I just completed my first Olympic distance Tri, loved it, but fully discovered that a Mtn. Bike sucks in a road race! I am going to finish the Ironman in Coeur D' Alene, ID in June of 2008. I am going to buy a new bike as I am going to get into this Triathlon gig for a while! But...what kind of bike to I really need? Can I buy a good road bike, like a Specialized Allez, or should I go towards a true Tri bike. I really don't want to spend over $800-$1000, but I also don't want to spedn $700 for a good road bike and then 3 years from now buy a better bike. PLEASE HELP!!!!
Eric, the Rookie!!:p
I was in the same boat earlier this year, I ended up purchasing a Felt S32 bike that was a close-out because the new models came in. Its a tri-bike, and it works very well for just cruising around. I went with the Tri bike over a road bike because if you notice many time trial bikes look like tri bikes. Road bikes are cheaper and may fit into your budget a little better though. I think I paid $1200 for mine, and had it professionally fit. There is also a lot of science behind tri-bikes that they don't use in road bikes because they don't have to run afterwards. Also, if you buy a road bike you may end up buying aero bars which will add to the cost.
A bike is a big investment, and not an easy choice. Go to your local bike shop and try a few out. They are most willing to help, plus they might be able to give you a few tips. I know my local bike shop has a huge race team in Tri's and they compete, so now when i go to events I have people to chat with.
I guess you could also start watching craigslist, as the season is winding down people might be letting their bikes go cheap because they don't want to store them over the winter or maybe they are getting out of Tri's or plan on getting new ones next season. Just a thought
the one that fits best. 112 miles is a long way and comfort will be king. you can use a road bike w/ aerobars or a tri bike just so that it works for you (and your budget) and no matter what bike you get now you'll want a new one in a couples years anyway:_| it's just the nature of things. good luck and have fun
goals for 2011:
break 19minutes for 5k
break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic
break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)
you couldn't be more correct. I bought a Raliegh Grand Sport road bike for my first few tri's, then the following year I purchased a Felt tri bike, now going on my 4th season, I am itching to get a carbon frame with some lighter aero bars and may be some zipps to go with it. Hold out for the bike you really want, I wish I would have, I don't even touch my road bike anymore. Good thing though is that you can upgrade everything on your bike, so theres no need for new necessarily, just upgrades, that is what I am going to do next year.
Spend the money and get a good bike right from the start. Look for the bike shops that have the specials "Same as cash for 12 months" types. Other wise you will end up getting another Bike in a year or less. That is if you are going to do Tri's for awhile.
My advice is if you are only going to have one bike, then that bike should be a road bike. You can't road race with a Tri bike and won't be welcome on group rides. You can always put aero bars on a road bike. If you like it, then keep the road bike and get a tri bike. This is an expensive sport, start saving now. $700 will not buy you a "good" road bike, $2,500 plus will buy you a good road bike. $700 will buy you "a" road bike, (new, base line, heavy frame, cheaper components) but it's still a lot faster than a hybrid.
There's a HUGE difference between a road bike and a tri bike in the geometry and aerodynamics, so if you're only using it for triathlons, get the tri bike. If money is an issue get a used one on eBay like I did. I spent $1700 and got a Quintana Roo TiPhoon titanium frame with carbon-x bars, plus brand new Shimano Dura-Ace components, shimano wheels...the works! I spent another $150 having it assembled and fit to me. If bought new it would have set me back $6 grand.
As you can see, road vs tri is a matter of choice. I have a Kestrel Talon SL which can be set up either way. Most important is finding a frame you are "comfortable" on. You are going to be on this thing along time during an Ironman, so this is critical. I just did Coeur d 'Alene this year. Great race, beautiful venue, and very hilly bike. Personally I have my Kestrel with regular handle bars and STI shifters (road set up) with clip on aero bars. This is very handy when you are running through your gears while climbing alot. Flatter courses are great for time trial bars. Again, personal preference. Lastly, I agree with everyone, you will not find what you are looking for for $800 - $1000. While you dont have to go crazy, i agree to get something you will not have to replace in a year.
Well I tell ya, I don't know how you're thinking about jumping from olympic distance to an Ironman just like that!! I would at least do a couple more sprint distance, olympic distance events and then do a 1/2 iron before you jump in to something like Ironman! About the bike, I think the Specialized Allez is a great road bike to start out with. You can add Aero bars and it will fly for around 7-$800. You can always add components to it as well so don't think that you have to only buy a tri bike to be a tri-athlete. If you compete well and you think that you might need more speed down the road, make your decision then but as for now I think the Specialized is the best value for the $$.
I haven't yet, but I think I'm going to buy our bike shop's Specialized Allez, put some aero bars on it and ride like crazy. Hell, I'm not going to win the damn race, I'd just like to complete it in around 13 hours and continue some shorter ones in the future. There's no sense in spending 2 grand for something I'm not going to become a pro at. Maybe I'm wrong, but just my thinking.
Thanks for your help though!
i have a Specialized Allez that I bought exactly 2 years ago, it's equipped with Aero bars and a Specialized Odometer. It is a wonderful bike and it only has around 100 miles of usage, i'd be willing to sell it to you if you like!! I would ask for around $550 for it, let me know if you're interested.