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The Kiwi Ironman Ride.
By Tom Demerly

Read this first about our reviews

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Guru Aero- Ti frameset:

Robert at Guru.

Primary assembly/components:

Dave Koesel, Ritchey Components.

Primary assembly/bicycle:

Mike O'Donnell, Bikesport, Inc.

Final Assembly/cable routing and finishing:

Tom Demerly, Bikesport, Inc.

Custom Graphics and Design:

Kim Ross, Intuitive Business Solutions.


Bill Vance of Zipp/Compositech.


Kelly O'Brien, Veltec/Easton.


Bill Rehor of BikeMine/Continental.

In September 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 on 650c's.

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 comfort.

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 175mm cranks.

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.

Click Each Photo to Enlarge

Easton's new Attack carbon fiber one piece aerobar.

Incredible workmanship hand made in Montreal, Quebec by my friends at Guru.

New Shimano Dura-Ace 175mm cranks with 53/42 chainrings and SPD/SL pedals.

Kim Ross of IBS did the custom graphics for this special bike built to race outside the U.S.

Elite Ciussi bottle cages hang on a Minoura dual cage mount.

Radiused carbon fiber seat stays meet custom titanium tubing for maximum ride comfort.

Stock 700c Zipp 404 wheelset with Continental Competition 22mm tubular tires.

The overall bike is beautiful, durable, comfortable and dependable as well as perfectly fitted.


© Tom Demerly, Bikesport Inc.
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