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  1. #1
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    Convert TRI bike into ROAD bike??

    Has anyone ever tried to convert a Tri/TT bike into a dedicated road bike? Or maybe you know someone that has? If so I have a few questions: was it expensive? Time consuming? How did it ride? if you have any photos, please share!

  2. #2
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    I've seen a few converted bikes on Ebay but I don't know anyone who has done it personally. It would depend mostly on the parts you switch out and what you're willing to spend on them. I'm assuming drop bars, shifters, different seatpost and possibly saddle. The geometry is different on most tri frames but there are some bikes that are double-duty (Kestrels come to mind). Fit is key to making it work and due to your position on a tri bike, you may need a setback seatpost to get anywhere near a road bike fit. Also, I think that the type of tri bike you have will make the biggest difference. For example, if you were sporting a tri bike like a Specialized Shiv or a Felt DA, converting might not be so easy plus it will be an impractical and expensive option.
    Last edited by terbennett; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:48 AM.

  3. #3
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    +1. If you're talking about a "true / dedicated" tri frame, it will have a more aggressive geometry. Other than than, you could put any parts / setup on it that you wish.

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    It would be a bit hard to get your way with fancier TT bikes with totally integrated setups. You might be limited in handlebar height range because the steerer was already cut (I don't see what can be done on a Specilized Shiv period), and need to cut the ISP a bit more after moving your saddle back.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal16 View Post
    Has anyone ever tried to convert a Tri/TT bike into a dedicated road bike? Or maybe you know someone that has? If so I have a few questions: was it expensive? Time consuming? How did it ride? if you have any photos, please share!
    If you are fond of climbing, I don't recommend this. My last bike was a tri bike with road bars made by mongoose back when their bikes were expensive. It was the mongoose pro rx 5.5 7005. Was tri geometry, but with a road bar. Being in the forward position with straight or slightly bent arms is not comfortable for long periods of time. Once I went to full road geometry, I realized the difference. It was fast as crap on the straights though.
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  6. #6
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    Here is my build using a TT frame. It has a 75.5 ST angle, most road bikes are 72-74 degrees. It is faster pretty much everywhere except seated climbing. I slide back in the saddle (and have the saddle as far back as possible) to compensate, and it works pretty well!

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Bird View Post
    Here is my build using a TT frame. It has a 75.5 ST angle, most road bikes are 72-74 degrees. It is faster pretty much everywhere except seated climbing. I slide back in the saddle (and have the saddle as far back as possible) to compensate, and it works pretty well!
    That's a nice setup. I think this is key though: "For a TT frame, it is pretty slack. It has a 75.5 seat tube angle and a 73 degree head tube." I think most tri ST angles are closer to 77-78 degrees.

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    Sorry everyone.

    I created this thread last year and I guess I completely forgot about the whole thing. i just want to say thanks for your input and the photos you posted.

    Also, FYI, I'm currently looking at a Trek Equinox 7 and a Felt s22. Whatever bike I decide to get, I think I WILL make the leap and convert it into a roadie. Your input helped solidify my thoughts.

  9. #9
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    If you haven't bought the bike yet, why don't you just buy a road bike right off the bat?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal16 View Post
    Sorry everyone.

    I created this thread last year and I guess I completely forgot about the whole thing. i just want to say thanks for your input and the photos you posted.

    Also, FYI, I'm currently looking at a Trek Equinox 7 and a Felt s22. Whatever bike I decide to get, I think I WILL make the leap and convert it into a roadie. Your input helped solidify my thoughts.
    What benefits do you think you would be getting over an aero road bike? What you are attempting to do would seem to be pointless unless you are converting a bike that you already own.

    Look at the Cervelo S2, S3, S5, Felt AR series, Scott Foil, Specialized Venge, etc. That would seem to give you the best of both worlds, as opposed to buying a bike and ignoring the intent of its geometry.

  11. #11
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    Do you think you know somthing the rest of us (and the bike industry) don't? Maybe you'd like to share with the class.

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    Well I'll give everyone on this thread a little more information about myself and my reasoning behind this idea...

    First off, I already have a road bike of my own, Its a 1998(?) LeMond Tourmalet and it rides just fine (albeit a tad large) so the question of "why not just get another road bike?" has been answered: I already own one that suits my needs.

    Second, I'm a college student starting this fall and I'm already strapped for cash, so most, if not all, of the dedicated aero road bikes out there are beyond my budget. Scott foils, Felt's AR line, and pretty much all of Cervelo are just too expensive for me.

    Third, I actually do plan on using this bike as a triathlon bike as well. I plan on joining the university triathlon team and using it for its manufactured purpose. I can just swap the tri and road bars when either in or out of season (I have the necessary tools and the mechanical knowledge/skills to do this myself and save money on expensive labor).

    Fourth, I'm choosing aluminum and more entry level triathlon bikes because of their reduced costs. I estimate about $350-450 for the shifters, bars, and cables needed to make the swap. I think, if i can find a decent deal on a tri bike, the extra cost for parts will still fall within my budget and save me some extra money.

    Fifth, and finally, I think it could just be pure fun to build something unique. I understand that it is not the MOST practical thing to do, it still seems like i could get some use out of it and have a damn good time doing it and doing it with my buddies.

    So I hope I was able to clear up a few questions anybody here might have had about this. I'm not trying to build a superbike to compete against the Venges, Madones, Supersixes, etc. I just want to have some fun within the sport I've grown to love.

  13. #13
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    That makes sense, but have you considered the steps you will need to take to get the bike both to fit you, and to handle reasonably well?

    The way you fit a tri bike and a road bike a very different, so hopefully you will be able to find something that fits both needs in one.

    Though it is a shame you will be shopping for a transformer instead of a tri bike that fits you perfectly for riding triathlons. If your current bike really does meet your need for a road bike, maybe you should focus on getting the best tri bike for you, and just hope that it can double as a road bike. If so, great. If not, you now have 1 road bike and 1 tri bike, and they both work as well as possible for their intended purposes.

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    I understand that the tri geometry isn't quite ideal for road riding, but I believe that I could find a bike with about a 76 degree seat tube angle (which is less extreme?) and probably, if i could mess with the saddle position and maybe the seat post, I could shift my weight far enough back to negate some of the tendencies of the tri bike geometry. Admittedly, this is were I lack knowledge, though. Are there really any other differences between road bikes and tri bikes besides the seat tube angle and head tube length? I thought I had most of the bases covered, but if I'm overlooking something critical than I might want to take some time in order to rethink how to go about this. Thanks!

  15. #15
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    Most importantly, a tri bike is typically going to be significantly shorter than a road bike, your elbows will be even with or even beyond the steerer tube, unlike on a road bike. Most tri bikes have two position seat posts, so that can help some, but it also changes your weight distribution on the bike.

    Again, I recommend that you get a tri bike to use for triathlons/solo rides, and continue to use your road bike for group rides/races.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal16 View Post
    Has anyone ever tried to convert a Tri/TT bike into a dedicated road bike? Or maybe you know someone that has? If so I have a few questions: was it expensive? Time consuming? How did it ride? if you have any photos, please share!
    Yes, I have a bike that I use for both road and tts. It works great. For tt, I move the saddle forward and put aerobats. for rr, I used a regular drop bar. I don't even change the shifters. I use the same shifters as bar end shifters on the road and tt bike.

    having riden both tt and rr bikes, I can say that they work just about the same. If you have a road bike and need to move the saddle very forward, just get a seat post with lots of setback and point it forward. get and extra saddle, and exchange seat posts. Do the opposite if you have a tt bike.

    Kestrel, and others, make bikes that can be used as tt and rr bikes. the have these seat posts with two settings. really far back, and really far forward.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjbaylor View Post
    Most importantly, a tri bike is typically going to be significantly shorter than a road bike, your elbows will be even with or even beyond the steerer tube, unlike on a road bike. Most tri bikes have two position seat posts, so that can help some, but it also changes your weight distribution on the bike.

    Again, I recommend that you get a tri bike to use for triathlons/solo rides, and continue to use your road bike for group rides/races.
    I definitely see your point here, and I'm not trying to argue that your wrong. It seems like different people have experimented with mixed results. Honestly though, the worst-case-scenario that I can see for this is that I end up buying a solid tri bike and I dont like the feel and set up of the drop bars with the tri geometry. In this case, I'll just have some extra bars and shifters to upgrade my Tourmalet with. So its kinda a win-win I suppose.

  18. #18
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    Not my bike but I have a similar setup with the exception of the wheels. Works like a charm. Very comfortable and a killer deal in the end. Extremely happy with the end result. I will go further and say if you are tall, i wouldn't do it. Any frame 54 and smaller you shouldn't have any problems for the most part.

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  19. #19
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    Like I said, if your goal is to get a solid tri-bike for you, you are on the right track. Just don't make concessions on the tri bike for the sake of having a multipurpose bike and you are definitely on the right track. My only advice, have someone very familiar with the tri/TT riding position help fit you on the right frame. It is not the same as a road bike, so you might as well have someone fit you that focuses on that discipline.

  20. #20
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    Any why not? Looks like you rather then providing personal experience information you are getting into an aggressive mode as to why he/she shouldn't do it based on what you might have read. Have you done this before? We can all read. Once again, question is have you done this before? That was the original post.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssphoenix View Post
    Any why not? Looks like you rather then providing personal experience information you are getting into an aggressive mode as to why he/she shouldn't do it based on what you might have read. Have you done this before? We can all read. Once again, question is have you done this before? That was the original post.
    Who is getting aggressive? He said that he needs a tri-bike, and hopes that he can also use it as a road bike. Therefore buying a bike sized to work as a road bike wouldn't meet his primary goal of getting a tri-bike. I simply gave my opinion that he would be best served buying the best tri-bike for his budget, and if it works as a road bike, great! If not, he has two bikes.

    Calm down.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal16 View Post
    I understand that the tri geometry isn't quite ideal for road riding, but I believe that I could find a bike with about a 76 degree seat tube angle (which is less extreme?) and probably, if i could mess with the saddle position and maybe the seat post....
    I think you have the basics. Maybe take some measurements on your current bike and see how close you can get to that on a tri-bike. If it is the correct size for a tri-bike, and you can match (or nearly match) your current geometry you may have found the perfect bike for your situation.

  23. #23
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    I am calm. No worries..

  24. #24
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    check out 2nd hand kestrel talon. They sell those as tri and road setup so maybe the geometry would fit both. Good luck on your purchase.

  25. #25
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    Hello Iím Leon from Sacramento and yes I had converted 3 full dedicated TT bikes into roads. 1st, I did a full carbon Specialized Shiv Pro to drop bar road bike. It rides very nice with full Sram Red Groups. Itís around 18lbs as seen. I wouldnít say itís the best for climbing but I donít do too much climbing anyways. This is strictly for minor climbs, but mostly straight away sand downhills. 2nd, Iíve converted a rare aluminum Leader 735TT time trial bike into road as well. Looks fantastic, rides fantastic & fairly light at 20lbs. 3rd I also converted a aluminum Leader 730TT black version to road. Very stable & rides beautiful, itís sroubd 21lbs, a little heavier then the other two.

    The wiring was tricky as the angle of cable have to be very flexible, I tried jag wire cables but theyíre too stiffs, also did compression-less cables. What I found works best is actually Walmartís $10 cable package. Idk why. Lol. To be honest you have to work around the frame due to the internal cable routing but when u do get it right, itís very nice. Everything shifts perfect & I look like a king with this beast lol. But Iím a newbie to his and rarely ride these days so needs get back on. Hopefully these few pics helps.













    Last edited by LeonVanzan; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:28 PM.

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