A Beginner’s Guide To Buying A Triathlon Bike

Buying a triathlon bike is a serious commitment. You want to make sure that the bike you are buying is the best for the amount of money you are spending, with models ranging from an initial investment of £2000 and going up to more than £13,000 for the most expensive option.

This article will give an overview of all factors that should be taken into account when purchasing a beginner-level bike, as well as tips on how to receive the best value for your money.

When purchasing a triathlon bicycle, it is essential to think about comfort, the quality of the parts, as well as the expense.

To maximize your bike’s performance, you must ensure that it is the proper fit for you, recognize the advantages of all the bike parts, and make sure to stay within your financial means. This article will provide a thorough examination of these topics.

Buying Your First Triathlon Bike

Entering a bike shop to buy a triathlon bicycle is quite thrilling. It is likely the biggest expenditure you will have to make as a triathlete and it is the appliance that will help you to accomplish your ambitions.

The anticipation can be exhilarating, however, the undertaking can be intimidating as well. What is the best way to determine if you are using the correct tool for a given task, especially with the vast array of products available?

Competing in a triathlon using a specific type of bike is not equivalent to biking on a typical street bicycle. A triathlon bike is structured to help riders achieve a more aerodynamic posture by having a steeper seat tube angle at 76-78 degrees, rather than the typical 72 degrees on a conventional road bike.

This will be a peculiar experience for us who have ridden extensively on a road bike, so it is vital to make sure that the bicycle is the correct size for you.

A bad bike fitting will not only be uncomfortable but can also prevent you from using maximum strength while cycling and may even result in physical harm.

Tri Bike or Road Bike

One of the most oft-asked queries raised by rookie triathletes is whether they should invest in a triathlon bicycle or just go with a standard road bike. If you’re searching for a more comprehensive discussion on the subject of road bikes, check out our completed informative guide.

It is blatantly apparent what the solution is, but it merits stating explicitly: It is contingent on the style of riding that you anticipate doing.

If you don’t plan to participate in a triathlon very often but have access to asphalted paths, you might consider getting a road bike. We won’t discuss what type of road bike is best since there are many resources online offering such advice.

If you are considering doing a triathlon annually or training for a Half or Ironman, it is wise to invest in a triathlon bike.

Triathlon bicycles are designed with a particular shape to give you a posture that allows the power in your legs to be more effectively transferred to the cranks and puts you in a spot which should give you some extra stamina for the race.

The most significant difference between a regular bike and a tri bike is the power you feel when pedalling quickly on a straight stretch of road. You can get quite a thrill from the energy being sent to your pedals.

We suggest putting money into one high-quality bike, like a triathlon bike or a road bike, instead of buying two average bikes.

Having a bike that you’re familiar with, feel comfortable using and can improve through upgrades will lead to a greater improvement in your cycling ability over the long run.

We enjoy using an indoor bike trainer in the winter so we can have a quality workout on the bike we will be using to compete. Using your bicycle throughout the year will let you become very familiar with it, resulting in it becoming increasingly more sensitive to your riding over time.

If you have the necessary funds, it is great to own both a quality tri bike and a quality road bike, but it is an expensive investment.

Triathlon Bike Sizes And How To Get Yours Right

The first step towards achieving comfort on your bike is to make sure that it is the correct size.

Take Your Inside Leg Measurement

This is an efficient and reliable way of measuring the length of your inner leg if you are alone or feel uncomfortable when someone else is doing it for you.

  • Remove your shoes and stand with your back against the wall. (It is best to do this in your bike shorts to get the best measurement)
  • Stand up tall but keep your spine straight, do not arch your back.
  • Take a book with a relatively wide spine and hold it between your legs at crouch height.
  • Option one here is to take a pencil and mark the wall behind you using the top of the book as a reference point, you can then use a tape measure to find your inside leg measurement.
  • Option two is to directly measure the distance from the floor to the top of the book, but this can be a bit fiddly.

No matter which approaches you to opt for, make sure to do the same process three times and then obtain the mean. This will allow for the most accurate measurement.

Options For Fitting My Bike

It is essential to understand that bicycle sizing and bicycle fitting are distinct processes.

The size of your bike will dictate which frame size will be best for your body. A bike fitting will then adjust the small details to guarantee you will be as cosy as possible and be in the most productive stance.

People may splurge money on a bike but ignore getting a bike fit, which is just as crucial as the decision regarding which bike to buy.

A typical bicycle fitting typically looks at aspects like the size and tilt of the saddle, its positioning in front and behind, where the cleats are placed, and how high and far the handlebars may be set.

It is feasible to undertake this process independently, especially if you have had prior experience with bike setups. No other choice can match the precision and efficiency of being fitted for a bike by a qualified fitter.

Altogether, receiving a professional bike fitting will require about 2 hours and cost around £150.

The sum involved when taking into account the price of a triathlon bike is quite minuscule compared to the overall budget. It will not only take a lot less of your time, but it will guarantee that your bike is set up to the best of its ability.

If you possess the skill and the inclination to fix up your bicycle by yourself, you still should do so.

There is an abundance of data accessible on the web about how to accurately adjust your bicycle, from articles to videos and even applications. For just around £15.00, Bikefit.com has an app that assures you will offer the same quality of a professional bike fit assessment as the one you’d get in person, with the convenience of just using your iPad or iPhone.

Components – What To Look For

Triathlon bikes can be found in various shapes, sizes and cost categories. These are some ideas to consider to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth as a beginner.


Any knowledgeable cycling expert will stress that making sure your bike is the perfect fit for you is the main consideration for having a pleasant riding experience. The fit should be comfortable enough so that you can move easily and put your maximum power into pedalling.

A bike that is too big for you won’t ride comfortably compared to one that fits you better. It is important to be aware that different companies tend to have different features and measurements for their bicycles, so just one 56cm bike from one company might not have the same exact features as the same size from another.

The bottom line: Do not compromise on fit.


The type of material used for the bike frame has a major influence on the cost of a triathlon bicycle. It’s not a simple decision of picking “the best” option; it really depends on how you intend to use it.

Carbon Fiber is more expensive than Aluminum, and Aluminum is more pricey than Steel. Steel bikes are not commonly found these days, so they are not a suitable option for triathlon training.

When considering what type of frame to buy, remember that carbon will tend to be the most lightweight choice at a basic cost and typically gives the most comfortable riding experience on the street.

This frame is capable of quickly responding to uphill climbs and sudden accelerations, and is often the benchmark for other frames on the market. It is a disadvantage that it is susceptible to harm but the injury is not always perceptible which can cause potential hazards.

Aluminium is by no means going away. Aluminum is favoured for its lasting power and economical cost.

If a bike is produced with an aluminium frame, it usually shows that the maker budgeted their money correctly and had extra funds to put higher-quality parts on the bike while still meeting their desired market price.

In some respects, you can acquire a more cost-effective bicycle, although it might be a bit more uncomfortable when cycling on a coarse road. Bike frames made of steel are not commonplace in the triathlon market, apart from some very antique pre-owned models.

Titanium frames are becoming increasingly popular, but they usually can’t be found at the lowest price points. Attempt to purchase the most expensive frame you can pay for because it is possible to renovate the parts throughout the years. Why?

The higher quality of the frame of the bike, the lighter it will feel, thus allowing you to focus more on propelling the bike forward, as opposed to using all your energy to combat the bike’s design.

At the cost of a beginner-level triathlon bike, buying largely aluminium-framed models is the norm, with some containing some pieces of carbon fibre, though not in great abundance.

Do not assume that the aluminium frames are inferior. For £1600, some producers will put all their efforts into making the best aluminium bikes, but they’ll need to find methods to reduce expenses when it comes to creating carbon frames. They are unable to commit completely to eliminating carbon until the cost becomes substantially greater.


The first choice to be made is if you should use rim brakes or disk brakes. Rim brakes usually have a bit less weight compared to disk brakes, but disk brakes offer better aerodynamic performance.

Weight is not a major issue unless the route you are on contains a lot of inclines. This may offer insight as to why certain of the major manufacturers of triathlon bicycles are transitioning to disk brakes.

Disk brakes possess far greater stopping power than rim brakes, even if the conditions are wet, in that they allow a vehicle going 40kph to come to a complete halt in a shorter distance than the 7 meters needed by rim brakes. So from a safety aspect, disks win out.


This can potentially lead to a large improvement in speed and efficiency. Aerodynamic-style wheels have the potential to boost your average speed by up to 3 kilometres per hour in comparison to an entry-level triathlon wheel, and you may even experience an increase of about 2kph even with a mid-level model.

If you are facing a dilemma between two bikes, it would be a sound decision to go for the one with superior wheels.

Electronic Shifting

The Avow Advanced Pro 1, which is worth £4,700, provides the possibility of electronic shifting, which is not usually accessible on an entry-level triathlon bike. Are you able to increase your budget to this amount? If so, would it be a beneficial investment for this mid-level bike?

Electronic shifting is definitely more straightforward and instinctive than mechanical shifting, and it has the bonus that the levers can be placed at various locations.

In addition, due to the absence of cables or shell coverings that deteriorate, your only responsibility for upkeep will be to make sure you keep your gears charged.


It’s not really an issue if you’re buying a fresh bike, however, it’s essential to consider if you’re buying a secondhand bike. Certain things are essential in a bike, with the most critical one of them being problems with the frame.

Avoid purchasing any items that have a warped, rusted, or fractured frame. Check to ensure that the parts – the brakes, shifters, rims, and cables – are in proper working order.

Examining the frame carefully is recommended, as it can be difficult to spot a crack. It may appear to be an exaggeration, however, having a broken frame can be a serious matter.

When discussing replaceable components of a bike, you should bear in mind that tires and seats can be conveniently substituted, so if those components aren’t in ideal condition, don’t be too worried, especially if it results in a discounted offer on the bike.


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