First IM in September - need a bike

It's my first IM in September- I'm off to Wales! Am following the Don Fink 30 week plan and things are going well.

I need to upgrade my old GT ZR 5.0 and feel the pull towards the Felt DA4 TT bike. I'm 5'10 with a 31" inside leg (shortish legs), and I'v read Felts might be better for my shape. I've been over to Leisure Lakes in Daventry to try one out and they say it's a good fit.

Should I be looking for a TT bike for such a long hilly course (never climbed on bullhorns before), or should I be looking for another road bike?

Cheers allJohn


  • if you've never ridden a TT bike before, then I would suggest getting one now is not a suitable choice for IMWales due to it's hilliness.  sure many do it on TT bikes but these are usually seasoned triathletes who are comfy on theirs.

    I did IM Wales in 2011 and used my road bike but with deep rim wheels.  the hills aren't individually killers (bar a few steep buggers) but they are pretty constant and having a standard road bar setup helps being able to adjust your position on the bike for comfort.   and some of the steep descents and then into an ascent are quite technical and being able to brake and change gear at the same time helped - on a TT setup with thumbshifters that's impossible unless you fork out for an electronic groupset.

    can I ask - how strong a biker are you??

  • Not bad... came in 8th on the macride 100k last week. Probably lacking spinning technique rather than fitness. Not a seasoned triathlete either! Just trying to make the transition from ultra marathoningimage
  • you're probably light enough and strong enough to justify a TT bike but tbh, if this is your 1st IM and because of the course profile, stick with a road bike but stick some clip on tri bars on for the times when you can get more aero.

    and if you join in the IM Wales thread over in the tri section, then you'll be able to chat with others doing it, or those who have done it.

    it's a great IM but it's a toughie - many seasoned IM would suggest it's up there with Lanza in terms of hardness.

  • A sportif isn't a race.

    Unless you're planning on doing a lot of TTS or triathlons - Id go for the road bike.

    You'll get far more use out of it.
  • You are the same size as me (apropos of nothing!).  I would suggest that you get a road bike - this can be used for many things, including UCI-sanctioned races and time-trials.  Depending on the TT bike, you may find that you won't be able to use it for any non-tri events, should you decide to try them in future.

    Also, unless you are an experienced rider, you won't really get the full benefit - you need to have good core flexibility to hold a full-aero tuck for any length of time.

    I have time-trialled for 20+ years and the principles are the same - get low and aero but don't inhibit your breathing.  Go for a road bike.  Fit aero bars possibly, depending on how low you can get the front end.  There is no point in fitting them to a sportive bike or one with bars only 4cm lower than the saddle.


    Good luck!

  • If you are intending doing TTs when not buy a UCI approved TT bike ?
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