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Question for Triathletes (Read 1138 times)

    My husband wants to do triathlons but has never done them and does not own a bike. He seems to think it is required that you have a tri-bike at triathlons instead of just a road bike. Is this true? I want to get him a cheap bike for now to make sure he really is interested before spending so much money (esp on a tri bike) How can I help him get started on a really tight budget? I found this on Craigslist: not sure what a touring bike is http://newhaven.craigslist.org/bik/470407864.html Thanks!
      I think your husband told you that you are required to have a tri bike so that that's what you get him! Wink No, you don't NEED a tri bike. I've seen people ride mountain bikes and real clunkers in triathlons. With that said, any bike will do really. But... there is a big difference in how these bikes perform. I'm wondering if you get a really inexpensive bike to begin with that he will be turned off completely because of how poorly the bike feels. Kinda like taking up running while wearing a $10 pair of Keds Sneakers. That doesn't mean you have to spend a ton of $$$ though either. I would suggest going to a bike shop. Many will have used bikes for sale. Explain to them what you are looking for and what your budget is, and they can probably set you up with the bike best suited to your needs. Most importantly, they will fit your husband with the properly sized bicycle, which is very important. A touring bike is one that is designed more for a smooth ride rather than performance and speed. It's like the difference between a cadillac and a porche. The particular one that you are looking at... well... I would say you could do better elsewhere. Best of luck to you in your search, and congrats to your husband for wanting to give this a go!
        I have signed up for my first tri next year and have been doing some research on bikes. I'm going to go with a road bike. From what I've read, tri bikes are very specific to those types of races. I would like to use my bike for other things beyond triathlons and I don't want to buy two bikes since they're not very cheap. From what I've read, road bikes should be fine in triathlons unless you're going to be ultra competitive (which isn't what I'm planning). Beginner Triathlete web site has a forum where they discuss a lot of tri specific issues including appropriate bikes.
        "If I control myself, I control my destiny."
          Thank you! I will check out that site
            I've done a bunch of sprint tri's on my roadbike, with added aerobars so you can get into the "tri" position more. I went with a middle of the line road bike, but at the end of the season, so while it was still $$ to me, it was a good deal for that bike. I figured that I'm going to have the bike for awhile so I didn't want to get the cheapest one, but I wasn't convinced I'd love biking and tri's the way I love running so I didn't want to spend a fortune. I like the road bike, I can use it for training and also for more casual rides. I 2nd the bike shop suggestion. They will be able to direct you towards the right thing, and it's good to make connections as a local place for repairs and maintenance. Also, this was in another bike thread, but if you buy a bike, ask for a discount on accessories along with it. I even searched for my bike online and found it at another shop for $100 less. I showed that to my local place and they took $50 off the price for me, a great compromise since I really wanted to deal with them anyways. They've got my business for good (a year later we went back a got my DH a bike there too).


            The voice of mile 18

              another vote for the good local bike shop. a good one will not push you toward a $5k bike. you can ride almost anything w/ two wheels in a tri. lots of newbies ride hybrids/mtn bikes the first time around then spend $ when they get addicted. a local bike shop can set you up w/ a bike that fits you and your budget. a ill fitting bike is a pain in the arse - literally. good luck and have fun. PS BT is a good site as is trinewbies.com, triathlete.com, active.com or slowtwitch.com each forum has it's own personality but all have good info
              4/18 Rutgers Half Marathon 7/20 Antrhacite Olympic Tri 9/25 chesapeakeman Ultra distance Tri Rule #1 of Triathlon Training/Racing - If Momma ain't happy nobody is happy http://community.active.com/people/Joe_h1/blog
                I think your husband told you that you are required to have a tri bike so that that's what you get him! Wink
                I completely missed your post earlier.. actually my hubby gets an idea in his head and it gets stuck that way until he is proven otherwise. Roll eyes Thank you for the advice, I think I will hold off and let him pick one out at a bike shop. At least now I can prove to him that he doesn't have to wait until he can afford an expensive bike!
                  I've done a bunch of sprint tri's on my roadbike, with added aerobars so you can get into the "tri" position more. quote> I like that idea. Im sure like you guys are all saying, the bike shop can help with making the best choices. Joe_h thank you for the websites, I will pass all of this too him!
                  db7


                    I am about to buy a bike next month myself. There is a ton of info out there that talks about fit and buying. Seems like it comes down to how many tris you might do and how much you CAN spend. http://www.triathletemag.com/Departments/Training/2007/Progressive_Bike_Fit.htm DB

                    Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ


                    Team HTFU NCTR Driver

                      I'd stay away from that Craig's List bike - it's very old, and inaccurately described. A used bike is frequently a risky choice for someone new to cycling, unless you can get it through a bike shop that will fit it to you properly (and won't sell it to you if it doesn't fit you). My standard advice for a new road bike is to allow $1000. That gets a very good starter bike, along the lines of a Trek 1000 (or 1.0, as I think it's called noe), as well as a helmet, air pump, and a few accessories and clothing items. That's really a pretty generous allowance - you could definitely do better, with a little effort. Definitely go to a real bike shop, in any case. For a "first bike" I'd stay far, far away from a "real" tri bike - they have very different geometry and rider position from road bikes, and have very twitchy handling as a result. They can also be tremendously uncomfortable. One of the many great ways to enjoy riding is on group rides, and tri bikes are generally shunned from those rides, due to the twitchy handling and to the forward-pointing aero handlebars - they have a tendency to impale people in crashes. Aerobars are banned in mass-start bike races for just that reason; you won't see them in the Tour de France, except on time-trial stages where the riders start one-at-a-time. With a regular road bike, once he's more comfortable riding and has built up some bike-specific muscular strength, he can add some clip-on aerobars, adjust the saddle position, and will then have a sort of intermediate between a road bike and a tri bike that he can get most of the tri-bike benefits without the potential issues. did



                        I was in your husband's place a little more than a year ago.... I ended up buying a 10 year old Cannondale roadbike off Craigslist for $125. (had been $1000 new 10 years ago)... I ended up putting another $100 into it. I cross-trained on the bike all year and did 1 triathlon along the way. Enough to tell me: * I like running more than tri's * I like cross-training and expect to buy a new bike within the next year. Re: purchasing, I offer you this: * Used or new, there's no wiggle room for the proper size. I learned what I needed and trained myself to ignore the listings that weren't the perfect size.... not easy to do. * I bought a road bike. In my tri (admittedly a sprint distance), I figure there were 25% tri bikes, 50% road bikes, and 25% - beach cruiser/wallmart/mountain bike/whatwasIthinkingwhenIsignedupfor this/ bikes.

                        Go to http://certainintelligence.blogspot.com for my blog.

                        CherryDG


                          My husband started doing tris just this past April. He had originally planned to ride a dirt bike for the tri, but was told and found out for himself that road bikes don't roll as well on pavement. He actually found a local bike store that had a handful of bikes for rent. The store owner is a triathlete and understands that newbie triathletes might not want to purchase a bike until they know they're going to stick with the sport. I think he was charging $50/month for the bike. The bike my husband rented was a road bike.


                          Team HTFU NCTR Driver

                            My husband started doing tris just this past April. He had originally planned to ride a dirt bike for the tri, but was told and found out for himself that road bikes don't roll as well on pavement. He actually found a local bike store that had a handful of bikes for rent. The store owner is a triathlete and understands that newbie triathletes might not want to purchase a bike until they know they're going to stick with the sport. I think he was charging $50/month for the bike. The bike my husband rented was a road bike.
                            Generally people figure that a mountain bike is 25% less efficient than a road bike of similar quality. That's a biiiig difference... did



                              I told my husband about all of this great information and of course he denied ever having said that a tri bike was required. That was his argument for the last month over why he could not afford to get a bike Roll eyes
                              db7


                                My argument is that if you compare what we all spend on shoes per year, a bike is really pretty cheap. (My wife didn't buy it either.) She said maybe I should cut back on the shoe buying. DB

                                Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ

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