and more comfortable on a road bike that's fit to me than on a tri bike riding up on the horns for the whole race. Does that ring true?

3. Does this, on the whole, sound like a good idea, or a crazy idea?

I've resisted this move for a long time because it feels like giving up. But I want to love cycling and wish I could ride comfortably without the pressure of needing to ride in aero. Please advise!


1. Getting fit on a road bike isn't nearly as complicated so as long as you feel comfortable upright on the tri bike I don't think you will have an issue here. Learning curve is def not as steep.

2. If you aren't going to be aero, road bike > tri bike esp on climbs. This is assuming you get a road bike of similar quality. Most times, the road bike will be much lighter than the TT. An example would be comparing the Cervelo P3 to the R3.

3. I wouldn't go further than a HIM distance on a road bike. If you plan on staying under that I'd say go for it!


2015-05-22 8:14 AM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
I think given your situation you would be happier on a road bike and able to ride more aggressively, which would probably mean faster. If you are not racing in aero anyway, you are not reaping a lot of the benefit of the tri bike. Doing a decent bike split's not impossible--I was passed by a few people on road bikes without aerobars in my last HIM and I was going over 30 kph. I'm not a bike techie so not sure if a good fit could be achieved on the P2 fitted with road bars. If it could, that might be a good option. If not, then you'd be happier on a high-quality, well-fitted road bike.

I've had the opposite experience with the P2. Haven't had huge issues with going aero (I don't on the open road in Vietnam, only on the trainer and in a traffic-controlled area where I ride once a week), but I just never felt nearly as comfortable on my road bike, with or without the bars, at anything over easy pace. It seems to take a lot more effort to ride at anything over about 15 mph than it does on the P2. The difference shouldn't be that dramatic--I'm guessing it's mainly a matter of better fit.

I did have some disagreements with the fitter over the aerobars--he initially had them really close together and a bit lower than I have them now. Basically a "because we can" kind of thing because I have narrow shoulders and a really flexible upper body so I can hold an aggressive position quite comfortably, but I felt my control was too compromised and have since made it a bit less low/narrow, which helps a lot with handling and confidence. But I don't think that's going to be enough to get you comfortable with a tri bike. Just make sure the fitter understands that, whatever bike you're using, you don't intend to ride it much, or even at all, in aero--the fit would be different in that case.
2015-05-22 8:34 AM
in reply to: meggfishy


1

Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
Do you enjoy cycling? I get the idea that you ride around in constant fear and might prefer to not cycle at all... I think it is worth actually asking yourself that question before spending more time and money on new parts or bikes.

If you decide you do like cycling then I don't find riding in aero too much different from riding my road bike in terms of safety or stability, so as someone else suggested, I would look to rent a road bike before buying one.

2015-05-22 9:27 AM
in reply to: NUFCrichard

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
I actually enjoy cycling very much, and I am quite attached to the P2 (the only bike I've ever owned!) -- I just really don't care for riding in aero, and I get irritated by having to reach out to the end of the aerobars to shift, especially when I'm climbing. I want to be clear that I have zero issues with fear or handling outside of riding in aero. I have no problem riding in a pack or in traffic, keeping myself fed and watered, moving around on the bike, etc. It does seem to be simply the mental issue with shifting my body weight forward and not having my hands on the brakes, especially on downhills.

I guess my main question is, given bikes of a relatively comparable price point (say the R2 and the P2) and hilly routes: would a well-fitted road bike be notably slower than a well-fitted tri bike that is never ridden in the aero position?

Also why do people say not to ride a road bike in an IM? I'm registered for an Ironman and feel confident in my ability to finish…are IM races only for those who ride in aero?
2015-05-22 9:52 AM
in reply to: meggfishy

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Subject: RE: Should I sell my P2 and buy a road bike?
A few things:

You never (or very very rarely) want to be on your aerobar extensions at high speed on downhills, it does not matter what kind of bars you have. You absolutely want to have your hands on or right next to your brake levers. That's what you want to do if you want to stay alive.

Yes, it is annoying to have to move your hands to the ends of your aerobars every time you need to shift. Get some drop bars with dual-control STI brake/shift levers and you will be thrilled. STIs are super easy to shift and you don't even have to move your hands.

Ride whatever bike you are most comfortable on. But your P2 is great frame, it is more aero than nearly any road bike available. Maybe just try the drop bar option with it before you spend big bucks on a completely new bike.

Lots of athletes have done this, here is a sampling of tri bikes set up exactly like this:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.648558345177062.1073741825...


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