Numpty IM Bike Thread



  • 'strenuous touring' ... LOL!

  • High pressure stuff you know. 15 Mars Bars per day and only the pub for comfort in the evening.
  • Well, I'd just like to thank all the bike numpty masters for their invaluable advice - it worked a treat when I went to the bike shop - I was able to talk about groupsets and compact chainrings and stuff! I think I fooled 'em!

    Although I kind of strayed onto talking about Campag gear which might have been a mistake cos it was outside of my blagging knowledge.

    Does this mean that I graduate from Numpty Bike School, or do I still have a long way to go?
  • Gear changing mechanisms. Can anyone give us a description about the variety out there? Last time I had a road bike, both levers were on the down tube (the diagonal bit that goes from beneath the handlebars to the bottom bracket). When I came to test ride my Trek 1000, I was startled to find that I had to use the brake levers and some little nubbins on the brake lever hoods.

    This system is Shimano Sora FlightDeck (or so it says on the hoods). The left brake lever controls the big chainring. To move from a smaller chainring to a bigger one, I push the brake lever rightwards, towards the centre of the handlebars, until the chain ascends, then release. To move the chain to a smaller chainring, I press a little nubbin on the inside of the hood, pretty much under my thumb if I'm riding on the hoods. To change the rear cogs, I do a similar thing, in a mirrored way, with the right brake.

    Would anyone like to describe the alternatives, and the pros & cons of each? This may get complicated as we get into the tri-specific options, but I think it's a valid topic for bike numpties; I was completely thrown by an entirely different system than that with which I'd grown up.
  • Ahh... I see I still have a lot to learn, Grand Master...
  • Park Tools are really good, some have intefral tyre levers, Shimano do a good range of saddle bags.

  • Sorry meant Specialised do a good range of saddle bags.
  • Oh and meant to also say integral tyre levers.
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    Quimby, the alternatives are the kind of shifters you've got (or subtle variations of them if you got campag or more expensive shimano than sora) or to have bar end shifters on the ends of your tri bars. The latter would only really be something to consider on a full on time trial bike. Upgrading shifters on shimano stuff is very expensive so stick with what you've got.
  • I am loving this thread......newtonian arguememts aside......well done the bike ponces
  • I have a real numpty question - but this thread means I am not too afraid to ask...

    I do a few adventure races so need a bike for off road (nothing too hard core though) but also want to do a road triathlon. I know the requirements are different for both, but could I buy a mtb (old one just got stolen), lock the front suspension and put slicks and tri bars on it and use it for triathlons, or will I be at a significant disadvantage? I am not anticipating competing at a really high level, so don't mind a bit of a disadvantage, but was thinking of doing an olympic, or half ironman so I guess the bike legs are long enough to make a difference.

    Ideally from a storage and cash perspective I don't want to have 2 bikes. Has anyone got any ideas/advice?

  • " I am not anticipating competing at a really high level, so don't mind a bit of a disadvantage, but was thinking of doing an olympic, or half ironman"

    !!!!!You must be made of stern stuff to not consider 1/2 IM as competing at a high level....

    I'm certain that the bike ponces will reply.

    It seems to me you can get away with a MTB on sprints, but I don't think I'd fancy 40k-90k on one.
  • Pebble 2Pebble 2 ✭✭✭
    I use a MTB with slicks on over the winter months, and my average speed drops a little, but not that much, so yes, you could use one, but to do Ironman you are required to use a drop handled bike.
  • I used a MTB on my first sprint, but not with tri bars. I found it quite hard on the hands, with no way of changing hand position. My hands were a bit numb by the end. Not sure whether you can fit tri bars to MTB handlebars?
  • Some triathlons don't permit MTB's. I'm pretty sure that was the case with IMCH, but a lot of them are fine with them.

    You'd have to check for a Half IM I think.

    (although to me - a rigid MTB with skinny tyres and tribars would be almost as fast as a road bike unless it was a very hilly course)
  • You can usually fit tri bars to a MTB.

    I had some long bar ends on my MTB and they worked quite well too.
  • Yes FFM - maybe that sentence doesn't completely make sense! What I meant was - I just want to do these races to see if I can complete them before the cut off, rather than go after a time.
    I didn't think about getting numb hands - could i get carbon forks to minimise the vibration?
    I'll check on entry requirements though. the reason I thought of it was that Ironman Germany looks like they allow any type of bike.
  • There were a few guys doing the Fred Whitton (tough hilly road race) on MTB's with front suspension, flat bars and slick tyres this year and they were remarkably fast.

    Check with the organisers of any race over Olympic if you want to use a mountain bike but a few were on them at the Longest Day.

    A mate uses a Specialised Rockhopper and does a lot of adventure races, cheap, well built, easy to maintain (check sus if buying second hand) and will be easy to change to slicks.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    Vitruvian 1/2 IM don't permit MTB's either so I guess when you get past Oly distance a road bike is de rigeur...........

    back to the shifters question

    you can still buy downtube shifters (Campag yes, not sure about Shimano) if you are old school - where's Punchie when you need him?? - but most know use integrated levers as they are much more convenient and index easily if set up well........

    Campagnolo and Shimano are the 2 biggest brands but there are other component suppliers who supply lookalikes for each.............riders tend to fall into either Campag or Shimano camp - the 2 are not interchangeable anyway - for whatevere reason they prefer..........I'm a Campag fan for road. Shimano for MTB...........

    you can also get thumb shifters for tribars which is basically a variant of above but the difference here is the gear change is now separate from the brake lever so hands need to move around a lot more but it does mean you can change gear when down on the bars in a streamline position without having to move about........

    tribars and thumb shifters are best suited for flatter faster courses, integrated changers for general road use or twisting and variable courses with lots of ups and downs......
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    take out the spare k from that post
  • Angel bars ... what do you think ... any good for long distance stuff ??
  • Right all you Ironman veterans.
    As I'm in the market for a new ride (bike) then how much advantage am I going to get by having a Tri specific bike?
    Does a Tri bike work well in hilly areas (pennines) etc.
    Alternatively did any of you who used road bikes have any issues fitting aerobars to them, uncomfy, issues with bike fit etc?
  • Dunno - I just used my TCR.

    Mmmm was on a tri specific bike though.
  • Calf (from a fellow novice)

    The benefits of a tri specific bike vary depending on the course. For IM Germany Candy said RM said it is suiotable for TT bikes.

    However if you are getting just one bike conventional wisdom is to get a road bike. (candy is again atypical) particularly in hilly areas as you can change gear without moving your hands from the hoods position.

    The former Bianchi sponsered pro at my local biek shop has advised there are things which can be done to make a road biek more like a TT bike for competition and we will be looking at this in more detail in a couple of weeks burt basically involves changing the stem and saddle position.
  • I think there are three options here.

    Normal Road bikes (like you see the Tour riders using)

    TT bikes (low pro things with tribars and as used in the prologue and tts at the tour)

    Tri-specific bike - By firms like Quintana Roo and Cannondale - with a different seat angle thats meant to save your legs for the run.
  • Thanks quimby and haileunlikely for your advice (ages ago - pre-physics) on entry-level bikes. Glad to get a consensus.

    Having never ridden a proper road bike and not knowing whether I'm going to get on with it, does anyone know if there are places where you can hire for a day or week before you invest. Googling produced nothing sensible. I live N London/Herts.
  • It's a little way up the A1, but Grafham Cycles hire out a Scott CR1 carbon fibre job. Same frame as one of the pro teams but different components. They are near to Huntingdon (I did say it was a trek)

    A curveball idea is to write to your local tri or cycling club to see if anyone has a biek for sale or wants to lend you one. Lots of people seem to upgrade yearly and may have old ones in the garage you could borrow
  • Q. My current bike (replaced in a few weeks but still intend to use over winter) has what appear to be 2 cracks near to the bottom bracket. It's a steel frame. My question is, how can I confirm these are/ are not cracks easily and can they be mended?

    The paint has come off in this area.

    Q. The area around my headset creaks a lot. I have seriously tightend the headset and every bolt around there. What could be the cause of this creaking?
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