Roadies vs. Tri's

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8 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"I am kind of new to cycling and am also training for an olympic distance triathlon this April. In my brief experience I have noticed a certain animosity (sometimes friendly sometimes not so) between ""roadies"" and ""triathletes"". Is this my imagination? Is there a history between these groups? Should I pick a side?"

Anonymous's picture
Nathan (not verified)

Can't say I have noticed any thing. I ride road and do triathlons. During the summer I do Saturday club rides and Sunday go upstate to do my triathlon training. I ride my timetrial bike by myself because it just isn't safe to ride in a pack and I won't do it.

Group rides are lots of fun. I get to challenge myself against others and try and beat others up hills, share common experiences, and have a nice lunch together.

Timetrialing is just a serious rush. Hammering through Harriman averaging over 30mph gives you the biggest high. I'll asume running and swiming don't apply here.

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Picking sides

"Paraphrasing what has already been said–

The important thing is to be smooth and steady in every way when you’re in a pack. Tri bars are less safe because of no brakes and lower sight line.

Curiously they allowed pack riding (drafting) in the Tri’s in the Olympics last time. Which made the swimming and cycling parts meaningless and the strongest runner won. I think there was a pretty big crash in the women’s race (not used to pack riding?). Why do some events allow drafting and some don’t?

Don’t worry about the perceived ""friendly animosity?"", some roadies like to growl at anybody who is not. Just try to keep it down when you’re telling somebody after a hard ride –

"" I have to go change and do a half marathon now! ""

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Mutual Respect

"Each July, Lake Placid hosts and Ironman Triathlon, and once the weather clears, the roads around Lake Placid are filled with cyclists. The Ironman's cycling leg goes right past the starting point for the Whiteface Hillclimb. When training for the Hillclimb, I am often at a motel with those training for the Ironman. They look at the summit, 8 miles and 3500 vertical feet away and exclaim ""you go up that, what are you nuts!"" which is my very thoughts about running a marathon after cycling 112 miles, not to mention the swim part. Complete mutual respect."

Anonymous's picture
Judith Tripp (not verified)
Triathlon drafting

The pro circuit has been draft legal for a couple of years or so now. Drafting is not legal for age groupers.

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Not a race of truth?

So at the Pro level, the competitors are OK with the heavier emphasis placed on the running leg?

A 20-30 sec gap is huge in the swimming portion(Olympic Tri), but you can work together to catch up with the pack or a strong cyclist in the bike portion and coast in before the run.

Does it usually come down to a running race?

Anonymous's picture
Judith Tripp (not verified)
Pro triathlon racing

No, actually a lot of them weren't happy when it changed over to draft legal. But, they had to get used to it. I think the thing is that in a race as short as Olympic distance (formerly International distance), it was just too hard to enforce the no drafting rule. So, yes, it often does come down to a running race, and does tend to favor the better runners.

Anonymous's picture
Frank Grazioli (not verified)
Roadies and triathletes

Hi Chris--animosity (friendly or not so friendly) typically arises from misunderstanding and misplaced expectations between the schools of riders. Usually it's just misinformed snobbery.

A good group rider's cadence, gearing, body position, and equipment (e.g., the location of brake levers), and interaction with fellow riders in the group can differ in a number of regards from those that make for successful cycling in a triathlon. A good group rider can have poor skill in pushing gears for long distance in a triathlon; an expert triathlete can be ill prepared for riding inches off other riders at speeds and distance he/she might handle solo in a tri.

It's the mix-and-match of poorly prepared riders in either venue that raise the chance for accidents, injured bodies, egos, feelings.

The SIG programs offer excellent venues for learning good group riding, along with speed/technique/skills sets needed at your desired level, as long as the prospective participant is willing to learn how (might mean removing aero bars or learning to ride smaller gears, mabye anathema to an Ironman). There are groups/camps/coaches available that offer training for riding in tri's--a group rider could learn how to reduce RPMs, push bigger gears, change body position, etc., for a longer haul, solo.

Hope this isn't Pollyanna-prattling--I've been and party to both facets of cycling, seen snobbery, but really most of the time it's based on ignorance. I've not ever experienced nor seen the NYCC as an organization that subscribes to any of it.

cycling trips