For seasoned swimmers who are getting ready to participate in a triathlon, it’s important to find the right equipment. There are many types of specialized equipment designed for the unique needs of the triathlete that will help you get through your race as fast and comfortably as possible.
You already know how a wetsuit gives you a competitive advantage in the water; the same is essential of your bicycle. You will get the greatest speed and cover the most distance in a bike designed specifically for triathlons.
How exactly is a triathlon bike different from an ordinary lightweight road bike? Everything about the triathlon bicycle’s design and composition, from water bottle placement to seat design, is intended to save the rider both time and energy during this leg of the race. Main differences include:
- Seat Placement – The seats on triathlon bikes are slightly steeper so you work less of your hamstrings while cycling. This means you save your leg strength for the running portion of the triathlon, where you’ll need your hamstrings and glutes more. Less fatigue after the cycling portion can literally take minutes off your run.
- Different Shifting Mechanisms – With a triathlon bike, you have bar-end shifting, allowing you to shift right into the aero position without having to deal with braking. Road bikes include aero and braking in the handlebars instead, which is more cumbersome.
- Gears – Road bikes have more ring chains in the gearing than triathlon bikes, which in turn adds extra weight and can slow you down.
- Simplified Front End – The front end of a triathlon bike includes less than a road bike. Road bikes have mechanisms for shifting, braking, hood, and so forth up front. Different placement of these items makes for less weight on a triathlon bike. Less weight means more speed.
Choosing a triathlon bike can be daunting, but for those who plan to be competitive in triathlons, the right bicycle is essential.