General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bike for half ironman Rss Feed  
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2019-03-05 4:43 PM


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Subject: Bike for half ironman
Hello all,
I am newbie ... going into my third triathlon season and about to attempt my first half ironman. I have Specialized Roubaix ( endurance bike) with alloy rims and a aero bars, which I am now getting somewhat comfortable with.

I have been drooling over the trek speed concept/canyon speedmax etc for a while...

My question to all the experienced folks is ... would it matter... if all I am trying to do is to get a respectable time... and trying to finish the race... My olympic distance PB was 3:10... So I am bottom of the pack..

Does a tri specific bike make sense for someone who is not really targeting a podium for age-groupers? Does it change the race experience in any tangible way other than look AWESOME ?

Thanks for insights.


2019-03-05 7:17 PM
in reply to: orijitdhar

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Master
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Subject: RE: Bike for half ironman
Probably not a huge game-changer. It's been my experience that a well-fitting tri bike is slightly faster and somewhat more comfortable than a road bike with aerobars, but this probably depends on the fit and your body. I've had good and bad runs off the bike on all three set-ups--road bike without aerobars, roadie with aerobars, tri bike. Being aero makes you somewhat faster; at your current level, it won't be enough to propel you onto an AG podium. I would ride what feels comfortable--that becomes a bigger issue at half and full iron distances as the time on the bike is longer and the run that follows is too. But sure--if it's in the budget and you find a great tri bike that fits, go for it! There's no rule that says you have to be a certain caliber of athlete to ride a nice bike, just like there's no reason you can't go buy a flashy Mercedes if you can afford it and it adds to your driving pleasure!
2019-03-05 10:01 PM
in reply to: #5256285


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Subject: RE: Bike for half ironman
You’ve been in the sport for three seasons so I’m assuming you enjoy it. I’d say go ahead and look into getting a tri bike especially since you are looking at the longer distance races now.
2019-03-06 2:47 AM
in reply to: orijitdhar

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Subject: RE: Bike for half ironman

The single biggest factor in your performance is going to be the strength of your aerobic engine.  Which bike you are on isn't going to change that.  Aerodynamic drag is the largest force you need to overcome in order to go fast and your body is the biggest source of that drag.  A TT bike will put your body in a better position and help reduce the drag.  I tell all the athletes I work with, if you are seriously in contention for a podium, Kona qualification, etc., then you need to do what all the other people in contention for those spots are doing - which is riding a TT bike.  Beyond being more aerodynamic - thus faster at the same power - the geometry of a properly fit triathlon bike will help save your legs for the run.  So it isn't just about the bike, it's also about setting yourself up for a better run.

If you are largely racing against yourself - meaning you don't have designs on a podium, etc., you can pursue PR's using a road bike w/clip-ons - you don't "NEED" a TT bike.  Except yeah, they look cool.  You said you've been doing this for awhile so you know what you're into.  If you expect you'll be doing tri's for many more years, than sure, a TT bike makes sense.  If you decide to get a tri-bike you DON'T need a ridiculously priced Super-bike.  It was arguably proven last year through an independent wind tunnel test that the Super-bikes are only a few watts faster than the mid-priced tri-bikes.

Bottom line, yes, you'll be faster on a PROPERLY fit triathlon bike.  That said, the engine will ALWAYS be more important.  You can put Sebastian Kienle on a straight up road bike and he'll beat 98% of the people in ANY race on all their fancy TT bikes.

Hope that helps.

2019-03-06 9:49 AM
in reply to: orijitdhar

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Subject: RE: Bike for half ironman
It can make a difference for you.

Couple things to consider.
- If you have the cash, go for it!
- You can do a half with a respectable time on a road bike. I coached an IM finisher that rode a road bike (no aero bars) to a 19 mph avg at IM Chattanooga. His back could not take a tri bike and he did great.
- It will make a difference in energy for the run. Technically the tri bike should be more aero, and even if you are significantly faster, you should spend less energy for the same speeds and have more left over for the run.
2019-03-06 1:56 PM
in reply to: TriJayhawkRyan


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Subject: RE: Bike for half ironman
Thanks all... basically for my level, its more about just enjoying the bling than concrete ( BIG) performance gains...
I am kinda reeling from my investment into all the tri gear over the last two years. So just dont want to go overboard... I told myself that I will buy a TriBike if I hit 200W FTP... looks like that s a bit more doable that I thought... I am dangling a carrot.

The conservative me thinks I should do my first HIM on the bike I have. The YOLO me thinks life is too short to not own a tri bike which magically makes me Lionel Sanders

Basically, the advise I got is I DONT NEED it. but if I love it enough, then its going to happen


2019-03-08 10:35 AM
in reply to: orijitdhar

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Subject: RE: Bike for half ironman
Originally posted by orijitdhar

Thanks all... basically for my level, its more about just enjoying the bling than concrete ( BIG) performance gains...
I am kinda reeling from my investment into all the tri gear over the last two years. So just dont want to go overboard... I told myself that I will buy a TriBike if I hit 200W FTP... looks like that s a bit more doable that I thought... I am dangling a carrot.

The conservative me thinks I should do my first HIM on the bike I have. The YOLO me thinks life is too short to not own a tri bike which magically makes me Lionel Sanders

Basically, the advise I got is I DONT NEED it. but if I love it enough, then its going to happen


I was in the same boat as you. The one thing I really enjoyed about the tri bike was the bar end shifters. I was so nice to not have to break out of the aero position to shift gears. And also group rides. I now have the road bike for group rides and the tri bike for solo training efforts.
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