- London triathlon – bike advice
I’ve just been talked into doing the bike leg of the London triathlon as part of a team entry. It will be the full Olympic distance, so basically a 40km time trial.
I’m pretty fit – I train 70 minutes a day, six days a week – but I’m a dyed in the wool mountain biker. I’ve never actually raced or even ridden clipped in – let alone a road bike – and my friends doing the running and swimming legs are both very competent, so I’m pretty nervous about letting them down. I was hoping to get some advice.
What can I expect? The race is in late July – is that an unrealistic timescale to build up to my first proper race?
Also, I need to buy a road bike. I’m tall – 6’5 – and ideally looking to spend not much more than £1000. I don’t really want to go for a specialist TT or triathlon bike – I’d rather a general road bike that will do the job. Any suggestions or good deals about?
Ta.Posted 5 years agoRo5eyMember
First you’ve got plenty of time.
I think you are right about getting a road bike rather than a specific TT/Tri bike… Ride the bike “as it comes” until a month out then add clip on tri bars (about £50) to get used to them before the race…. they do make a difference but take a little getting used to in both bike handling terms and body posiion.
Re clipped in… maybe just go with old skool pedal and straps… see how you get on… at our level I doudt it’ll make that much difference over proper clips and it’ll save you a couple of quid
And I don’t worry about letting your friends down… it just a bit of fun.Posted 5 years agokcrMember
Are you buying the bike just for this event, or are you planning to do more road riding? If the former, and if you own a hardtail, how about just fitting skinny slicks and clip on tri bars to it?
The performance difference between that and a road racing bike are not going to be as big as you think, if you get your position right, and if you are not buying a TT specific bike, I guess you’re not trying to eke out your marginal gains anyway?
This is not as daft an idea as it might appear – Andy Wilkinson has won national TT titles on a hybrid frame (he’s riding a custom built version now, but it still has round tubes and V-brakes on it!).
If you want to do as good a ride as possible for the team, specific training and getting used to riding in a TT position will be much more important than the bike.Posted 5 years agoendurancenutMember
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 😳
London triathlon tends to attract a lot of first-timers. So there’s a whole variety of bikes on display. You’d be fine on a MTB with slicks, and would probably find yourself overtaking a few roadies if you’re reasonably bike fit. But you’ll certainly be working much harder than those that you’re overtaking, and you’ll also be very slow when compared to some of the racing snakes in full-on TT mode.
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.Posted 5 years agoashfanmanMember
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. 😀Posted 5 years ago
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