This Ask Kikay Runner post is about making the move from road bike to tri bike, something that many triathletes end up doing as they get deeper into the sport (and start digging deeper into their pockets as well, hehe).
Sonnam Nguyen asks: How do you get used to going from road bike to TT [time trial or tri bike]… any tips?
Hi Nam! On my old road bike I already had as close to a TT fit as I could get, with fast-forward seat position and aerobars. I had been riding an aero position for approximately four years as well and had gotten comfortable doing a low plank position for hours.
When I moved to a tri bike last year it wasn’t a big transition because I was fitted properly (by Glenn Colendrino of Primo Cycles) and I also had the core strength to hold the aero position.
If it’s your first time to use aero bars because your road bike previously only had drop bars, the aero position takes some getting used to. It can be tricky to balance using your forearms to stabilize where your cockpit is pointed. You can start off using bike trainer sessions at home to condition your body to the aero position. When riding on the open road, practice where there’s limited traffic and the road is fairly straight.
You may also want to ask your fitter to make your initial aero position less aggressive (by not slamming the stem, for instance). A tri bike allows the fitter to position your upper body much lower than you could on a road bike, but this puts added challenge on your core, shoulders, and arms to support that position. What good is aero if you can’t hold it for long anyway, right?
Something you might want to look at as well is your saddle. When riding in an aero position your pelvis tips forward so it squishes them jiggly bits against the saddle more. My Cobb saddle has a cutout that makes it much more comfortable to ride in this position because it removes that pressure point.
In another Ask Kikay Runner post, I also answered the question of Road Bike vs. Tri Bike.
I hope you enjoy your new tri bike!