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Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Franken-bike: Trek 1200 for Triathlons

I bought a Trek 1200 a couple of years ago. It's an entry-level road bike, my first. I remember the first time I rode it... it seemed scary fast, and the smallest bump or gust of wind put me wildly out of balance.

Turns out, it's not fast enough!

In non-drafting events (ie. most triathlons) you can get more speed/efficiency by simply adding clip-on aero bars to your road bike.

Step 1: Add Aerobars

Bontrager X-Lite Clip-on Carbon Aerobar

Bought a set of aero bars and added them to my bike. And I will say, it instantly felt faster - when I went down to the aero bars I could pop it up a gear or two with the same effort, especially into a headwind.

But it certainly wasn't comfortable... I was stretched way out, and bent over causing some *ahem* discomfort in the *ahem* seat area....

Step 2: Change Seat and Seatpost

Profile Design Tri-Stryke Saddle
Profile Design Fast Forward Carbon Seatpost

(Plug: seemed to have the best prices of the companies willing to ship to Canada... good shipping cost too, I bought from them twice with good results both times)

I went out in search of a new seat, and the good people at trifuel had an extra piece of advice: get a forward seat post.

They both went on the bike at the same time, and WOW, what a difference. I still need to tinker with the set-up, but right off the bat I found myself right over the aerobars, not reaching at all. The seat is far more comfortable than my old one, it should be perfect for hours and hours in the saddle.

The only thing that stinks is that my bike is no longer all that comfortable riding on the brake hoods... but that's OK, that's not a priority. I want to be comfortable staying in the aerobars all the time.

Step 3: Road pedals/shoes

Shhh... don't tell my wife... when I got my road bike, I went with the Shimano SPD system that I already had on my mountain bike, so I could use the same shoes. They're fine, but... anyway, that's not an immediate priority! But on my to-do list.

Step 4: Buy a Tri bike

Definitely don't tell my wife!!! Eventually I want to upgrade to a "real" tri bike... probably carbon, certainly expensive... and definitely not this year.


Boris T said...

Some good info here. Especially sense I'll be fitting out my Trek with some Areo bars this comming year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon,
This is your wife. You must not be aware of my ability to read your blog. Anyway, I'm ok with the shoes. We can discuss the tri year.

Jon P said...

Score... new shoes!!! :)

Does this mean you get to buy new shoes too?

Jon P said...

(Oh yeah, and new shoes means new pedals... hugs and kisses, love you!)

cdnhollywood said...

Just tripped over your blog - nice to see another Ontario person!

If I may try to appease both you and your wife (I have the same "challenges"), head over to Lake Placid for a short trip and head to Placid Planet Bicycles. It's a fantastic shop and it's full of great deals.

Long story short - I left 3hrs later with a Felt S22, Ultegra pedals, and a bunch of other kit for a bit more than $2k -- *with* my wife's approval! :D

Jon P said...

Sweet. :)

Might have to wait for the dollar to rebound, though.

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