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Beginners Bike

Hi, im looking to do my first Triathlon in the Summer, so i now need to get myself a bike. where and what should i get, any ideas would be great thanks


  • This is a very open ended question. What distance Triathlon are you doing? how much do you want to spend? What are your cycling ambitions?

    I would buy a road bike, with drop down bars, and 25-28mm road tyres

    Assuming you do not want to spend massive amounts, and you want to get more into cycling, maybe covering at least 1000-2000 miles per year (20-40 miles per week), I would look for a mid range road bike. You have 2 options, buy a second hand bike, there are lots on ebay from people who spent lots of money on expensive bikes, then rarely used them, or you can buy new, possibly using the cycle to work scheme which will reduce the cost significantly (depending on what rate of tax you pay)

    First thing you need to do is get a fitting - identify what bike geometry works for you - a well fitted £500 bike will be much better than a poorly fitting £2000 bike.

    If you are buying a mid range (sub £1000) bike new, aluminum frames are now really good, and probably better than cheap carbon frames. Ideally look for a bike with a Shimano 105 groupset, a semi compact chainset (52:36) and a wide set of ratios on the cassette (12:28 or even 12:32). Often mid range bikes come with cheaper wheels, and this is one area that you may wish to upgrade.

    If you are buying second hand, make sure that you check the geometry first from the manufacturers web site - don't buy a bike because it is a bargain if it isn't going to fit well. If you buy second hand, it can be a bit of a lottery - and you will need to budget £100 - £200 for repairs (new chain, cassette, bearings etc). It is always best to look for a bike that has been well maintained - go with condition, not with original price.

    My hobby is building bikes, and I am pretty confident buying used bikes, however, if you are not comfortable doing lots of work on a bike yourself, only buy a used bike from a reputable shop, and make sure it is well serviced first

    Just to put things into context, I have a hilly 13mile Time Trial course on my doorstep

    On my full suspension mountain bike, with fat off road tyres, I can average 17.5mph

    On my touring bike, a 1993 Cannondale, with touring tyres, rack and mud guards, I can average 19.5 mph

    On my old road bike - a 2006 specialized transition with a set of second hand Planet X carbon wheel, I can average 20.5 mph

    On my current road bike, and Orbea Orca, a top of the range carbon frame, with clip on tri bars, and nice carbon wheels and electronic Di2 gears, I can average 22mph

    On my TT bike with deep section carbon rims, tubs, aero helmet etc, I can average 23.5mph

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