Triathlon-specific bikes started to become part of our sport about 20 years ago. Designed around the use of aero- (or tri-) bars, triathlonspecific bikes use a steeper seat tube angle to allow you to ride in the aero position more comfortably. For draft-legal racing, though, you need to ride a regular road bike, so we included one aerodynamic road frame in this year’s guide, too.
When it comes to tri bikes, carbon fibre is pretty much the norm – every single bike in our buyer’s guide is made of that material and most are built in Asia. While most of the bikes in our guide sit at a fairly high price range, many companies will offer the same frame with less-expensive components and wheels that will bring the price down.
The buzz in the tri-bike world over the last few years has been around aerodynamic storage. Since so many triathletes are focused on half- and full-distance races where carrying nutrition along is a requirement, bike manufacturers have been adding compartments to the frame that will allow you to store gels, bars and other items without compromising the bike’s aerodynamics.
You’ll only perform well on a bike if it fits you properly, so a good fit is a must when it comes to choosing a new bike. Sometimes getting a bike fit ahead of time can be a huge help and save you lots of money as you’ll make sure to be getting an appropriately sized bike for your body dimensions.
$15,000, ULTEGRA DI2; $19,000, ETAP OR DURA ACE DI2 We lauded Cervélo’s latest superbike as a game changer for the industry when it was announced in 2016 and this unique bike has signalled a new approach to bike design. Cervélo’s engineers designed the P5X to be as aerodynamic as the original P5 (it’s a rocket on downhills and flats), all while carrying three round water bottles and all the gels and bars you’ll need for a full-distance race or the longest of transition workouts. The P5X also addresses one of most competitors’ biggest concerns – getting their bike to the race in one piece. The cockpit breaks down easily and the entire bike packs into a custom Biknd case.