General Discussion Triathlon Talk » First Bike to train for Tri-Sprint Rss Feed  
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2013-08-01 1:12 PM


Subject: First Bike to train for Tri-Sprint
I've looked at the entry level bikes, but they are all still a little pricey for what I'm trying to do. I want to train for a triathlon sprint, but spend only up to maybe $350, until I've got a sprint or two under my belt and then possibly dole out the big $ for a decent bike.

I know the bikes around this price range aren't practical, but it's not like I'm going to be winning my first triathlon sprint, so I want a good bike that will get me through.

2013-08-01 1:26 PM
in reply to: sib91

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Kennebunkport, Qatar
Subject: RE: First Bike to train for Tri-Sprint
Look for a used bike, I did my first Tri on a 10yo mountain bike that I put some road tires on. I'm sure you could find something decent on Craigslist or a your local bike shop.

Good Luck!
2013-08-01 1:38 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: First Bike to train for Tri-Sprint

Walmart Denali bike.


It isn't the greatest and certainly won't stack up to even an entry-level road bike at your bike shop (that will cost 3-4 times as much), but the price is right and it'll get the job done.   If you never do another tri, it won't be money wasted, and if you stick with tri's and get a better bike later, it isn't a lot lost to get you started and you can sell it for nearly what you pay for it.   Most importantly, it will definitely fit that $350 budget AND leave plenty of room left over to get other items -- this sport has no lack of things for you to buy.

Edited by cgregg 2013-08-01 1:39 PM
2013-08-01 8:31 PM
in reply to: cgregg

Subject: RE: First Bike to train for Tri-Sprint
Look for something used, but in good condition. I picked up an '05 Trek Equinox Tri bike for about $350 on craiglist a year and a half ago. Good bike for me, as I've got plenty to work on with my 'engine'. I've got a ways to go before my equipment is my limiting factor.
2013-08-02 9:47 AM
in reply to: sib91

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Subject: RE: First Bike to train for Tri-Sprint

If you get into the sport- you'll eventually understand why people spend a truly ridiculous amount of money on a bicycle to save 23 seconds in a race.  (your's truly included)  It's wholly unnecessary- merely a luxury. But bikes are great toys- and if you spend a lot of time in the saddle, it's worth it.

that said- having a poor bike, that doesn't shift well, fit well or ride well- can be demoralizing, and may cause you to give up the sport. You don't need anything fancy, or even fast (as the aforementioned poster noted he used a mountain bike with slick tires)- but you do need something that works well.  If you know a little about bikes, what their worth, how to maintain them (or have a shop you can throw $50 at for a tune up), then craig's list might be a great way for you to save money and get a decent bike for cheap.  (if you don't know what you're doing- you could also get a little screwed)

I don't advise the wal-mart route.  it will be the cheapest bike and will provide no service.  Better to get a good used bike than a lousy new one.  But if you have a chain bike shop nearby- such as Performance or Nashbar, they often have terrific sales and they do offer some pretty good service.  Often a bunch of enthusiastic young people in the industry learning and starting out.  They carry 2nd tier, but good quality brands (GT, Scattante, Fuji and such), for a much lower price.  Some nice choices between $500-$1000.

2013-08-04 10:09 PM
in reply to: sib91

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Extreme Veteran
Chicago, USA
Subject: RE: First Bike to train for Tri-Sprint
If you need a starter bike, used is the way to go.
But do you happen to already own a road bike, mountain bike, or hybrid bike?

2013-08-05 8:02 PM
in reply to: sib91

New user

Arlington, Virginia
Subject: RE: First Bike to train for Tri-Sprint
Can you borrow a bike? I'll bet you know someone with a bike that would fit that would be free on loan and at least as good as a WalMart bike.
I am a little unusual in that I did numerous seasons with a road bike, was a late adopter for clipless pedals and even did my first HIM distance with only an entry level road bike (although I did get a proper fit with aero bars). I only bought a tri bike very recently and that was because I got a great deal on a 2012 model. The point at the beginning is to enjoy yourself and although this sport does attract some really intense competitors, it is also okay to just have fun and allow yourself time to figure out if you need to spend the boatloads of money that you can invest in this sport. It's just fine to do that, but you don't need to empty the nest egg in order to do a sprint.
Don't forget to enjoy yourself!
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