Home Chat General Chat

Starting Triathlon on a Mountain Bike?

Ok, this could well be a very stupid question so if it is I apologise . I tried searching but couldn't seem to find anything.

I'm interested in starting triathlon when I go back to uni this year, however do not have a road bike of any description. I do however have a fairly new mountain bike (hardtail). Whilst I know obviously I would hardly be competitive in an actual race, would it be sensible at all to do it on a mountain bike? I assume switching tyres to road ones would be a necessity at least. I don't want to buy a road bike and then find I don't really get into triathlon and have wasted my money :/.


  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Do it on the MTB! loads of people do at the start.
    You are right about changing the tyres but you dont have to, there's no law about it. I would however think about makeing thiose front shocks as hard as possible.
    You will love triathlon and wont a road bike soon.
  • Probably worth putting road tyres on it, depending on the distance of the event and how soon you are planning to buy your naked carbon bling Tri bike.

    (cue Conehead.....)

    I am still trundling round on my hybrid, procrastinating about which brand to buy and when to buy it and what colour, and what wheels and which groupset etc etc.
  • I did my first sprint tri in June on a mountain bike with its regular tyres and had a great time. Admittedly I got overtaken by the entire field during the bike leg, but that just meant I had loads of slow runners in front ready to overtake when I got onto the 5k at the end
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I think many of us started on an MTB and indeed many carry on with one as the thing about triathlon is that if you are not concerned about placings it is purely a competition with yourself.

    In time you may develop the carbon lust ... still waiting Conehead ... but for now an MTB is plenty fine with no or minimal expenditure.

    Oh yes and wlecome to the made world of triathlon
  • Can I just say that I am a little disappointed by Conehead's balanced and measured response.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Do it on the MTB, so when you overtake some MAMIL on a carbon blingy bike it will be all the better
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Don't do it.

    Get a cheap road bike - you'll save at least 15 mins faster over a sprint distance. Who really wants to run the risk of coming last.

    Don't do it.
  • My first ever triathlon was on a shite old Halford's so-called MTB.

    I dropped the bars as low as they could go, flipped the bullhorn extensions onto the wrong sides so they acted like drops, stuck the seat up to road-bike altitude and fitted some 'street' tyres to it.

    I was shit.

    Now I've got a carbon bling bike with a proper triathlon pointy front end on it and everything.

    I'm still shit. Only now I can't blame the bike.

    Get on your bike, get out there and cock it up properly. We all screw it up in some way at every single race. It's the only way to learn. Your mountain bike is fine.... you score 99% just by giving it a go. The other 1% is a bonus.

    *EDIT* Just noticed a previous response... if your choice is 'Do triathlon on a MTB' versus 'Do not do triathlon because I only have a MTB' then go with option 1 and screw everybody else.
  • Thanks for the advice guys . Shall have to look into getting some slicks then.
    Conehead wrote:
    Well - of course I should've added that Mithra may as well develop a decent crack habit, as that's cheaper and less addictive in the long term than triathlon....
    Heck, the money's either going on triathlon or alcohol, student loan has to go somewhere .
  • Doing my 2nd Sprint Tri on Saturday @ Hever Castle and will be using my MTB with road tyres and they really do make a difference, knocking about 10 minutes off my nobbly tyre time over 20k and can be got rather cheap from Decathlon (if there's one near you) with tyres & inner tubes for about £30 for the pair!!

    So really don't worry about doing your 1st few on a MTB and only consider spending seriuos money if you get into it and just one tip I can give...........remember where you left your bike because no matter how good your times are spending nearly 10 minutes looking for your bike after your swim isn't fun....or nearly missing the whole experience because of the same reason even before the race had started!!!!.....but these are the things you learn 1st time round and I'll hopefully not repeat this school boy error on Saturday!!!!

    Good luck
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Skids think we've all been there and done that. Well done for cracking on and good luck.

    Just got a call yetserday from a friend whose son did his first tri on an MTB and asked if it was OK for his son to ring me and chat about how to progress - said he's seen a Boardman ... Ah so it goes ... get the chequebook out!
  • Good on you. Ive just started my triathlon training on my old mtb. We gotta start somewhere right.
  • ABTriathlon wrote:
    Good on you. Ive just started my triathlon training on my old mtb. We gotta start somewhere right.
    And wasn't it fun?
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 174

    You'll be suprised how many MTB's thewre are at Tri's.

    Try Wilkinson (yes - Wilkinson) for your 26" slicks and inner tubes.

    They're certainly cheapest for gear and brake cables and do a few tyres.

Sign In or Register to comment.