Talkback: Q+A: What's the difference between a triathlon bike and a road bike?

If the tri position is so much better, why aren't all road bikes made with that geometry?


  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    simply - comfort

    if you are on a TT bike for a long time, then it can be a lot more uncomfortable than a standard road bike due to the position. holding a downward facing, arched back, bent neck, TT position hurts although you can train to overcome a lot of that. but it still hurts.

    road bikes are designed for all round use so don't employ aggressive positions in the main
  • Hi Gregory,  This is simply down to rider comfort!
  • Theres no point in a road bike having that geometry as its used differently. Triathlons - you're in a low aero position. Road bikes you need to be more head up and its more about quick bursts of speed and fast handling rather than a steady speed.
  • about a £grand
  • LOL !
  • Crumbs. I hope they're worth it! Looks like i may be about to win an ebay auction for one imageimage
  • I don't think you'd want to be on an agressive TT bike in the middle of a peleton.
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    I think it's a fair question - why aren't road bikes built with a much steeper seat tube angle - I know UCI rules dictate where the saddle can be in relation to the bottom bracket but it's not as if everyone has the saddle tip as far forward as the limit allows.      You'd think it's the same principle - open the hip angle and allow you to get lower at the front .    Pros do generally ride low - if you look most have the stem right down on the head tube these days - but they don't seem to ride a steep seat tube angle - I suppose they train to have the flexibility to do it.       I know Lemond used to talk about being further back behind the bottom bracket brought the glutes into play so there may be something to do with efficient recruitment of muscles as well as comfort.  

    There's also the fact modern road bikes tend to have much wider bars than was the case some years ago - 44cm, even 46cm bars - it can't be aero to be that wide at the front.    

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    "it can't be aero to be that wide at the front"

    problem comes when your shoulders are wider than your bars..... image

    you're right about pros riding low pops - I was looking at some of the bikes at the Giro and they have short headsets with the stems right on top - almost a case of the bars being attached to the forks! and when they go down on the drops then their hands are level with the fork tops. that's low!

    Tri pros will say that a TT position doesn't shred the leg muscles for running like a road position does

    anyway if we all wanted comfort we'd be riding recumbants image
  • fat buddha wrote (see)
    ...if we all wanted comfort we'd be riding recumbants image
    Thats where i've been going wrong
  • I think there are a 'new generation' of cross-over road-bikes that offer more of an aero advantage.
  • I cant help but think thats marketing driven. Look at a head on shot of a cyclist. I'd say about 90% of the frontal area is the cyclist. The frame is minimal.

    For road bikes you are meant to match shoulder width to bar width - I like my bars quite wide.
  • But they look nice.
  • ^ while on a TT bike you match head width to bar width ... so most bars are quite wide image
  • Is it not also the case that you don't need to be as aero when you are drafting in a peloton?  So that the more comfortable position doesn't cost much in terms of efficiency?
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    if you went aero in the peloton you're gonna get kicked off the bike by other riders - it's too dangerous. but otherwise you're right - pack riding is much more efficient for those behind the front riders - which is why everyone is expected to take their turn at the front to share the load
  • I've seen a few TT bikes converted to drop handle and road raced.

    Got to say everyone is different and not all TT bikes are of the same geometry.
    Road bike or TT bike it needs to fit you not a fashion. I can't use spez TT bikes no matter what, angles are fecked for me.
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