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What bike do I buy to do Triathlon?

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In this article we discuss the basic characteristics that you must take into account when choosing a bicycle to practice triathlon.

You have decided to do triathlon and now the question arises, which bike do I have to choose? We are going to discuss the basic characteristics that you must take into account when choosing.

Road or triathlon bike

For starters, leaving the mountain bike aside, we distinguish between road bike or route y triathlon bike (known as "goats”). Between both bikes we found differences based mainly on the search for increased aerodynamics for the triathlon.

The angle of the seat tube is bigger on the triathlon bike than on the road bike, which keeps the position of the saddle somewhat more forward than the bottom bracket. This added to the existence of couplings or aerobars, two bars located on the handlebars that protrude forward, facilitate aero position or docking on triathlon bikes. T

Take into account your target distance in triathlon, because couplings are not allowed in all triathlon competitions.

Size

In case you did not know, bicycles also have sizes and if you use a bigger or smaller than your share, apart from discomfort, it can cause you injuries. Now it's time to know which is yours. Mainly the size on road bikes is determined by the vertical tube length of the frame (from the bottom bracket to the seat post) and corresponds to the length from the groin of our leg to the floor.

This is the theory, in practice each brand has its size ranges, so you can get an idea with that measurement but it is advisable to try it before buying it.

Material

In the market you can find a fairly wide diversity of materials with which the bicycle is made: steel, aluminum, titanium or carbon fiber. The most common in initiation is to opt for aluminum bikes, they are more economical and durable, although stiffer and heavier than other materials.

When you decide to upload a point in the quality of the bicycle, the carbon fiber It is the material to choose, although this will involve a greater outlay.

The wheels

Well, they are not all the same either. Mainly the Wheels for road bikes are usually 700 cm, although there are also 650 with a section (width) variable from 18 (fine) to 25 (width).

In relation to tire, we usually find two types commonly known as cover and tubular. The first is more durable and economical, it has a separate internal chamber that allows repair and change in the event of a puncture. The tubulars offer greater grip due to its completely round shape, mainly in curves, as well as lower rolling resistance due to the fact that they allow higher inflation pressure.

Furthermore, in the road wheels you can find three types high profile (> 40 mm), medium (30-40 mm) and bajo (<30mm). The higher the profile, the more aerodynamic the wheel is, being the lenticular wheel (totally opaque) the most aerodynamic.

Once you have your wheels, you have to give them Pressure. Three data are the most relevant for this: if it is a normal or tubular tire, your body weight and the pavement. There is a fairly quick "formula" among triathletes to estimate pressure around 10% of total weight (bike plus triathlete). However, always read the manufacturer's recommendations.

El grupo

This sounds the same to you if it's your first contact. The group consists of brakes and gear components: gear lever, chain, plates and front derailleur, cassette and rear derailleur.

The main differences between a group for beginners and for experts or advanced are the lightness and softness of the latter versus the former. In the market there are three main brands within which you will find a wide range from basic groups to elite.

Well, you already have to start evaluating the main characteristics of your bicycle. If you are in beginner mode do not go crazy looking for the highest quality, clarify your objective (both shopping and sports) and ask for advice in specialized triathlon brands.

Laura García Cervantes

Dra. Sciences of Physical Activity and Sport

Technical Director of the Trikatlón Tres Cantos Club

Senior Triathlon and Swimming Trainer

Paratriathlon Specialist Coach

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