Transition: From a road bike to a TT Bike

With the goal of Ironman Wisconsin on the horizon, one of the things Coach Jen and I talked about was moving up from racing on my road bike to racing on a triathlon specific bike.

My road bike was great for last years 70.3 and Olympic distance races, but Jen said if I’m going to do an Ironman I needed a tri bike. You may be asking what the difference is between to the two. 

Road Bike: Felt AR5

 A road bike has a style that most beginner triathletes are familiar with. The design is meant to be riden in an upright position with your hands on the handle bars. They’re perfectly good for riding in a triathlon, you can add clip on aerobars to ride in an aero position. 

Triathlon Bike: Felt B16

 A triathlon bike like the Felt B16 pictured above is designed around riding in the aero position. Studies also show that you may run faster off the a tri bike (versus a road bike), by putting your weight forward it relieves pressure on your hamstrings.

Shifting is another major difference between the two bike styles. While the road bike is build with the shifters built in the handle bars. So even if you’re using clip on aerobars, you’d need to come out of aero position to shift gears.

Vision Metron Shifters: Felt DA4

With the Tri bike, your shifters are at the ends of the aerobars. This configuration allows you to shift with very little movement, keeping you in aero. The cables are also hidden in the frame to make the bike a little more aerodynamic. 

Triathlon Bike: Felt DA4

 Those are just a few of the things I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks while I’ve been getting ready to start riding a tri bike. 

With the help of Felt Bicycles, I’m going to start playing with 2 TT bikes this season. The B16 is an entry level tri bike and the DA4 which is a new model based off the DA1, Felt’s top of the line TT bike. In addition to information about getting started training with a tri bike, I’ll be bringing you training tips from the pro’s. Look for a “Transition” article each Tuesday!