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I have an opportunity to buy a good tri-bike. The thing is that I don't intend to compete in any triathlons. I really only ride road bikes but this one is too good to pass up. What I am looking to hear is whether I am likely to want to ride this frame on the road much. Any help will be appreciated.
 

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ill tell you that tri bikes handle much differently than road bikes - they're meant to go straight, and fast. If you want to do any group rides, you'll pretty much be shunned because of your aero bars - no one likes riding alongside people on aerobars, because they're twitchy and more unstable. So i guess it depends on what kind of riding you're going to be doing
 

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I don't think that "go straight, and fast" and "twitchy and more unstable" match up very well. If a bike has a geometry that makes it go straight, it's likely (all other things being equal) to be more stable than a bike that is designed to turn better.

No?

S-
 

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As one who rides a bike that goes straight and fast I can tell you that there is a difference - small - but a difference. My frame has a lower bottom bracket - watch out peddling in a sharp turn. The steering is slower and doesn't turn quite as sharply - don't ride this frame in a crit. I ride with a large group of mostly road bike riders - last Saturday there were about 40 with 3 of us with TT bikes. We ride in a paceline but not on the aerobars and don't have any problems with the group. Riders that are twitchy will be twitchy on whatever they ride. We did have a rider that was test riding a Storck Fenomalist
that said that that bike was twitchy and went back to his LeMond so I suppose some bikes could be called twitchy but I haven't heard that complaint ever made by someone who actually rides a TT bike.
 

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winders said:
I don't think that "go straight, and fast" and "twitchy and more unstable" match up very well. If a bike has a geometry that makes it go straight, it's likely (all other things being equal) to be more stable than a bike that is designed to turn better.

No?

S-
the steering is slower, but riding on the aerobars gives you much less control over your bike, so tends to make the rider a bit less stable. It's not the geometry that makes the rider unstable, it's the position that they're in when they ride tri bikes. It is a lot easier to maneuver a bike with drop bars than aero extensions.

But i'm only going off my own experience. I do own a TT bike, and just simply don't ride on group rides with it because it's not safe to ride the aero bars when you're within inches of other people, and I feel that riding the bullhorns defeats the whole purpose of riding a TT bike, and I'd rather just use my road bike at that point.
 

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livin4lax09 said:
the steering is slower, but riding on the aerobars gives you much less control over your bike, so tends to make the rider a bit less stable.
It may be semantics, but having less control of the bike is not the same thing as the bike not being stable. Stability and control are two very different things.

Stability, or the lack thereof, is a function of the bike's geometry. Control is related to the the mechanism the bike provides for the rider to influence what the bike does.

So, based on what you said, you think the aerobars gives the rider much less control over the bike, so that tends to make the rider less in control.

S-
 

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Lemur-ing
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winders said:
It may be semantics, but having less control of the bike is not the same thing as the bike not being stable. Stability and control are two very different things.

Stability, or the lack thereof, is a function of the bike's geometry. Control is related to the the mechanism the bike provides for the rider to influence what the bike does.

So, based on what you said, you think the aerobars gives the rider much less control over the bike, so that tends to make the rider less in control.

S-
Of course, you do realize that riding on the aerobars make it harder for a person to steer the bike/brake, etc in the event it's necessary right?

That's the reason they are shunned on group rides.

Of course, people do ride them in TTTs so take it fwiw.
 

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uzziefly said:
Of course, you do realize that riding on the aerobars make it harder for a person to steer the bike/brake, etc in the event it's necessary right?

That's the reason they are shunned on group rides.
I have no experience with aerobars so I have no idea how they affect one's ability to control their bike. I will go along with those who have more knowledge than me in regards to that.

However, I don't see how that changes what I said. Control and stability or two different things. You can have a very stable bike that is hard to control and you can have a very stable bike that is easy to control.

S-
 

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Lemur-ing
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winders said:
I have no experience with aerobars so I have no idea how they affect one's ability to control their bike. I will go along with those who have more knowledge than me in regards to that.

However, I don't see how that changes what I said. Control and stability or two different things. You can have a very stable bike that is hard to control and you can have a very stable bike that is easy to control.

S-
It's hard to control with aerobars when compared to basic drop style road bars. You don't have the brakes there to begin with and steering is harder as well because of how your hands are positioned on the bars.

No way you can react fast enough on the extensions vs. if your hands are on the base bars.

But, what you said is different here: The bikes are designed (taking the cockpit into account) to go in a straight line and not for a twisty course etc. Thus, the incorporation of the aerobars (for speed, aerodynamics etc) and hence, the handling difficulty vs. a road bike.

That means, yes, the bike can be stable indeed. But, it's not that stable if you're not used to it etc just because of the cockpit. Put normal drop bars on it and it'll handle really well too, give or take a bit.

If you look the riders in TT stages - they'd shift their hands to the base bars where the brakes are for sharper turns and such just because it's more stable and safer too.

To know how it's like - try draping your forearms on the tops of your handlebars and then, imagine how it's like if you're gripping onto some clip ons. Can you see it's definitely not as easy to steer etc vs. the conventional hand positioning?
 

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Decker said:
I have an opportunity to buy a good tri-bike. The thing is that I don't intend to compete in any triathlons. I really only ride road bikes but this one is too good to pass up. What I am looking to hear is whether I am likely to want to ride this frame on the road much. Any help will be appreciated.
Frankly, I don't see what good it would do you if you don't plan on using the bike for what it was made to do. It's like getting a great price on a Ferrari to deliver pizzas; even a good deal on something is a waste if you don't need it.

The whole debate about stability and control aside, the very fact that other bikers THINK that TT bikes (and to some extent riders) are twitchy and unreliable introduces an unpleasant element into a group ride (there are some juicy, venomous threads on this topic and I'm not taking a position one way or the other, but the sentiment certainly exists).

It just seems like a lot of trouble that's only going to be worth it if you really want to learn to do triathalons or time trials.
 

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uzziefly said:
....hence, the handling difficulty vs. a road bike.
But it's not a stability difficulty and that is my point. A stable bike does not get unstable because of the bars you put on it. But it can get easier or more difficult to control. Again, control and stability are two different animals.

S-
 

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Decker said:
What I am looking to hear is whether I am likely to want to ride this frame on the road much.
If you love going fast, and you love riding alone, do it. I had aerobars and bar-end shifters on a previous road bike build, and I loved it. I did ride with one or two friends on occasion, and that was no biggie. It's fun. Just push it to the limit.


I would like nothing more than an aggressive time trial/triathlon bike with a sick disc wheel (like a ridiculously expensive Ghibli) and 3T Ventus aerobars. I liked the old Bianchi D2 crono frame with the spaghetti tubes, but I don't think they made that one small enough - maybe the new frame in xs would fit....


And the truth is, I've only ever crashed when I'm in the drops (or on the basebar, as the case was with my aerobar'd bike). When I'm on the aero's, I know I've got a clear road ahead of me in good condition.
 

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winders said:
But it's not a stability difficulty and that is my point. A stable bike does not get unstable because of the bars you put on it. But it can get easier or more difficult to control. Again, control and stability are two different animals.

S-
True.

But, it actually can get unstable in not the truest sense of the word. I mean, ok let me try and explain:

It becomes more 'unstable' just because of the bars put on it because, it's handling properties are altered in a way. As such, it gets harder to control and thus, the control (or lack thereof) is linked to the stability in that sense of things.


//By the way, I wonder what the hell bike would be unstable to a point where you could notice it anyway, and in your definition of that word in this case! I'm sure it might be a WalMart bike maybe :D
 

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uzziefly said:
True.

But, it actually can get unstable in not the truest sense of the word. I mean, ok let me try and explain:

It becomes more 'unstable' just because of the bars put on it because, it's handling properties are altered in a way. As such, it gets harder to control and thus, the control (or lack thereof) is linked to the stability in that sense of things.
No, the handling properties are not altered. The control properties are altered. When changing the handlebar, the is just as stable or unstable as before.

Stability is a geometry issue......

No matter how you slice it, aerobars do not change the stability of the bike. All they do is alter the riders ability to control the bike.

S-
 

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I want my two minutes back!

stability/control ... sheesh

If you like going fast on flat ground, in a straight line, on your own or on the front ... buy it. Most TT bikes sit in the garage for 50 weeks out of the year anyway; join the club

I convert my cervelo r3 into a TT bike for the 3-4 events I will ride in TT mode. Is it perfect ... no. Can I justify another 4K bike for those events, no also (although I will try)


I recommend riding your road bike with clip on bars, move you seat forward and see how you like it. If you love riding in that position get the TT bike after the extended test drive.

btw: I think you will notice that you lose some hand positions on the bar as well
 

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Talking past each other

winders said:
No, the handling properties are not altered. The control properties are altered. When changing the handlebar, the is just as stable or unstable as before.

Stability is a geometry issue......

No matter how you slice it, aerobars do change the stability of the bike. All they do is alter the riders ability to control the bike.

YES, YES, YES! We absolutely get it. Tri bikes are more stable, and your point is that stability is a function of geometry. And everyone else's point is that regardless of the inherent stability of of the geometry, the use of aero bars and the body position on the bike makes tri bikes "functionally unstable." The horse is fully dead, and has been beaten to a pulp.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
YES, YES, YES! We absolutely get it. Tri bikes are more stable, and your point is that stability is a function of geometry. And everyone else's point is that regardless of the inherent stability of of the geometry, the use of aero bars and the body position on the bike makes tri bikes "functionally unstable." The horse is fully dead, and has been beaten to a pulp.
Why'd you have to kill a poor horse for?! :p
 

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Kerry Irons said:
YES, YES, YES! We absolutely get it. Tri bikes are more stable, and your point is that stability is a function of geometry. And everyone else's point is that regardless of the inherent stability of of the geometry, the use of aero bars and the body position on the bike makes tri bikes "functionally unstable." The horse is fully dead, and has been beaten to a pulp.
Does, as you put it, the use of aero bars and the body position on the bike make tri bikes "functionally unstable."?

When you put the areo bars on the bike does it start moving around? Do small inputs cause more significant reaction from the bike? No, that is not what happens. So the bike does not become "functionally unstable."

The plain and simple fact is the correct word to use is control and the aero bars make the bike harder to control. Why am I fighting you on this? Because stability has nothing to do with it, zero....nada....so using that word is using the WRONG word because it does not mean anything close to the effect your are attempting to describe.

"Functionally less controllable" works. So does "functionally less nimble".

S-
 

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don't worry about the semantics - here's a practical tip for you: when starting with your aerobars avoid the temptation to put them as close together as you can (as many pros do). Having them a bit wider will stabilize the ride and let you get comfortable with the position and then you can make them more narrow if you want.
 
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