if you own a hardtail, how about just fitting skinny slicks and clip on tri bars to it?
I would go down that route, but I only own one bike - a Transition Bandit. Part of me does think it would be funny to fit it with skinny road tyres and clip-ons and just ride that, but I think the joke would probably wear off within the first few km. I'd also need new wheels to fit narrow tyres (currently have Stans Flow), so I don't think it's a sensible option.
You mean you commute? or your train with a specific target derived training plan?
Well, I'm not sure what I do would constitute a 'target derived training plan', but I do mean pushing myself with the aim of increasing my strength and fitness - either through laps of Richmond Park on my bike, or 70-minute sessions on a spinner I have set up at home. I've no doubt I could be doing things differently to train more effectively, however - that's something I'll be looking into. Again, any tips would be appreciated.
If you're set on getting a road bike, then consider buying second hand. You can get a decent road bike for £500 if you trawl the classifieds and know what you're looking for. And if you get it cheap, then you can sell it on for not much less after the triathlon if you hate the bike.
I think I will end up buying second hand, though I really don't know what I should be looking for. I also don't know what size I need. Given my height, I guess I'm going to be looking at 61-63, which might limit my options when it comes to second hand.
The other option, which I've just seen, is that there is a bike hire scheme for the event. You can get a Giant Defy 4 from now until August for £125. Might be the most sensible option? (Link here.)
There's a risk with buying a road bike - you might enjoy it and end up marveling at how smooth lycra feels against your shaved legs
I may well end up enjoying it and I have no problem with wearing lycra, but I absolutely draw the line at shaving my legs. Not going to happen.