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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am entering the world of triathlons and am contemplating purchasing a TT bike. High on the list is the Cervelo P2 Carbon as it is a top-end bike at a reasonable price. That being said, I'm sitting on a Kestrel 200 EMS that I am not using. I am weighing my option right now of building that up as a TT bike. How much better are these new bikes really? I read reviews of bikes like the P2 Carbon and people say they ride '1-2mph faster' with bikes like the Cervelo. Is that even possible? How much better is any newer frame going to really be? If I were to keep the Kestrel, I would do an entire parts refresh as I have to rebuild it completely anyway. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.
 

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Assuming you're able to achieve the exact same position with either frame, the gains from going to an 'aero' frame like the cervelo are pretty minimal, atmo.

as in, you'll see greater speed increases by:
* Getting some aero wheels
* Getting an aero helmet
* routing your cables neatly, out of the wind.
 

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hammer_cycle said:
That being said, I'm sitting on a Kestrel 200 EMS that I am not using.
Ha! Well, I have a Kestrel 200 sci that I did my first tri on a couple of years ago, and then borrowed a dedicated Tri bike for the rest of the season.

I am sort of wishy washy on my answer. Half of me wants to tell you that the Tri bike was worlds better, and I certainly felt much better on the run with the tri bike. But the other half says that the difference was around 1.5 mph faster. Which means nothing, because it was a different course, different day, etc...

My $.02 would be, if you got the coin then spend it, you will enjoy the bike.
 

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hammer_cycle said:
... people say they ride '1-2mph faster' with bikes like the Cervelo. Is that even possible? ...

Sure it's possible. Consider if they went from a hybrid to the Cervelo. Or even a regular road bike to the Cervelo.

Hey if you got the cash and it makes you happy, do it.

.
 

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For whatever reason, every new racing bike I've ever bought has made me faster than the one I was riding previously. The only exception -- the Rivendell Ramboullet...which admittedly, was never meant to be a racer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Creakyknees said:
Sure it's possible. Consider if they went from a hybrid to the Cervelo. Or even a regular road bike to the Cervelo.

Hey if you got the cash and it makes you happy, do it.

.
The big issue is that I'm trying to NOT spend money. My biggest issues with using the Kestrel are the fact that fork is a threaded fork which poses some problems with the new aero bars. I would need to buy a new fork and headset. The second issue is the cost of getting a professional fitment at a shop where I did not buy the bike. In my area, they are looking at $300+ for fitment + at least $150-200 to swap out components and build it up. Pretty crazy if you ask me (i.e. rip-off). That is already a good percentage of a new frame.
 

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Dont kill me for saying this but check out the Fuji Aloha. For the cash its really nice and youll have tons left over to purchase a nice wheelset. Its a great dedicated tri bike for the money and you cant go wrong with it. If you are a very serious with competing you will notice the differences of the cervelo but personally id rather save all that cash and buy a new road bike too. Im loving my new Scott S10
 

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bopApocalypse said:
you'll see greater speed increases by:
* Getting a professional bike fit
* Getting an aero helmet
* Wearing a skinsuit
* Using shoe-covers
* Routing your cables neatly, out of the wind.
* Getting some aero wheels
'Hope you don't mind: I added-to and rearranged in order of mph/$.

I assume that you are going to be using aero bars and shifters - if not, they would need to be included in the list too.

The 1st item is miles ahead of the other five in terms of speed gain. The last four could arguably be moved around a bit. People mess up the wearing of #2, which could demote it to distant last place.

Item #1 will address rider position and biomechanics. The session should also pay attention to helmet positioning. Ought to cost $100 - $200. Which is a pittance compared to the last item.
 

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hammer_cycle said:
The big issue is that I'm trying to NOT spend money.
My advice then would be to scale down your Tri bike. No need to buy a cervelo P2C, and the difference in speed from one tri bike frame to another tri bike frame is less then 1%.

Get a closeout deal on a nice aluminum tri bike with some 105 and maybe some Ultegra, and you will be good to go. The Leader 730TT frame cost $249.
 

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If you are wanting a Tri/TT bike, anything will do in that relm...you don't have to go expensive to reap the benefits. The speed difference between a Cervelo P3 and a 3 year old Fuji Aloha is about 10-15 seconds over a 40K TT.....if that (given the same equipment on each bike).

The difference between a Tri/TT bike and a regular bike can be a big difference due to differences in geometry and equipment (aero bars with bar end shifters instead of regular road bars and STI shifters).

I'd say look for a cheaper alternative than the Cervelo and spend the extra money saved on a nice set of wheels, skinsuit and aero helmet.

One of the fastest TT'ers I know rides a 5 year old Cannondale Slice, I ride a 2 year old Fuji Aloha 1.0 that I bought for $1100.00 from Performance then purchased pedals, bottle cage, etc...with the extra 10% back on purchases. I put new wheels on it this year with a RENN 575 and a Flashpoint 60 for TT's (totaled around $1100 for the wheels). So I've put in about the same amount total for a nice TT bike that I would have for the frame only with a Cervelo P2 or P3.

Also, don't be afraid to purchase used...there are some good deals out there on TT bikes that people found out they really didn't like TT's and didn't like riding TT bikes....there are lots of those people out there.
 

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I got a close out 2005 1/2 Jamis Trilogy in the spring of 2007. My teammate just got a 2007 Trilogy also end of year special. His bike is more refined than mine- some internal cable routing and a carbon rear triangle. We ride stock rear wheel with disc covers. Neither of us spent a lot of money and we are doing pretty well against the folks who spent lots more on the wind tunnel tested Treks and Cervelos.

Unless you are a pro or near pro in performance you just aren't going to see a huge difference in performance. I chuckle whenever I pass an expensive Cervelo with Zipp rear wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone. So, from the comments here, I will summarize:

1) Fit #1 priority
2) Wheels
3) Frame makes very little impact as long as it is possible to fit properly on it

The places that I am aware of that actually know how to fit someone in an aero position, seem to charge a lot for their services ($300) + mechanics fees. It is a hard pill to swallow for an 'old' bike when that those fees are built into a new bike price

From the sounds of it, I'll be perfectly okay with my Kestrel if I go about getting fit. I plan on ripping the bars/stem/etc. off and making it a dedicated tri bike. Fortunately, I have a fairly fast set of wheels (older set of Zipp 404s) so I can go without spending money on that. I think I will pick up a new fork and see what happens with the Kestrel.
 

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hammer_cycle said:
Thanks everyone. So, from the comments here, I will summarize:

1) Fit #1 priority
2) Wheels
3) Frame makes very little impact as long as it is possible to fit properly on it

The places that I am aware of that actually know how to fit someone in an aero position, seem to charge a lot for their services ($300) + mechanics fees. It is a hard pill to swallow for an 'old' bike when that those fees are built into a new bike price

From the sounds of it, I'll be perfectly okay with my Kestrel if I go about getting fit. I plan on ripping the bars/stem/etc. off and making it a dedicated tri bike. Fortunately, I have a fairly fast set of wheels (older set of Zipp 404s) so I can go without spending money on that. I think I will pick up a new fork and see what happens with the Kestrel.
For the most part...that's it.

Fit wise, sometimes "Pro" fits work extremely well, sometimes they don't. On my team out of the riders that have had professional fits about 65% liked them and 35% didn't. In some cases, it seems like they were way off and the rider was uncomfortable and in pain within 10 miles of an easy ride....so take them for what it's worth.

The basics to fitting a TT bike....Get your position set up so you are 1-2 cm forward from your normal saddle position on your regular road bike. You don't want to go too far forward because then you are away from where you normally ride and out of your "Power Zone". Moving the saddle 1-2 cm forward is like riding the rivet on your road bike all the time.

As far as your bars go, once you have your saddle fore/aft and height position set up....it's all a matter of getting as low and narrow as possible while remaining comfortable on the bike (though many will give up comfort for speed if at all possible). You are looking for a 90 degree bend between your upper arms and your chest, so they rest comfortable under you and support the weight of your upper body. Some people go a bit forward from there. Width wise with the bars, go as narrow as you can until it starts to constrict breathing, then move the bars back out just a bit until the constriction goes away.

With your Kestrel, chances are you can set it up just fine. If you were running a lay back seat post, switch to a zero degree and it should move you far enough forward you are happy with the saddle position. The biggest problem people tend to run into when converting road bikes is the head tube is too tall and they can't get the bars low enough...but you can always go with a -17 degree stem to help out there if needed.

There really isn't much more to it than that and playing with the position over time will get you pretty close to where you need to be.

For Tri purposes...generally the set up is more forward than on a road bike because they want to almost be "Running" while on the bike which makes the transition to the run easier. They also tend to be a bit more upright than a TT rider....so different positions for different types of riding.

Anyway...stick with your Kestrel for now. Set it up with the proper equipment and see how well it works. If you want more...then buy a frame/fork set up and transfer the equipment to it.

I would also suggest you look at a rear disc wheel or deeper dish wheel for the back end. You can get a Renn 575 rear disc for $540.00 shipped to your door (3-4 week wait), or maybe look for a Flashpoint 80 or used Zipp 808 for the rear....just for best overall performance.
 

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hammer_cycle said:
The places that I am aware of that actually know how to fit someone in an aero position, seem to charge a lot for their services ($300) + mechanics fees.
Most places don't charge for a fitting if you buy the bike from them. If you can find a place that does a decent fitting, and sells an entry level frame, that might be your ticket.

IMO, it just seems silly to spend $300, plus the cost of new stems, (new fork?) etc... on a 10 year old Kestrel, when you could spend that money to go towards a new $1000 bike.

Now if you can get fit properly for around $100, then that doesn't seem like a bad way to go.
 

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I wondered if anyone was going to mention the threaded fork adapter! I've even got one I'll let go cheap. That will take care of the fork issue. The Kestrel 200 was actually one of the most areo bikes in it's day, so going to a new bike won't save all that much. Add some areo bars and maybe a forward position seatpost and you've got your self a time trial bike. Since you already have a set of zipp 404's, you could get this thing done for under $200 via some ebay wheelin'-n-dealin'!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks again everyone for the good advice. I really appreciate it.

All of the positive comments regarding the threaded adapter have convinced me I should give it a try first. I've been told by a few people to stay away from it. From what I hear here, it works out okay, even if it is a bit heavier. That will save me a bunch over the cost of a new fork and keep my bike looking 'classic'. I love the look of my Kestrel!

I am now researching bars and possibly getting a new Zipp rear wheel. The bars seem to open up another can of worms :)

I'm actually going to be switching to Campy for the first time. I can get a deal on a compact crank (performance has a sale + an additional 20% off going on right now) and I'm curious if I'm going to regret it on a TT bike. I can't really spin a 53/11 unless I'm going downhill anyway. Any thoughts?

Thanks again everyone for helping me out here. Just saved me a bundle.
 
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