of 2003 I entered the '04 Ironman New Zealand on March
6 in Taupo, New Zealand and began specific preperation
for the race. A big part of that preperation was building
a bike specifically for New Zealand and the other Ironman
events I am planning in '04 and '05.
My original bike was a Guru Trilite carbon
fiber/aluminum frame built on the 650c wheel chassis.
With six weeks to go before New Zealand I began construction
of a second bike, a 3/2.5 Vanadium-Titanium Guru Aero-Ti
built on the 700c chassis.I am still racing the 650c bike
for short course events, as I am faster and a better fit
There are a few reasons for the change
to 700c's for Taupo. First, the Guru Aero-Ti is the only
700c triathlon bike to fit me correctly. While I prefer
the lighter weight and greater stiffness of the smaller
650c wheels and am faster on them as well as getting an
easier fit I needed to use 700c wheels in Taupo, New Zealand
for several reasons.
Also, 54 and 55 tooth chainrings are not
yet available for Shiimano Dura-Ace 10 speed cranksets
from Shimano. By the time I leave for New Zealand they
may be, but I couldn't take the chance of Shimano not
delivering. On the 650c bike I would have needed at least
a 54 tooth chainring.
Third; according to Scott Molina, who I
trained with briefly in Thailand last November, the pavement
in Taupo is unusually rough, textured chip and seal tarmac.
To take the edge off the rough pavement I wanted wider
22mm tubular tires and a larger 700c diameter wheel with
a more comfortable ride. That is also the reason I did
not select a 700c disc wheel for the Taupo Ironman. In
shorter events you will always see me on a disc. Had the
pavement been better I would be on my lighter, faster
650c bike with a Zipp 909 rear disc wheel. But at Ironman,
it is all about comfort. In effect, this Guru Aero-Ti
is the "touring" version of a triathlon bike.
The 76-degree seat tube angle necessitated
the manufacture of a ultra-short, sawed off Thomson Elite
center mount seatpost to acheive an effective seat tube
angle of 79 degrees in my optimal riding posture. The
longer front- center measurement of the 700c wheels made
for even weight distribution over both wheels. This was
also facilitated by my favorite saddle- the Fizik Arione
with its full 30cm of length. Since I will be racing in
the same clothing from swim to run, Sugoi Technofine tri
shorts, I added a DeSoto neoprene saddle pad for additional
The cockpit is a stock Easton Attack carbon
fiber one-piece aerobar with its excellent integrated
brake levers. Dura-Ace 10 speed bar-end shifters are also
fitted. The stem is the top-notch Ritchey WCS 0-degree
rise stem provided by SuperDave Koesel of Ritchey components.
Pedals are the Shimano Dura-Ace SPD/Sl road
pedal, the polished 2004 versions.
Gearing is 53/42 with an 11-23 cogset on
Wheels are a stock Zipp 404 tubular shod
in Continental 22 mm tubulars sitting on 115 psi. held
by Zipp titanium skewers.
Fitting for the bike took approximately
two hours once final measurements were established. This
is the first and only 700c wheel tri-geometry bike I have
ever had work correctly in my riding position. Hopefully,
this will be the perfect combination for Taupo.