Who has ditched their TT bike?

Okay, I know this is blasphemy, but I kind of want to lose my TT bike. I’ve been riding a TT bike for many many years, and I’m finally able to admit to myself that I don’t really like it, or maybe I’m just no good at it. I’ve had expert fits and great aero advice, but it’s just not gelling for me.

So, to the triathletes out here. Who has ditched the TT bike for an aero road bike? Which aero road bike? Any regrets?

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I have never owned a tri bike before but borrowed one for an extended time from a friend recently and just could not get into it. I came to the realization I like my roadie better. Will do my next 70.3 on the roadie without aerobars again.

Check out this article. I found it super helpful. Train on a road bike most of the time, and get on the tt bike when races are coming up.

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I love my tri bike and I would not want to live in a world without it. It’s fast, looks cool and since the brakes are crap it’s terrifying. It is also tremendously entertaining. Mine sat idle for most of the year as I was racing events that strongly favored the road bike. Now I cant wait to get back on my TT bike. On flat courses it is significantly faster than my aero road bike. Without which I couldn’t live either.

I guess unless you’re getting towards the pointy end of your AG there really is no need for it. And if you don’t enjoy it, then get rid if it.

This is something I have been thinking about for a while.

I’m looking at changing my TT bike, however I keep thinking about getting a good Aero Road bike instead.
I am not a good cyclist but I do find my TT more comfortable than my road bike (I have back problems) and can ride it for much longer periods and remain pain free. But on the flip side I only do one A race (ironman) per year

I think I will be pondering this question a little longer

In terms of the bikes themselves, there’s not a lot of difference speed and aero wise between a TT and aero road bike. They both have internal cabling, aero tubing, protected rear wheel, etc. The differences are all about the human on top of them, and that’s where you’ve got to figure out whether you’re OK compromising. Your options pretty much boil down to:
a) Set a road bike up for road riding and then put some clip ons on. This will make for a nice road bike, but the clip ons will be in a sub-optimal position for TTs so you’ll lose some speed
b) Set a road bike up so that the clip ons are optimised for a TT position. Problem is this now means the hoods and drops positions are in the wrong place for road riding, which kind of defeats the purpose of switching to a road bike. Plus presumably whatever you dislike about your TT position (comfort/power/handling) will now carry across to your road bike
c) Forget about the TT position and ride an aggressive drops position. You can get pretty aero doing this, but it’s likely to be unsustainable for longer efforts, and will impact your running due to supporting your upper body muscularly instead of skeletally

Don’t get me wrong, aero road bikes are great (I have a Canyon Aeroad), and if you don’t like your TT bike you can still be pretty fast on a road bike, but there is going to be a compromise involved.

In terms of your issues with your TT bike, I must admit I’m always sceptical of fit. Even with all the fitting tools and methodologies out there now, I think there are still quite a few fitters who try to put their clients into a “pro” position which they simply don’t have the flexibility, strength or tolerance of discomfort to ride. I know a number of people who have spent a lot of money getting an “expert fit” and come out with a position they can’t hold and/or are miserable riding. Hopefully you don’t fall into this camp!

I also think the roads you ride have a huge impact on enjoyment of TT bikes or otherwise. If you’re riding on roads with crappy surfaces, or with a lot of traffic or junctions, and are constantly having to either switch positions or stay aero and pray you don’t need to take sudden evasive action, then yes a TT bike is no fun at all. On the other hand riding a TT bike on a nice road surface with an unobstructed view ahead and no hazards to worry about can be an absolute joy. I used to live in an area which was the former and went 5 years without riding my TT bike, I now live in an area which is the latter and the TT bike is my go to choice for solo riding.

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Those are all good points, thanks for taking the time to write them out.

I guess, when thinking about it, my issues are two fold:

  1. I’ve never felt like I am ‘fast enough’ on the TT bike. I know that’s a terribly nebulous term, but my race times have never approached what I thought I ‘should’ do based on my training metrics. For sure, the bike is a very small part of that equation, I understand that.

  2. I don’t really like my particular bike. I’m riding a Diamonback Andean. It looks super cool for sure, but the problem is that I don’t have any faith in it. I think it’s going to fall apart at every bump. To be clear, it’s been mostly trouble free for me, but those few troubles have left me with said lack of confidence.

I suppose that a third issue might just be that I’m looking for something new. I don’t like my current bike, and I’m not all that jazzed about getting a different TT bike, so I’m kind of thinking I might just try something new that I’m excited about riding. A pair of clip ons and a good position and I probably won’t lose too much off my already pedestrian local race times.

And to address another point you raised, one thing I don’t like about the handling is braking on tri bars. A nice set of road bars with hydro brakes would definitely solve that.

Thanks again

I didn’t ditch the TT bike but, I did get rid of my HED Jet+ disc. I swear my 8 of my Enve 7.8’s is faster.

Road racer here. Feeling the same.

Big reason being the 2 closest TT’s are 100+ miles away, and you don’t really need it these days unless you’re competing in State or Nats. Add to the fact I haven’t raced it in a few years and I’m unsure how fast I can be…every TT I’ve done something went wrong so I’ve never trained for an event and raced it well.

I keep it because I doubt my Tri career is done.

LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

I finally got a TT bike this year. As I come in to the end of my triathlon season, I am looking forward to a different kind of riding on the road bike for sure. However, I think that will be more about a natural change of season and sport than anything else. One kind of riding all year round would probably wear on me pretty bad, though.

This!! I love my TT bike. Actually my road bike hasn’t seen the road for two years now.

My local friend is a very strong and seasoned TT rider and he said his Cannondale System Six is only marginally slower than his Speed Concept.

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Well, yeah. marginal gains baby!

My road bike is significantly newer, lighter, easier to handle, it feels snappier and stiffer. But my tt bike is faster, no question.

And I love riding my road bike, but faster is fun too.

I haven’t ridden my TT bike outside (Cannondale Slice Ult Di2) since Ironman Wales 2017. It’s still got the sticker on the seat post. I now leave it on my trainer all year round as my trainer bike and I use my awesome Cervelo R3 road bike for all proper riding. I’ve even taken to doing local TT races Merckx style rather than have to bother swapping tyres on my TT bike and using that.

Road biking is much more civilised. We even wear socks!

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