Most triathletes have bike issues. Issues with having too many bikes that is. You did your first tri on a mountain bike, and while you had a great time, watching everyone else whizzing by all day had you shopping for a new bike.
Pro bikes at the 2012 IronMan St. George
But, what to get? Going for a tri bike may give you an edge in races, but also a chronic case of aero-position-neck. Or, a road bike that offers comfort, versatility, and safety — you could go ride with your roadie friends without them saying “you brought your tri bike?”.
Ideal number of bikes = n + 1
(where n is the number you currently own…)
Of course, the answer is both! But, for many without the resources (or burning desire to spend more on bikes than their car) that may not be an option — at least until the tri addiction grows to become completely unmanageable. And, the truth is, in the age of shaped carbon tubes, a nice road bike loses very little to a tri bike. The main problem is position.
One of the reasons tri bikes help your performance, is that they tend to rotate you forward to a steeper seating position. It’s more aerodynamic, and you can rest your weight on your elbows. It’s like a climber that “goes skeletal” letting his bones hold him up instead of his muscles. I’ve also heard people say the steeper angle will save your hamstrings for the run, but really your hip angle will be about the same, so I’m not sure about that. But, either way, the end result is you burn less energy, to go faster.
Well here’s an idea, make your seat post angle easily adjust between road bike postion and a steeper tri bike position. And, how about some aerobars with a quick release? That’s the idea of the Switch Aero System. They’re currently raising money (and it’s going quite well) to make this prototype a reality.
Honestly, this sounds like a great idea to me. Take the extra $$ you save by skipping a second bike and get a better road bike. Add on some nice aero wheels (that you can now afford) and I think the dollar-per-second saved equation starts looking pretty good.
Anyway, I thought it was an interesting idea. Check out their kick starter campaign here.