The sport of triathlon is challenging, intense, fun and unfortunately expensive. From running shoes, wetsuits, bikes shoes, trisuits, and not to mention bike accessories, the money adds up. Then, you have to purchase the bike. Sure some people start out with whatever bikes they have around, some even try to compete with mountain bikes. Quickly they find that without the right kind of bike, the cycling part of a triathlon is beyond grueling.
Triathlon Bike vs. Road Bike
A road bike is certainly adequate for competing in triathlons, but most people who train and race for any extended period of time, usually end up purchasing a triathlon specific bike. Why? There are many reasons, but mainly because a triathlon bike has been specifically engineered for a triathlon.
Athletes competing in triathlon have just expended massive amounts of energy using almost all of the muscle groups of the body in the pool, and immediately after the ride will have to run. Triathlon bikes are designed to conserve muscles for the run, during the ride.
The concept of a triathlon specific bike came about in the late 80s with the design of the Quintana Roo Superform. The bike had and 80 degree seat angle and 650c wheels. Skeptical professional triathletes soon turned into believers when the bike was ridden in the Ironman New Zealand and the bikes rider, Ray Browning broke both the bike and overall course records. He even began the run leg of the competition with a 30 minute lead over the second place athlete!
Incredible advances in triathlon bike design have been made over the years and the science used to design these bikes is astounding. A study performed in 2000 called The Garside Study compared the bio-mechanical benefits of a triathlon bike versus a road bike, removing aerodynamic factors. Subjects riding 24.8 miles on a road bike then running 6.2 miles were compared to subjects riding the same distance on a triathlon bike then running the same distance. The results were impressive. The athletes riding the triathlon bikes averaged a full5 minute time savings on the run after transitioning off the triathlon bike versus the road bike.
Where to get the best deals on Triathlon Bikes
If you have already begun your search for a triathlon bike, you have learned that all of the integrated technology does not come cheap. Some of the higher end bikes can weigh as little as 13 pounds and cost well over $10,000.
Deals can be found, you just have to know where to look. By all means visit your nearest bike store, ride some bikes and find out what you like. Triathlon bikes come in a variety of frames, styles, weights and colors so it is important to know what you like before you begin bargain hunting.
With the explosion of the internet, one of the best ways to find deal is to go online. Some bike stores offer limited stock online, but online auction/classified sites like eBay, Craigslist and the triathlon specific TriGearTrade.com offer a unique way to find a gently used or closeout new triathlon bike for a great price!
The most important thing to remember in your search for triathlon bike is to find out what you like and shop around for the best deal!
Jessica Albrecht is the COO of TriGearTrade.com which can be found athttp://www.trigeartrade.com
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