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A Beginners Guide to Bikes

When it comes to choosing the right bike for your lifestyle, routine and cycling pursuits, the prospect can be daunting, especially if the process is entirely new to you.

You’ll find that when it comes to having an opinion on the right bikes for beginners, everyone that’s ever seen a bike can offer their thoughts but at TRI UK we’re committed to listening to your personal requirements and needs to ensure you’ve got the strongest advantage from the very beginning.

We’re passionate about what we offer and are more than aware we were all cycling novices once. That’s why we strive to provide the best peddling start we can by utilising a combination of our expert service, industry awareness and rider knowledge to make sure you don’t leave us with just any bike.

What is the difference between road bikes and triathlon bikes?

One of the most common questions that beginners ask when it comes to pursuing their Triathlon ambitions is ‘What’s better? A road bike or a triathlon bike?’. For many riders, this answer might be a quick and firm one but sometimes the answer isn’t so simple.  For those competitors that have dedicated years to finding out what bike is best for them, of course the answer is simple but for beginners, it might not come so clearly.

Road bikes are usually less job-specific than their alternative as they possess their own degree of speed, aerodynamic design and run-adaptability. A road bike combines a balance of stiffness, weight, handling and comfort with a sleek design for lowered resistance. Their versatility and well-rounded design aspects arise from the desire to ensure they can be used on a variety of surfaces for an array of performance requirements.

Road bikes are expected to perform well whether during short sprints or longer rides that could last several hours. They are designed to take tight corners with a degree of precision but also built for the final rush on a long straight.  These expectations are obviously rivalled and expected of the triathlon bike that also performs across the same surfaces and obstacles.

Therefore, their primary differences lie in the geometry of their frames. It is the design and alignments of their frames that directly impact their suitably with both rider and environment.

The seat tube angle of a triathlon bike is typical 76-78 degrees. This makes it a good bit steeper than the average 72 degree angle on most road bikes. This steeper angle places the rider further forward which creates a body position that is more aerodynamic. The impact of this ‘diamond’ frame shape and its ability to place the rider further forward also ensures the legs are stretched more fully which can lower cycling impact when it comes to ‘run phases’ of a race.

Whilst the steering column on a triathlon bike is usually stiffer, a component that allows for more precise turning and out of seat surges, the handlebars of a road bike are often considered to be more comfortable. Due to their dropped racing handlebars, there are numerous positions for the hands and arms to adapt – meaning that positions can be adjusted during races whilst maintaining the same proficiency.

Typically, another difference between the two bikes, as a result of their design, is that the triathlon bike can feel much firmer to ride with bumps on the road surface being felt in the crotch, lower back, arms and shoulders. In contrast, road bike frame tubes are made with cushioning and vibration reduction for improved comfort. Due to the design, impact is dampened and impression on the body lowered.

Therefore, the differences lie primarily in the design. Road bikes are considered to be more appropriate for steeper and rougher terrain whilst triathlon bikes are more attuned to flatter riding surfaces. However, this should not be the only factor that should be considered.

Beginner triathlon bikes: what to look for

When it comes to finding the best bikes for triathlon events, it’s important that the necessary steps are taken to ensure you’re not going to make an investment that’s gonna give you the worst case of saddle rash ever. That’s why there are things to look for when it comes to the buying a begginer bike.

So let us start by asking: you wouldn’t wear the wrong sized shoes to run in, would you? No, obviously not. So why should you buy the wrong fit of bike?

Quite simply, a bike fitting is about ensuring you have the correctly fitted bicycle for you. At TRI UK we offer an innovative, industry leading bike fitting service on-site.  From novice to pro, our equipment identifies the best bike configuration to match your cycling style and preferences.

One of the most significant aspects of any bike is the material composite of its frame. Yet again, there is no distinct outright best as it must be compared against the intentions that you have as a novice rider and the price range you’re willing to settle within.

Carbon is often considered the superior option for a frame material as it is lighter and therefore easier to move around (a real bonus during transitions) but aluminium is the cheaper often and usually considered to be more durable.

Additionally, triathlon bike components are just as key to your beginner bike as anything else, especially if you have no intention of buying the bike pre-assembled. Ever tried to ride a bike without wheels? Not that fast or easy.

For a beginner bike, it’s important to consider components that are going to get you going initially. Most weathered cyclists note that initial funds should be spent on things that spin such as chainrings, pedals and wheels. Other aspects can come later.

This is a bonus to components as they can be upgraded when funds and effort is appropriate. The TRI UK range of components has you covered for more than just the spinny bits. From wheels to chains to cleats, we’ve got the equipment that’s ready to grow as you do.

What bike is best for a triathlon beginner?

With lots of great options in the market for beginners, it’s important to understand what models and makes are really going to provide you with that initial advantage. TRI UK provides you with the choice of high quality ranges so that your bike is never going to be less than the best. Reading road bike reviews and Triathlon stories might inform you on which direction to take but with our range and knowledge, we ensure that we can meet specific requirements.

Our collection of Argon 18 bikes tend to verge on the higher range of most triathlete’s budgets but their powerful, durable builds make them aggressive assets in a variety of different disciplines and terrain courses. Models such as the Argon 18 Gallium 8000 rq are designed for speed, making races look like a breeze for the right rider. This bike performs to the highest professional standards. The durable build ensures that even during those likely first incidents that may take place due to lack of confidence and novice awareness, the bike keeps its shape and ensures that you have the pieces to keep going. Not to mention it’s great for a beginner to move between drills to further specific skills due to its versatility.

TRI UK’s Cervelo bikes are also toward the higher price assortment but boast unequalled power and quality. Models such as the Cervelo P2 105 are perfect for a rider that demands the best of themselves. These bikes were revolutionised to leave no room for excuses. Its superior aerodynamic build will have riders daring to race the wind on every stretch. The P2 has a heritage that includes two IRONMAN World Championship victories. From tentative initial rides to confident cycles, the cervelo can push beginners to make the most out of their new passion. Perhaps designed for the more confident beginner, the cervelo gives back to its rider what they want from it.

Cannondale bikes such as the Cannondale Quick 2 2021 and the CAAD13 Disc Ultegra 2021 are on the lower range of the prices we currently offer. The CAAD13 offers lighter, stiffer and smoother riding than many carbon frames. CAAD13 is simply the most sophisticated, highest performing aluminium race bike ever made. The Quick 2 has the lightest-in-class weights, bright reflective graphics and a smooth, stable ride. The Quick is the fast, fun way to get fit or get around town.

With sleek designs and unique attributes belonging to each range and model, triathlon and road bike research is important to collate either before or during your purchasing process. If you’re keeping up with Triathlon news and gear reviews then you may see the same names of models appearing frequently.

As previously stated, it is vital to match your bike to you. And sometimes the concept of tri before you buy has never been truer.


Where to buy triathlon bikes?

TRI UK is the number one Triathlon store in the United Kingdom. We stock a huge range of trusted and high quality bikes products to ensure that we’re only providing the best.

We want to ensure our customers get the best price possible whether they buy in-store or online which is why we always try our hardest to beat the competition with our price match guarantee.

TRI UK has the biggest influence in bringing triathlon kit to novices and the mass market at affordable, give it a go prices so that there’s no excuses for getting stuck in and behind the handlebars.

Alongside our years of experience and hard work, we provide a service that exceeds anyone else. Whether that’s our dedicated one-on-one fitting services or ambition for better every day, there’s no reason not to buy your first, or next, triathlon bike from TRI UK.

Explore our expansive range of contact our friendly team on 01935 414142 or email us