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Tri bike vs Road bike

Hello Folks,

After having a nightmare with second hand bikes involving them falling to pieces on me and a rapidly rusting headset, I have decided to plump up a big investment (for me) and invest into a quality tri bike that will last me 2/3 years minimum. I have a maximum of £2k to plough into this machine (without the wife knowing!) [;)]

The only problem I have is that I haven't a clue what to go for or the best deals out there at the moment. [8|]

I am drawn to a tri bike due to the shifters being comfortably placed when in an aero position after always having to flick the gears while on tri bars of a road bike - very similar to a dog scratching the back of its head in my opinion! However, the versatility of a road bike is always a good option to have, particularly due to the rolling Northumberland roads that I cycle on.

Your expert advice would be welcome as I honestly don't know where to start?

Thanks and good luck with your races! [;)]



  • hi,

    I'm in Alnwick, Northumberland (about 35 miles north of Newcastle).
  • willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    They do look the nuts and that's why we all crave one.

    Surely though Conehead - the more time spent on them the easier the run off them will become ?

    Or am I talking rubbish.

    I keep trawling the internet for a new bike - I'm like a kid in a sweet shop)

    I bet the majority of people on this forum who don't have a TT specific bike, given the chance would buy one if funds allowed.

  • oooh, good questions. The races planned so far are Alnwick Sprint, Blyth (QO2) Sprint, Druridge Northumberland Olympic Distance and Cleveland Steelman on 4th July. From my knowledge these are mainly flat courses, however I don't fancy running 12 miles after being elevated to a back breaking position for nigh on 3 hours.

    Food for thought, that points towards a road bike and sticking the tri bars on. What's a good value and performance road bike? i read that the Giant TCR Advance won the cycling plus bike of the year, is this one worth a go?

    Thanking you
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    If you look at my posting 'The old Question, which bike etc.' I plumped for a Tri specific bike (i.e. 78 degree) because that suited ME best. My bike times improved, in fact I was 5 1/2 mins faster on the Woodhall Spa this year than last year mainly because of the bike. My run times are faster as a Tri bike allows me to get up and running quicker and my legs feel fresher because of the different muscles used when cycling over a road bike. But again that suited me best, there are plenty of peopple who are cylists and faster than me on the bike but then I am usually faster on the run. I personally would not compete on a road bike again.
  • husslerhussler Posts: 237
    If you doing Cleveland steelman do that one on a road bike, people do do it on a tri bike but they struggle. The bike leg is immense and includes several big climbs... 1 in 4 on one of them...

    I am doing the steelman this year too and will be using my road bike.

    As your doing sprints other than that one, another option would be a road bike with a set of good clip ons. The gain you will get from a TT bike on a sprint distance will be minimal because its only 12miles...longer distances however.... thats when the TT bike comes into it own category:)

    I have an Argon E-112, they are around £2k fully built, it is a fantastic bike and I can quite happily ride for 3-4 hours then jump off and get straight into 6-6:30 min miling running with no probs.

    here is my bike so you can see which one im on about:)

  • husslerhussler Posts: 237
    ps... I would go for a tri bike:) forgot to mention that bit lol
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Bit og a Geeky reply here,I did a comparison between my road bike,a Bianchi alloy frame,and my TT ,a QR Seduza,the test was basically a route was ridden on one bike at a given HR,then repeated straight after on the other bike,following day test repeated but the last bike ridden the day before was ridden first.A second ride was ridden at a different HR and the comparison made.

    When ridden at a HR below my LAT my TT was quicker by 5% over a 20 mile course,which would give me a 25 min improvement on an Ironman leg.

    When ridden at a HR above my LAT,at what would be my OD pace the TT was quicker by 9%.I personally find it easier to run after a leg on my TT than on my road bike.

    Now the really geeky bit,if it is windy you need to exceed the wind speed if you are riding a TT bike(aero frame) to improve stability otherwise you are fighting the bike as it tries to make like a frisbee across the fields,a standard road bike will not leave you frazzled after a leg on a very windy day.If you are not a very powerful rider then going for a light weight road frame could be a better option.IMHO.
  • jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    Or go for something in the middle. Last months Tri+ bike review had the Cube Aerium Pro (Cube Bikes) which has a 76.5° seat angle, similar to a TT, but comes with drops and clip ons. Unfortunately I'm about £1498 short of the £1499 asking price.
  • willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381

    Ribble have now branched into the TT and Triathlon Market.


  • gunforhiregunforhire Posts: 457
    willieverfinish wrote:


    Ribble have now branched into the TT and Triathlon Market.


    They're launching 2 more TT models next month as well!

  • Wow, thank you all for your opinions and valuable input - my mind is spinning!

    I think I'll plump for a road bike TBH, as I'll struggle on a windy day on a TT and it could take a while for the body to adapt to an aero position. Also, thanks for the advice on the hill @ the Steelman. I love hills! I can understand the freshness of the legs for the run, but I can't take a chance on the English weather, nor the terrain.

    Sooooo, I set off to the local bike shop after work today as they have a Giant range, I chatted with one of the owners and they offered me the demo bike for the week. I said I couldn't because I would be tempted to race it in this weekends Sprint tri. He said to go ahead! How great is that! I think my 3 year old daughters Fifi Bike is faster than my road bike atm.

    I have to say that Hussler you have a tasty bike there! [8D]

    I clicked the link of the Ribble TT bikes ..... there seems to be an error. HOW MUCH?????

    I'll plump for one of those next year when the cycle to work scheme is in full swing (fingers crossed).

    A BIG THANK YOU everyone for all your help and advice. I'll have to think of more posts. Cheers,

  • willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    Good luck
  • ipay1980ipay1980 Posts: 84
    ah! anothor soomeone from the north east!

    i recently spent circa £2k on a Scott Addict 08 model, from Westbrook cycles in Stokesley. The bike is sooooooooooo light, and handling great. The guys are great in the shop and can fully recommend.

    With some aero bars on, great for tri, especially longer ones.
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