General Discussion Triathlon Talk » First triathlon bike? Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2017-07-26 4:44 AM


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Subject: First triathlon bike?
Hello!

I am just getting into triathlon bike training. I am a decent athlete with swimming and running, rides city bikes and mountain bikes often, but never rode triathlon bikes before. How different it will be?
Anyway, as I am getting into triathlon, I need a bike to start with. I don't want anything too expensive until I get better. I don't prefer any brand in particular, but this Cannondale road bike Slice 105 looks good. As I have said already, I am not an expert, but my other two bikes are Cannondales. If this isn't the best choice or you can suggest a better model in a similar budget or cheaper, please advise.
Any suggestions or help regarding this will be really helpful.

Thanks!


2017-07-26 7:25 AM
in reply to: fkris

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Subject: RE: First triathlon bike?
I wouldn't call 3K a "starter" bike. Also, for the 3k with what you picked, you're really only getting a decent frame and components.

In my opinion, you could do a lot more with that price point. Go with a used carbon triathlon frame with entry level components, and spend the remaining money on race wheels and a power meter. Or, better yet, find someone selling that package together. At that price point, you should have zero issues and the race wheels and power meter will go a long way to making you faster.
2017-07-26 7:40 AM
in reply to: fkris

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Subject: RE: First triathlon bike?

If you're already riding a bike well then you should be able to get it with a tri bike. They feel different and will likely take a few rides to adapt though.

A lot of bikes these days will be at least ok in terms of quality, but more important is knowing your fit position. Then you can see what bikes will fit to that without resorting to oddly sized pieces to make it work. That will help keep the bike more balanced and handling as intended too.

2017-07-26 8:05 AM
in reply to: fkris


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Subject: RE: First triathlon bike?
Have you been to a LBS and tested the tri bikes? It's very different than riding a mountain bike. Also, a lot of people who do triathlons don't have tri bikes; they have road bikes. Heck, I did my first on a hybrid not wanting to fork the money out for a new bike if I didn't enjoy the sport.

For road bikes, you have the option of endurance or race. Endurance has you sitting a little more upright and is a good option if you're thinking about distance bike races. These can typically be modified into a race position and you can add aerobars to both.

I'd strongly suggest you go and try several different bikes - road as well as tri - drive them around the LBS parking lot to see how they feel and then try to make your decision. Also, if you pony up for a tri bike, shouldn't it have ultegras at least? My road bike has 105s, but when I make the jump I definitely want to upgrade.

You can never have too many bikes
2017-07-26 9:41 AM
in reply to: Trine

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Subject: RE: First triathlon bike?

Endurance and Race are more to help categorize how the bikes may fit as opposed to classifying what they should be used for. Endurance tends to be too high & too short in reach for me, so my arms get bunched up. That makes the load more difficult for my shoulders & arms to handle as things won't really be in line. I'm better off with the more race position, and have been on rides of 6-7 hrs or so, and even up near 10 on one.

The tri bike really needs a good fit. Just trying in the lot might give a vague impression, but it's not long enough of a time. In this case it might help expose the OP to some of the differences as there may not be any experience with one at all otherwise. The bikes can also be adjusted more than what people may suspect by swapping out spacers, stems, and maybe some other parts. With a good fit specific bike setup, the shop can move the saddle, bar, and pedal position quite easily. They can even swap these out in seconds with a great setup. From here, they'll get the coordinates of the contact points and be able to say what bikes & size should be a good match.

With regards to components, the better stuff does work better, but tends to be hyped up just how much. Current 105 is actually pretty good. I've had Ultegra & Dura Ace before and didn't feel the need for it with a bike I just bought. Tiagra might also be good too, but I think that may be limited to 10 spd.

2017-07-26 11:16 PM
in reply to: fkris


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Subject: RE: First triathlon bike?
Thank you guys!
I don't know if customizing is my thing. I may need to seek help from someone or I may mess it up. I will be happy if I get a bike that needs only minor tweaks.

I haven't tested tri bikes yet, but will go once I get an idea about what to look for in one. So road bikes are also good buy for me? Honestly, I never thought like that. Thanks for pointing that out. Anyway, if I try tribikes which one should I try first? Any suggestion?




2017-07-27 12:30 PM
in reply to: fkris

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Subject: RE: First triathlon bike?

Originally posted by fkris Thank you guys! I don't know if customizing is my thing. I may need to seek help from someone or I may mess it up. I will be happy if I get a bike that needs only minor tweaks. I haven't tested tri bikes yet, but will go once I get an idea about what to look for in one. So road bikes are also good buy for me? Honestly, I never thought like that. Thanks for pointing that out. Anyway, if I try tribikes which one should I try first? Any suggestion?
I started tri's on my old 37lb MTB, bought a used RB that will a bit to big for me then a fitted TB.  Respectively in the same race course over 3 years with about the same fitness I went from ~17.8mph, 19.5 mph and then 20.4 mph.

If you can find an independent fitter you can get your numbers that would be matched up with bikes in the market.  Then you can look at the used market too to save some $ for race wheels and such!   There's a database list on ST that you could use for reference to see if there is anyone in your area.

2017-07-28 10:10 AM
in reply to: fkris

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Northern IL
Subject: RE: First triathlon bike?

Originally posted by fkris Thank you guys! I don't know if customizing is my thing. I may need to seek help from someone or I may mess it up. I will be happy if I get a bike that needs only minor tweaks. I haven't tested tri bikes yet, but will go once I get an idea about what to look for in one. So road bikes are also good buy for me? Honestly, I never thought like that. Thanks for pointing that out. Anyway, if I try tribikes which one should I try first? Any suggestion?

The suggestion is to understand fit first, and then see what may work from there. In a recent discussion not too different than this one, another guy I'm the same height as found a bike that was a better fit for him since he wanted to upgrade. Except that for him the pads are a couple inches higher than what works best for me. That takes a notably different bike frame to work with. We ended up with the same size frame, but they're from different manufactures and have substantially different geometry, with his being much taller. That's why going right to the question of "What's a good bike" is backwards even though it may seem common sense at first. This isn't going custom at this point. It's only sizing things up to make an educated selection. The parts mentioned before are interchangeable for the very reason of making the bike fit better.

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