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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Time Trial/Triathlon Frames


    I am planning to purchase a new frame which will be used for about 95% time trials and occasionally a triathlon. Are there differences between time trial and triathlon bikes?

    How about the new Serotta CXII? They advertise it to be comfortable and more efficient with it being custom built and made of steel. Is it a sleeper compared to the sleek aero tubing aluminum and carbon bikes offered by other manufacturers?

    Thank you!


  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    As a general rule, road bike geometry has a fairly slack seat tube and long top tube. TT have a steeper seat tube and shorter TT, and Tri-specific bikes may have an even steeper seat tube and shorter top tube. Typical seat tube angles for a size large/58cm would be 73 deg, 75 deg, and 78 deg respectively.

    78 deg. is best for aero position on the bike, and your legs will feel the freshest on the run, but it's a bit too far for optimal power output from your quads so your TT will be a bit slower. Some also find it too uncomfortable on the saddle since your sit bones aren't taking much load. It's a horrible position for climbing, decending, and turning. But if your T2 transition is usually painful, it may be worth the tradeoffs. Cervelo makes some bikes that can flip the seat collar between TT and Tri geometry, that might work for you.

    One cool thing about the Serotta is that they are custom fit, so you can have anything you want. You may find that your can get fully aero and your legs feel fine at 73 deg, or you may find that you're actually more powerful with a steeper seat tube, who knows, everyone is different.

    Tubes really don't matter that much aerodynamically. Body position is most of it. Aero wheels make a small difference. Aero tubes are for shaving a few seconds per 50K and looking cool. If you're doing flat TT and Tri, the weight of steel won't make a noticeable difference, but the improved ride quality will.

    So the Serotta sounds nice, get me one too ;)

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