Article written by QR sponsored triathlete Justin Metzler (@bigmetztri // bigmetztri.com)
It’s well known that in order to go as fast as possible in your next triathlon, a triathlon specific bicycle is going to be the best choice to maximize your speed. Not only does a triathlon bike have specific aerodynamic properties in terms of the tube shapes, but the positioning of the saddle and the bars allows the rider to achieve a position that would be impossible on any other type of bike.
Many triathletes only have one bike, which most of the time is a TT specific bike. I too was in this category for many years - exclusively riding my TT bike over all sorts of terrain. I did not think much of it at the time but this year I have had the pleasure of pairing the new QR SRfive road bike with my QR PRsix and the results I’ve seen have been dramatic. Here are my top-5 reasons why you should consider adding a road bike to supplement your TT bike as a triathlete.
If you tuned into my last blog, I dove into my experience testing my PRsix in the the Boardman Sport Performance wind tunnel in the United Kingdom. There I was able to realize how impactful aerodynamic are on race day performance and that the right choice of equipment + position can make a world of difference. But races can’t be won simply by getting the best gear.
At the end of the day, the engine is the most important aspect to power your bike to go fast. There is a time to work on aerodynamics and there is a time to work on your aerobic conditioning and I’ve found my road bike to be the best place to develop that area of my training as I can often push more power for a longer duration on my road bike.
The position on a road bike, if fit properly, is significantly different than that on a time trial bike. And if you ride it frequently enough, you are getting consistent overload in muscle groups that you may not activate on your TT bike. This slight variation in power application is great for developing your range as a cyclist and will allow you to adapt on race day to the different types of courses or challenges you may be presented with.
Additionally, road bikes often have a different gearing ratio than what may be on your TT bike and that variance in cadence is another amazing area of potential improvement when it comes to your cycling capacity.
If you live somewhere that has any sort of undulating terrain, a road bike is a great tool to be able to fly up the climbs. Often times when climbing, even if on a triathlon specific bike, you are not in the aero position. So being able to smash up the climbs on a bike that is lightweight yet still integrated and aero like the SRFive is an experience unlike any other that you have to feel to understand.
I like the idea of having one bike that is “fun” and one bike that is “business.” I know that when I grab my triathlon bike it’s time to go for some serious speed. Having that ability to focus and understand that when I’m on the triathlon bike it’s for a reason allows me to dial in and execute those sessions like never before.
The mental relief from riding the TT bike is a big aspect but additionally this gives my shoulders and back some time to recover from my aggressive TT position and the next time I ride it I’m fresh and ready to lock into aero and go fast.
If you follow any of the most successful and famous triathletes in the world, many of the best will supplement a road bike into their training regimen. I can’t speak to their reasons but I have to assume many are in line with the items mentioned already in this post.
If you’re in the market for a new roadie, the SRfive is a clear choice in my opinion. It may sound biased coming from a QR athlete but this is by far the most comfortable, aerodynamic and lightweight road bike that I’ve ever been on and although I’ve had other road bikes before, this has been the first time in my career I’ve had one so seamless that I’ve been able to integrate it into my training without any problems whatsoever.
Titanium: Different? Absolutely. Better? That's up to you. With gravel becoming a huge "second act" for triathletes, we compare carbon bikes with the what's soon as the ultimate platform for gravel— Litespeed titanium—in our Premium Ride Experience primer.
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