Query re Bike Choice

Hi there

I'm signed up to do the London Triathlon this year.
I cycle ~28 miles daily, on a hybrid bike which is on it's last legs and am aware that I need a roadworthy specimen for training and the event itself, so I need new one soon.

Thing is, I have panniers for transporting all my stuff to and from work (a backpack isn't enough!) and the bike I purchase needs to remain suitable for both commuting and the event itself.

I'm a bit lost as to what the best choice is. Should I go for another hybrid (and are they suitable for a Tri?) or a road bike? Having looked in several shops and websites I've come across cyclocross and touring bikes, and am getting progressively more confused.

So I thought I'd come on here and ask the experts.
I've only got about £600 to spend but would like to make a good choice that will suit the Tri......

All advice most gratefully recieved


Anna image


  • Hello Anna,

    I did London on a hybrid (some years ago) and you'll see allsorts there.  As far as I'm aware it's only the very long distance tris where you have to have a road bike.  From what you've written it sounds like it's a commuter bike you need day to day and that will be fine for doing London.

    If, however, you are the next Chrissie Wellington then a road bike will make it easier for you to win.

  • Experts?! Here? You'll be lucky! image

    From my point of view there are some other questions to consider. Do you think this will be a one and done event? If so, do it on whatever you have, and if your commute needs a hybrid (do you go on paths and tracks?) then stick with that.

    If your commute is road only then maybe a tourer might be an option, you can have drops (and attach tri bars if you want) for the race then attach the paniers back on for the commute? The riding position is much more comfortable on a tourer than a dedicated road race bike so you shouldnt arrive uncomfortable at work.

    People will be doing the London tri on all sorts of bikes so whatever you choose will be fine from that point of view. If you do go for another hybrid, you might want to think about some slick tyres for the race?

    I'm sure others will give you better advice!

  • Me, I'd opt for a Tri X, no reason why you cant add paniers to that as and when you need to and some skinny tyres for racing


  • I think it slightly depends on whether you are planning on continuing to do tris after London (and all the best for that, by the way). If this is a one-off, you'll be happy with a hybrid, and as others have said you won't be on your own there. If you want to continue, is one option to throw say £100 at the existing bike to keep it working as your commuter bike (so it can keep its racks and lights, and you don't mind it being out in all weathers and presumably outside in a bike shed while you are at work) and spend the rest on a road bike you can keep for tri and training, which can stay stripped down for that? If you start doing a bit more tri, then options like bike shoes with cleats (which need special pedals) may come into the equation, which you may well not want on your commute bike.

    That's what I did - I have a 15 year old Raleigh Pioneer Trail which is my around town bike and for family rides/trail rides etc, and I keep my Ribble for training and racing. Don't know if that's an option for you - it presumably depends on the condition of the existing one!

  • Hiya

    I'm also doing this Ride 100 thingie in August if that makes any difference at all.
    I would like to think this Tri would be a one-off, as I'm more a runner than a cyclist, but with the distance I cover each day I thought it would be interesting to mix it up for once and see how it plays out.

    Thank you guys for your advice.

    Paperman, my current bike is most definitely dead - the work it now needs doing on top of a standard service almost outstrips it's purchase price so it's definitely time for a replacement. Sounds like sticking with a hybrid is the way forward image

  • No worries - just an idea! Hybrid seems to make more sense for what you want.

  • I think it partly depends on how you get on with drop bars.  

    If you do get on with them then something like a specialized tricross (which is kind of a cyclocross/commuter bike) would probably be a good choice - it'll do everything your hybrid will do and be a bit faster.   I got the smallest frame size 2nd hand for my 11 year old daughter and whilst I've built it up with probably better kit than you'd get on the stock model I'm quite impressed with it - they can suffer from fork judder when braking but an uphanger for the front canti brakes fixes that problem (if that means nothing to you it's quite a cheap fix).   

  • Ride 2 Work scheme available ???

  • Hi I'm doing my 1st Tri in London this summer as well. 

    Have been struggling to decide what to do with regards to a bike as I had a Specialized Cross Trail Hybrid and wasn't sure if it would be suitable.  Some robbing scroat nicked that out of my shed 3 weeks ago and it left me even more confused as to whether to get a road bike or not.  In the end the insurance got me a new Cross Trail £500, and I have paid about £150 to hire a road bike from Tri UK as I have no idea if I will like to road bike, or if I will continue to do triathlons after this year. 

    Had the road bike a week or 2 now and love it, think I have the triathlon bug so wil just see where it ends up.

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