Cheap ironman bikescan often be the best choice for the beginner triathlete.
In fact it might be in the beginner triathletes best interest to hold off on spending a lot of money on a triathlon bike.
FINDING THE RIGHT IRONMAN BIKE FOR YOU
This is often one of the most challenging of equipment decisions for those who are new to the sport of triathlon. This is especially true for those triathletes who are eventually planning on taking on the ironman triathlon. The distance of 112-miles is so intimidating that finding the right ironman bikes becomes a priority.
The biggest problem is that there are simply too many choices out there these days. When triathlon first started you just went out and got yourself a basic road bike. There were no actual ironman bikes, and there were no ironman bike accessories either. They had not been invented yet. There were no clipless pedals, bike computers, or aero-bars. This made choosing a bike a very easy task.
You simply found a bike in your price range that fit you well even though it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of today.
ROAD BIKES VS. TRIATHLON BIKES
Do you know the difference between a road bike and a triathlon bike?
For the longest time I didn’t even realize myself what the main difference was as I was never really a bike guru, but the learning how to bike was a necessary evil if one wanted to be an Ironman.
Of course the bike I used in my very first Ironman back in 1984 was a basic road-bike because that was pretty much the only choice.
The only difference was that the pros were getting more expensive road-bikes and mine cost about $300 brand new.
The first thing to come along was the accessories to make road-bikes better ironman bikes.
In about 1985 the first “Look” snap in pedals hit the market-place. Then came the aero-bars. Then it was Titanium frames and disk wheels and the innovations kept right on coming.
So really, those early ironman bikes were not actual triathlon bikes but just road-bikes with the added accessories. The accessories made them more suitable for triathletes who wanted to save as much energy as they could for the run that followed the bike leg of the triathlon.
Now you can buy actual triathlon bikes that are made specifically for the triathlete and are more suited for aerodynamic riding that is configured in a way that saves energy.
The big difference between the two bikes is that the triathlon bikes are configured much lower to keep the rider in the optimum body position to save energy.
They are almost like a time trial bike that is meant for straight ahead speed. They are not really very forgiving and I really feel an inexperienced triathlete should not make this their first choice.
A road bike on the other hand is much more forgiving. They corner much better and offer many more hand positions when with the standard drop handle-bars.
BEST IRONMAN BIKE CHOICES FOR NOVICE TRIATHLETES
After many years of trial and error and making all the classic mistakes when it came to picking out the right choice as far as Ironman Bikes, I have come to this conclusion.
If you are just starting out in the sport and especially if you are new to cycling I strongly believe the best choice for a bike would be a road bike and not an actual triathlon bike.
This will enable you to work on the basis skills and to get to get comfortable with biking in general.
They handle better and offer many more hand positions as I mentioned and this in turn gives you the opportunity to find out what works best for you.
Once you are comfortable with your road bike then I would use it for your early triathlon career. Some people just want to try the sport out or maybe just do that one Ironman Triathlon and then call it a career.
If that’s the case with you then it’s not really necessary to spend thousands of dollars on an actual triathlon bike.
A better option would be to add triathlon accessories to the road bike you have become comfortable with.
This is a much less expensive option and if your triathlon career is a short one you still have yourself a good road bike for casual riding.
CHEAP IRONMAN BIKES
If you have your mind made up that you want an actual triathlon bike then I would seriously consider finding yourself a used one.
Keep in mind that lightly used ironman bikes are always available because it’s the nature of the long-time triathlete and ironman to keep upgrading to different bikes for a variety of reasons. They may think a more expensive bike will give them better bike times for instance.
This provides an opportunity for the buyer who is after their first ironman bike. It is a buyer’s market so really you have the upper hand.
Another advantage is that a used triathlon bike will most likely already come with all the accessories you will ever need. Most triathletes who upgrade to a new bike will go with new accessories for the most part as well.
Very good triathlon bikes are sold on Ebay every single day.
You can also go you your local bike shop and let them know that you are interested in purchasing a used triathlon bike and have them call you when one becomes available.
This works well for everyone, as the purchaser of a new bike can trade in his old one. So the bike shop makes a sale, the buyer gets his new bike, and you get your first triathlon bike.
THE GOLDEN RULE OF TRIATHLON BIKES
Whatever bike you happen to choose, regardless if it’s road bike, used triathlon bike, or new triathlon bike, remember that it simply must fit you properly.
A bike frame that is ill-fitting will impact your triathlon and especially ironman triathlon results big time.
Make sure before you buy any bike that get on the bike and have a pro who really knows bikes fit it for you.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of adjusting the handle-bars or seat. Other times it might mean a different bike altogether if the frame is too big or small for you.
Whether the bike you purchase from a bike shop is new or used should have the experience to do a proper fitting.
Ensuring proper bike fit is essential no matter what kind of bike you buy.
Check out this video on Triathlon Bikes VS. Road bikes