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Advice needed

Hi all,
I have completed numerous triathlons as company events therfore my wetsuit etc was hired for the day. I also did these triathlons on a mountain bike which was hard but I managed. Having completed a marathon and various other distance runs, I have jumped in the deep end and entered this years Ironman 70.3.

This is my dilemma:

I don't really have 2 pennies to rub together at the minute and I'm looking to gear up as cheap as possible but with items that will do the job.

Can anybody advise on what wetsuits and bikes I should be looking at? I went to halfords recently to look at the Carrerra road bike which was £340. Would this do? I am literally clueless as to what I need so any weblinks to good but cheap gear would be amazing for me.

I'm currently just getting over a Meniscectomy on my right knee and back doing light running. I'm swimming hard but due to currently having no bike I'm racking up 40-50k on the gym bike which obviously isn't giving me the outdoor experience. Also what tri-suits are best to use?

Any help is gratefully received!

Thanks Sam


  • speshspesh Posts: 3
    Hi Sam,
    I am new to triathlons and hoping to do my first one this year, like you i was looking to start out as cheap as i could. I looked at the Carrera and thought it was an OK bike, i was advised to shop around on ebay and gumtree etc for something secondhand that was in good condition.
    I am very glad i did, the carrera is £340 and i paid £325 for a Giant scr 3.0 which had hardly been used, it is a much better bike all round than the carrera and in my opinion has made a massive difference to how much i enjoy cycling. I have since been out on a Carrera that a friend has and it is a complete dog to ride by comparison, they have just bought a specialzed allez comp from 2006 second hand will 500 miles on it for £350 and it is a fantastic bike for the money.
    I guess what i am saying is dont be afraid to look at secondhand stuff as people generally look after their bikes and you can get some great deals if you look about. Good luck!
  • Definitely go for a bike from a proper bike brand on ebay. I got a Giant SCR 2.0 on there for under £300 as my first ever road bike and rode thousands of miles on it before re-selling it on Ebay again for the same price as I bought it.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Well first off, join a club whether tri or bike, there will pretty much always be someone selling a bike but what is important is sizing and that is where having someone who knows what they are talking about helps.

    I am a big fan of compacts; gearing-triple-double-or-compact-t47459-10.html#p56577 they are simply more flexible than a standard. Compact usually has a 50/34 set up, a Standard 53/39 but a compact can also have a 52 big ring and the inner a 36 or 39; Standard inner rings generally 42, 39 or perhaps 38 so you will struggle more on climbs. I tend to use a 52 or 50 - 39. Nice and tight, great for snicking through the gears and for something like the Vitruvian 50/36. IM UK 70.3 is hilly so a 50/36 or 50/34 would be useful.

    Cassette, big fan of the SRAM 11-28; first 5 ratios the same as the 11-23 so again nice and tight and a big help with the 28 for climbing.

    Fact: 50/11 is bigger, faster than a 53/12. What I mean there is if you can't maintain a useful cadence on 53/11 and have to drop to 53/12 you will get someone overtaking you on a 50/11 at the same cadence.

    Wetsuits; most of us engage in varying degrees of drowning avoidance so look at something with good buoyancy around hips and lower limbs, 4-5 mm ideal, chest 3-5mm, arms 2- 2.5 mm . We tend to have bigger legs than swimmers so they tend to sink and cause drag, Blue Seventy Fusion is a good starter but I am not up to date on suits so unless anyone else can suggest something have a look at that - fit is King. Again you need someone who will not bull###t you and knows what they are talking about to size you. Now some wetsuit hire companies will let you buy the suit at a discount so that may be something to consider.

    Hope that helps
  • Thankyou very much the advice! Has anybody ever trained on a lower quality bike and then hired on the day? How did you get on?
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Most will have the one bike for training and racing, others will have a training bike and a racing bike which will inevitably be lighter and faster and possibly lower quality (although not necessarily, may be same quality just different). Training on a heavier bike will set you up nicely for racing on a lighter, faster bike.

    Regarding hiring bike on the day, not aware of that and in any case you will need to dial in the fit before the race. But you know if you have a bike, even if it is an MTB or hybrid, use that for your first event, I did, just swap the tyres or even wheels if possible for road ones. Even borrow a bike, you don't have to spend a stupid amount (although a lot of us do, including me - my bike is probably about £2.5k above my level but what the heck ).

    As I said before, look at joining a club, whether bike or tri and there are also 'online' clubs; they are all communities of like minded people of varying experience and ability and very likely you will be able to find a decent first bike for not a lot. For some people this will be their steed for life, others a first in a long line (this is my fourth including the MTB and do not envisage there being a fifth, although one never knows )

    Hope that helps
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Sorry - correction -
    Most will have the one bike for training and racing, others will have a training bike and a racing bike which will inevitably be lighter and faster and possibly lower quality
    Should of course read
    Most will have the one bike for training and racing, others will have a training bike and a racing bike which will inevitably be lighter and faster and probably higher quality
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Oh yes, also forgot to add, have a search for bike sizing calculators as a starting point e.g.

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... NK=NOREDIR


    http://www.tredz.co.uk/guides/road-bike ... alculator/

    But again the help of someone who knows what they are talking about helps, if buying new getting the advice of a good local bike shop LBS - finding a good LBS, well that is word of mouth, join a club.
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