Author Topic: Ironman and Europe Tour on one bike??  (Read 5008 times)

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Offline cnib

Ironman and Europe Tour on one bike??
« on: February 07, 2013, 11:46:28 am »
Hello All,

I don't know which bike I should buy.  I've recently moved to Munich, Germany to experience Europe and train for an Ironman (I don't have a job, so I have the time).  I'm currently looking for a $1500-3000 bike that can get me across the finish line of an Ironman, get me up/down the Alps, and be my form of transportation this summer while I tour as many countries as I can in a month.  If it were just the Ironman I would buy a tri-bike; if it were just the trip I'd buy a touring bike to put on saddlebags.  I'm considering almost all options right now (even buying two bikes).  I could use some suggestions. 

FYI: I've done several Olympic Tri's on my is a 2009 Trek 1.5 back home (as reference to my "experience"). 

Offline dkoloko

Re: Ironman and Europe Tour on one bike??
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 12:47:15 pm »
 Personally, I would buy two bikes. I met several who were touring on tri bikes. If you are competitive and insist on one bike, I recommend the tri bike. An alternative is a light touring bike, rather than a fully loaded touring bike, where you are carry everything you need to camp and cook. Typically, a light touring bike will have two bottle mounts, instead of three, braze-ons for rear, but not front, saddle bags, and brifters, instead of separate shift and brake levers. The light touring bike should have room for wide tires; use wide, heavy duty tires for touring and switch to narrow lightweight tires for tri events.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Ironman and Europe Tour on one bike??
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 12:53:14 pm »
I toured western Europe 20 years ago.  Assuming things are still similar, you can get by without camping.  Hostels, pensiones, cheap rooms, etc.  Towns are really close together in western Europe so you are never more than 20 miles from a town to sleep and eat.  Its not like the western US where you can go 100 miles between any towns.  So you could get a very nice sort of high end road bike with a triple crankset or compact crankset and large rear cog, put on aero bars for the triathalon, and use this one bike for lightweight touring and the triathalon.  Carrying minimal gear is possible with a seatpost rack and rack bag or large saddlebag like a Carradice.  And maybe a handlebar bag after you remove the aero bars.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Ironman and Europe Tour on one bike??
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 04:39:02 pm »
How light are you willing to travel?  I find that I can fairly easily get base weight for cooking and camping down to 11 pounds or so and if I really had to could get down to 6 pounds or so.

Once you are below 20 pounds base weight (bags and gear without counting any food, fuel, or water) you can get by with almost any bike and I actually start to prefer a road bike at 20 pounds or less base.  I might not want to use an extremely specialized TT or tri bike, but maybe a road race bike would be a good enough for both.

Offline Bclayden

Re: Ironman and Europe Tour on one bike??
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 10:01:11 am »
I ride the same Trek Madone 4.5 for both triathlon (Long Course/Half Ironman Distance = 56 miles on the bike) and for touring.  I have covered the Western Express route at 100+ mile per day with it and it's certainly durable enough.  You should know that I tour Credit Card style so my cargo weight is minimal..13 pounds without the water.

I was concerned about the reliability and ruggedness of a lightweight carbon frame for touring but my off-the-shelf Trek has been great...even the saddle. I'm on year 2 with the bike now and at the 10,000 mile mark.  The stock Bontreager wheels the bike came with started to break down at 8000 miles so I replaced them with better quality Mavic but otherwise no regrets with the bike.

I did hear some groans when I asked the same sort of question about long-distance touring with a road bike but those remarks have turned out to be unfounded in my experience.  There seem to be many traditional touring folks out there who like the heavy, but strong, bike to carry the equally heavy loads.  Rugged but SLOOOOW.

My theory is:  If your load is light then what's the difference between riding 100 miles a day while touring or while at home?  The bike knows no difference.