Triathlon Bike

What bike do you own?

1 to 20 of 65 messages
20/11/2003 at 09:47

I'm selling my mountain bike as I want to do triathlon (and I can no longer go on my cross country route by bike).
I've joined a swimming club and running club and want to invest in a triathlon bike.
I know these bikes are different to road bikes as the frame is set at a diffrent angle in order to get the best out of the muscle groups for the cycle and run stage, but this is the only information I have been able to obtain on the subject to date.
I went to a cycle shop, but they didn't seem to know a huge amount on it. (It's like going to an ordinary sports shop for running shoes instead of a running shop).
What I really need is someone who is experienced, knows what to look for and can offer me some good advice.
Does anyone own a triathlon bike, if so what made you buy that particular model, what features do you look for in a bike, are you pleased with its performance and is there a site I could look at that offers advice?
Any help would be great. (I heven't a clue as to the amount I'm going to spend yet, I'm just looking for a starting point).

20/11/2003 at 10:34
Lots of folks on here and elsewhere, may say you don't really need a 'tri specific' bike, and indeed alot of bike makers (Giant trek etc) don't make them.

And you can 'convert' one of those to more tri geometry if you wanted with a forward slanted seatpost..

I've got a Qunitana Roo Te Quilo myself and really enjoy it... And do feel a difference from it and my old road bike geometry trek... when going into the running, But, maybe thats physcological or, maybe a forward facing seatpost would do the same..
20/11/2003 at 11:06
Thanks MM for responding. The reason I want to get a tri-bike is because I'm swapping my mountain bike over what-ever happens. I want to do triathlons so I may as well get a tri-bike. I already cycle a very hilly 115 miles every weekend in any case. Swim 100 lengths at the weekend and am working on my running. I just want to do the triathlons to the best of my ability. So I may as well invest in a good tri-bike.
From what I have read so far a proper tri-bike can make a huge difference to your run.
20/11/2003 at 11:21
Its all horses for courses... My QR has 650cc wheels too, which are great for acceleration, but with std bike gearing are totally wrong flat out compared to 700cc wheels on my trek.. I'm spinning out on her! so changing big ring to 55 from a 53...

yet to play on her and see what a difference that makes...
20/11/2003 at 11:22
This is the only thing I have found out about tri-bikes:-
'Triathlon bikes are designed with a different geometry than road bikes. Tri-bikes are more forward in their seat tubes (between 75-78 degrees) and are setup lower in the front end to provide a time trial position. A steeper seat tube angle emphasises the quads more to save the use of your run muscles so that you have more get up and go when you start the run portion of a triathlon.'
20/11/2003 at 11:28
thats about right... but like I said if you find a good 'normal road bike' you can get a forward angled seatpost to move the 'effective' seat angle towards 74-75 degrees rather than the usual 78 degrees for std roadies (I think)...

I don't know if they also change the head angle of the bike to make it 'easier' to steer on the tri-bars as well... anyone else got any ideas on this...? It certainly seems more stable on the QR than teh Trek but is that just the weight over the front end thing making it more stable..?
20/11/2003 at 11:40
I'm finding this very interesting. I found a site:-
MM - it has your bike on it (very smart).
I'm going to surf there and see if they have further information.
Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
20/11/2003 at 11:41
I use a Bianchi road bike for training but have a Centurion Helldrive tri bike for racing, the setup is indeed more forward angled and I find it's a better set-up for my back
20/11/2003 at 12:43
I use a Specailized Allez and love it.

Bear in mind the availablity of 650c tires and wheels will not be as widespread as the standard 700c. Also, you'd need to look into the price differance, if any, between 650c and 700c wheels and tires.
20/11/2003 at 12:47
.... sorry forgot to add....

On a standard road bike the seat post can be turned 180 degrees to move the sit forward too. Result. Tri position. You can also buy a seatpost with a more forward seat position.

One more point to remember. If and when you go to sell a tri specific bike it may not sell as quick as standard.
20/11/2003 at 13:22
Thanks for all the handy hints and tips.
Still convinced that I want a tri-bike. I think the best thing to do is try and find out some more info. and a stockist and give a few a whirl.
Ironwolf, I didn't think about my back. Bri, thanks for all your tips.
There's the Triathlon, Cycling, Running 2004 in February. If I'm really struggling I shall have to wait until then.
20/11/2003 at 13:37

I have raced on a road geometry bike with a forward facing seatpost as some people have suggested. However, I now have a tri geometry bike.

The difference in times for the bike split in minimal. However, where you do notice the big difference is in the early stages of the run. The tri bike is much more comfortable and certainly makes running after the bike leg a lot easier.

So from my experience which bike you buy will not have much impact on your bike split but will impact on your run split.

The other thing to consider is whether you want a bike just to race on or whether you want to train and race on the same bike.

If the former then I'd definitely go for tri.

If the latter then you need to bear in the mind that the tri geometery is intended to be ridden in the aero position. This is not ideally suited to riding in a group/traffic/up hill. So if you do go for tri them you will probably need a second road geometry bike for training.

If you want "one bike suits all" what about a cervelo. It has a resersible seatpin to change the geometry.
20/11/2003 at 13:39
Once you know what size you need and have some ideas of makes and models, you could always think about buying 2nd hand? 220 magazine always has loads of bikes in the back, as does Cycling Weekly (less tri bikes in there obviously)

Just a thought, don't know if you're on a budget. 2nd hand has downsides too obviously.
20/11/2003 at 13:50
If your not sure what you doing this could be a false economy.

Go to a proper bike shop, get expert advice, get measured and get the right bike first time.

Sure you pay more, but at the end of the day you get a bike suited to you, not someone else.

Buy secondhand and you get a bike set up for someone else.
20/11/2003 at 13:53
Speaks the owner of 'Horan's bike shop'

(joke!!) but if you do know of can find out what yer doing you can set it up again for yourself. I think alot of people don't realise just how 'adjustable' bikes are...

but for a first time buyer, yes expert advice face to face is much better option...
20/11/2003 at 14:00
I'd start with a road geometry bike. You can always add aero bars to it. When you start getting in the top 10% of your age group, that's the time to start thinking about splashing out on a full-on tri bike.

The most important thing is to be measured up for the bike, before it is made for you. TriandRun and Sigma (if you are based in the South East) both do this. There's no point in getting a bike if it doesn't fit perfectly.

FWIW, mine's a TriandRun Force 6, and I've even done an ironman with it. No positional or bio-mechanical problems at all.

In short, get measured. If the shop doesn't do it, don't buy the bike.

Monique    pirate
20/11/2003 at 15:51
I have a Fondriest road bike and think it's great, it has a shortish cross bar - sorry top tube which suits my proportions, and its pink/blue/purple /black colour is so important.
20/11/2003 at 15:53
Why - does the colour affect speed?

Just checking I've not missed a trick
20/11/2003 at 16:49
James, you really seem to know your stuff.
I love all my sports. But, I have decided to focus on my running and triathlons. I've made my running and swimming sessions very specific. I want to do this with the bike stage as well.
I think your right about a bike being made to suit the rider and the effect the bike has on the run. I'm going to find a couple of large stores this weekend and ask if I can just test a few and get the general feel of things.
On the whole though, although I'm a 'triathlon novice' I do cycle a lot and have always cycled so that's not a bad starting point.
Monique    pirate
20/11/2003 at 16:51
james- indirectly I am sure it must- a flash bike puts you under pressure to be a flash cyclist.
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