Road bike vs TRI bike

I wanted every possible advantage for my triathlons (Oliver 70.3 and Ironman Canada) for the 2011 racing season, so I considered investing in a TRI bike. I already had an awesome road bike, a TREK Madone 4.5 WSD, and she (Maddie is her name) has never failed me.

Here she is right before Oliver 70.3 in 2010:

I put aero-bars on Maddie at the beginning of my Ironman Training and my coach fitted me to riding in this new position. He lowered the handlebar stem and adjusted my seat height and reach. I felt good to go! I completed several long rides, but by about March of 2011, I was seriously contemplating a TRI bike.

I looked at several, but when it came right down to it … I just wanted another TREK. I found my dream: The TREK SPEED CONCEPT 7.0 WSD

(And– it was PINK! Swoon!)

I went down to my local bike shop, Kulshan Cycles, and ordered it. This was a huge investment as I hadn’t even tried it out. Sight unseen, I ordered it from the owner, Moe, and told him I was sure this was THE ONE. Moe was also taking a gamble in ordering it because as a smaller local shop, if I didn’t want it, then he would hope to sell it to someone else. I thought, how could it not be as awesome as my Madone? After all, it was a TREK and it was PINK!

Here’s how it looked when it first arrived:

First things first, I bought some Shimano clipless pedals and had to remove the reflectors. It rode like a dream and shifted smoothly. It was equipped with SRAM Apex drive train, which was slightly different than the Ultegra drivetrain on my Madone, but nonetheless, easy to operate.

I couldn’t let my dream bike home sit in the garage. I had to admire it some more … so, it hung out in the living room.

It’s part of the family now! She needs a name. The search was on. I asked all my friends for name suggestions for my bike. The winning name was: TRIXIE (**personally, I think it sounded like a stripper name, and it made me chuckle). I looked up the meaning of Trixie:: BRINGER OF JOY! — (truth!)

After a couple hundred miles, it was time for a new saddle. The stock saddle (Bontrager Race Lite TT WSD) was very uncomfortable in the aero position and for long rides lasting more than 2+ hours. The girl parts were not happy with me. On my coach’s recommendation, I chose the ISM Adamo Road Saddle. I debated between the road and the race saddles, but after reading many reviews, I picked the road saddle. Quite simply, this is the best saddle EVER! My sit bones were sore after the first few rides because it is wider than a normal seat, but I quickly adjusted to it. The best part is absolutely no chaffing and it is comfortable for long rides in the aero position.

One last thing I wanted for my supreme bike was … RACE WHEELS!!!

So, I placed another order with Moe from Kulshan Cycles and on they went.

REMARKABLE! They are Zipp Wheels 404 650c Clinchers. They are wicked FAST!

Now for the proof:

Here I am racing in the Oliver Half Iron 2010 on my Trek Madone:

56 miles in 3:09:19

Here I am racing in the Oliver Half Ironman 2011 on my Trek Speed Concept:

Almost a 17 minute PR at 2:52:35

What more can I say? I love my TRI bike for racing — I also love my Trek Madone for road cycling! If you can afford it and want to race, a TRI bike is the way to go. You won’t regret it!

Ride Safe!

Ride Often!

Ride Happy!

4 thoughts on “Road bike vs TRI bike

  1. WOW I LOVE the tri bike… I have to stay with my road bike with tris though as I do the short stuff and when I use to do pro tours and itu racing we were not allowed to have tri bikes/ tri bars. I am very envious of those race wheels…and comgrats on the huge improvement, that’s amazing, wouldn’t all be the bike you know hehe! Auds 🙂

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