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Tri Bike (Read 3511 times)

    What do you guys that do triathlons and or road riding think of something like this bike as a beginner tri?

     

     It's not for me but for my daughter who has done her second triathlon and wants to do more.  Her main complaint is that the bike she's using (a hardtail mountain bike of low quality - think WalGoose!) spins out and people are blowing by her on the bike.  This one's cheap but might be a good value.  I know nothing of road/tri bikes but I'd be assembling and adjusting it for her.  I have plenty of experience building MTBs so it shouldn't be a problem.  Bike fit is a whole nother can of worms we'll have to open before we buy something.

     

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/rwt_tri.htm 

     

    MTA:  Sorry, the link doesn't take you directly to the bike - it's the Windsor 2010 Royal Windsor Triathlon Bike (under the triathlon category) for $795.

      bikes direct has a sizing chart on the website, all you need is her inseam length.

       

      if youve used bikes direct before you probably know that the directions arent worth a velvet painting of a whale and a donkey gettin it on. you may want to have it looked at when youre done because they screw things up at the factory assembly too.

       

      youre paying good money for a decked out bike and it has some sweet components. that poor girl is gonna be in for the ride of her life once she realizes how much faster it is than a mountain bike. better get her a new helmet to match.

       

      MTA: just noticed that it comes with clipless pedals so you may have to get the shoes too, or swap pedals.

        Well, the price is low. At that price there will be compromises but, considering the intended use, it may be a pretty decent ride and undoubtably a massive upgrade from the mtn bike. Bike fit is so important getting one online has it's risks. They aren't as easy or inexpensive to send back as running shoes are but the fit is equally important.

         

        I was curious about the bike and found this thread on another site. I haven't done a tri and just one du but I've done several competitive TT's, which is essentially the bike leg of a tri or du on fresh legs. In these I've just used my road bike with clip on bars. Considering her beginner status, and at this price level, I'd be less focused on a "tri specific bike" and more focused on getting the best fitted bike possible and adding clipons, if necessary. This might just as well be a road bike. Also, she might find the tri geometry not so comfortable for training, which will be most of her riding. Just my 2 cents. Hope this helps. 

          In the last 6-7 or so years this has really become a dilemma for some.

           

          Do I need a Tri Bike. Seems everybody has one today.

           

          There was a day when people showed up for Tri's on Steel Frame road bikes. Nothing fancy, nothing that required a loan. The playing field as far as equipment was concerned was pretty level.

           

          If you need to keep up with the Jones's, this is an expensive sport. If your in it for fun, it's still expensive....{{sigh}}. There's no more $15 entry fee's.

           

          To be competeitive, your gonna need a tri bike. If your going to do one or two a year and those are Oly distance and less.....then spending the money on a standard road bike may be a better option. It will be more versatile. Today she is on a wally world mtb.....she's having fun.....she'll be 5x faster on an entry level road bike and will have a much more versatile bike.

           

          Bikes are like shoes......They each have a specific purpose. I wouldn't wear my steel toes to compete in a 10k....which is essentially what your daughter is doing. I have two road bikes...one built for speed...the other for touring. I have a commuter bike and a Mountain Bike and I'm really close to buying a cyclocross frame for a gravel grinder I'd like to do next April. I sold my Tri bike early this spring because it is just to singular purpose. It's for racing....they handle like shit, riding it in town sucks, I wouldn't dare do party rides on it and I suppose it wouldn't handle the trails to well. If I did more Tri's I'd hang on to it. If I was going to do a half iron I'd be satisfied with my road bike......I aint in it to win it.....have a good race and drink some beer.

           

          They'll always be great deals on used Tri bikes between people getting out of the sport or people upgrading to higher end bikes. My recommendation is go with a road bike....if she's still doing them 2 seasons from now and she's close to AG placements....upgrade. Just my 2 cents.

            I agree with Slo_Hand's recommendation. He put it much better than I did.

             

            There was a day when people showed up for Tri's on Steel Frame road bikes. Nothing fancy, nothing that required a loan. 

             

            Just for kicks, here are my hairy legs on a lugged steel road bike wearing running shorts about to put in a top 8% bike split in a sprint length du. Fancy equipment might have saved me what? A minute? Probably a bit less. That wouldn't' have move me up too many places. I'd have to do a lot of these to consider the expense of an extra "TT" bike.

             

              I understand totally that "it's not about the bike" - it's about the rider.  Not being a roadie I hadn't realized a tri bike is a tottally different animal than a road bike.  I thought that since she's liking tri's maybe a tri bike is what to get but comfort/safety/handling in a decent road bike would be a better choice for someone doing these recreationally.  If she gets more serious then maybe consider the race-specific bike.

              Thanks for the advice!

                I understand totally that "it's not about the bike" - it's about the rider.  Not being a roadie I hadn't realized a tri bike is a tottally different animal than a road bike.  I thought that since she's liking tri's maybe a tri bike is what to get but comfort/safety/handling in a decent road bike would be a better choice for someone doing these recreationally.  If she gets more serious then maybe consider the race-specific bike.

                Thanks for the advice!

                That said, if I were a teen getting into this I would really want an actual tri bike and wouldn't give a damn about "comfort/safety/handling" even if it wasn't the best thing for me at that point in my riding career/experience. I'm much more practical now. Good luck and I hope she has fun!

                  She's 26 years old and fully aware!  And I do have concerns about her safety whizzing around town on a twitchy tri-geometry bike.  Thanks for that link from roadbike review.

                    She's 26 years old and fully aware!  And I do have concerns about her safety whizzing around town on a twitchy tri-geometry bike.  Thanks for that link from roadbike review.

                    Aaaha... and I was thinking teen and I almost said something about possibly outgrowing the bike size and stuff. Smile Get her something nice. It could last a while.


                    Giant Flaming Dork

                      When I posed this to someone who I knew that did Tris, they mentioned many people start out with the Felt S32.  It's pretty high on the price/performance scale.  Usually your LBS (local bike shop) will throw in a fitting for next to nothing. (or nothing). 

                       

                      New, it's about 2x the Windsor. However since the S32 is known as a great beginner bike, there's a pretty good used market. If need be, you can take it to LBS to have her fit. If they're a good shop, they won't charge you an arm and a leg to do a fitting...  Mostly because if they treat you right, they know you'll come back for your service.

                       

                      It also turned out that this "someone I knew" was our state representative at the National amateurs for the Oly distance.

                      http://xkcd.com/621/


                      Patzer

                        I'm a biker who added running (and now swimming, for the tri).  I also bought a bikesdirect bike that I use in tris, so I have some experience here.

                         

                        I bought a road bike.  Tri bikes are too specialized (no pun intended) and have very aggressive geometry.  I do enough non-tri riding that a tri bike would be a poor choice, and buying two bikes would make me poor.  Wink

                         

                        I'm happy with my decision.  The bikesdirect bike has been excellent (though I'm an experienced rider and do my own maintenance).  My performance on it in tris was very good, even if aero bars would have been nice.

                        Current goal: an Olympic distance triathlon. Did two of them! New goal: a half-ironman?? Did that too. New goal: I'll have to get back to you.
                        jdais


                          Depends on race distance and course.  A road bike with or without clip-ons will be most benfitial to a beginner.  When she wants to do long distance and really cares about getting aero, then a TT bike is what she needs.  A Tri bike geometry also helps to save your legs for the run.  Bikes direct looks decent for a beginner budget road bike, but you don't get good components and frame.  It will definitely be faster than a mountain bike.  If she sticks with it, then you can always buy a better bike.  I've seen cruiser and mountain bikes at sprint distance races, but not an Olympic.  It would take a lot of energy to get a mountain bike up to 20 mph and maintain it.

                          Swim , Bike, and Run A LOT

                            Even more info!  I'm getting more and more educated all the time.  I didn't realize that one of the reasons for the tri geometry was to save the legs for the run.  Cool.  I guess that keeps you from getting quad 'pump'.  She's only done sprint distance so the MTB wasn't TOO bad.

                             

                            I've had experience with bikesdirect on the mountain side.  I bought one of their high end Fly Team XC bikes (Al frame) and was completely happy with the bike for the money I paid (although the MTB bike snobs definitely turned up their noses at it Roll eyes).  I eventually sold the frame and swapped most of the components to an old-school Ti frame.  I'm much happier riding a Ti hardtail rather than the Alu jalopy.  I imagine the BD road bikes are similar qualtiy and plenty good enough for a beginner.  I'll check around on the Felt and see what the LBS's have and are offering.


                            Needs more cowbell!

                              Add me to the ranks of folks who vote for road bike with clip-on tri-bars for racing.  I've done 1 du...had a blast.  Couldn't fit more into this year's schedule due to money and conflicts, but hope to do at least 3 next year.  Were I doing tris or dus at the rate of 6 or more/year + some time trials AND with any potential to actually be truly competive I could maybe justify the expense of such a specialized bike.  I've seen enough people buy TTs and then find that they are really miserable on that geometry.

                               

                              She could look at a road bike with a lightweight, stiff frame and performance geometry and be comfortable for both centuries and races.  After riding that beast of a mtn. bike (I have one like that...2 sizes too big for me and weighs almost 2x as much as my road bike--no wonder I balked at cycling for so long) she will fly on any road frame.

                              I shoot pretty things! ~

                              '14 Goals:

                              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                              Puttin' on the foil

                                It depends. If your daughter has riding interests outside the sport of triathlon, and only wants to spend money on one bike, then a road bike would probably be better. For instance, if she is going to bike commute or ride in organized group rides, a road bike is much better suited for those activities. However, if her primary interest is in training for and competing in triathlons, then I would strongly recommend a tri-bike. Triathlon bikes are specifically designed for non-draft legal races. They put your body in an aerodynamic position which is vital for success on the bike. In addition, it works leg muscles that are complementary to running. It is easier to run off the bike after riding a tri-bike than it is to run off the bike after a ride on a road bike. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have a triathlon bike and a road bike. I ride my road bike on days where I have an easy ride or when I am riding with other people on road bikes. I also do bike races, and triathlon bikes are illegal in those types of races. However, the vast majority of my riding is done by tri-bike because that is what I do. Here is a picture of my tri-bike.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Don't be obsessed with your desires Danny. The Zen philosopher Basha once wrote, 'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. A donut with no hole, is a Danish.'
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