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Bike choice for Ironman

Hi All

I'm planning on tackling the Welsh Ironman,the UK one had sold out!! (midlife crisis )
My question is whether to buy a tri specific or a sportive type due to the distance.
Oh and would appreciate any advice/tips from anyone who's done the Welsh one.

Thanks in advance



  • Rick,

    Just completed Ironman Wales on a road bike with clip on aero bars and had no problems. It really depends on your strengths as a cyclist and the depth of your pockets. There was a good mix of both types of bikes on the day. There are pros and cons of both. I do a lot of road cycling so it was an obvious choice for me just to stick on some aero bars. If you are intending to do more time trialling once you have sucessfully completed Ironman next year then a tri specific bike would be best. The course is quite rolling with a few climbs. I read a lot of blogs before the race that made me a bit aprehensive about the climbs but they were not too bad. You would have no problem on a tri or road bike to run the course. Best thing about wales is the support which is absolutely fantastic. Maratrhon course is really tough but the crowd get you through it.
  • Hi Ally

    Thanks very much for the advice. I'm looking more to sportives i think with the odd long distance triathlon after the ironman,so i'll go with the road bike.

  • Rick,

    Good shout with the road bike. Just make sure that you get plenty of practice using the aero bars before the Ironman. I had mine on for a good few months and done many miles with them. It is beneficial to get down into the areo position as often as you can and therefore it is likely that you would spend a good few hours in the "aero" position over the course of 112 miles. Your body needs to get used to cycling in this position which is not an overnight thing. Simple things like breathing can be affected due to the change in position. I bought profile design carbon stryke bars and have found them to be excellent.

    All the best


  • Thanks again Ally

    I've got 12 months to get ready for it,hopefully it'll be long enough
    Going to use the winter improving my swim technique and getting out on the bike as and when i can.
    I'm using the cycle to work scheme to fund it and may give it a cheeky top up if need be
    Currently torturing myself on the ergo and just started Crossfit,just hope my 46 yr old body will take it!!

  • Bike choice is dependent on several factors:
    IM Bike course (flat/hilly)
    Your riding experience (tri bars need practice)
    Expected finish time (how competitive are you?)
    Depth of your pocket (you already have a road bike - can you afford another bike?)

    I have finished 5 IM on a road bike. Sometimes (Austria) it seemed as if there were only 4/5 road bikes in the total entry field. If you can ride it and ride it well (road bike) it will do fine. If you're getting on in the years like me(!) you need to consider the effects on your body that riding a TT bike will have. As said in other posts it does take a lot of getting used to. Another thing to consider is affordability. If you're riding a good road bike, can you buy a really decent quality TT bike without getting divorced!? Also, will the added expenditure make THAT much difference to your own individual performance? Hope this is of some help.

  • Hi Seamus

    Thanks for your advice.

    It looks like i'll be going for the road bike with aero bars rather than a specific TT bike. Funds just won't allow both!
    I'm aiming to ride sportives as well so the road bike is more practical.

  • aanj74aanj74 Posts: 15

    I agree with Seamus and Ally.


    I completed my first Ironman in July on my Road bike with clip on Tri Bars. I asked the same question do I need a new bike??. As long as you have a trusty steed that is set-up correctly and you put in the miles prior to the event you'll do fine.

    If you can do the bike, you will complete the run, it's important to be comfortable as you will be on the bike leg for 79% of the overall distance.


    I did a few Duathlons and other Tri distances using the same bike, i canny afford both

    Get training and good luck Rick 

  • rickrick Posts: 4

    Hi 007


     Thanks for the advice.

    I've gone with the Trek madone 2.1,it gets it's inaugral ride tomorrow. 

    Not been on a bike in years,wet roads and clipless pedals,what could possibly go wrong 

  • Ben 2Ben 2 Posts: 1

    Hi rick, thanks for the post! I am in exactly the same boat when it comes to what bike to use for IM Wales.. I am from wales originally and I think this lends itself for a comfortable road bike!! After 112 miles I am not sure we/you will give a rats A@@@ what bike you are on as long as you finish the course!



  • Hi Ben


     I couldn't agree more! 

    I'll hopefully be doing the long course weekend for a taster of what lies ahead in September.

      Best of luck.

  • Just jumped on board here as I'm deciding what bike to use myself. I have a decent TT bike & decent Road bike with integrated aero bars so I'm undecided??

  • Did Wales last year it was a brilliant event. I would recommend doing the Long Course Weekend beforehand if you have a chance - this is a great event in itself and great way to recce the swim and bike course - the marathon is different but you can always run a lap of the IM course to get used to it.

    The first half of the bike course is fairly easy so it's important to reign yourself in for the 2nd half where it gets lumpy - I wouldn't worry too much about the bike you choose just get some hilly practice in. The crowds are brilliant they really help you out on the hills.

    Everyone told me how hard the bike course was and I was prepared for that, what I failed to acknowledge was how tough the marathon course is. It's really hard to get into a rhythm around the town and the steep bit out of Tenby really slows you down before the long drag to the top of the course, the support is great though! I would advise incorporating a steep hill that tapers out into a long drag into your run training. Good luck you will love it!

  • Nice one.

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