Tri Bike or Road Bike

I am just starting to get into triathlons, (well will once the FLM is out of the way).

I dont have a bike (have given up on buying one on ebay after reading all the scary scams) but have a couple of questions.

How important is the Tri geometry v's road bike geometry?

I am a bit of a sucker for gadgets, and would like to buy a new bike. Is it worth spending £1500 on a bike this early on in my cycling career? If so should I buy a tri specific one or a road bike?
I thought a road bike might be better but have no clue really.
I have looked at importing one from the states, and it seems that I will save quite a bit, anyone had any experience with this? Is it worth it?


  • personally I would buy a road bike until you are sure you want to lots of tri's. a well set up road bike will be more practical in case tri's don't became a way of life, and you can always kit it out with tri-bars to help the geometry. make sure it's lightweight with good kit.
  • Tri specific frames are only realy needed if you are doing long events which require being on the tri bars for the duration.


    The steeper seat angle on tri bikes make it more comfortable when on the tri bars and you could argue that it gives you a better position for time-trialing!!
  • Get something your comfartable on - you are more likely to ride it that way - the extreme geometry of an out&out tri bike can be a bit uncomfortable

    Id go for a road bike (compact gemetry) and fit some areo bars
  • I'm in the same situation Nemo - advice from here and elsewhere has been that tri-specific bikes are mostly for tip top ironmen who also have a training bike. So I'm going with the training bike, and (when? if?) I get up to long-distance, look at seat posts and other adjustments.
  • cant you try some out and see which suits you best?

    i find my new tri-specific bike more comfortable than my road bike

    but if you want a road bike, i know where there's a lovely Trek 1500, 1 careful owner, going for a reasonable offer!

  • Ive just bought a new bike and was (still am a complete newbie).

    My advice – get a road bike, as previously said Tri specific geometry is only for TT’s and elite cyclists. As your probably getting just one bike you don’t want to have the harsher riding position for your training rides etc.

    £1500 will get you s good bike but remember youll have to spend about £300-£400 on additional gear, shoes, pedals, tri bars, pump, multi tool, clothing etc etc.

    In the end I went for a Cannondale R800 (only as I loved the look of it), it’s a pretty good bike and has Ultegra/105 components.

    Shop around, ask loads of questions, look on websites and find some you like, ive heard good things on the forums about Giant TCR, Specialised Alez and Airnourne. Above all comfort/fitting is the main consideration. I got my bike from

    I cannot speak high enough of their service, they spent 3 hours setting me up with the bike, riding position etc.
  • I'm new to tri's and have a tri specific bike and have to say I find it extremely comfortable!

    The only thing I do is take the racing wheels off for training otherwise I use it like any other bike.

    You don't have to be an elite cyclist for a tri specific bike unless someone forgot to tell me I am!:o)

    Personally I think you have to find a bike that suits you or like me find a bargain you can't say no to!
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