Bikes - triathlon specific?

Hello - have decided to do ironman by 2007 latest, and am looking at getting a bike. Are the triathlon-specific bikes really worth it, for someone who's not racing?
Someone told me the only real difference between road bikes and the extra swanky looking triathlon machines is the seatpost position, which is a bit different to allow you to use different bits of your leg for cycling and running, therefore making the marathon "easier".
Anyone have a view on this? Am looking at spending say 1200 on a road bike, and hoping this will last me up to and including my first ironman!


  • I'd say that a tri specific bike is for racing on only.

    You're correct that they have a different geometry, to enable one to achieve the correct aero position.

    However, there are a few drawbacks. They are meant to be ridden in the aero position and are not really suited to a "normal" riding position. Therefore, not good in traffic or on hills.

    I'd only look at buying a tri-specific machine if you can also afford another road bike to train on. If you can only afford one bike go for road - you can always get clip-on aero bars and a forward seatpost at a later date.

    Or buy a cervelo which has a reversible seatpost to obtain the best of both worlds.
  • Thanks James, that's helpful.
    Do you have recommendations on road bikes also? Am thinking January is a good time to buy 2003 bikes cheaper - what do you reckon on specialized? Will they last a few years?
  • January is a good time to buy as you can often get good deals on last years models.

    Fit is more important then anything. Go to a proper bike shop and get measured. Most good shops have equipment to measure you. Feed the measurements into a computer and get a sizing guide.

    Best place to spend your money is on the frame. This will last for years and you can always upgrade the components. Also why fit is important.

    Next place to spend money is on the wheels.

    Obviously, this is easier to do if you just buy a frame and spec it yourself. If you buy a complete bike then you will have to take it as it is.

    Again, good bike shop will advise.

  • What might it cost to get all the components, if everything was kinda mid-range? (something median price, if you leave off the stupidly cheap and the stupidly expensive?
  • Im in the same position as you though I am doing my first Ironman July 2004 (Im way of being ready lol). See my thread “Anyone know a good Tri/Bike shops – Midlands”.

    Having spoken to a few people ive settled on a Cannondale R800 road bike, ill add the tri bars. The bike is 2004 model and available at Total Fitness Nottingham, costing me about £1100, guess ill spend another £300-400 on other equipment and bits (im new to cycling).

    Cannondale wasn’t popular on my thread but I guess a bikes a bike, im not really competing so ive picked a bike I like the look of (lol), besides that there a mainstream make and supply bikes to the Seaco team etc etc.

    Good luck with your choice.
  • 105 groupset £350, Mavic Ksyrium Elite £300, Tyres/Tubes £30, Bars/stem/seatpin - ITM/Deda say £150, Saddle - San Marco say £40, Peddals £50 = £920

    Frame - the more you spend the better the quality.Don't compromise on fit = £1,000.

    You will also need cycling shoes, bottle cages, computer, kit.

    You can probably get cheaper prices by shopping around, buying last years models, some second hand.
  • Presume Mavic Ksyrium Elite are wheels??
    2003 frame here i come, I think...hangover spending on 2 Jan - ideal!
  • Good luck Carl - how long will you have been training for the ironman, start to finish? Where you already a runner/swimmer?
    And which one are you doing?
  • Yes, Ksyrium elite are wheels. Mavic also do cheaper wheels if your budget does not go this far.

    Where you based? I could recommend a shop in the SE.
  • Based Bristol. There's a specialized dealer here who has a good reputation, and other than this there's Total Fitness Bath who have all the top bikes. Was thinking of going to Evans in Waterloo, but then there's servicing, and it would be good to be able to take it back to where I bought it

  • Not familar with shops in Bristol.

    I may be wrong but I think Evans deal more with complete bikes. I don't think you can buy just a frame and spec it yourself.

    Also from my experience they are not the cheapest and won't budge on price. If your spending £1,500 - £2,000 expect to get a 10% discount. If not go elsewhere.

    If there is a local dealer with a good reputation go for it. Personal recommendation is the most reliable guide.
  • Ive done a couple of Marathons before but I wouldnt say im a serious runner (they were one off's if you know what I mean).

    I started training (from a base of being a couch potato - could only run 2 miles) in July. At that point id already decided on the Longest Day Ironman 2004.

    Id say the training is not currently going well, shoulder strain is stopping me swimming (I was taking lessons but only got up to about 400m crawl). Had to lay off for nearly 4 weeks now due to flu, bad colds and Gastro Interitis. ill be back with a vengence when my 2004 training programme kicks in 2/1/04, 13 mile run this sunday.
Sign In or Register to comment.