New to Triathlons, what bike and equipment to get?

Hi all I do marathons but want to get into Triathlons, first question is the bike, whats a good basic bike to get me into it, that can be used for competitions too, not too expensive but want that  wont render me on mission impossible in the cycle stage with weight or just too damn cheap.

 

Also what other equipment I may need thanks, looking to do things like the recent London Triathlon.

 

Thanks guys

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Comments

  • Have a look at http://www.triuk.com/categories/packages they do several different packages with the basic equipment. The price difference is just because of a different bike so it just depends how much you want to spend.

  • What you need and whats worth spending depends on how likely you are to stick at it. 

    If its a case of trying a triathlon, you can borrow a bike, helmet etc and swim in trunks.

    If youre more serious about getting into Tri as you suggest you need:

    Bike (racing bike), decent entry level bikes start about £500, make sure you get a bike which fits, a good bike shope should check your dimensions to assess frame size, reach (to handlebars), saddle to crank position etc.

    There's a good guide via this link:  http://www.pirateshipoffools.co.uk/?p=467

    Swim

    • Wetsuit?
    • Swimsuit/Trisuit *
    • Goggles *
    • Swim Cap – This is provided on the day and you must leave it by the pool when you get out.
    • Towel – this will be left by your bike, more on this later.

    Bike

    • BIKE ! *
    • Cycling shorts/tri shorts *
    • Bike Shoes (& clipless pedals) /Trainers * (with elastic laces – more on this later)
    • Helmet *
    • Socks
    • Cycling top/Running top *
    • Sunglasses
    • Water Bottles *
    • Spare inner tube *
    • Pump *
    • Tool Kit
    • Race Belt – this is something else you should buy, very cheap and available all over the internet, its an elastic strap that you put around your waist, it has your race number pinned to it, it means that when you get on the bike the race number will be at your back and when you come in to do the run you just swing it round so that its facing forwards, saves having to pin 2 numbers to a t-shirt and hope it doesn’t come off, remember if your number comes off, you have  to re pin it, using a race belt saves that.
    • Tribars?

    Run

    • Trainers *
    • Shorts – probably the same ones you wore on the bike *
    • Top – same again *
    • Socks
    • Hat/Visor

    Miscellaneous

    • Race Watch
    • Race number *
    • Race information *
    • Identification *
    • Money/Credit Card
    • Pen
    • Energy Drink *
    • Sandals


    Personally I dont like the idea of the packages, are you really getting what you want or will you have to relace the lot of it quite quickly.  Do your research, buy right, buy once.

  • What triathlons do you have planned ? Pool based or open water ? Pools are cheaper as then you don't need to buy a wetsuit.



    As BB says - decent bikes start around ??500 or so but there is plenty of choice out there. I'd just go for a standard road bike rather than a full on TT machine with the flat tribars. Road bikes are better for training on and more versatile.
  • Brilliant thanks, few questions below if you can help.

    1. Don't I see them swim in a cut off wetsuit, cycle in same one then do the run in the same one, so just 1 outfit for all 3 disciplines? Id prefer to do that so its called a trisuite yes? Any recommended makes?

    2. I presume I change from swimming to cycle gear ie put cycle shoes on at a change stage where I collect the bike yes? But when would I change from cycle shoes to trainers for running? These are all kept in a bag yes at my allocated changing points?

    3. Would £500 get me a cheap carbon bike, are they better?

    4. Am I best using toe clips for the bike, whats the best pedal connection to use?

    5. Goggles for the swim yes or no?

    6. I own a nike plus gps watch will this do instead of the garmin 910?

    7. I'd like to do 1 a month if possible, the standard distance, then do an ironman last next year.

    8. Can you recommend a good bike under £500?

    9. Id need water bottle holder on the bike yes, what extras would I need on the bike?

    10. I wont go cycling near me on roads as too dangerous so would use a turbo trainer, Halfords have one for £120, can you recommend a good turbo trainer?

    11. Ive been told ill need special tyre for turbo trainer can you advise on this?

    12. Any good websites or forums busy that I can get advise from thanks?

    13. Id like to be competitive so want decent ish gear though  not bikes into the thousands.

    14. Did you do the recent London one, that looked good, ill do that next year?

    15. Which are the best brands, helmets, shoes etc?

    Thanks for your help.

  • Tribars are those thin bars in middle aren't they?  Do many joe public triathletes use them or just for higher end racers etc?

  • Yes you can use a Tri suit for all 3 disciplines, but if the water is below a certain temp, then you'll need a wetsuit to go over the trI suit for the swim.

    Goggles yes.

    London Tri is a ballot entry, you may or may not get a place.

  • Bloody hell Mark. you dont want much eh? image

    Start with the basics and thenmove up/upgrade if you enjoy it

    You might get asecondhand carbon bike for £500 but you'd be lucky and it would have to be a reliablesource

    A tri suit is not a cut off wetsuit, you can use the former in pool swims or lake swims if you are brave enough/water is warm enough

    Pedal connectors - horses for courses

    Best brands are the best you can afford ...

    London is ok but hard to get in and there are many many more out there

    Goggles yes most definitely

    Turbo tyre, google 'turbo tyre' they are all much of a muchness

    Good website? Whats wrong with this one ?  image

  • Thanks, forgot to ask whats minimum speed bike  gears figure I should be looking at?

    Been told also.............

    Go to your local Decathlon and try to get hold of their old red triban 3. It's
    £300 and is worth double that easily. If you can't get hold of that then the new
    model is probably the next best option.

     

  • Mark - why not go watch a local triathlon and get an idea of what happens ?
  • I'll second what Cougs said, go and get a feel for the events

    All these questions as relevant as they are you are not going to remember every detail, have a check back through some of the other threads on here and get an idea ... many people will have differing opinions on different subjects

  • Go to a tri shop. They will be able to give you advice and help you decide what to buy. I think you should maybe try one Tri with minimal equipment before you buy everything going... You might not like it!

  • sorry to burst your bubble mark...but you will not be in the comnpetitive end of the races......you will be like a lot of us bringing up the rear end......

    competitive bikes are those costing £5000 plus........most of us are nearer the £1000 mark.

     triathlon is a lot of money to part with.........so why not just go and enter a september sprint triathlon and do it on any old bike you can find and see what you think of it.......then with that experience and wathing others racing during the day you will have more idea on whatt questions  and answers you need

  • mark wadsworth 2 wrote (see)

    Thanks, forgot to ask whats minimum speed bike  gears figure I should be looking at?

    Been told also............. Go to your local Decathlon and try to get hold of their old red triban 3. It's
    £300 and is worth double that easily. If you can't get hold of that then the new
    model is probably the next best option.  

    I'd second that, they're fantastic value, but take along someone who can help advise on the right size because a good fit is important.  You might get lucky by sitting on it in the store and telling yourself it feels OK but you might also end up with one that's you're struggling with for longer rides.

  • I'd also not do the London tri. All that travel adds extra hassle and expense for you.

    Stay local and then you should find it a lot easier. You can practice the routes and keep control of things much better.



    Maybe in the future you might want to think about it but it's not the best race out there.
  • Doesn't matter how much it costs or how many gears, if a bike doesn't fit you, it's worthless 

  • Thanks, when using turbo trainers can you still measure the distance cycled?

  • I believe unless you have expensive accurate gadgets then distance and speed are not accurate.only time is accurate

     

    But you would need to get out on the roads.otherwise how will you get the confidence and bike handling skills to do the race

  • Stick the sensor for your speedo on the back wheel, or a lot of turbo's have milometers

  • On a turbo you go precisely nowhere - so that's the distance travelled.



    They're fine for some exercises - but as Seren says - bike control is a huge part of the event. You need to be confident to ride among cyclists and usually traffic. You need to negotiate corners and cope with wind and rain.



    I could happily turn the resistance down on a turbo and smash my records but it means nothing in the real world.
  • 1. Don't I see them swim in a cut off wetsuit, cycle in same one then do the run in the same one, so just 1 outfit for all 3 disciplines? Id prefer to do that so its called a trisuite yes? Any recommended makes?

    A trisuit is a lycra one or two piece garment that you may wear for the entire duration. This saves you time in transition. A wetsuit is worn over the top for most events, but between certain temperatures are banned or optional. A swim skin is something totally different (and surplus to your requirements).

    2. I presume I change from swimming to cycle gear ie put cycle shoes on at a change stage where I collect the bike yes? But when would I change from cycle shoes to trainers for running? These are all kept in a bag yes at my allocated changing points?
    Yes, this is called T1. You change from bike to run in T2. Usually a bag or box in each (or the same) location. If you have to ask these questions, go and watch an event.

    3. Would £500 get me a cheap carbon bike, are they better?
    No. And if you have to ask, no.

    4. Am I best using toe clips for the bike, whats the best pedal connection to use?
    Clipless Pedals. Buy cheap ones and get used to them. On the road, not the turbo.

    5. Goggles for the swim yes or no?
    Yes, unless you like dirty water in your eyes.

    6. I own a nike plus gps watch will this do instead of the garmin 910?
    No computer is compulsory for triathlon. If you’re happy, stay happy don’t worry about other equipment.

    7. I'd like to do 1 a month if possible, the standard distance, then do an ironman last next year.
    Great. You do that.

    8. Can you recommend a good bike under £500?
    One that fits.

    9. Id need water bottle holder on the bike yes, what extras would I need on the bike?
    You’ll need a water bottle unless you plan on hydrating by osmosis. Depending what you define as extras and whether you’ve got big pockets (literally, not financially), you’ll need a bag for tools. If you do longer distances, you will also need to carry nutrition.

    10. I wont go cycling near me on roads as too dangerous so would use a turbo trainer, Halfords have one for £120, can you recommend a good turbo trainer?
    Go cycling on the roads. If you’re too scared to ride on any road near where you live, you’ve no place getting on your bike in a mass participation event – you’ll be a liability to others. This will reduce how much you spend on turbo tyres (see below).

    11. Ive been told ill need special tyre for turbo trainer can you advise on this?
    Judging by how new you are to this, I’m guessing you won’t do enough time to wear your tyres very quickly. If you do, buy a cheap tyre. Turbo tyres are hardwearing, but relatively expensive.

    12. Any good websites or forums busy that I can get advise from thanks?
    You’re on probably the most accommodating forum on the topic (my present mood excepted)

    13. Id like to be competitive so want decent ish gear though  not bikes into the thousands.
    Train like hell, and better yourself, but don't delude yourself. Spending £500 won’t put you on a level with those who are dedicated to the sport, nor those who've done it for years. Given you “want to get into triathlon” may I suggest that you decide if you like it before deciding you can be competitive.

    14. Did you do the recent London one, that looked good, ill do that next year?
    No

    15. Which are the best brands, helmets, shoes etc?
    These are personal choices. Generally you’ll find that free market economics tends to give a good indication of premium brands – handily markin

  • Good answers Mr Engineer. I didn't spot that he was afraid of the road.



    Mark - if a bit of traffic puts you off - how will you cope with a mass start in a swim ?

    How will you cope with other triathletes whizzing past you ? How will you avoid swerving and crashing into people.



    I don't think Triathlon is the sport for you. You had enough difficulties with the marathon last year if I recall ?
  • As a very recent newbie to cycling I can appreciate your concern on the roads. I live in Bradford and I am fairly sure that at least half of the city's residents obtained driving licences on the back of cornflake boxes - the standard of driving is atrocious and the roads are packed. 

    four weeks down the line I realised that it isn't as bad as I thought and I must need to pay attention and secondly if I ride out of the city it is not only a much more pleasant ride on quieter roads but also that I ride further as I do not spend half the time stopped at traffic lights, crossings and roundabouts. 

  • A well considered and concise explanation Mr Engineer, Sir  

  • Amazing post Mr Engineer. Love it!

  • I'd like to do Triathlon but I don't like getting wet!
  • Exile. Only half of Bratfud's drivers got their licence on a cornflake box?  Blimey, improved since we moved.

  • GraemeK wrote (see)

    Exile. Only half of Bratfud's drivers got their licence on a cornflake box?  Blimey, improved since we moved.

     

     

    I was being generous.

     

    Had the Bradford traffic byelaw of being able to park wherever you want as long as you put your hazzards on been introduced in the city before you left? On my run on Tuesday evening I past 4 double parked cars in the space of about a km, when going along Manningham Lane in Frizinghall & Shipley.

  • "9. Id need water bottle holder on the bike yes, what extras would I need on the bike?
    You’ll need a water bottle unless you plan on hydrating by osmosis."

    class - absolute class....image

  • Exile. Oh yes, and skipping a queue by driving half a mile on the wrong side of the road then cutting in, straight on in the left/right turn lane and of course private hire cars are exempt from speed limits and any other traffic law. Aaah, how I miss Bradford, sometimes. 

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