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Converting an older road bike to a TT bike - worth it?

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Converting an older road bike to a TT bike - worth it?

19 Mar 2009 04:58

I enjoy doing TTs every once-in-a-while, for both training and in competition, but am annoyed with having to constantly move my hands from my tri-bars to shift gears on my current road bike.

I still have my original road bike, which is an entry level 9-speed 105 aluminium road bike from about three years ago. I am toying with the idea of converting it into a TT bike - putting on bull-horns, bar-end shifters, etc etc.

Its going to cost a surprising bit of money to do this all properly.

Is this a sensible thing to do? Or should I shell out 3-4x the estimated cost and buy a new entry-level TT bike or second-hand TT bike instead? I'm obviously a bit budget conscious, but I don't want to waste my money either..
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19 Mar 2009 20:20

I think converting an old road bike to a TT bike is a good financial decision. Just don't make the mistake of keeping a standard seat-post. Get one that can be positioned to give you a steep seat angle so when you are stretched out on the aero-bars, your body can move forward. I see a lot of people riding aero bars and a regular seat post. They've lost a considerable amount of efficiency by doing so.

Also, get a stem that has a fair amount of negative angle to it. This will also allow your upper body to move down, giving you a more comfortable ride (believe it or not!) in the TT position. Move forward, move down, and your body has essentially moved around the bottom bracket. Just like on a TT bike.

Remember, the biggest aerodynamic concern is your body position. Never mind the aero wheels, aero tubing, aero helmet. All of those are great when you have finally dialed in your ride position.
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19 Mar 2009 22:12

Thanks for the helpful reply!
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19 Mar 2009 23:15

it shouldnt really cost all that much money.... you can get some bullhorns and aero bars on craigslist for under $70... then its a matter of getting some bar ends shifters and brakes...

in fact on craigslist for denver i saw someone wanting 150 for the complete front end system... aerobars/cowhorns/brakes and shifters...
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20 Mar 2009 06:03

I the same thing, it was easy to do and not to expensive. One extra thing I did was put a CH-Aero disk on the rear wheel, which at the time cost about 60$. It seemed to make a big difference. Even with the wheel cover I bet I spent less that 250.

The thing about that cover is you need to use a box rim as the nuts to fasten it to the wheel are close to the outside.
Major Taylor
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