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Why Do I Need a Bike Fit?

Why Do I Need a Bike Fit?

Is there anything better than new bike day? Whether you’ve picked up your new whip at your local bike shop or it’s arrived on your doorstep, the first thing you want to do is get out there and ride. It’s like Santa brought you that new bike for Christmas!

But hold up there! While the wheels may roll and the pedals may turn, it’s not a good idea to go out and ride a few dozen miles. 

A proper bike fit is essential for new and experienced riders alike. Not only do you want to be efficient and produce power, even more important is comfort. If you’re not comfortable on your new bike, those miles are never going to happen.

Not having the right bike fit can also lead to overuse injuries, a painful saddle, and just a bad time on the bike. 

And while you may be able to tweak a standard commuter or road bike to make it work, a triathlon bike, which has a unique cockpit setup to attain that super aerodynamic position, is harder to adjust yourself. 

We’re here to take you through the basics, and then point you in the right direction to make sure your new Speed Phreak triathlon bike is exactly what you need to win races and knock out personal bests.

Justin Lippert close up

The Bike Fit Basics

There are some elements of a bicycle fit you can do yourself. It’s likely you’ll have to address these while you’re testing bikes before making a purchase.

Bike Sizing

Getting the right size bike frame is essential. If you are stuck with a bike frame that’s too big or too small, there’s no amount of adjusting on the seat post, crank arm, or handlebars that’s going to make it work.

Your LBS can help you determine the right frame size depending on brand (each bike brand is a little different). A-Squared will help you figure out your frame size on the product page, or you can contact us with questions. We’ll ask for your height and inseam, and what size you ride in other brands to help narrow down whether you need a XS, S, M, or L frame.

Saddle Height

The height of your saddle is key to comfort and injury prevention. You don’t want your knees up near your chest, but you don’t want to be reaching for your pedals on every stroke either.

A simple way to get close yourself is to line up your crank arm vertically. With your foot on the pedal at the bottom of the stroke, if you can't reach it, lower the seat a bit. If your knee is bent, raise the seat post a bit.

Reach to Handlebars

The reach to your handlebars is also essential for overall comfort, but especially important for bike handling. You should feel no pain when you reach for your handlebars, and you should be able to rest your hands comfortably on the base bars/bullhorns of your triathlon bike. When sitting up on your base bars, your elbows should be slightly bent, not locked out.

Cleat Position

When affixing the cleat on your bike shoes, first place them where you think the ball of your foot will be. Tighten the cleats down so they don’t move, and then do a quick test spin. If the position feels good, tighten the bolts down, or adjust until you find a comfortable position.

Once you’ve found the magic spot, you can outline your cleats with a silver permanent marker so you’ll know exactly where to place the cleats when it’s time to replace them. You’ll likely replace your cleats more often than you’ll replace your shoes.

Kenneth Peterson on the Speed Phreak

Triathlon Bike Fit

Getting a professional fit for your new triathlon bike is incredibly important, especially for a new A-Squared Speed Phreak. The Speed Phreak doesn’t mess around - we’ve brought you an aggressive frame setup so you can get aero and take that pro or age group win.

Finding the perfect aero position and staying in it is all about being efficient and comfortable, and that comes with the fine tuning only a professional bike fitter can provide.

Finding that Aero Position

Getting aero isn’t just about slamming the stem and staying tucked. Many elements come into play including the length and position of the aero bars, the location of the elbow pads, the height of the seat tube, and even your hydration setup.

Getting as low and tucked as you possibly can may work on the trainer for a bit, but keep in mind that you’ll be racing in that position for 20 to 100+ miles. If your position is so aggressive that you have to sit up on your base bars often, you’ve completely lost the advantage of having that aggressive setup.

The perfect aero position is the one that you can hold comfortably for hours. As you develop as an athlete, your fitness and musculature will change so your bike fit will change as well. Increased strength and flexibility will allow you to ride in a more aero position so don’t be dismayed if you don’t look like Jan Frodeno yet. It’ll come.

Efficient Pedal Stroke

While the focus for TT bike fits tends to be the aero position, an efficient pedal stroke is just as important to get you through those long miles with max power and reduced risk of injury. This is where the tools of the trade and the eye of an experienced bike fitter really come into play.

Efficient pedal stroke is maximized through finding the ideal hip angle and crank length. Hip angle is hard to determine on your own, without the tools available to those who practice Precision Fit, Retul, Guru, or Shimano bike fits. Bike fitters using these systems have sensors that determine the best angles for you, and make adjustments accordingly.

The crank arm length is also important, and it may be surprising to learn that longer isn’t always better. It’s quite common to use a shorter crank arm length on a triathlon bike than a road bike. Discuss this with your LBS, bike fitter, or with A-Squared before ordering your Speed Phreak so we can make sure we send you exactly what you need.

Kennett Peterson on the Speed Phreak

Where Should I Get My Bike Fit?

Now that we’ve established the need for a professional bike fit, where should you get one? There are a few options. You can reach out to our partners at velofix who will be happy to assemble your Speed Phreak and fit you.

Check with your local bike shop. They are a great resource for all things bike related and will likely have a preferred bike fitter they use. Ask your cycling friends, especially the fast ones :)

You can also search online for bike fitters in your area, and do some research into the different types of bike fits listed below.

  • Precision Fit
  • Retul
  • Guru
  • Shimano

You’ve made the investment in your bike. Now it’s time to make the investment in yourself to get the most out of your bike. Remember, a proper bike fit will allow you to ride harder, longer, and faster with fewer injuries. The wrong bike fit leads to pain, injury, and no fun on the bike.

I’ve Bought a Speed Phreak. Now What?

I’ve Bought a Speed Phreak. Now What?

First of all, congratulations! We’re excited to get you on your new Speed Phreak, out there crushing your goals and taking down PRs. Whether or not you’re part of our T3 Program, A-Squared Bikes is here to support your triathlon journey with bike upgrades, killer accessories, and cool swag.

Now that you’ve bought your Speed Phreak, you’re probably anxiously awaiting that big, beautiful box to arrive on your doorstep. In the meantime, here’s what you can expect.

How Long Does Shipping Take?

99% of Speed Phreak orders leave the warehouse within 24 hours of payment, and usually arrive within 5-7 business days of your order date. We will notify you by email with tracking information when your order ships, and you can use the tracking link to follow your Speed Phreak during delivery.

What Do I Do When It Arrives?

The Speed Phreak comes boxed and 98% assembled. As with all packages, be sure to check everything in the box to make sure nothing was damaged during shipping. Contact us immediately at info@a2bikes.com if you think your bike was damaged during shipping.

Assembly is required before riding your bike. You’ll need to attach the stem, front wheel, handlebars, and seat post. The good news is that the Speed Phreak comes pre-cabled.

We’ve created this video to walk you through the assembly process and the tools you’ll need.

If you are not comfortable and competent with a bike wrench, we recommend taking it to your local bike shop for assembly or use our partners velofix

After Assembly - Test and Fit!

Once your Speed Phreak is assembled, it’s a good idea to take it for a test spin, but really, just a spin. Make sure the wheels are tracking, the brakes are working, and the gears are shifting. Just a trip around the block should do.

The next step is essential, especially for a triathlon bike - get a professional bike fit. You will be spending hours on your bike training and racing. You want to be comfortable but also aerodynamic (why else would you ride a TT/triathlon bike?), and eyeballing it isn’t going to get you there.

Get a bike fit

There are a few options for a professional bike fit. Check with your local bike shop and local riders to see if there is someone they use or recommend. Reach out to our partners at velofix - many offer bike fits. Seek out a bike fitter trained in one of the popular bike fit modalities like Retül, Precision Fit, Guru, or Shimano.

Whichever option you choose, remember that a proper bike fit allows you to ride longer, harder, and faster while remaining as comfortable as possible. The wrong fit can lead to overuse injuries, saddle sores, and just a bad time on the bike. Find out more about why a proper bike fit is important here.

Crush It!

Your Speed Phreak is all tuned up, ready to go, and fit to your exact needs. Now it’s time to go out there and crush it! Those KOMs/QOMs, course records, and personal records don’t stand a chance with A-Squared on your side. We love sharing stories from our A-Team (that’s you) so be sure to tag us on social media (Facebook: A-Squared Bikes, IG: @a2.bikes) so we can celebrate your successes with you. 

A-Team for A-Squared Bikes

Whether you're doing your first triathlon or going for that world championships slot, the A-Squared Speed Phreak will get you from T1 to T2 as fast as possible without breaking the bank. 

Return Policy

If for any reason the Speed Phreak is not right for you, you have 30 days to return it. It is okay if you have already built the bike and taken it for a test ride. In fact, we expect that. All returns are subject to inspection for damage and excessive use.

We Compare Triathlon Bikes - Speed Phreak vs. Quintana Roo & Canyon

We Compare Triathlon Bikes - Speed Phreak vs. Quintana Roo & Canyon

That’s right - we’re doing a head-to-head comparison of the A-Squared Speed Phreak with the Quintana Roo PRFOUR and the Canyon Speedmax CF 7.0.

Why? We know what it’s like as a beginner triathlete or even a cost-sensitive triathlete (we call ourselves “unreasonable” triathletes). We want the best quality carbon frame, the most aerodynamic cockpit setup, the lightest components, and we want to go FAST, but we don’t want to break the bank.

That’s understandable - and that’s exactly why A-Squared Bikes was founded. Our mission is to design the best triathlon bikes for the best price. Our bikes are designed to get you in that aero position and deliver you from T1 to T2 in the fastest time possible. Our focus is on value, and on breaking down the price barriers preventing people from joining our sport.

Tri Bike Comparison

The Speed Phreak is a great entry level TT bike, but has also raced at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. Our base level setup starts with Shimano 105, with upgrade options like Shimano Ultegra. We use Vision TriMax base bars with an upgrade option to the carbon TriMax bars. Both the Speed Phreak and Speedmax come with rim brakes, while Quintana Roo only offers disc brakes. 

When it comes to the bike frame, these time trial bikes have beautifully engineered, full carbon frames. The similarities between the bikes continue with the same Shimano 105 derailleurs and cassette used on all three. The Canyon Speedmax CF 7.0 sticks with the Shimano 105 for the brakes and crank, while the Quintana Roo PRFOUR and the A-Squared Speed Phreak use FSA cranks.

Canyon and Quintana Roo use Profile Design aero bars, while the Speed Phreak comes with Vision TriMax aero bars. See the full spec comparison below.

Quintana Roo PRFOUR Canyon Speedmax CF 7.0 A-Squared Speed Phreak
Frame Quintana Roo PRFOUR Canyon Speedmax CF 7.0 A-Squared Speed Phreak
Brakes TRP Spyre (DISC) Shimano 105 Tektro R741
Crank FSA Gossamer Pro Shimano 105 FSA Omega Pro
Derailleurs Shimano 105 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Cassette Shimano 105 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Aero Bars Profile Design Wing 10A with 35A Extensions Profile Design Subsonic Race Vision TriMax
Wheel Shimano RS170 Reynolds AR58 Vision Team 30
Saddle ISM PR 2.0 Fizik Mistica Velo
PRICE $3,149 $3,499 $1,899

 

So what’s the big distinguishing factor between these 3 entry-level triathlon bikes?

Best Tri Bike Price

By far, the biggest difference in these three tri bikes is the price. Both the Canyon Speedmax CF 7.0 and the Quintana Roo PRFOUR as spec'd cost $3,000 or more. The A-Squared Speed Phreak starts at $1,899.

Triathlon is already an expensive sport. Our race entries cost hundreds of dollars with the added expense of travelling. Our gear can rack up thousands - a bike, shoes, helmet, wetsuit, race kit, etc. Along with the required training, triathlon can be a tough sport to get started in.

At A-Squared, we want to alleviate some of the barrier to entry in our sport by introducing an entry level bike that has true value - the highest quality at an affordable price.

But our relationship with our athletes (we like to call them the A-Team) doesn’t stop with the bike sale. We’ve included upgrade options so that we can grow alongside you in your triathlon journey, from your first race to your first podium to your World Championship qualification!

Check out our T3 leasing program as well as our accessory upgrade options. Looking to up your A-Team cred? You know we have all the A-Squared swag you need.

So which bike will you choose? The PRFOUR, Speedmax CF 7.0, or the always fast, always affordable Speed Phreak?