Sooooooo slow on bike

16 messages
04/08/2008 at 20:53
hiya guys - got my first olympic tri now in less than 2 weeks - my first season in Tri and with one sprint under my belt im just finding the bike tough going...

I prob havent trained on it as much as I should have but to give you an indication of my times - im currently doing 40km in about 90mins which is terrible when I look up other Olympic distance results... grrr
My 10km run time is around 45mins even after the bike (done the full race distance brick on Sat past and was pleased to get through it unscathed!)

Just wondering what can I do to improve my biking? Any good links for tips about gearing and riding? I probably know the answer of just keep on training on the bike and eventually you will get faster.. but just asking anyway - probably just want to vent my frustration about it really!!!! :)

I bought a Specialized Allez 18 gear in my first season and I was told it should be a good enough bike for Tri. I havent put on Aero bars or anything as I wanted to crawl before I walked if you know what I mean!

Cheers guys
G

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
04/08/2008 at 21:10
I am the same - although when i take into account the hilly nature of the course, alike you should do, I am expecting a much faster time on the day.
04/08/2008 at 21:26
ah i know - i think ill push it a little bit more on the day - but when I looked at times this morning from a recent race here in Ireland the fastest bike was 55mins and slowest was around 1hr40 - just depresses me knowing im right at the tail end! lol

suppose only way is up isn't it?? :)

im just yapping a bit!!! ill have a smile on my face when i cross the line as I know finishing the race is my main goal for this first season! I can work on the faster stuff over the winter for next year! :)

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
05/08/2008 at 20:46
Get the aero kit, crawl, walk run is nonsense, it is the slower cyclists who benefit most from the aero kit, faster cyclists only make minimal gains from aero kit. Also I have had some experience with the Specialised Allez, it is a good bike and it is adequate for racing triathlon, however it has quite "slack geometry and set up" - this means it errs on the side of comfort and not speed. If you really want to go faster on the bike get a more aggressive and stiffer frame (in the correct size) it will make a difference, and yes it will cost you money. Try Cannondale CaaD 9 at 800 quid for tiagra equipped bike as a starting point ... then work up. Good luck, also test ride other bikes on your circuit.
05/08/2008 at 21:20
treefrog wrote:

Get the aero kit, crawl, walk run is nonsense, it is the slower cyclists who benefit most from the aero kit, faster cyclists only make minimal gains from aero kit. Also I have had some experience with the Specialised Allez, it is a good bike and it is adequate for racing triathlon, however it has quite "slack geometry and set up" - this means it errs on the side of comfort and not speed. If you really want to go faster on the bike get a more aggressive and stiffer frame (in the correct size) it will make a difference, and yes it will cost you money. Try Cannondale CaaD 9 at 800 quid for tiagra equipped bike as a starting point ... then work up. Good luck, also test ride other bikes on your circuit.



lol my girlfriend will take some look at me if I came home with another bike just mere months after buying the Allez!!! I can imagine the scene...

"Yes darling, the previous bike didn't work right, so I bought this one"

hehe, yeh I can appreciate the more expensive bikes have alot better components and weight saving aspects about them that will make you faster - but I think I gotta train hard on the Allez for at least the first year or two and then look about upgrading to something Tri specific.

But for now will perhaps get a set of Aero bars as you say TriFrog. I've dived into everything else and got through it (so far!) so might as well do that - will get a cheap set to kick me off.

Just a question tho - I'm still a mere novice regarding bikes etc - but I've heard the word Tiagra mentioned before - is this just the name/make of the derailler (thing that moves the chain over the rings) and I take it this is one of the better ones?
I'm still learning day by day! and loving it! :)

Thanks guys

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
05/08/2008 at 22:26
Hi mate, firstly Tiagra is the name of the 4th groupset from shimano, with Dura-ace, Ultegra and 105 ahead of it. So it is still good quality.

I agree with treefrog, getting aero is required, it will not only help you bike times but also should aid your bike-run transition.

I would get a set of aero-bars, they don't have to be overly expensive, the profile centurys at 35 should do nicely. Then have your bike fit done properly, with the aerobars. This is important, as with the addition of aerobars you position will change, and you may need to make bike set-up adjustments.
It is well worth the money spent on a proper bike fit, as it will save your far more time than get a new lighter piece of kit. They should also give you a list of measurements, so if you get a new bike you can use those measurements to set it right for you.
05/08/2008 at 22:43
Thanks Tommi - yeh just phoned my bike shop and they suggested the:

Deda GCB Clip On Aero Bars at around £50 - so gonna perhaps call in tomorrow and get them fitted - will also then get my position checked whilst im there.

I'm only 10days away from my first Olympic tri so will get 3-4 practice rides in before it and try them out - if I'm not comfortable just yet I'll just resort to what ive been used to - take the first tri as a learning experience and build on it :)
Can;t wait!! :)

Thanks guys

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
05/08/2008 at 23:00
garydee - hi! this is the exact same problem i had / have. I bought a totally cheap roadbike with rubbish gears and was getting overtaken by mountain bikes and all sortd on my first tri!! For all I had a very fast swim. However I had a long ride yesterday and i found if i stay down on the drops the whole way and basically dont stop at all on the pedals my speed was twenty minutes faster on the same ride a week or two earlier. with pedalling i just try and keep the pace going and put it in harder gear when im going down hill to keep the momentum going and so dont glide. and obviously as soon as i feel the pedalling getting harder on the uphill i go to the easier gears, but gradually so im not losing the speed i've built up.

this is probably nothing new to you - it wasnt to me either, but i hadnt actually concetrated on doing it before which probs sounds a bit daft. i dont even know f this is right advice but i'll watch this thread with interest for any other tips.

P.S. likewise my boyfriend nearly freaked when i actually did tell him " you know that bike i just bought and i went on about getting for ages....? it's rubbish, can i please get another". did not go down well. next one will be on credit!! [:D]
06/08/2008 at 00:06
I dont think you should panic about bike. Its not like you are riding a heavy sh!t heap.
Give the aero bars a try, but as its your first OD race, you havent done 40k in race conditions. You will be faster on the race day

I do 43 mins for the run and about 72 for the bike, so yes you have some room to improve (as do I!!!!), but dont assume a bling bike will solve your problems.
one very simple thing I found was making sure tyres were well up. Had been running on around 80 -90 psi until I read on forum about them being up around 110+. Plus I put saddle slightly higher to really make sure my leg was absolutely at full extension. This seemed to make at least a couple of minutes difference, so worth considering.

think of it this way. You can prob work hard on your bike, get it down close to 75 mins.........Then think about the better bike, assuming you are still hard on it, triathlon wise

Cheers

Stratford Sprint : 1h 13m 25s
Eton (18/5): 1h 7m 59s
Dorney 10k (7/6): 43.19
Windsor (15/6): 2h 32m 58s
Steelman (13/7): 2h 21m 57s
London (10/8): 2h 21m 05s
Bristol Half (14/9): 1h 36m 57s
XTT (27/9)
London Half
06/08/2008 at 04:16
Hey there Gar,

I think you're taking it a bit seriously for your first season. There will be a massive improvment over the first three years and you'll need to pace yourself a bit. Maintaining your motivation for the rest of the season is important. Training on a heavier bike will probably be of benefit for cardio workout and you can rethink your equipment over the winter. If your training with a HRM you might see real improvments now, which show that you're getting fitter but might not yet transfer to speed on the bike - that will come in time.
06/08/2008 at 05:23
I just took my bike to my local place and with a bit of tinkering, the seat is now lower and slightly further back on the stem.... felt a lot better instantly. Looking forward to seeing what difference it makes at the weekend in London.

Regards
Dave
----
season binned off before it started....
06/08/2008 at 19:00
cheers guys - yeh know what you mean Pac - might be taking it a bit serious alright - first year is just about setting out base times and will work from those. Just loving the whole multi sport training aspect and enjoying it loads (gf is a good sport listening to me!) - havent been this fit in a long time - just turned 30 last year and ran my first marathon just before hitting the big 30. Then Jan of this year stepped on the scales and was near the 15stone mark (I'm 6ft so carried it off just about!) but felt and WAS overweight.

Some good training, couple of half marathons, 10kms and one sprint tri later and I'm down to just over 12stone and feeling great!! The olympic distance tri now Sat week (16th) was my goal from Jan and have also learnt to swim as well since I started which is anther hurdle jumped!

I find if I don't set goals then I do fall at the wayside - im pretty much goal orientated so have to keep an eye on them - so prob do take things a bit serious at times but not to the detriment of my social life if I can help it!

I suppose ive hit all my goals bar one for this year (just got to finish the olympic distance tri and thats all the boxes ticked) and thats me for the year. I can start thinking about winter base training and next seasons goals then I suppose - one being to get bloody faster on that bike!! hehehe

Sorry for the life story - just in a good mood this morning and feeling good!

Hope to get the tri bars this avo and get out for a ride - although looking at the crappy weather outside its gonna take ALOT of motivation. But I love new gadgets and toys so the aero kit might just do it!

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
07/08/2008 at 22:46
Good luck in your up coming race. Had plenty of good sound advice and not much to add on except.........

I started my triathlon's on a £250 Saracen entry level road bike and managed to pass some £3000+ bikes in my first year racing but never thought of myself as a cyclist. So it's not always about the gear but quite right in just getting tri-bars fitted and gaining a good few mins from the off.

Plus ridiculously jealous of your weight loss. I am 6 ft and weighed 17stone at turn off year, only down to 16st now, and love to weigh nearer 15 let alone 12st. Clearly done a damn fine job so far and it'll come together.

Have a good one!

Damn the man!!!
07/08/2008 at 23:20
Cheers Wannabetri! :) yeh pleased myself with how first year has went.

The eating had to be curbed - not completely rabbit food but cut out bread in favour of wraps and the like - plus reduced meal sizes as well - that plus sweat ball-busting workout cardio workouts worked ;) lol

I love chocolate as well and still am eating alot of it - hard to give it up but dont think i ever will be able to!! just will have to control it! hehe

Tri bars fitted last night - hope to get out on them tomorrow as I've my first open water practice tonight .... gulp.....!

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
11/08/2008 at 04:50
well how did the bars work out for you???? this was getting interesting. first time out on aero bars for me ended in picking lumps of tarmac out of my hip.
Oh how did the open water swim go. I just can't get used to it, I do great for about 100m then panic sets in and my breathing goes to pot. Getting better though.
11/08/2008 at 20:23
lol well Learner - it prob wasn't a great success with either if I'm honest.

Tri bars are pretty cool looking hehe but I couldn't get down onto them without the fear of falling flat on my face! spent most of my cycle lying low on the ordinary bars then trying to get at least one arm - but an overall FAIL on that. Will just have to get used to them I think. I'm getting more and more comfortable on the bike each time I go out so it'll come.
I got a set of Dedas put on.

As for the open water swimming.... oh...... good.... God..... lol

what have I got myself into.... it wasn't the best experience I've ever had!!!! couldn't get a breath thru the cold and a bit of anxiety.... pitch black murky water... couldn't see... no edges... no floor...... but other than that it was brilliant!! :) no it wasn't actually.... :/

Done it tho.... slowly - if the guy that won it last year was there I don't think I left him in a cold sweat of worry for this new guy on the scene ready to take his title! lol

ah well - ive come this far now, no backing out now - needless to say ill have a smile on my face if and when I come out of the water and heading for the bike!! lol relief more than anything!

Race plan is NOT to finish first (that would just be showing off and I wouldn't want to do that, leaving the Irish Olympic panel cursing themselves for not spotting me earlier and having me in Beijing right now carrying a flag) and of course NOT to finish last (which may be a little more of a struggle that the previous goal!) But main goal is to finish, shower then get drunk!!! lol

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
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