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Triathlon Bike vs Road Bike for Half Ironman/Full Ironman?


I am contemplating making the step up to half ironman, and later full ironman.

My question, is what I spend my cash on now to deliver a bit of long term benefit.

Road Bike vs TT bike?

Will a road bike with a set of tri bars on be a feasible option, or is it frowned upon in the world or ironman ?

All input welcomed....




  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    No worries with the tri bars on the road bike issue.

    If you are looking to invest over a long term
    if you are going to compete in the full range of tri distance and not just long course.
    If you are going to compete in TT's
    then irrespective of the course profile the only reason to stop you investing in a TT bike is comfort over the 112 miles.

    If you are looking to do sportives as well with the occassional Tri then a road bike may be better.Tri bars are certainly frowned on in cycle sportives.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I stepped from oly's and sprint to HIM and IM last year. For the earlier part of the year I had tri-bars on my roadie and everything was ok but i found the transition to full TT was still difficult, so much so that I done IMUK on the trust Battlecat (road bike) as I could not face 112 on the TT espec when I knew that I wouldn't be in the TT position for the best part of it.

    If you do go TT then you need to spend a great deal of time getting used to the position so that it becomes second nature. I know use my TT for the turbo to get training for holding the position so that next season I know that I can hold it for the required time/ distance
  • I have been having the same issue, I think I will be on the roadie as this will be my first IM. I figured I will have enough to worry about with out trying to learn how to ride a bike again, also having the option for using the same (quite expensive) bike for sportives means better value for money.
  • largeadelargeade Posts: 166
    Jodie Swallow won the 70.3 world champs on a road bike.
  • Morg007Morg007 Posts: 54
    largeade wrote:
    Jodie Swallow won the 70.3 world champs on a road bike.
    And Chrissie Wellington has dominated ironman on a TT
  • Yes Jodie did... and yes Chrissie did

    I think for now I'll opt for the road bike. Being that I still will be doing a lot of sprint and olympic distances... Although I stumbled across the Cowman Middle Distance in July. Going to sign up for that first taste of long(er) distance! Fingers crossed silverstone half marathon training will stand me in good stead!

    Ironman is the ultimate ambition, but perhaps a few years down the road. No doubt by that time, there will be no question!

    Thanks for the input...

  • I am also doing my first half iron event this year.

    I'm just going to be using a road bike with clip-on tri bars.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    by andyflanagan » 12 Jan 2011 10:50

    I am also doing my first half iron event this year.

    And nothing wrong with that.
  • what event have you signed up for?

    You using a road bike?

    I think i'm going to sign up for the cowman middle distance in july...
  • I've signed up for Gatorade Big Half @ Trentham Gardens, Stoke


    Its relatively local, and its come recommended for as a good half iron for 'newbies' to that distance. I've done events organised by 'UK Triathlon Events' before and they've been superb. But yeah, I'm just using a road bike with clip-on tri bars.
  • I'm down to do Cowman in July, first middle distance and I'll be on a roadie with clip ons (and it's not carbon-I'll have a paper bag over my head...)
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    andyflanagan » 13 Jan 2011 09:44

    I've signed up for Gatorade Big Half @ Trentham Gardens, Stoke
    The Trentham Big Half is an excellent race but it was let down last year, I feel, by the change in bike route. The stopping at traffic lights was crap and then shouting your number out to get the time back... I'm certain they didn't give me enough time back. then there was the pillock who clearly didn't see 20 or so people stopped and ploughed into the back Battlecat... and she lost her bike computer as result [email protected]

    Great Swim
    bike leg was still good - excellent hill that is a complete slog from the 3rd lap
    Run - flat as hell ( last year it was boiling on the run)

    I would do the race this year but I'm planning to race at the Big Cow instead.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Why not get both, and a third bike to train on??? After all, that's what will happen anyway, be it now or next year and the year after...
  • Bit the bullet and signed up for Cowman middle distance 3rd July...

    You're right about the bikes though. I know I'll get a road bike this time round, save up for another year, and spend on a 2010 TT model or something a little cheap, but still great...

    I'll be mindful to watch out for a guy riding with a bag on his head... I'll be the one with the flairs on the handlebars...
  • TimtTimt Posts: 2
    I'm signed up for Alpe d'Huez middleish distance this year and have always ridden a road bike with clip ons for tri.

    Anyway, having seen the course profile I'm actually considering ditching the clip ons completely for it as it looks like you're either acending or decending the whole time!
  • Hmmm yeah I've had an issue before on a race with the whole 'stopping for red lights' rule. I wont really be doing the event for a time as such (well I will in my head), as its my first attempt at a middle distance tri, but I do hope I'm not stopping and starting all the time on the bike.

    The Cowman seems to be a very popular race.
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