What bike do I buy to do Triathlon?

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In this article we comment on the basic characteristics that you must take into account when choosing a bicycle for the practice of triathlon

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

Road bike or triathlon

To begin, leaving aside the mountain bike, we distinguish between road bike or route y triathlon bike (known as "goats"). Between both bicycles we found differences based mainly on the search of greater aerodynamics for the triathlon.

The angle of the seat tube is higher on the triathlon bike than on the road bike, which keeps the position of the saddle slightly ahead of the pedal axis. This added to the existence of couplings or aerobars, two bars located on the handlebars that protrude forward, facilitate the aero position or coupling on triathlon bikes. T

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


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 what yours is. Mainly carving on road bicycles is determined by the vertical tube length of the frame (from the bottom bracket to the seatpost) 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 scales, so you can get an idea with that measure but it is advisable to try it before buying it.


In the market you can find a quite 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 bicycles, they are more economic and lasting, although more rigid and heavy than other materials.

When you decide to upload a point in the quality of the bicycle, the carbon fiber it is the material of choice, although this will mean 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 variable section (width) from 18 (fine) to 25 (wide).

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 case of a puncture. The tubulars offer greater grip due to its completely round shape, mainly in the curves, as well as lower rolling resistance due to the fact that they allow higher inflation pressure.

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

Once you have your wheels, you have to give them presión. 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 rapid "formula" among triathletes to estimate the pressure around 10% of the total weight (bicycle 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 against 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 have to start to assess the main features of your bike. If you are in beginner mode do not go crazy looking for the highest quality, clarify your goal (both buying and sports) and ask for advice in specialized triathlon brands.

Laura García Cervantes

Dra. Science of Physical Activity and Sport

Technical Director Club Trikatlón Tres Cantos

Triathlon and Swimming Senior Trainer

Paratriathlon Specialist Trainer

Training Item Finder

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