When it comes to a fast bike split, position is everything. That doesn’t mean that any bike will do – you need to get yourself on a bike that will allow you to stay in the aero position for as long as possible. As you can see in this year’s buyer’s guide, the sky’s the limit when it comes to buying a triathlon-specific bike. Remember, though, that you’re going to be the most important factor when it comes to going fast – get yourself fit properly and then get the best frame and components your budget allows.
Garneau Gennix TR1 Elite
$4,500 Lionel Sanders has been ripping up the world scene on his TR1. The Gennix TR1 Elite offers lots of high-end performance for the money. It starts with the Gennix TR1 frame, the same one that Sanders used to set a new Ironman world record last year. That’s combined with Shimano’s Ultegra components which provide crisp shifting. The TR1 Elite comes with Novatec 30 wheels – to really take this bike to the highest level all you’ll really need to do is add a high-end wheelset.
Specialized S-works Amira ETAP
$11,070 Now that the ITU has made the sprint event at the world championships draft legal, triathletes have suddenly found themselves in the hunt for road bikes as tri-bars are prohibited in draft-legal racing. This women’s-specific bike offers a ton of features on a ride that is built with women’s dimensions in mind. The FACT 11r carbon frame and FACT carbon full monocoque fork provide lots of performance while also ensuring a smooth, comfortable ride. Specced with SRAM’S electronic ETAP components you’ll get super-sharp shifting. The package is rounded out with Roval CLX 40 carbon wheels, which will do a great job for both training and draft-legal racing.
Scott Plasma 10
$5,199 The Plasma 10, with its Plasma 4 frame, has many of the same features as Scott’s top of the line Plasma Team Issue. You get that great frame with lots of adjustability and integration, including the ability to mount a storage box on the top tube (storage is in style on tri bikes these days). You get Ultegra components and a Syncros Race 22 Aero Profile wheelset, providing a race-ready package. This is a bike that will take you a long way – it’s easy to upgrade down the road to some super-fast wheels or upscaling the components.
Cannondale Slice Ultegra Di2
$6,070 The Ballistec carbon frame and fork used in the latest iteration of the aptly named Slice is very aero while still providing lots of great performance and a smooth ride. This version comes with Shimano’s electronic Ultegra Di2 components to ensure you’ll get excellent, precise shifting. The Vision T30 rims make this a race-ready machine that can be up-specced to a pro-level ride with some faster wheels. You get a nice cockpit in the form of Cannondale’s C3 base bar and an FSA Tri Max clip on.
$2,900 FRAME AND FORK Available in five different sizes and more than 25 build configurations, Montreal-based Squad is sure they can put together a custombuilt Hornett to meet your needs. You start with the aerodynamic profile Hornett frame with its integrated front brake, then pick your components and wheels. Quarq Zero power meters are available, too. A detailed measurement guide and a phone call with a Squad specialist comes next to ensure they’ll build up a customized bike.
Trek Speed Concept 7.5
$5,300 The Speed Concept 500 Series OCLV frame with its Kammtail Virtual Foil tube shape offers outstanding aerodynamic performance – you’ll see the pros riding the same frame throughout the season. Integrated storage ensures that you’ll cheat the wind even with food and drinks on board. A large size range means you’ll be able to dial in the perfect fit. On this race-ready package you get Bontrager Race Tubeless Ready wheels along with SRAM’S reliable Force components and Quarq power-ready crank.
Liv Avow Advanced
$2,599 This women’s bike offers a high-performance advanced-grade composite frame and fork along with Giant PA-2 aero rims. A combination of Shimano’s 105 and Ultegra components offer precise 11-speed shifting, while Giant’s Speedcontrol brakes have titanium hardware to lighten things up. You get a Liv Aerodrive composite bar and extensions with bar end shifters in this package so you’ll be all set to be at your aerodynamic best.
Cervélo P5X ETAP
$16,000 Cervélo designed the new P5X with triathletes in mind – the entire bike is built around the needs of multisport. Designed to carry up to three round water bottles, lots of bars and gels, not to mention a spare tire or tube, everything about the P5X is designed to go fast in real-world conditions. The systems-design approach promises to herald a new era in bike design – the engineers at Cervélo thought of everything, to the point of making the P5X extremely travel friendly. (The bars come apart really easily and the bike fits into a specially designed Biknd case.) The SRAM Red ETAP equipped version comes with disc brakes and super-speedy Enve 7.8 wheels.
$9,200 The UHC Advanced carbon fibre frameset and Felt Dagger monocoque fork offer the same outstanding aerodynamic performance and ride comfort Daniela Ryf used to dominate the world championship last year. Aerodynamic performance is enhanced thanks to the integrated storage. Shimano Ultegra Di2 components provide precise and convenient shifting. You can dial in your aero position on the Felt Dagger base bar with f-bend extensions. Felt’s own TTR1 (front) and TTR0 (rear) wheelset round out this speedy package.—km
Trek Speed Concept 7.5 Liv Avow Advanced
Scott Plazma 10 Cannondale Slice Ultegra Di2 Squad Hornett
Specialized S-works Amira ETAP
Garneau Gennix TR1 Elite
Cervélo PX5 ETAP Felt IA2