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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to compete in a Triathlon at the end of May and don't what to go out and buy a tri bike. I have a Santa Cruz SL and considered removing all unecessary components and purchasing a set of clip on aero bars and representing the MTB community during the tri.

Just looking for anyone that has tried this and maybe some picutres.
 

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Lord of the Chainrings
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Never heard of anyone running aerobars on a mountain bike.

I run aerobars on my Santa Cruz Roadster.
 

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noMAD man
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One big challenge is going to be your gearing. You'll have to go to a road crank to maintain some higher speeds with 26" wheels. Obviously you'll be running some skinny tires, so you'll drop your gearing even further. The 42 or 44 big ring just won't get it.

The funky Trek 930 commuter in this pic has a road triple and an 11T cog on the rear. It's still possible to run out of gear on this bike even with a geezer like me and some small semi-knobbies. It can still maintain some decent speeds in this setup, however.

Yeah, aerobars like a Profile Airstryke 2000 or such can bolt up to many handlebars, but frankly I think you'll run out of gear before aerobars become much of an issue.

I've played with this setup in various configurations, but frankly frankenbikes like these morphed from MTB's are almost always fairly lacking in one or two major performance categories. It can a good deal of fun just putzing with one, but be prepared to get laughed at immensely if you show up at a Tri event on one. Most Tri people are extremely equipment conscious and very unforgiving for style fauxpas like these.:D
 

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Do what I did, get a used road bike. I did my first tri last year on a 1989 Trek 420. Sure, it wasn't the fastes thing on two wheels, but for the money it was a lot better than my HT. I put a little into it to get it rolling well, but mainly it was bars, stem, cables, and new tires. Worked great for me, and is still rolling.

Check ebay and craigslist for deals. Expect to pay $100+ for one in decent shape (about what a new set of aero bars would cost).
 

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noMAD man
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Yep...I also recommend the cheap, used roadbike approach. Even the low end models will absolutely kill your SL for rolling down the road. Heck, I hate roadbikes, but sometimes the trails are muddy or it's just too hot to really wanna bomb the MTB, so a roadbike can be a good temporary alternative.
 

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just rub some dirt on it
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Please post more pics!!!!

TNC said:
One big challenge is going to be your gearing. You'll have to go to a road crank to maintain some higher speeds with 26" wheels. Obviously you'll be running some skinny tires, so you'll drop your gearing even further. The 42 or 44 big ring just won't get it.

The funky Trek 930 commuter in this pic has a road triple and an 11T cog on the rear. It's still possible to run out of gear on this bike even with a geezer like me and some small semi-knobbies. It can still maintain some decent speeds in this setup, however.

Yeah, aerobars like a Profile Airstryke 2000 or such can bolt up to many handlebars, but frankly I think you'll run out of gear before aerobars become much of an issue.

I've played with this setup in various configurations, but frankly frankenbikes like these morphed from MTB's are almost always fairly lacking in one or two major performance categories. It can a good deal of fun just putzing with one, but be prepared to get laughed at immensely if you show up at a Tri event on one. Most Tri people are extremely equipment conscious and very unforgiving for style fauxpas like these.:D
TNC....That Trek is the best!!! Any pics of you doing some big drops out in Moab on that
thing? LOL.
 

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noMAD man
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You asked for it!

SKULLY said:
TNC....That Trek is the best!!! Any pics of you doing some big drops out in Moab on that
thing? LOL.
Here I am doing a log jump on that bike in the La Sal mountains just above Moab.:rolleyes:
 

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I agree with the guys above. My wife wanted me to go for a road ride with her. She had a cheap Giant road bike. I was in much better shape than her,so I thought I could put some slicks on my SL. Man she spanked me. Even a cheap road bike is better than a great mtb. My SL was about the same weight as her road bike,but her wheels were about half the weight. My tires were 1.25 inch and that is 31.75mm,road tires are usualy 23-25 mm. It does not sound like much but it is. Post some photos if you do the tri with the mtb.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wrench Monkey said:
Post some photos if you do the tri with the mtb.
Good luck.
Would you prefer photos of me on the bike or the other competitors laughing? :)
The only reaosn I even considered doing it this way is when you look at photos of some of the past events, you see racers from my age group on this multi-thousand dollar bikes and then when yo check their results, it is pretty sad. I guess at this point I would prefer to spend less money and take the chance of finishing poorly on a MTB and at least I would have an excuse. :)

I will consider the used road bike options. thanks for all the feed back.
TO
 

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Both of course.
On second thought maybe you should use the mtb.
Back in the day,when I thought I was a XC racer,I did a few smooth races on my Cross bike.I did not do very well,but it was fun to watch people do double takes when I rode by. I wonder what was going through the heads of the few racers that I passed. " s**t, I just got passed by a road bike with bright green tires". LOL.
 

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Aero bars won't really work on a mtn bike because they aren't designed to clamp onto a flat or riser mtb bar. Besides....if your riding a mtn bike in a tri I don't think aero bars are going to be the deciding factor in your performance :) Just run it with your regular setup or borrow a road bike.
 

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Surly OG
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TNC said:
Here I am doing a log jump on that bike in the La Sal mountains just above Moab.:rolleyes:

Night ride last summer? I understand it's EPIC POW in the San Juans, La Salles, Rockies, and Wasatch......
 

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Surly OG
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timo612 said:
I am going to compete in a Triathlon at the end of May and don't what to go out and buy a tri bike. I have a Santa Cruz SL and considered removing all unecessary components and purchasing a set of clip on aero bars and representing the MTB community during the tri.

Just looking for anyone that has tried this and maybe some picutres.
I'm guessing your going sprint or olympic distance, so the time on bike wouldn't REALLY be advantageous with aero bars.

As an adventure racer I have used Mavic Speed city wheels on my SC bikes in progression on an SL, Blur classic, Blur LT for road cross training and long road section AR's somewhat effectively but nowhere near a purpose built road bike. I used a 12-27 cassette.

Put some flat bars on and you could mount clip ons, but you'd get better results on a used $200.00 Fuji road bike with regular drop bars and a disc rear wheel.

The Disc wheel will give more bang for the buck over aero bars btw...

oh, when I say disc wheel I mean Aero disc, not disc brake.

Get some MonoKote from the hobby shop and a heat gun and make your own disc rear wheel.

Those spokes churning the air cause a noticeable amount of drag fyi. This is all legacy stuff fwiw.

Good luck on your Tri - they're kinda fun. If you want a real multi sport though, AR is the shizzle.
 
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