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Why Do Triathlon Bikes Look Different?

  • Triathlon- or time trial-specific frames have skinny tires like a road bike and are intended for road use. The most visible differences between a triathlon bike and a road bike include aerobars instead of regular handle bars and many models have specially shaped frame tubing and special wheels.

Why do triathlon bikes look so weird?

One main difference is simply the way the seat is positioned. On a triathlon bike, the seat tube is steeper than a road bike. Road bikes typically have around a 72 degree seat tube angle, where a triathlon bike will have an angle closer to 78+ degrees.

Why are triathlon bikes different than road bikes?

How They’re Different. The most notable difference is the design, or geometry of the frame of each bike. Triathlon bikes have a steeper angle of the seat. Seats on a road bike are positioned at, on average, 78 degrees while the angle on a triathlon bike is closer to 72 degrees.

Why are triathlon bikes so aero?

A triathlon bike has a much larger seat tube angle (76 to 78 degrees) than that of a road bike (72 degrees for a typical road bike). The steeper angle of the the tri bike can create a much more “aero” position.

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Are triathlon bikes uncomfortable?

A triathlon or time trial bike demands a fundamental change in body posture as compared to other styles of bikes. With the increase in aerodynamics comes a decrease in comfortability.

Why are tri bikes heavier?

A triathlon bike is heavier than a road bike by 2- 4 lbs or 1 to 2 kg. The reason is that the aim is to make a triathlon bike more aerodynamic rather than lightweight as it is in road bikes. The triathlon bikes come with bigger aerofoils and bigger frames than the road bike.

Can I use a tri bike as a road bike?

You can turn a normal road bike into a TT bike fairly easily but a TT bike is very specialist. You can’t use it in road or crit races and they’re frowned on in Sportives. Less safe in traffic too cos of the more head down position.

Is a triathlon bike worth it?

Triathlon bikes are almost worthless outside of triathlon and time trialing. They’re not as safe, as comfortable, or as easy to handle as a road bike. In fact, you can still be pretty competitive on a road bike with some solid training and coaching.

How much faster is a tri bike?

there have been many tests in the wind tunnel and these tests often show in an Ironman event that a TT or Triathlon bike can be up to 3kph quicker, while this is a general figure you may find this slightly more or less depending on your position, wheel choice and average speed.

How much quicker is a TT bike?

In general you will see a 1.5 mph – 2 mph boost in speed between a TT and a road bike assuming the rider is using regular shorts, jersey and helmet along with no aero wheels. Most of that is due to the differing rider position (i.e. more aero).

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Do triathletes use TT bikes?

TT bikes and triathlon bikes can both be used for triathlon racing. But if the bike portion of the race is long, especially something like a 70.3 or full Ironman distance, a tri bike will be much more comfortable. It will also allow for more hydration and nutrition storage.

Why do pro triathletes use road bikes?

The reason is that the body angles (specifically the angle of your hips relative to your torso) change a LOT when you are not in the aerobars. The position of your hips – your hip angle – in this position: Is very, very different than in this position: And that is why you need a road bike.

Which is faster road bike or tri bike?

Triathlon bikes are designed to make riders faster. The seat tube is closer to vertical than a road bike’s. This steeper geometry places the rider’s hips over the crankset which engages their quadriceps more for increased power.” Tri bikes are more aerodynamic and are “faster” than road bikes.

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