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First bike (for triathlons)(17 posts)

First bike (for triathlons)Butch in Bama
Apr 25, 2002 5:47 PM
Need suggestions for a first road bike (I am on a budget)that I can do some good training, triathlons and can upgrade when needed.
re: First bike (for triathlons)bm
Apr 25, 2002 11:32 PM
also looking for a new bike (for triathlon).

if your dead serious about triathlon's go for a tri bike. there are many choices - the Quitano Roo bikes are great buys but there is also softride, felt . . .

i'm sticking with a general road bike, because i want to cycle long distances as well.

currently i'm riding my dad's 1967 peugeot. kinda heavy, but got me started.

would suggest looking at the roadbike review classifieds and ebay. i'm doing the same thing to see if i can find a good deal on a used aluminum or steel frame.

as for new bikes, i might be spending up to $1200 on a Giant TCR or cannondale CAAD 3 or 4. there's also a great website - great deals for what you get.

currently, i'm thinking i'll be buying a used bike. the reason is that, as you'll find, general cycling equipment is already expensive. you should include the neccessary expenses in your budget :

$150-200 clothing
$100-150 aero bars !!
$150-200 cleats + shoes
$100 misc access
$50-$150 helmet
my advice...SteveO
Apr 26, 2002 3:33 AM
"if your dead serious about triathlon's go for a tri bike. there are many choices"

my personal feeling is, beginners should go the opposite direction of a tri bike (i.e., buy a road bike) for several reasons:

1. MOST of your riding will be training rides, the added comfort is nice to have
2. You may not always be as excited about tri as you are right now. Should you give up the sport, a tri-bike isnt the most practical
3. If you DO stay excited about the sport, you'll (most probably) eventually want to upgrade your 'entry-level' tri-bike. This is the point at which i'd first consider a tri-bike.

If you really, REALLY want a tri-bike now, you might consider the softride, as the beam offers a dynmaic geometry which can emulate both road and tri. I also agree QR offers a good deal.

For what it's worth, about half the field at kona rides road geometry....and i'd consider EVERY one of those triathletes 'serious'.
Apr 26, 2002 9:51 AM
Go to a pawn shop and buy a old road bike. See if you like it first. If you don't, well, you lost $90. If you go buy a tri bike, it'll cost you over $1200 minium. The truth is, you can go fast on any bike. A expensive bike maybe better for climbing and comfortable, but for flats, they don't offer too much advantage.
Apr 27, 2002 12:42 AM
user "liu02bhs" brought up an interesting point about old heavier bikes - heavier bikes work just as well on flats as expensive, lighter bikes.

my bike, for ex, is 30+ lbs . . . slower going up hills, and harder to accelerate. but goes fast if i have decent form.

BUT, expensive bikes do have nicer components. depending on how hard, long, and where you hard compenents can improve performance. watch out for the high end components like durace. in my opinion, some components may be very light and quick, but wear down quicker. my road buds say the lower-end, race-ready components (shimano 105, ultegra) work just as well.

good luck
re: still checking replies???emils01
Apr 28, 2002 4:51 AM
I agree with most of the advice I've read under your post. But, I am willing to add my two cents as well. Don't twist my arm.

Buy a ROAD BIKE. If you have limited cycling experience you don't want a tri-bike. The geometry and set-up is for an aerodynamic ride. Will you do the majority of your riding / training like this. Uncomfortable. A road bike is what you need to start developing your riding self. And as stated before many triathletes race on road bikes. You can get down in the hooks and rest your chin on the handlebars if you like. This will be your aero-position.
Go to a local bike shop and find out what your "size" is and if you can't get a good deal there go to EBAY or RoadBikeReview, etc. and find yourself a good bike. Sizing is a little tricky and buying on-line doesn't make it easier. Don't buy a heavy bike. Twenty-five lbs. is heavy. Without spending a fortune you can weigh in around twenty. This is very important. Heavy bikes suck. I don't care what anyone else says. They are terrible uphill, unresponsive when you have to step on it (on flats, too), handling can be lame, etc.
And also JOIN a local cycling club. This is how you will improve and learn the fastest. This is your quickest avenue to doing better. You may even meet aspiring triathletes there. For that matter, join the local swim team and running club as well.

Good luck.
re: still checking replies???rider5673
May 2, 2002 9:08 AM
I would agree with this- join a local group of riders. Do it before you get a new bike, see if you can hang with and learn from them, and you might get valuable fit suggestions (without somebody pushing a particular size of last year's model on you which may/may not fit). There may even be someone in the group who is looking to upgrade and will sell you their bike, but be sure to ride it first- preferably on a long and somewhat challenging ride to see hot fresh you feel at the end of it. Good luck.
re: First bike (for triathlons)Vimalakirti
May 1, 2002 7:05 PM
I don't know what your budget is, but I was in a similar situation to you a year ago. I decided to go with a Cannondale R600 road bike. I ended up spending around $1100, more if you count accessories (e.g., aero bars). I did my first duathlon two weeks later and just FLEW past most of the field at the beginning of the bike leg. I ended up placing third in my age group, with virtually no biking experience.

And don't listen to the guys who tell you that you can do fine with a thirty pound bike--if you want to compete, you should have a bike in the low twenty pound range. And make sure you get some clipless pedals on there too; IMHO, that makes a huge difference. I think the 2002 Cannondale R500 is a great bike, a little less expensive than mine but an identical frame. You might want to check it out at your local store.
re: First bike (for triathlons)SteveO
May 2, 2002 7:54 AM
"And don't listen to the guys who tell you that you can do fine with a thirty pound bike--if you want to compete, you should have a bike in the low twenty pound range"

i strongly disagree with that statement (as do several studies) when it comes to racing on the flats.
Get a Road bike!zk3
May 2, 2002 9:57 AM
If you can join a Tri club and they'll help you find a suitable bike in your buget. Better yet, you could join a road bike club and they could also help you find a bike. If you've never had a bike before being part of a club would be a huge help.

If that's not a option, go to a bike shop and get sized, look on their message board and see if there's anything used in your size. size is very important, if you have the wrong size you'll be slow no matter what effort you put into it.

Weight is important, with $500-700 you could find a used bike that's sub 25 lb or better that's all you need for now. and just add some cheep aero bars to make it a "tri" bike.
Get a Road bike!SteveO
May 3, 2002 8:17 AM
"Weight is important"

soooo, what does sub 25 buy you on a flat course vs (say) 30 ?
Weight matters!853
May 6, 2002 8:40 AM
Where do you live?
Last time I went out on my bike I don't remember it ever always being flat. Plus a 30lb bike must have some pretty outdated parts - most bikes weigh about 20lbs.
My friend just recently sold his Cannondale w/ultegra 8 speed for $300.00 and it weighed 19lbs. Why would anybody ride a 30lb. bike when they can get something newer and lighter for cheap. Not unless you get a beach crusier!
that didnt answer my question.SteveO
May 6, 2002 10:22 AM
I'm constantly hearing of the benefits of a 'light' bike. There's a certain intuitiveness to the benefits while climbing, but that phenomena doesnt (necessarily) exist on the flats. Just looking for some data from the ardent proponents of 'light' bikes (again, i'm not talking about heavy climbing).

As far as components... what is an 'outdated' part? Does the part work? Sure, it may be heavier, but that point is moot until we see data showing substantial disadvantages of weight.

Why would anyone ride a 30 lb bike? Perhaps because they cant afford another bike. Perhaps because they still havent seen evidence of substantial disadvantage. Perhaps because it could be more comfortable than a 'light' bike.
that didnt answer my question.zk3
May 7, 2002 9:54 AM
Okay... I hear what you're saying... why not a 30lb bike?

Let's start with sure, ride a 30 lb bike, I'm sure it's fully functional as a 16 lb bike. If you're too stuborn or cheap to condiser something lighter then go ahead a suffer till you figure it out. But why reinvent the wheel?

Many people have gone though lots of bikes and there's a reason why the pros ride the lightest bikes they can afford. There's is a small tradeoff with comfort once you go sub 16, I hear, but that's about it.

Why is lighter better? Pure physics. What's the most important light part.... any part that moves.... why? Pure physics. So you want the lightest wheels, cranks, petals, drive train, and cassette. Then the lightest fork, headset, shifters and breaks. (If you're interested in this enough open up a physics book and figure it out)

What seems important to me is.... What are your goals? are you going to race? or are you going to ride around your block? Do you have friends that you could ride with?
May 7, 2002 10:44 AM
i guess my point is still being missed.

Heres a link which posts some of the 'physics' you mentioned, which will perhaps shed some light on the 'suffering' endured by a 'heavy' bike (if youre interested enough to open it and read it):

(there are numerous other studies which support this data).

I do agree, though, goals are a major factor in bike decision. If i were racing a pro (or aspiring and regularly placing), those seconds could help. for the masses, though, the return is a de minimus.
ooops, almost forgot to mention...SteveO
May 7, 2002 10:51 AM
something to 'condiser': Not everyone who rides 'old', 'outdated', or 'heavy' bikes are just cheap or stuborn. Does poverty, financial struggle, or financial priorities which simply differ from your own mean a person shouldnt pursue racing?

Perhaps you should consider yourself lucky that you can afford some finer things in life.

ooops, almost forgot to mention...zk3
May 7, 2002 2:21 PM
Thanks for posting that link, that's a really cool article :-)