difference between TT frame and reg. road frame + general budget buy questions
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  1. #1

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    difference between TT frame and reg. road frame + general budget buy questions

    howdy, this is my first time posting to this site. i'm looking for advice regarding a potential purchase of my first "modern" road bike, as up to now it's been all 80s steel univega, peugot, nishiki, etc.

    i've been looking at a 2003 giant TCR aero 2 bike with Xerolite XSR-3 wheels, 105/tiagra rear/front derailleurs, truvativ crankset, and clamp-on aero bars. it seems that this line of bike is more of a "time-trial" line, which apparently means they're meant more for sprints than long distances. i'll mainly be riding fairly long commutes, as well as some longer recreational rides (100+). i could get this for around $350, but i wanted to make sure i wouldn't be stuck with a frame that's too uncomfortable for distances.

    other than that, i've been eyeing a 2000 lemond chambery with ultrega components, full speed ahead carbon cranks, and rolf vector wheels; as well as a 1999 fuji team with ultegra components and cranks, with velocity aerohead rims. these two would be slightly more than the giant. i'm well aware of all the hazards of fitting a bike bought sight unseen, and i have been doing my own wrenching for quite some time. i would surely appreciate any input.

  2. #2

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    TT/tri bikes generally have a geometry that is designed to put you into an "aero" position. they are by no means sprinting bikes however. sprinting bikes don't exactly exist per se, but a stiffer bike would generally be preferable to a less stiff feeling bike, all else equal

    some food for thought:

    aero bars mean you can take some of the weight off of your arms/upper body. this is actaully a good thing on longer rides. at century rides, one will often see more than a few riders with clip on aero bars.

    "general" forum advice would be to get the bike that fits best. then, all else equal, get the bike with ultegra over 105/tiagra mix. some would warn you perhaps to stay away from the fsa carbon crank, as certain models have had issues....the lemond and the fuji both have nicer wheels (i think).

    ultimately it comes down to: how much do you want to spend? is spenidng more for ncier stuff worht it to you? the TT/tri frame, ridden in positions other than the aerobars may be a bit weird. i dont have one, so i wouldnt know.

  3. #3

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    originally i thought i was going to have to spend in the $650-850 range, but after extensive ebay searching it looks like i can spend $400-600 and get something that was $1200-1500 new just a few years ago. i'm on a pretty durn tight college student budget right now, but i'm mainly concerned with making a significant step up from the 80s steel frames i've been riding. if possible i'd like to be >20 lbs.

    i'm not sure how sold i am on needing to have at least ultegra level components, as i don't plan to race anytime soon. i'm used to having no components at all (single speed), so as long as they work and there's not a huge weight difference i'm not too concerned. i've never had aero bars and that is one of the things that attracted me to the giant. the lemond is no longer available, so as long as there's no super strong reason to go with the fuji over the giant i'm leaning toward the latter since it's a few years younger and a hundred or two cheaper.

  4. #4

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    whatever floats your boat....sounds like your mind is already made up actually

    enjoy the giant, ride the heck out of it, then you will get the bug and be lusting over ultegra and this and that. if you say you arent going to race, 105/tiagra is fine, ultegra is still nicer...

    yea, being in college and trying to ride sucks. I am a student as well, and i am so broke from race entry fees, travel costs, and trying to maintain a pair of decent race bikes...plus team kits, etc. etc. and everything i buy is on prodeals or through team sponsorships....and im still broke

  5. #5
    wim
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    Added thoughts.

    As allons-y said, true time trial and triathlon bikes generally put you into an aerodynamic position which is great for speed, but not so great for comfort on a long road ride. However, the Giant TCR 2 Aero bike isn't a true time-trial or triathlon bike. It's just the TCR 2 bike with some aerodynamically shaped tubes and some aero components bolted on. So it's actually a solid and versatile road bike which should work well for your kind of riding.

    To pick up on another one of allons-y point: sometimes there's confusion over the term "sprint." While the bike leg in a so-called sprint triathlon is 20 km (12.4 miles), the term "sprint" in the road racing world means a very short (perhaps 10-15 seconds) all-out effort over about 200 meter to beat someone over the line.

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