How To Adapt Your Road Bike To A Triathlon Bike | Ride Faster In Your Next Triathlon


– Do you long for an aerodynamic
triathlon specific bike to go along side your regular road bike? Having both is a luxury that
many of us can’t afford, but on the plus side there’s still so much that you can do to your
regular road bike that will give you similar
benefits you’d experienced with a triathlon specific bike. So today, thanks to our
partners at Profile Design, we’re gonna be delving in to
those aerodynamic alterations that you can easily make to
your road bike that will help you go faster in your next triathlon. (upbeat music) – [Instructor] Adding
clip-on aero bars is probably the most obvious alteration to make. As well as the most effective as our bodies make up the majority of resistance when it comes
to aerodynamics on the bike. So if you play around with your position, and reduce that frontal
area, you’ll easily save some watts. There are a variety of
aero bars out there, but before you start,
just check that your bike has handlebars that are suitable for them. It’s not recommended to use carbon handlebars to attach
metal aero bars with. But even if it is metal on metal, you still want to protect
this part of your bike. So for that, you can just use a little bit of electrical tape. Wrap it around before
clamping on you aero bars. Now I’ve opted for these
carbon aero bars with a slight “S” bend, but you’ll notice it’s quite a small rise. So it actually gives
you quite an aggressive stretched out position. But there’s a huge variety out there. You just need to find the right one that’s effective for you. Now these actually come
as individual poles, which I personally prefer. It gives you the scope
to find that perfect fit. And just check the
ability to move the reach and length of your poles. And these have the added
bonus that you can alter the angle of the arm rest, which will help you get
into that even more secure and comfortable aero position. Now obviously it depends
on how wide a part you want to have your aero bars. But you might need to remove
a little bit of handlebar tape just to give yourself enough space. Once you’ve done that, then just put the electrical tape on. And then lightly tighten
your bars so that you can actually still move them. This will make finding
the correct position that much easier. Because, once you’ve got to this stage, take your bike and set it
up on your indoor trainer. Preferably in front of a mirror or get someone to film it. Or even better, if you can, find a coach. And then you can just
easily adjust your position until you’ve found the perfect fit. – [Instructor] It’s worth
noting that as you move yourself forward into the
aero position at the front, you’ll also want to move your saddle forward slightly to compensate. And in order to maintain
the same angle at your hips, your knees, and your ankles,
you might want to raise it slightly so that you can maintain your power in that new position. Now the final point on your position is to look at your handlebar height. As most aero bars will
attach above your handlebars. So that should bring the
height up at the front which can end up being counter
productive for aerodynamics. Cause generally the lower the handlebars and the lower you are in the front the more aerodynamic you’re going to be. But you’re only going
to improve your speed if you’re comfortable and can still maintain
power in that position. So if you do want to, you might have a couple of spacers which you can take out. Drop the stem down and then place them on top. Which will lower your handlebars and also lower your aero bars with it. So bringing your arms and
hands towards each other on the aero bars will
help with the air to flow more smoothly over your hands and also over your body. But don’t forget, it is a compromise
between being aerodynamic but also being a position
where you’re still able to produce the power. – [Instructor] Now you should
be happy with your position on the aero bars. So just check that they’re firmly secure. And it’s time to look at hydration. We’re gonna start at the front. And there are several options out there. You could use a bottle
or something like this that fits in between the bars, just there. Or you could go for an option that sits more on top of the bars. Also trying to maintain aerodynamics. Both of which have a
straw so you can drink without really having to move your head. And they also have an opening on top so when you do need to refill you can just do that once and get back into that aero position. It is just worth pointing out though, that the act of putting an
aero bottle on your bike is not automatically going
to make you go faster. Because there will be resistance. The idea is that it allows you to maintain that aero position, and that’s where the benefits are. (electronic music) – [Instructor] The humble
top tube bag is often sniffed at by cyclist, but for longer distance races, it’s the perfect solution. Having an area where
you can keep your fuel that’s easily accessible, and it’s still being aerodynamic. Just makes sense. Obviously the bag in
itself isn’t going to make you go faster. But being able to get to your fuel easily with a minimal amount of effort means you’ll stay fueled so you
will be able to go faster and for longer. Having said that though, if you’re only going to
use one gel or one bar and you’re doing a short distance race it’s probably worth leaving the bag off and popping something in your pocket or taping your gel onto your top tube. There’s a great selection
out there of bento boxes or top tube bags. Some bikes will come with
something ready built in. You can opt for a more of a rubber version that’s constantly open that you just pull your gels out through. I’ve gone for the Profile Design bag. It’s really light weight. And as you can see, it’s easy to attach with Velcro. And the zip opens towards
you for ease of access when you’re in that aero position. And it’s great for being able to keep gels or even bits of broken
up food that you want to snack at as you ride along. – [Instructor] It depends how hot and dehydrating the conditions are and as how to many drink
stations they’re going to be in your race, as to how many water
bottles or drinks bottles you want to carry on your bike. Now obviously there’s
the traditional spots. You can have one on your
seat tube and your down tube. But these aren’t the most
aerodynamic positions. That said, they are easy to access. Meaning you can get back into
your own TT aero position pretty quickly. So if you do want to
opt for a bottle here, I recommend using an aero bottle and having it on your down tube. Carrying your bottles behind the saddle has proven to be more
aerodynamic than on the down tube or the seat tube. You can either opt for a
single or double bottle cage, like I have this time. Now obviously when you
reach to take the bottle, it will disrupt your
aerodynamics when you’ve got to sit up and reach behind. bUt the ideal scenario is
if you just use it once during the race, take it out, you refill
your bottle at the front, and then place it back. Therefore you’ll still be getting great aerodynamic benefits. The benefit of a double cage, if you only need to carry
one bottle of water, you can use your spare
one to keep your spares. Your inter tubes, your tyre
levers, and your gas canisters either inside an old bottle
or you can even tape it to your bottle cage. These are just a few simple
changes that all add up. And together they can end
up making a significant difference to your aerodynamics. So play around with your set up. Find out what works for you. And remember, there’s no point
being completely aerodynamic if you can actually only hold that position for a few minutes. If you haven’t yet done so, just click on the globe. You can subscribe to GTN. And we’ve done an
investigation looking at the difference of riding on your
aero bars to your drops. And that video is just here. And if you want a comparison
between a time trial bike and a road bike, then there’s a great
video on that just here.