Inspiration to blog comes from random things that I see.  Today, my friend Tom Demerly posted this picture of a client that was using her road bike as a time trial bike, most likely for Triathlons.  Wisely, the client decided to commit to a time trial bike to get better performance and comfort from the bike. (Left is the road bike fit; Right is the new TT bike fit)

Open shoulder angle

aka – “Stretched out”

roadfortt.jpg Great shoulder angle

with elbow coming

underneath shoulders.

More relaxed and better


Open hip angle for

more power.

Shallow seat angle

& closed hip angle

Much higher seat position

and steep seat angle.

More power.


(Photo by Tom Demerly)

This is the perfect illustration why road bikes should just stay as road bikes.  Adding aero-bars will rarely convert your road bike to a suitable time trial bike.  First, the seat needs to be raised significantly to open the hips and maintain your power.  This will make the bike less comfortable to ride for those long training miles.  Second, you will need to push the saddle forward to get a minimum of 76 degree seat angle.  This ange is hard to achieve by road bike geometry.  Lastly, the top tube of road bikes is normally much longer than a time trial bike.  If you put standard aero-bars on a road bike, you are guaranteed to be too stretched out.  This is both uncomfortable as well as not a good way to control the bike.

Don’t convert your road bike to a time trial bike.  As is, the road bike will give you the best power, control and comfort for your events.  Yes, time trial bikes will give you that added power, but that also means that you should commit to buying a time trial bike.

The Wrong Bike for Triathlon