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Tri Bike V Road Bike

Hi Guys

Quite new to triathlon, did a number of sprint tri's last season and now ready to do the standard distance this year.

I'm looking to buy a new bike but can't decide whether to go for a Tri bike or a road bike?

Has anyone got any views on which is best, i'm never going to win a race and eventually the plan is to do a full ironman, which would be an achievement just to finish, so i need to go for efficiency and comfort.

Any thoughts would be appreciated as a couple of grand is a lot to shell out on the wrong choice.




  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    Pardon the pun but go and try a few bikes out. This is the only way you will find out what is best for you.

    For me Tri bike all the way for racing, wether its a sprint or IM distance. If its exceptionally hilly or very technical then road bike and train mainly on road bike - mine is quite heavy and therefore when I get on the Tri bike it feels great.
  • Thanks for the reply.

    What's your thoughts on getting a road bike with clip on aero bars?
  • Hi Plambert,

    Nothing wrong with a road bike and clip on aerobars. I started tri's 4 years ago on a mtb, then a cheap road bike, then added tri bars, then carbon framed road bike and this year I have gone all out and bought my first real tri bike. (This is Triathlon and it is supposed to cost a fortune!)

    What I would say and only my two bit opinion, I learnt a lot from slowly building up with different bikes, my tri bike is soooo much faster but there is no way that when I started I could ever have ridden it!

    I trust you have already learnt that carbon is god and that depending on your views either black or red is the fastest?

    Hope that helps.

    Tri Pencil
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    you will no doubt get conehead on here telling you should buy both.... which is true

    I started off with road bike with clip ons but this will not prepare you for the difference in feel with a proper TT. Pure and simple the geometery just isn't correct on the road bike, no matter if you turn the seat post around and stick clip-ons onto it. Having said that you will see some gains from being more aero.

    I bought the road bike and then bought a TT The TT is superbly fast.

    Its a much of a muchness, depends on what you want.
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    You CAN do both! Planet X have reduced the Stealth TT/Tri bike to just over a grand which is a lot of bike for the coin. Throw in a PX Superlight or Nanolight as a road bike and your there! £2k...ish
    Yes I think PX are good

    As you are only just getting into tris and you will spend more time riding than actually racing I'll say get as good a road bike as you can. As said before you can add clip on tri bars but whilst it is better its a compromise.

    Ther are a lot of people on TT bikes that dont fully use the advantage they offer either through poor riding position or the course is so technical (hills and turns) that the TT bike wont be as good as a roadie.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Quitter actually makes a point - Bike fit.

    Important on both to ensure it fits and position is as good as you can get. Espec important on the TT where comfort will be king. You need to be able to hold the TT position, some people go for really aggresive positions which can infact lead to a decrease in power.... ergo get a bike fit
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 174

    I started with a road bike, then put clip-ons on it then bought a TT bike as well, then another road bike, then a cyclo-cross bike.....etc.

    My advice - get a decent road bike with clip-ons until you have enough spare cash for a TT bike and keep both.

  • Hi,

    My 2 cents worth is, keep your road bike for all the winter rides to build up a decent base, it is heavier and you won't want the current state of the roads damaging your new tri-bike. As it gets closer to race season, and the weather gets warmer, then begin swapping the usage around from road bike to your tri-bike.

    I have to agree with all the comments in this post too.

    I started out 3 years ago on a very heavy Raleigh steel framed road bike with clip-ons (which I still have, but is now more a commuter, rollers and winter training bike, sans clip-ons), and bought myself a tri-bike frame and began building it myself over a couple of months after my 1st tri season was up. This way I also saved a ton of money, learned a hell of a lot on all the parts of my bike, went for a Retul fitting, and have a very fast tri-bike hitting PB's every race the next season. Now I also have built a mountain bike and have put this to good use, doing alternate weekend rides in the forest's and was especially helpful when it was snowing in December.

    Therefore I guess, my advice is keep the road bike for all your winter training (base), get yourself a tri-bike and as it progressively gets warmer and closer to your race season, begin using the tri-bike more often. You don't want to only keep the tri-bike for your races as your body needs to get used the different positions as opposed to a road bike position.

  • Where do you live ?

    Get yourself down to Bridgtown cycles in Cannock - ask for Mike and he'll give you an honest answer ( which will probably be a road bike from what you've said)

    I know people who have travelled from scotland, Surrey, the SW of England to see him. Proper cyclist, own race team etc. Knows what he's doing.

    Good luck but understand you will need/want to buy both within 12 months
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