Any thoughts on tri bike handling with road bars?

I got rid of my TT/Tri bike last year and I couldn’t be happier, because I hated riding it. Still want a bike for local triathlons, though. My plan had been to get a good aero road bike (Spec Tarmac SL7 at the top of the list) and put clip-on aero bars on it. But then I had the idea that I could just go the other way, get a TT frame and put drop bars on it. That would result in an arguably faster bike, but I’m not sure about the handling. It certainly wouldn’t handle like a road race bike. Any thoughts on this?


The problem with that is that the stack is really low and the reach is really long vs. road bike geometry.

So your position relative to the BB is going to be pretty far forward and you will probably need to use spacers to get to a position that works.

The angles are also slacker than a road bike, so it will be a bit sluggish, but your position will be kind of aggressive. A weird combo…

But people have certainly done it…I know cyclists that have done crit bikes out of TT frames, but IMO it is full of compromises that aren’t offset by the aero gains.


almost all the aero gain is in the positioning of the rider, very little on the frame. As you say many compromises on the geo, and also probably in the frame mechanics (flex etc). An aero road frame with a position close to a TT position (if that can be achieved) will be a better compromise IMO