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I own a 2007 Specialized Sirrus Sport bike that I just rode in my first “sprint” triathlon this weekend. I never really noticed how slow this bike is until I was passed by a few mountain bikes running slicks and much older road bikes that looked liked they were sitting in the back yard for the last 20 years. I completed the 14 mile bike phase of this race in 58 minutes, which is slightly more than 14 mph. Granted that I did not train for speed when I was training these last few months, but it seems like I really need to exert a lot of pedaling power to push this bike up mild hills and move it along the flats at 14 mph. I basically trained by climbing up steep mountain roads once a week (at a slow cadence pace), commuted to work with a fully loaded bike three time a week (6 miles each way) and complete the week with (one) 30 mile run that mimicked the triathlon’s route. I did not ride with anybody, so I naturally did not push myself that hard to build speed.

Given all the holes in my training regiment, I still feel that this bike is slow. I’m not sure if its frame flex, the worn out proprietary wheel set, the Specialized 700 x 28 All Condition Sport tires, the chain-rings on the Sugino XD-500 cranks or the semi upright geometry but something makes this bike hard to pedal. Note; that this bike has about 1200 miles on it, the hubs have been rebuilt twice (the second rebuild was last week), the SPD pedals were rebuilt (cleaned and re-greased) last week, the OEM BB was replaced last month with a UN-54 and the chain was replaced two weeks ago as well. A drive side spoke broke at the elbow three months ago and was replaced with a DT Swiss spoke so I’m not sure if all the OEM spokes are fatigued and causing the Alex Z500 rim to distort under load or it was just a bad spoke or wheel build.

Anyway, it seems like a good wheel set with better tires would go a long way to help this bike pedal easier and hence make it faster—but I’m only guessing.
 

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waterproof*
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Hint: there's nothing wrong with the bike.

Start doing speed work, aka "intervals" - simply put, if you want to go faster, you have to go faster.
 

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For agrument sake let's say the guys who passed you on old crappy road bikes did so because of the bike and that you are of equal strength.

That still doesn't have much to do with the quality of the bikes, parts ect. It has to do with them being able to get their body in a position that you can't do comfortably. Both aerodynamically and biomechanically speaking. And to convert your bike to what they have would be a lost cause so I'd suggest taking the money you'd like to dump into the Sirrus and put it to the side in a road bike fund.
 

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Fierce Pancake
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I'd suggest taking the money you'd like to dump into the Sirrus and put it to the side in a road bike fund.
This is what I did, having enjoyed my FX for commuting but wanting a proper road bike to really enjoy road riding.
 

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The Sirrus works ...

The Sirrus is not a road bike, but in my opinion it's a good bike. The components, well, can't really think of anything nice to say, but they do work. The Alexrim wheels do suck, my rear hub developed drag under 400 miles, had the bearings repacked, which made it better, but still not great. And they do flex nicely, I'm a relatively light rider, but they still rub pretty good on turns.

It's a great commuter and good for shorter rides, especially in town where you need to keep your head up. I like mine well enough to upgrade it, a part here and there when deals come around. My last ride with some stop and go traffic avg 16.8 mph, it's not great, but not bad for my standards.

If you want a little more aero, try flipping the stem around, so you have a negative slop. I don't know what stems the 07 model came with.
 

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vexatious enigma
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It isn't the bike, so don't be hatin on those of us who have junk heap road bikes :)

For starters you should get some better tires. Those are fantastic for commuting or winter training but they are crap for competitive riding.
Train harder. If you want to go faster you need to suffer a bit and ride some long hours.
Check out the racing forum and lurk there for training tips.
Ultimately you may want to invest in a decent road bike. I wouldn't really bother too much in upgrading a hybrid bike like a Sirrus for speed. Save that money and put it into a new bike.

Don't worry about those guys on crap bikes and MTBs. You don't know where they are at in their training. For all you know they are high level racers coming back from a ride or doing intervals so they will be going faster. Personally, I am a track sprinter with high end track bikes but my road bike is 20 years old and is on its last legs. If I am put on a fast bike I have gone over 40MPH in a sprint and it is predicted that I put out around 1500 watts. So yeah --- don't underestimate that guy on an old bike. You need to realize that there will always be people that are faster than you are; what makes the difference is how you handle that and apply that experience to your own personal training. Essentially, how much does that pass egg you on and motivate you to get faster?
 
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