Getting involved in multisports such as triathlon can initially be a costly affair, as you’ll be required to get some decent kit if you are to do very well at it. So for example, a high quality wet suit will enable you to perform to your best in the swimming leg, while also keeping you warm and comfortable. Similarly, a lightweight pair of performance running shoes is essential.
There is one piece of equipment, the cost of which will probably eclipse the combined price tags of everything else – the bike. You can ride your usual, regular bicycle if you want to, but the chances are it will be far heavier than the machines everyone else is using. So if you don’t want to feel deflated when the rest of the field zoom past you in the ride section, it is worth investigating your options for a new bike.
There is a wide range of prices for new and used triathlon bikes, so it is definitely worth doing a little bit of research and finding one which will give you an edge in racing but also fit comfortably into your budget. Here are some examples:
Giant Defy – this one is designed as a road bike rather than a dedicated tri bike, but at around $800 new, it is a fantastic entry level bike if you are just getting started in triathlons and don’t want to splash the cash until you are happy that you can compete reasonably well.
Focus Variado Tria – this Focus tri bike has a far higher spec than the Giant but is still reasonably priced, especially if you are happy buying last year’s model as you’ll often get discounts. The Variado Tria features an aerodynamic wind-cheating lightweight frame and aero bars for a very aggressive race set up. But if you are new to racing, you might feel a little more comfortable with regular drop handlebars like you find on road racing bikes. If so, then the alternative is the Focus Variado Expert, which has a very similar spec. It is also slightly cheaper. For a larger discount, there is also the regular Focus Variado road bike, which has a lower spec, but is still light enough for racing.
Cervelo P4 – the main problem with racing bikes is that there is never an upper limit on price. They always get more and more advanced, or lighter, or more aerodynamic, and the price goes up to reflect that. The Cervelo P4 is a top end professional TT and triathlon bike and costs up to $3500. It is designed for pure speed, but if you are still just starting out in triathlons, you are probably best off avoiding the expense of the P4. What you might find if you look hard enough is a good bargain on one of the earlier models such as the P1, which are usually under $2000 nowadays.