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Tri bike or road

Hi I???m new to triathlon... looking for some advice I???m looking at doing Ironman France 2019... I???m in two minds with bike choises I???m based in uk and will be training on roads and indoor wahoo... I???m looking at buying a cervelo P3 tri bike but I???ve never been on a triathlon bike are they ok to use for day to day training on roads traffic back roads ? Or should I buy a good road bike ? I???m reay confused I understand the benefits of the triathlon bike... any advice would be appreciated Thank Ross


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    What????s you???r budget????
  • 2 to 3k
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Hopefully someone who has done the bike course will comment on how technical they found it. Tri bikes generally don't like hilly or very twisty turny routes. The 2019 Ironman is in Nice which is nice but the bike course includes 2000m of climb and the same descent. You may not spend much of this time in the aero position on the climbs and may also miss out on the descents by needing to cover your brakes. Having ridden through the area a few times I recall some but not many long straight bits. There is also a lot of urban cycling where you may also prefer to ride non-aero. And to be honest the roads in the Cote D'Azure, from my experience, are quite possibly the worst in France. Those are my views but the route is available so have a look using Google Street View at parts of the course. Personally I would use a road bike with tri bars but have friends who have used tri bikes there quite successfully. Use Street View and decide how you would ride what you see.

    Remember that on a tri bike if you are aero you can change gears. To brake you need to break that aero position. On a road bike when on the drops you can brake and change gears in a fairly aero position. With clip-on tri bars you would be more aero but need to move to change gear or brake. Whatever bike you also need to be comfortable with a fairly open hip angle so that you can run when you arrive back on the sea front.

    The P3 is a brilliant bike but I notice that the 2019 Ultegra model is ??3600. Unfortunately it comes with some good but basic wheels. These would need a serious upgrade to maximise the quality of the rest of the bike. You may wish to consider other less expensive models from Boardman or Specialized and use the spare cash to upgrade the wheels.

    I've found training on my tri bike to not be an issue but I live in rural North Yorkshire where I can get aero for extended periods without the worry of emergency braking etc. Not really used it much in an urban environment though.

    I'd go for a road bike with tri bars but that's just me. Not sure if it helps answer your questions though.
  • Hi Harry, thanks for your information this is a great help... I was in a Evans store yesterday and the guy said the same that I will need a road bike for the hills and good disc breaks for the downs.

    Thanks again i will dove deep in to all this information before I go for buying a bike but I???m leaning on the road bike heavily..

    Do you recomand any good road bike for this event

    Thanks again

    Best regards
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Ross, my preference would be for a racing rather than endurance type geometry. Carbon, if done correctly, to reduce the road buzz. Disc brakes if you intend riding all year in all weathers. I'm more than happy with Ultegra rim brakes but add water and the filthy roads we have round here and not only is braking reduced but the dirt grinds the rims. I would expect Nice to be warm and sunny so rim brakes would be OK but there can be sudden and heavy downfalls for which disc brakes would give better control. If wet those road surface can become very greasy very quickly so get some grippy tyres such as the Continentals with their black chilli compound. I'd also recommend checking that the handlebars take the sort of clip-on tri-bars you want. Do this with the shop and order them along with the bike. They can then fit them for you.

    I recently bought a Cannondale Super Six Evo Ultegra with discs. I replaced the heavy and slow fitted tyres with Continental GP4000SII's and will upgrade the wheels in spring. I'm delighted by how it rides and handles and would be more than happy to ride Nice on it. I do appreciate there are a number of bikes around the same price that would do just as well.

    Look up some group tests using the Cannondale as a benchmark to get a shortlist and do the same with tyres. Hopefully you will get some posts here giving advice. If not go onto the bikeradar.com website forum as you will find there are a lot of cyclists who spend a lot of time researching and comparing bikes. They can be a bit sarky so no typos or you'll be sorry.

    Hope this helps

  • Brilliant thanks again Harry,

    Spoke to a few guys today about bikes the

    Specialised tarmac & BMC team machine were mentioned as good bikes

    I???ll check out the tyres you recommended ASAP

    What about rims ?

  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Ross, I've got friends who ride Tarmacs & BMC team bikes and are happy racing on them.

    Wheels are more of an issue because of the cost. I haven't looked into things in great detail yet but here is my thinking so far:

    Carbon preferred. Clinchers with inner tubes even if tubeless design (prefer reliability over a very minor performance detriment). Either 35mm or 50mm depth for my road bike. Possibly 35 front & 50 rear for increased agility and reduced side wind interference but 50/50 is most likely. Already have 60 front/ 80 rear on my TT bike which work very well on reasonably straightforward courses but loose out on the really technical stuff. Will need a through axle rather than QR for the front wheel.

    Campagnolo would be my first choice. Italian design at its best. Not cheap but 50mm Boras look very promising. I've had Shamals and they were great and are still in service on a friends bike. Can't go wrong with the company that invented the self centring cork screw.

    After that Mavic Kysriums and Cosmics (used by friends) get great write ups. I've had Ksyriums in the past and they were great while they worked but I had a lot of freehub problems and some have reported problems with build quality. These may be isolated issues. Would buy without the Mavic tyres though (2 rides & 2 pinch punctures on otherwise puncture free routes was not good) & put Continentals on. Ksyriums come in carbon or cheaper alloy.

    Others I'll look at are Kronostock which I have on my TT bike and are excellent and Hollowgrams from Cannondale which get good reviews.

    Cheers, Harry
  • Merry Christmas Harry,

    I have been looking at bikes over the last few days...

    I came across the Giant propel looks like a good road bike with good aero properties do you know it if so would it be good for the hills

  • MgalexMgalex Posts: 28

    I'm not sure if i'm too late Ross but the Giant Propel is a good bike. Two friends have them and it is very stiff. they have them not for racing but it's a good option if you want one frame and two sets of wheels, training and racing may be the option. 

    I raced all the time on 50mm full carbon clinchers and they are HARSH  as a training wheel. I'd recommend against a carbon rim that mine were as the braking is not good at all. I can't attest to disks but my Ultegra rim brakes with steel hoops stop almost immediately rom 20+mph.


    Good luck

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