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  1. #1
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    Aero bike versus TT bike question....

    Hey guys. With the recent release of the Venge and other aero bikes, I was just wondering about something. I would love to get a project black venge but 1. The cost and 2. Limited availability. So here is my thought/question. Could you turn a dedicated TT frame set into an aero bike? For example, could I use the components from my Tarmac pro and transfer them onto a Specialzed TT frame set? I don't want to use aero bars but would like to try an aero frame. Thanks.
    EyeGuy

  2. #2
    Big is relative
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    I've seen it done but it's an awkward setup. Typically the seattube angle on a TT bike is really steep compared to a road bike. A TT or triathlete is forward on their bike to take full advantage of the aero position and to use their muscles in a certain way. The bikes I've seen have had to use really long stems and setback seatposts. TT bikes also tend to have slack headtube angles which slows down the handling which a good thing when your going all out in a time trial, but it's a bad thing if you're racing a crit.

    There are many aluminum frames available that have aero tubing and road geometry. The cost is far less than carbon. Tsunami frames are US built and reasonably priced. Wheels and good positioning are more important than an aero frame.
    Retired sailor

  3. #3
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    Been there. Done that. LOVE the results. I took a 2008 Guru Crono (TT/Tri bike) frame and turned it into a 13.91 lb (WITH pedals) road bike. It is outside the box thinking. I chose the Guru Crono because while a TT frame, it was not a radical TT frame. Also it got great reviews as a "comfortable but fast TT bike with great handling". Handling and comfort are not usually in the TT frame vocabulary so I thought it might be a great choice for my project. This bike handles better than my dedicated road bike, is lighter, and equally as comfortable. I am very pleased.
    Last edited by jrz1; 05-18-2011 at 05:14 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrz1
    Been there. Done that. LOVE the results. I took a 2009 Guru Crono (TT/Tri bike) frame and turned it into a 13.91 lb (WITH pedals) road bike. It is outside the box thinking. I chose the Guru Crono because while a TT frame, it was not a radical TT frame. Also it got great reviews as a "comfortable but fast TT bike with great handling". Handling and comfort are not usually in the TT frame vocabulary so I thought it might be a great choice for my project. This bike handles better than my dedicated road bike, is lighter, and equally as comfortable. I am very pleased.
    Cool great to know that it could be done.
    EyeGuy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill
    I've seen it done but it's an awkward setup. Typically the seattube angle on a TT bike is really steep compared to a road bike. A TT or triathlete is forward on their bike to take full advantage of the aero position and to use their muscles in a certain way. The bikes I've seen have had to use really long stems and setback seatposts. TT bikes also tend to have slack headtube angles which slows down the handling which a good thing when your going all out in a time trial, but it's a bad thing if you're racing a crit.

    There are many aluminum frames available that have aero tubing and road geometry. The cost is far less than carbon. Tsunami frames are US built and reasonably priced. Wheels and good positioning are more important than an aero frame.
    Thanks. That's what I was concerned about. I saw some Shiv frames on sale and was just thinking about making this work. But not so sure now.
    EyeGuy

  6. #6
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    http://yfrog.com/mg1001966j

    Here it is in all its glory!! I love this bike.

    http://yfrog.com/mu1001962j

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrz1
    http://yfrog.com/mg1001966j

    Here it is in all its glory!! I love this bike.

    http://yfrog.com/mu1001962j
    NICE! How is the overall ride positioning of this "aero bike" compared with your "regular' road bike? I am assuming you are very comfortable riding this bike...but just wondering if it was awkward in any way. Thanks.
    EyeGuy

  8. #8
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    Can definitely be done if you want that aero 'look' w/o the positioning. A female rider in my club rides a P3 setup this way. Several manufacturers besides Cervelo have a two-position seatpost to let you do this. That solves your seat-position. On a dedicated TT frame, the headtube will be as short as possible to let you get very low in the front. Therefore, you'll need to put some extra spacers (within limits what your steerer tube can handle) or a stem with some rise to give you a more conventional position. You'll want to do some math on the frame's geometry to see what it would require.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zender
    Can definitely be done if you want that aero 'look' w/o the positioning. A female rider in my club rides a P3 setup this way. Several manufacturers besides Cervelo have a two-position seatpost to let you do this. That solves your seat-position. On a dedicated TT frame, the headtube will be as short as possible to let you get very low in the front. Therefore, you'll need to put some extra spacers (within limits what your steerer tube can handle) or a stem with some rise to give you a more conventional position. You'll want to do some math on the frame's geometry to see what it would require.
    Thanks. More valid points! Definitely have to think this through IF I go this route. It's nice to know that it can be done though.
    EyeGuy

  10. #10
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    I'd say the Mario Cipollini bikes are easily mistaken as (or maybe actually are) TT bikes with road equipment.



    *post edited as it appeared to stretch the thread. Sorry about that, and if this edit doesn't work.
    Last edited by Ventruck; 05-24-2011 at 08:46 PM.

  11. #11
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    sry double post

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cni2i
    NICE! How is the overall ride positioning of this "aero bike" compared with your "regular' road bike? I am assuming you are very comfortable riding this bike...but just wondering if it was awkward in any way. Thanks.

    I am a little bit more forward sitting than on my regular road bike. Actually that is what prompted me to attempt this project. Even with a zero setback seatpost on my road bike I found myself often riding sitting very far forward on my seat. "On the rivet" so to speak. I wanted an aero road bike for my dream bike project and I began to think that the slightly more forward seating position of a TT/Tri frame would not be an issue for me. I have put over 6,000 miles on my Guru Crono bike, including 4 centuries and mountain climbs. As stated before in terms of weight, speed, handling, climbing, and sprinting it is the equal to my other road bike and any other road bike I have ridden. The only area of compromise is that it isn't quite as comfortable as some road bikes out there. That is compared to some of the "cushier" road bikes. For instance the Roubaix series by Specialized. Compared to other aero road bikes, like the Ridley Noah or Cervelo S2, it is just as comfortable. Again, I can truly say that I am very happy with how it turned out.

  13. #13
    Windrider (Stubborn)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill
    I've seen it done but it's an awkward setup. Typically the seattube angle on a TT bike is really steep compared to a road bike. A TT or triathlete is forward on their bike to take full advantage of the aero position and to use their muscles in a certain way. The bikes I've seen have had to use really long stems and setback seatposts. TT bikes also tend to have slack headtube angles which slows down the handling which a good thing when your going all out in a time trial, but it's a bad thing if you're racing a crit.

    There are many aluminum frames available that have aero tubing and road geometry. The cost is far less than carbon. Tsunami frames are US built and reasonably priced. Wheels and good positioning are more important than an aero frame.
    What Bill said.

    Steeper ST angle and Slacker headtube angle = either too far forward with slower handling or improper weight balance over the bike with slower handling.

    There are too many other good choices out there to screw with weight balance on a bike and handling IMO

    YMMV

    Len



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  14. #14
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    I wouldn't do it. Many TT bikes have really short chainstays on top of the screwy front end geometry.
    Get a better saddle: www.kontactbike.com

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventruck
    I'd say the Mario Cipollini bikes are easily mistaken as (or maybe actually are) TT bikes with road equipment.
    That's a very nice looking bike. I guess there are a lot more of these "aero bikes" out there than I thought. As others have said, the Venge is definitely not the first of its kind. In a way,Specialize reminds me of Apple. They have a die hard following with great advertising behind them. When something "new" comes out, everyone is so OH MY GOD....but in reality, other companies have been there and done that. Still, having said that, I still really like the Project Black Venge. So tempted!
    EyeGuy

  16. #16
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    The geo of the MCipollini RB1000 is classic italian race bike:



    Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli do use the same frame for their TT rigs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    I wouldn't do it. Many TT bikes have really short chainstays on top of the screwy front end geometry.
    Yeah, at this point, I am shying away from this option. If I am going to the aero bike, I will likely wait for the project black Venge. Got to test ride one in the neon colour today at my lbs. For some reason, it felt a little less responsive from the get go compared to my 2010 S-works AND my Cannondale SuperSix HM. But once she gets going, she really goes effortlessly FAST!
    EyeGuy

  18. #18
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    I did it the other way...

    I had a Ridley Noah that doubled as my TT ride. The seat mast head was reversable on my 2009 Noah. As you can see from the pic, when reversed it gives an effective forward TT saddle position. I had two of the saddle mounting hardware with two saddles and a double set of front controls and bars.

    To change from road to TT took about 15 minutes and wiith double set-ups of saddle and bars, you didn't lose any of your fine-tuning changing over. In the pic, I have some crappy clincher wheels on, but with a disc and a tall section front, that bike simply flew! Climbed well also.

    With normal bars and the saddle head in it's standard orientation, the Noah is a good sprinting bike and a fast road race bike. I found it handy a few times to only have to drag one bike to a stage race.
    DH
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  19. #19
    orlin03
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    I have to agree that choosing a steep-angled TT frame may cause more trouble than you're looking for. I absolutely love sitting forward in the TT position, and my muscles are developed in a way that makes me feel significantly slower in the road position, but the saddle set-back in a road position really helps the handling in my opinion. On my TT bike, for instance, I have to slide off the back of my saddle when bombing descents in order to get good weight distribution; otherwise there is too much weight over the front and the rear looses traction (not to toot my own horn- I consider myself very good at descending on either bike, but it takes significantly more finess and skill to carve corners going downhill on the TT bike). Standing on climbs is also affected; the rear slips easier when putting the power down, and my knees are more likely to hit the bars. Of course, this is on a bike with a 78 degree seat tube and zero set-back; the problems probably wouldn't be as bad with a slacker, 76 degree bike. An aero road frame, especially one in the 74/75 degree range with shorter chainstays, might give you the advantages of the TT bike without the problems it would have when climbing and descending. My buddy's Felt is another good example of one of these designs. My road bike, a Litespeed Ultimate, has this type of geometry (without the aero downtubes), and it offers a good comprimise; it is also very stable with shorty aerobars installed (something my previous road bike with slacker seat tube angles and longer chainstays was not).

  20. #20
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    A shiv, definitely no. An older TT bike, maybe. 5-10 years ago, TT bikes were largely just heavy, aero road bikes. However, the advent of steeper riding positions, slack head tube angles and relatively low stack means that you are going to be creating a pretty awkward bike. Super setback seatpost, long stem, and lots of spacers. Even then you can't correct the different wheelbase lengths.

    It would be bike specific, but almost across the board on today's bikes, I would say no. Clean out your garage and buy just a single aero bike like a Cervelo S3 if you want the best of both worlds.
    "I'm a real athlete, I'm not trying to be the best at exercising." - Kenny Powers

  21. #21
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    On the Shiv, the "stem" isn't adjustable. Only the aerobars are with the spacers. So if you managed to put a road bar on there, it would be super low. I'm not even sure how that would handle.

    I did see a picture of a Trek Speed Concept with road bars on it. It was a weird looking combo. As others have said, on a more traditional TT bike, it could work. I've seen several Cervelo P2C's with road bars. I ride a Giant TCR TT which is a few years old and I could definitely put road bars on it without too much issue and put the seat in the setback position (~76 degree seat angle).

    Quote Originally Posted by Cni2i View Post
    Thanks. That's what I was concerned about. I saw some Shiv frames on sale and was just thinking about making this work. But not so sure now.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou3000 View Post
    A shiv, definitely no. An older TT bike, maybe. 5-10 years ago, TT bikes were largely just heavy, aero road bikes. However, the advent of steeper riding positions, slack head tube angles and relatively low stack means that you are going to be creating a pretty awkward bike. Super setback seatpost, long stem, and lots of spacers. Even then you can't correct the different wheelbase lengths.

    It would be bike specific, but almost across the board on today's bikes, I would say no. Clean out your garage and buy just a single aero bike like a Cervelo S3 if you want the best of both worlds.
    Thanks for the advice and input. Based on similar responses here and from other club riders, I have gone away from the idea of transforming/modifying a TT specific bike to a Aero road bike. I am seriously looking at the Venge frameset right now...but will check out the S3 also.
    EyeGuy

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