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Convert tri bike to road setup?
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Due to hip and back issues it looks like I won't be able to ride aero for a long, long time so I've been looking at converting my tri bike to a road setup. I don't want to put money into a road bike because my cycling future is unclear.

My top tube is a bit too long so looking at the geometry on a road bike for someone my size, it looks like that measurement would be about OK, with the biggest difference being in the seat tube angle (78 on my tri bike vs. 75.5 on road) and the head tube length (10.1cm on the tri bike vs. 13.0 on road).

Can I make this work by swapping out base and aero bars for handler bar with STI shifters? Am I missing something obvious here?

Thanks. Just trying to cobble something together until the future becomes clearer.

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [Tri3] [ In reply to ]
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You are missing nothing. Put some road bars and shifters on it and take it for a couple of spins. It will work just fine. Adjust fit from there.

Don't let anyone tell you not to try it because the handling will suck. Ignore that advice.
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [7401southwick] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks.
It's nothing but easy riding for the foreseeable future, so handling is not a big issue.

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
Last edited by: Tri3: Dec 28, 13 14:36
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [Tri3] [ In reply to ]
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It can be done. The handling is great, you get one of the most aero road bikes available. And there are some great applications for this. We've got a small collection of pics of similar set ups, maybe it will help you. Link to the fb gallery is here.

Greg @ dsw

Advanced TopTube Bento Speedpacks for Road, Gravel, & Triathlon.. .Direct-mount & ZeroSlip-mount, made in the USA.. .DarkSpeedWorks.com. .Reviews. .Instagram. .Facebook
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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I have a topic that I converted my P2. I call her "Time Out"
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [SlammedStance] [ In reply to ]
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Isn't there a UCI short-course male pro using a Cervelo P3 with drop bars?

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´Get the most aero and light bike you can get. With the aero advantage you can be saving minutes and with the weight advantage you can be saving seconds. In a race against the clock both matter.´

BMANX
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [Tri3] [ In reply to ]
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Doing a tt to road retrofit was a very bad experiment for me, but making a road bike into a tt rig was all we had back in the day and it worked very well for *me*. TT to road was that I just didn't like the increased weight bias on my hands being so far forward. YMMV. You can certainly do it though and the only thing that matters is that you like it, not what others think!

Road to tt was all I knew for the first 5 years or so of triathlon b/c that is all we had. I did IM/HIM's on a Columbus SL tubed Pinarello road frame with Scott clip ons for years and that particular frame still holds my 40k tt pr. If I were to get back into tri I would definitely do a road bike with clips b/c I'd never go over Oly. 56 miles is where I'd opt for a tt bike, but not b/c of aero considerations. It would be for a little back relief and overall comfort and the subsequent 13.1.
Last edited by: tigerpaws: Dec 29, 13 3:38
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for posting those. I have a P3 that I have been thinking about trying as a road bike since I got a P5. I have also been considering an S2/3. Can you walk me through this a little? How much does it cost to convert (I'm not a mechanic) and what are the pro/cons?

Thank you,

David
* Ironman for Life! (Blog) * IM Everyday Hero Video * Daggett Shuler Law *
Disclaimer: I have personal and professional relationships with many athletes, vendors, and organizations in the triathlon world.
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [david] [ In reply to ]
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I bought all used stuff so was only like 300.00 I have durace shifters and specialized venge bars
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [SlammedStance] [ In reply to ]
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Had to move seat back about 3 inches to get my speed back. I think I am about .5 mph slower than when bike was tt solo and it's faster in a group.
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [SlammedStance] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for all the replies. Good to know I'm not off base with this.

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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Jack, could you elaborate?

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: Convert tri bike to road setup? [Tri3] [ In reply to ]
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It should work. Basically you want to rotate your riding position around the bottom bracket, and probably open up the angle between your chest and your legs. I'd suggest:

1. Move the seat back as far as you can get it, to get closer to the traditional "Knee Over Pedal Spindle" setup . Note that you're effectively raising your seat when you do that, so you might want to lower it a hair at the same time.
2. Move spacers around (if you have them to move) in the stem stack to move the handlebars up. That also will move them back towards the seat, but probably not enough to notice.
3. I'd also recommend getting a new stem, both with a shorter reach and a higher angle. I'd borrow an (ugly) adjustable stem till you get the angle and reach where you want it.

Gary Fisher used to make a line of mountain bikes that were sort-of tri-bike like in their setup - very long top tubes combined with short stems. For the front-end challenged, it moved the front wheel away from the rider's CG, helping to keep from endo-ing the bike as easily. Basically, you'd be converting your tri-bike to that sort of setup.

Try to think of the bike as an amorphous shape. The important points are the seat, the bottom bracket, and the handlebars. Within reason, all of those points can be moved to get a position that will suit you better.

Finally - depending on how you set it up, dropping it back to aero is equally easy.

I have ITB issues myself, so I do this same thing but from the other direction: I use an oversized road bike frame and change the setup for tri's, basically the opposite of the 3 things I said above. It works reasonably well either way. I only keep it in the aero setup for about a week before each event.

ben
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