Triathlon Bike Vs.  Road Bike?

One big question people have when deciding on buying a triathlon bike, especially when you are thinking about buying a used triathlon bike is do I purchase a triathlon bike or a road bike?  First you should think about the kind of riding you will be doing most.  If you are going to take on the world of triathlons you really need to think about not only what you want out of a bike but what you really need out of your bike. 

A triathlon bike has a steeper seat tube angle, or, the seat tube is closer to vertical than a road bike seat tube. This geometry allows the rider to be more comfortable riding in the aero bars and achieve a more athletic position. A triathlon bike is outfitted with aero bars and bar end shifters. The steep seat tube places the saddle over the crank set and pedals, allowing optimum comfort in the aero bars.  A triathlon bike allows you the rider to transition more smoothly to the run leg of a triathlon, as the geometry requires less use of the muscles at the back of the leg.

A road bike has a less steep seat tube angle. This is a traditional bicycle geometry which puts the rider in a position for climbing, sprinting, cornering and group riding. A road bike comes equipped with “drop” handlebars, and integrated brake and shift levers giving the rider more confidence with their hands on the brakes at all times. A road bike offers versatility and comfort for a variety of uses, from recreational riding to all types of racing.

Which one do I choose?

Decide what type of riding you want to do, and realistically, what type of riding you are going to do. Here are a few questions to get you thinking about road bike vs. tri bike:

* Are you only training for, and racing in, triathlons?
* Do you want to race triathlons competitively? (i.e. does your time matter?)

* Will you be commuting, touring, doing century or group rides with other riders?

If you answered yes to the first two questions above, we highly recommend a triathlon bike. We also recommend training on the bike you will race on, therefore a tri-specific bike will be the best fit for your needs. You will be training for triathlons, and racing triathlons, therefore a tri-specific bike is the answer. And more specifically, if completing the bike leg of a triathlon (or a time trial) in the fastest time possible is important, then a tri-specific geometry is the answer. It will be the most comfortable, aerodynamic and efficient position for those specific uses.

If you answered yes to the last question, a road bike may be the answer for you. This will depend on how often you will be doing group or longer rides, or touring and/or commuting. A road bike will provide the comfort and versatility to do all these activities, and a few triathlons mixed in as well.  Here at used triathlon we offer a wide variety of both used triathlon bikes and used road bikes.  Thanks for stopping buy.

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