Introduction to Riding: Triathlon bike or TT bike?

With the injection of a large number of funds and the integration of a large number of enthusiasts in recent years, everyone is no longer unfamiliar with triathlon. In triathlon, the longest distance and most time-consuming part is bicycle. In the road bicycle race, we often see the use of TT bicycles with low wind resistance in TT (time trial) races with teams or individuals. What are the similarities and differences between triathlon and TT, which both have rest handles and closed wheels and use ultra-low sitting posture?

As the bicycle project is supervised and managed by UCI ( International Cycling Union ), the specifications and parameters of bicycle equipment are controlled by its documents. All related matters of triathlon are managed by the International Triathlon alliance, so it is not difficult to find that the differences between them lie in the following three main aspects:

1. Overall design
UCI stipulates that the bicycle frame must be a diamond shaped double triangle design, because the triangle has the best stability, so the use of triangle in the frame can minimize the possibility of frame fracture when falling, and protect the safety of the driver. This rule applies to all bike races covered by UCI, so all racing bicycles will follow this principle in TT races. In the triathlon competition, most of us are fighting on our own, and there are few collisions and falls. Therefore, the main design of vehicles tends to reduce weight and low wind resistance. There are some Triathlon models on the market that directly omit the riser and rear upper fork. It can be said that if you can see at a glance that this bicycle is very special in terms of overall design, then it is mostly a triathlon.
2. Accessories
Another place where it is very easy to distinguish between triathlon and TT cars is the additional accessories. These accessories include but are not limited to kettle, water tank, supply box, tool box, rear water bottle rack, etc. UCI stipulates that the time racing bicycle should not be equipped with aerodynamic gain effect accessories, so you can see that there is not too much redundancy on the TT car. All for the sake of speed, even a kettle is needed. If the bicycle breaks down, you can directly take a new one from the team car.
In the triathlon competition, everyone has his own way. If there is a tire burst and other situations that need to be solved by ourselves, the time lost should also be included in the competition time. If there is any fault that can not be handled, you can only withdraw from the race. The triathlon race is about several hours long, and it takes more than half of the time for a single bicycle event. A large amount of drinking water and supplies are essential. Therefore, the triathlon is like a small “ammunition depot”. Repair tools, spare tires, water tanks with suction pipes of more than 1L, and several energy sticks are stored on this bike. After a long time of training, the athletes have become the real “Iron Man”, and a comfortable, can hold a large number of goods and materials of the triathlon, is absolutely an indispensable good partner on the way to “iron”.

3. Frame angle
The seat tube angle of TT bicycle is about 72-74 degrees. The geometric design is more radical, and the driver will lie down relatively low. This is because the rider needs to break out quite good strength in a short time to complete the race as soon as possible. But it also brings problems, which require the driver’s core strength and flexibility. The seat tube angle of the triathlon will go to 78 degrees. In such a comfortable sitting position, “stability” and “continuity” are the best weapons for the rider to constantly overcome themselves. After all, after completing the 180 km ride, they will be waiting for a complete marathon! Cyclists will never tire themselves into backache in cycling events, and gradually fall behind in running.

If you ask me how to summarize the two “brothers” of triathlon and TT in one sentence, I will simply tell you: TT bicycles can compete with triathlon, while Triathlon may not all participate in TT competition.

Post time: Jul-23-2020