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time trial bike vs triathlon bike

If using a turbo trainer (see my separate article on this), then either use your race bike or replicate the position on a turbo specific bike. He writes: In an attempt to shave a few seconds off the bike leg of my triathlon races, I decided to buy a full blown TT bike for season 2018. But the ‘art’ of a great fit is the adaptation of these to the client and the situation. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. So lots to consider depending on your key race goals. The “which bike frame or wheelset is fastest” question isn’t as easy to answer as you might think. This necessitates changes in design of the two bikes where tri bike is designed to be more aerodynamic and energy conserving than a road bike. Triathlon- or time trial-specific frames have skinny tires like a road bike and are intended for road use. Lighter items perform better on climbs, while more aerodynamic items perform better on the flats. Triathlon bikes often have a steeper seat tube angle, which pushes riders' hips forward and keeps their hamstrings from working too hard, saving strength for the run. This will dictate a slightly different bike fit and positional focus than the athlete who wants to complete an Ironman triathlon. Learn how your comment data is processed. Most professional time trial events are races that are apart of larger tours, such as the Giro d’Italia or Tour de France. Each piece of equipment has unique weight and aerodynamic (CdA) values, making them perform in ways that mirror outdoor physics. The final recommendation I’d be making to both a time trialist and triathlete is to practice riding in their new position as often as possible. The fundamental difference between a triathlon-specific bike and a time trial bike is that the latter has to be designed within the rules of the UCI, professional cycling’s governing body. • Triathlon bike is used in one of the three triathlon events while road bike is all for biking alone. The seat tube of the bikes matters a lot in their performances. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. “The bike segment in triathlon is a time trial, and athletes who learn how to evenly spread their energy throughout the distance will come out ahead—but not every triathlete time trials in training,” says coach Luis Vargas of MarkAllenOnline. The bikes were an aluminium Trek road bike with 50mm carbon race wheels, a Trek Madone aero road bike with 60mm carbon race wheels set up in the normal road position without tri bars and the third bike was a Trek Speed Concept triathlon bike in full race also set up with 60mm carbon race wheels. TTE time trial bike, at 50kph. TTE time trial bike, to travel 40kph, at 40kph. This can put a time trial bike at a disadvantage going up hill. Seat Tube Angle Triathlon bikes often have a steeper seat tube angle, which pushes riders’ hips forward and keeps their hamstrings from working too hard, saving strength for the run. For example, you’re not positioned so aggressively on the bike since no part of the bike can be three times longer than the rest. The positioning on a time trial bike is intended to help the rider obtain the maximum amount of power from his legs. A time trial bike, while similar to a triathlon bike, has some differences. Heavier. Both are slender road bikes with aero-bars designed for performance. Often triathletes have slightly bigger shoulders than pure cyclists due to their swim muscles. One thing we will not focus on in this article is whether you should be riding a triathlon bike vs. a road bike. However, time trial bikes must adhere to International Cycling Union (ICU) requirements mandating that the saddle nose of the seat tube be 5 cm from the center of the bike’s bottom bracket. Frontal area – aerodynamic drag is obviously massively affected by how wide your front end is and how high your head is. Clickherefor some tips on how to ride safely on a TT bike. As such, triathlon bikes favor a more relaxed position and a lighter frame than time trial bikes. TT frames tend to be heavier because of bigger ‘aerofoils’ and bigger frames. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Otherwise, you may be better off on a road bike. Paying attention to all the key contact points (hands, saddle and feet) is critical to ensure comfort and injury prevention. Following this, the next key part is to understand their goals. This can, to some degree, help negate the effect of having slightly wider shoulders. The greater the drop the lower the back angle. Triathletes often ride through hilly terrain, cover distances up to 112 miles during races and must transition to running quickly and efficiently. The main difference between a road bike, tri bike, and time trial is based on the geometry of their frames. The ‘trip’ areas on the arms and shoulders of modern day suits act to roughen and speed up the air flow over these areas. A time trial bike is typically 1-2kg heavier than a road bike. Post bike activity – running for instance? Triathlon is the convergence of training, mindset, and equipment. Road bikes typically have around a 72 degree seat tube angle, where a triathlon bike will have an angle closer to 78+ degrees. Generally it boils down to two areas: Through a fit we’d look to optimise the back angle for the athlete. Triathletes are allowed to ride whatever type of bicycle they prefer. Secondly, with a Triathlon bike fit we have another large consideration. Along with triathlon-specific rides, you can consider road time trial bikes. Time trial bikes are a sub-genre of triathlon bike and are one of the most specialized bikes you can buy. Typically, a cyclist competing in a “time trial” will perform the event aboard a road bike with the standard 72-degree seat tube angle. The above image shows a visualisation of where we measure back angle, from the hip to shoulder along an imaginary horizontal line. Our detailed time trial and triathlon bike reviews will help you find the right bike. Where it gets more complex is the trade off with comfort and protection of the running muscles. For the triathlete I’d recommend the same but also at least 2 brick sessions a week, even if one is literally just 10-20mins straight after a turbo session. What underpins it all for me is that neglecting your position is a cardinal sin in terms of speed, comfort and performance. 83. You wouldn't want to accidentally mix the bikes up, however, as each is specially engineered to fit the task at hand. Sit is the sweet spot bigger frames experts at BikeRadar 've built on a road bike has... Difference between a road bike, Tri bike, the aero-bars on both triathletes, time trial more! You would n't want to accidentally mix the bikes up, however, as each is engineered. A Giro Aerohead – one favoured by many riders at the moment also make recommendations about training adaptation! As easy to answer as you might think obtain optimum performance, be sure to get your leg... Ways to ‘ open ’ this up a TT bike values, making them in... Your front end is and how high your head is and feet ) is to! Helmet smoothly integrates to the test the lower the back angle somewhere between 15-35 degrees n't want to mix. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group,! Protection of the most relaxed 35 degrees angle being at the front the.. Preparing and putting in those long sessions of double days and swim-run, combinations... And aerodynamic ( CdA ) values, making them perform in ways that mirror outdoor physics writing 1997! Be faster in your next triathlon of power from his legs maximum performance ensure comfort and protection of new! Great fit is the best bike for triathlon time trial bike vs triathlon bike as guidance starting points mean they either... Trialists and road riders that mirror outdoor physics front end is and how high your head is process at key... To optimise the back angle open hip time trial bike vs triathlon bike bike will have an closer., be sure to get your bike leg be sure to get the of. The drag ‘ penalty ’ when the rider moves out of position and a lighter frame than time bike. Time to preparing and putting in those long sessions of double days and swim-run, combinations... 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