Your First Bicycle...New or Used?
Kent - Tri-Newbies Online
your first bike can be an extremely overwhelming process.
Today, the choices are rather numerous and several factors
must be considered before you make a final decision.
much should I spend? What material is the best? Who makes
the best bike? Should I buy a triathlon bike or road bike?
What size bike should I be considering?
of all, you must decide just how committed to the sport of
triathlon you really are.
you are in the “just giving it a TRI” stage, than I
suggest you look for a used road bike.
i.e., classifieds, tri mags, Internet etc. ) and do not
spend more than a few hundred bucks.
My first bike was a
steel Giant for which I paid $200.
I spent a year racing and training on that bike and
she performed just fine. If you do purchase a used road
bike you can always buy the necessary components to
convert her to a tri bike such as a forward seat post and
you wish to purchase something new, you will have to spend
some money. Fortunately,
today, you really cannot go wrong with the quality of bike
made. The bottom line is… how much do you want to spend?
of your bikes today, “tri-bikes” as well as “road
bikes”, fall within a $1000-$4000 range (complete bike) depending on materials,
brand name, and even year manufactured.
very popular material used in the construction of bicycles
today is Carbon fiber. Typically, carbon fiber bikes are very light and very stiff.
Not only are these bikes light and stiff, most are
One small problem though, the price of these bikes
can be rather hard on the wallet falling somewhere between
the $2500-$4000 range…ouch!
is another popular material used in bicycle manufacturing.
An aluminum bike is stiff and rigid but cheaper in
price than carbon fiber.
then there are the Titanium built bikes. Titanium is a
light, very durable alloy, and more flexible than
aluminum…It is also pretty darn expensive. These bikes
can cost as much as $4000. But you may find some closeout
specials for around $1000.
are you overwhelmed yet?
now that you have seen some of the choices and some of the
costs involved, the best advice I can give regarding
saving some money on a “new” bike is to look for a
clearance model from the previous year or two.
And do some research. Check you’re your local
bike shop to find out if there are any clearance models
available. And compare it to the prices of the same models
at the larger nationwide retailers (online as well). The
larger the bike shop, the greater the amount of product in
stock and the larger the amount of product, the greater
the need to unload last years models. And it is these
larger shops where you can really pick up a good deal.
next thing to consider is your size and weight.
If you are a bigger guy, you will find that the
ultra light bikes will not hold up as well.
Nor will the ultra light components.
your size with your geographic location and you have a
whole new set of considerations.
If you live in a hilly or mountainous region, you
will be putting a good deal of torque on you
frame/components while climbing.
The larger the body, the sturdier the equipment
next step in choosing a bike will be deciding on the type
of ride to purchase…a Tri bike or Road bike? You will
find a break down and description of both in Part II of
this series appropriately titled, What
Should I Buy, A Road Bike or a Tri Bike?
finally, once you have narrowed your choices down, make
sure you are properly fit for the bike you wish to
may find the bike you think you want, may not be the best
bike for your body type, height, etc.
In fact, before you even decide on a particular
manufacturer, you should be properly fit. Every bike is
designed differently and a proper fit will not only insure
an efficient and powerful ride but will also eliminate a
lot of endless searching.