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In anticipation of some TTs in stage races and in general just deciding that I finally need to commit some time, energy and i guess $$ into TTs I have decided I need something more than just clip-on aerobars.

I'm planning on trying to turn my old road bike into a TT bike without spending a whole lot of money.

Question #1:
Is this a bad idea? I trust the judgement of many on this forum and want to know if it is even worthwhile undertaking this project?

The details:
Old bike:
Head tube angle: 73.5 degrees
Seat tube angle: 73 degrees
TT Length: 56 CM
Seat Tube CC: 53 CM
Seat Tube C/T: 56 CM
Stem: 10 CM

Current bike:
Head tube angle: 73 degrees
seat tube angle: 74 degrees
TT (effective) length 54.5 CM
Seat tube C/T: 54 CM
Stem: 11 CM

Eventhough the geometries and setups are different on the two bikes, I'm completely comfortable on either.

The specifics:
Essentially the only money I'm looking to spend is on the TT base bar, TT clip on bar and then bar end shifters and of course the brakes on the bars. I'm not concerned about wheels because I can borrow those.

I'm tentatively looking at the VisionTech TT Base/Clip-on bar combo from Performance for $155 before discounts. Any comments on those? I would assume I would want the small clip-ons because the "old bike" already has a longer top tube and even a .5 CM longer TT+stem. For the base bars, would there be any benefit for going with a width of 40 CM instead of 42 CM? Both bikes currently have 42 CM handlebars.

I would then have to probably slide the seat way forward to try to replicate a steeper seat tube angle seen on most TT frames. I know this would hurt the handling of bike and really shift a lot of the weight around but for a traditional TT it shouldn't matter that much should it?

Anyone know where I can get good deals on bar end shifters (9 speed) and brakes for TT bars?

Other thougths, potential problems?

Thanks for the advice
 

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I went this route

stewie13 said:
In anticipation of some TTs in stage races and in general just deciding that I finally need to commit some time, energy and i guess $$ into TTs I have decided I need something more than just clip-on aerobars.

I'm planning on trying to turn my old road bike into a TT bike without spending a whole lot of money.

Question #1:
Is this a bad idea? I trust the judgement of many on this forum and want to know if it is even worthwhile undertaking this project?

The details:
Old bike:
Head tube angle: 73.5 degrees
Seat tube angle: 73 degrees
TT Length: 56 CM
Seat Tube CC: 53 CM
Seat Tube C/T: 56 CM
Stem: 10 CM

Current bike:
Head tube angle: 73 degrees
seat tube angle: 74 degrees
TT (effective) length 54.5 CM
Seat tube C/T: 54 CM
Stem: 11 CM

Eventhough the geometries and setups are different on the two bikes, I'm completely comfortable on either.

The specifics:
Essentially the only money I'm looking to spend is on the TT base bar, TT clip on bar and then bar end shifters and of course the brakes on the bars. I'm not concerned about wheels because I can borrow those.

I'm tentatively looking at the VisionTech TT Base/Clip-on bar combo from Performance for $155 before discounts. Any comments on those? I would assume I would want the small clip-ons because the "old bike" already has a longer top tube and even a .5 CM longer TT+stem. For the base bars, would there be any benefit for going with a width of 40 CM instead of 42 CM? Both bikes currently have 42 CM handlebars.

I would then have to probably slide the seat way forward to try to replicate a steeper seat tube angle seen on most TT frames. I know this would hurt the handling of bike and really shift a lot of the weight around but for a traditional TT it shouldn't matter that much should it?

Anyone know where I can get good deals on bar end shifters (9 speed) and brakes for TT bars?

Other thougths, potential problems?

Thanks for the advice
I used my old specialized frame to make a TT bike. I ran the saddle higher and more forward and used a set of aero bars. I say buy the bars to match you arms don't try and shorten the length up there do that witha shorter stem. The issue you might have is getting the bars low enough one of those Ritchey adjustable stems could help there. The handling will be different but it should be something you can handle with some practice. You might find a good deal on bar end shifter on ebay remember you you can get 8 speed ones and and run them in friction mode with 9 or 10 speed. Break levers are cheap new froma store like 15 bucks or something.
 

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I'll throw some thoughts in...

stewie13 said:
Thanks for the advice
Question #1:
Is this a bad idea? I trust the judgement of many on this forum and want to know if it is even worthwhile undertaking this project?

Answer:
Based on the bike specifics below, the better TT bike would be your Current bike. But if that is not an option, nothing wrong with the Old bike either. It does appear that you will be stretched out a bit...

The details:
Old bike:
Head tube angle: 73.5 degrees
Seat tube angle: 73 degrees
TT Length: 56 CM
Seat Tube CC: 53 CM
Seat Tube C/T: 56 CM
Stem: 10 CM

Current bike:
Head tube angle: 73 degrees
seat tube angle: 74 degrees
TT (effective) length 54.5 CM
Seat tube C/T: 54 CM
Stem: 11 CM

The specifics:
Essentially the only money I'm looking to spend is on the TT base bar, TT clip on bar and then bar end shifters and of course the brakes on the bars. I'm not concerned about wheels because I can borrow those.

I'm tentatively looking at the VisionTech TT Base/Clip-on bar combo from Performance for $155 before discounts. Any comments on those? I would assume I would want the small clip-ons because the "old bike" already has a longer top tube and even a .5 CM longer TT+stem. For the base bars, would there be any benefit for going with a width of 40 CM instead of 42 CM? Both bikes currently have 42 CM handlebars.


Answer
I have ridden these bars as well as many others. They work well together. I like the adjustability of the clip on bar, but personally, prefer the light weight Syntace Streamliner. However, you really need to know which length you want with the Syntace, while the VT lets you dial in your position better.

As far as width, I too would recommend narrow for the base bar. You shouldn't be using it that much anyway.



I would then have to probably slide the seat way forward to try to replicate a steeper seat tube angle seen on most TT frames. I know this would hurt the handling of bike and really shift a lot of the weight around but for a traditional TT it shouldn't matter that much should it?

Answer:
Not too far, not only will it change handling, but more importantly, it will change muscle groups and it will be different stress points on your knees. Move the postition forward slowly, a centimeter at a time. Nothing drastic. If your back is flexible, you many not need to move forward at all. However, that long top tube may cause you to really ride the nose of the saddle.

Anyone know where I can get good deals on bar end shifters (9 speed) and brakes for TT bars?

ebay is a good spot to find bar end shifters. Nashar has the brake levers for less than $25.00.

Other thougths, potential problems?

You may want to have an 80 stem on standby if possible, but that's hard to prescribe with out seeing you ride the bike.

I agree that if the TT's are mainly out and back rides, not very technical, handling should not be much of an issue.

The best advise I could give is to find a good 12 - 20 mile TT practice course. Ride it hard on your new race bike, no aero bar. Record your time.

Ride the same course on your old/but new TT bike with little saddle position changes. Record that time.

Do it a few more times, each time slowly moving your saddle and bar positions until you dial in on comfort.

Compare your times. The best way to TT is to spend lots of time pusing your bodies limits, more so than having the latest and greatest TT gear. At least until you get to where you are within seconds of beating everyone else.
 

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Wouldn't the longer TT bike (the old one) be better? When he steepens the STA by moving the saddle forward, isn't he effectively shortening the TT?
 

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Good idea

Good idea especially if you are not doing a lot of TTs. If you're not training on your TT bike at least once a week you should make the saddle position as close to your road bike as possible. Don't listen to the get low crowd, don't get low for the sake of getting low. If you're very flexible and can go lower but, again, if you don't train regularly in a low position go for a higher set up. The pros that you see riding super low train in that position at least 2 hours a week. Also, until you're averaging over 27-28 mph your frontal area doesn't slow you down as much as a restriction on wattage output. Get a bar that's very adjustable both in height and reach. A heavy non-aero bar will not slow you down as much as bad body position. When I used an old giant for a TT bike I was on the nose of the saddle until I chopped the end off my deda bars to shorten my reach. Good luck.
 

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Yes, but...

feathers mcgraw said:
Wouldn't the longer TT bike (the old one) be better? When he steepens the STA by moving the saddle forward, isn't he effectively shortening the TT?
]
As I mentioned, I don't recommend anyone change their position over the BB by too much at one time, either by jumping on a different bike or by radical changes in moving a seat forward or backward.

If you train to be fast on a 74degree STA, you are not going to be as fast on any other angle. Just recommending that a rider could injure oneself by radical changes in bikes and angles. Same rule of thumb for moving your seat up and down, small changes reduce the risk of injury.
 

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Vision Tech Bars

I use the Vision Tech Base Bar and Carbon Aero bars on my TT bike and really like them. As another said above, buy the length of bars you need to fit your arms and adjust the overall reach with the stem. I did the same thing as you before setting up frame specifically made for TT bikes and found that I had to have a 70cm stem, but I use a 90cm on the new bike and have about the same overall reach.
Several of my friends just set up new TT bikes and all used the newer "pro fit" or whatever Vision Tech is calling their straight aerobars. The advantage to these is that they come in only one length and you trim them to fit after you decide on the overall length that you need.
Several have mentioned using brake levers other than Vision Tech. While this may be a cheaper route, be sure that they will fit inside the Vision Tech base bar as it seems to be a smaller than normal ID. I went with the Vision Tech brake levers and really like them.
You will notice that the forward seat placement and the aero positon on the bike puts strains on musceles differently than being on your Road bike, so ride the TT bike once a week or more when you get it set up and more frequently when you are focusing on an upcoming TT race.
 

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Bullshit....

racerx said:
]
As I mentioned, I don't recommend anyone change their position over the BB by too much at one time, either by jumping on a different bike or by radical changes in moving a seat forward or backward.

If you train to be fast on a 74degree STA, you are not going to be as fast on any other angle. Just recommending that a rider could injure oneself by radical changes in bikes and angles. Same rule of thumb for moving your seat up and down, small changes reduce the risk of injury.
The purpose of going steep is to preserve the SAME hip angle as on your road bike. You merely rotate forward around the bottom bracket. At least that is how it is supposed to work if you do it right. If you can push big watts on your road bike, you can push big watts on your TT bike if it is set up right. But not if you close off your hip angle. Seat tube angle has little to do with how much power you can produce. Hip angle does.

Mike
 

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mprevost said:
The purpose of going steep is to preserve the SAME hip angle as on your road bike. You merely rotate forward around the bottom bracket. At least that is how it is supposed to work if you do it right. If you can push big watts on your road bike, you can push big watts on your TT bike if it is set up right. But not if you close off your hip angle. Seat tube angle has little to do with how much power you can produce. Hip angle does.

Mike
I'm with you here. I've never felt like I needed to adapt to the TT position. Once you get low you naturally want to slide forward and open up your hips.
 

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If you are going to the problem of building a dedicated TT bike then I wouldnt see why you wouldnt get out and train on it once a week. I usually put in close to 2 hours on mine after a 2 hour ride on my road bike. I dont have much problem going back and forth and my position is forward and low on the bike. I would suggest a no setback post with the saddle moved forwards to shorten the top tube.

I use the FSA-vision base bar and clip on set up and like it, I use the S-bend style clip on (vision calls it their R bend) as I think I get more leverage, but it does put more pressure on your wrists. Have someone take a photo of yourself on the bike while riding on the trainer, your reach should have your upper arms at close to a 90 degree angle to your trunk and your elbows should not be past your ears.
 

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Agree, the shorter bike makes the better TT bike. Don't go crazy moving the saddle around. You may find that you can make the best power by keeping the saddle in the exact same spot on both bikes, but your TT bike is shorter and lower in the front end.

Generally, look for the smaller frame as this will give you the shorter/lower front (as you'll raise your saddle above the TT more).
 

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There is a seat post you can buy that has a bend in it that puts you at a steep TT angle. I saw it in Colorado Cyclist magazine. The maker is Profile and its called "Fast Forward Seatpost".
 
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