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: biketiresdirect.com 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.