Friday, April 13, 2007

IronMan : Tri Bar On Road Bike

I just got my Tri Bar.

Now, I know i've spoken of Tri Suit before and some were asking what the hell is Tri suit. Before i go on, just let me simplify by saying a Tri Bar is essentially also called an Aero Bar.

In laymen's term and understanding, this bar, once fitted on the bike, will give it the "go faster" look. Even if the cyclist isn't cycling as fast, it appers to be fast.

Getting an aerobar or (from now on will be refered to as tri bar, shorter to type) a tri bar fitted on a road bike is one of minor upgrade any roadbike could use if the rider does triathlon.

There is differences between a proper Tri-Bike and a Road Bike. Most notably the geometry. We shalt not go into this today. And since i have a Road Bike, lets just focus on this setup first.

But if you must insist, there is a good write up here at Michigan Bikesports' website

Taken from the above said website -Thank you!

Tribar essentially lets the rider ride in an aerodynamic position. The smaller frontage when the elbows are tucked in meant that the wind has less surface to catch on to the body. This would meant less resistance and (hopefully) faster cycling time.

See, look fast isn't it?

But fitting a tri bar on a road bike is tricky.

First because of the longer top tube. Usually, the top tube correspond with the size of the bike. My Colnago is a size 54 bike (54cm from middle of the Bottom bracket to the top of the seat stay) and my top tube is also 54cm from the seat stay to the stem.

Secondly the longer stem on Road bike will make the placement of the tri bar higher than usual. This would be easily compensate with me lowering the handle stem lower by an inch perhaps. If that fails, i will bolt the tri bar from underside. This might possibly solve the problem.

So, before i show you what my tri bar look like, lets dream a lil bit ok?

Perhaps more carbon fibre than the ah beng's Honda Civic

OK, back to reality.

Here is the Tri bar i got from my LBS.

595grams...sure boh...

The other tri bar that i could think off that would be almost similiar with this one is by Profile Design.

PD's Century - 600grams

PD's Air Stryke - 692grams

I would say that the Tri bar i got from the LBS is value for money. It might not have many features compared to the foldable wings of the Air Stryke or even the adjustability of the elbow cup or even the brand's sticker, but this will do for now. Afterall, i'm a Blogger/Triathelte/Father on budget. Purchasing of this Tri bar would meant that i would have to skip my lunch for at least 17 working days (RM3.50x17=More or Less RM58, extra can buy drinks la), which essentially, works in tandem with my target of losing 5kg before IronMan 2008. Hahahahahahaah!

Side View

There is a few website which i've been using as reference and also for tips on training and technical advises, but the best so far is where it advocates nothing but proper Tri Bike fittings. It has also offered a few tips on how to maximize the usage of a Road Bike as a Tri Bike with a few simple adjustment.

Now, i can't wait to go back and fit the bar on. Other minor consideration would be where could i place my speedometer from now since the tri bar will take up the space where my meter resides! Got to put on the DIY cap again!

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