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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Can you successfully turn a standard road frame into a competitive time trial bike

    I was tossing up between buying a Pinarello Graal frame or just turning a 3rd Road bike I had into a timetrial bike.
    My concerns with the Graal was that the 51cm size (equal to 56cm road bike) only had a 10cm head tube (where the fork stem goes through). Where as I'm not super supple, I normally have around a 15cm head tube. All other measurements were okay.

    I notice most of the pro riders successfully use the Graal and other time trial frames with lower head tubes but seem to have time trial handlbars with raised arm pads (up to 5 to 8cm in some cases). I thought these were against the UCI time trial set up rules. Surely they can get the same positioning on a frame with normal head tube length (and not raise the arm pads).

    Anyone here successfully changed a standard Road Frame into a timetrial bike? What's your experience with it? Anything to watch out for?

    If all things are the same, other than the frame, surely it couldn't be that much slower, or could it?

    Voigts time trial bike!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Can you successfully turn a standard road frame into a competitive time trial bike-1248339426870-1fs8dc6vbmzwv-670-75.jpg  
    Last edited by Bridgey; 03-29-2013 at 03:37 PM. Reason: add photo

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: stevesbike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    comparing head tube lengths between road and time trial frames isn't very useful. Time trial frames are designed to have different dimensions due to the setup. For example, my road frame has a head tube of 185mm and my tt frame is 100mm. In terms of stack,
    (see here: <:: Welcome to ::>: Stack & Reach Database) it's almost a 10cm difference.

    Before investing a lot in a graal, I'd suggest getting a fit consultation with someone who knows tt bikes and can set up on a fitting rig etc. TT/tri frames are designed with a variety of different philosophies - some are long/low (cervelo) while others are short/high (cannondale slice used to be, not sure about new models). There's also a fair amount of adjustability depending on the bars you get.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: froze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    If you're not racing for money or prestige and are doing it for fun then yes you can convert a regular road bike into a pretend time trial bike.

    See this site, Beth is very knowledgeable and has done this many times; see: Go, Racing!: How to Convert your Road Race Rig into a Time Trial Machine

    Some point down the road when you decide you're ready then get a real TT bike, but for now, and maybe a long time, you'll be fine on a road bike.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Thanks for the link, much appreciated. Certainly racing for prestige and fun. Always wanting to be the best that I can be.

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