Although others may not be aware of the ins and outs of triathlon bikes, triathletes know that not all bikes are created equal. The best triathlon bikes are not only aerodynamic but minimize drag and maximize speed. From frame design to saddle height, triathlon bikes have specifics that need to be looked out for.
The 3 Best Triathlon Bikes
Still, choosing the right bike can be tricky. Check out our top picks for inspiration or to narrow down your list. Whether you’re a first-time triathlete or a seasoned professional, our picks include something for everyone.
1. Kestral Talon X Shimano 105 Tri
Constructed using carbon fiber, this triathlon bike is both lightweight and strong. Its geometry makes it one of the best triathlon bikes on the market with unique tube lengths and carbon layups. The Kestral Talon X is an excellent choice for beginners since it’s a high-quality bike that doesn’t break the bank. Not only is it extremely aerodynamic, but it’s also stiff while still remaining comfortable.
Its reversible seatpost only adds to this comfort and allows for the bike to be used for both triathlons and road racing. Additionally, the special-shaped seat stays make sure vibration is minimized and the cycling portion of the triathlon is as smooth as it can be. The Talon X also comes with folding tires, front and rear derailleurs, and alloy clip-on extension bars so that triathletes can hold their stance.
- Relatively affordable
2. Valdora PHX-2 Carbon Fiber Triathlon Bike
This versatile bike is suitable for everyone from casual bikers to seasoned triathletes. In fact, the bike is specifically designed to aid triathletes and is both aerodynamic and stiff, with one of the most impressive features being the internal cable routing and deep profiles. The bike has also been designed to be compact and lightweight.
Additionally, it is adjustable and can be customized to the user’s preferences. The seat tube angle is adjustable from 73 to 79 degrees and can be configured to best suit the triathlete. The aero gap between the seat tube and tire can also be adjusted without taking off the wheel. Lastly, the front and rear derailleur hangers are replaceable and allow users to adjust the front so that they can be their most comfortable.
Its carbon fiber construction makes it extremely strong and durable, while also ensuring that the bike is lightweight. Additionally, although it is carbon fiber, the frame is not flexible and stays stiff for optimal performance. Known as one of the most comfortable triathlon bikes out there, it’s no wonder that this is touted as one of the best triathlon bikes on the market.
- Excellent geometry
- Adjustable seat tube angle
- Warranty included
- Relatively costly
3. Kestral 5000 SL Shimano Ultegra
This carbon fiber bike is one of the best triathlon bikes out there because of its versatility, durability, and solid construction. Not only is it compact, but it’s also lightweight and strong, giving triathletes the best of all worlds.
Additionally, the Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and the special 950F oval wheels make this bike extremely reliable and sure to help triathletes during races. The bike is also constructed with unique tube shapes, layup schedules, and diameter so that the user can be completely comfortable.
The PF30 bottom bracket is also an excellent feature since it allows for efficient power transfer. Lastly, the adjustable seat not only makes the bike more versatile but allows the user to customize it and make it their own to perfect the fit. While this is a costly choice, we believe it is well worth the investment for professional triathletes.
- Lightweight and compact
- Not budget-friendly
Features to Consider in a Triathlon Bike
Triathlon bikes are not the same as traditional bikes or even road bikes. Therefore, there are special features one needs to consider before making a large investment.
Unlike traditional bikes, triathlon bikes have steeper seat tube angles that allow triathletes to adopt a more aerodynamic stance. To enable them to stay in this position for long periods, these bikes also include features such as pronounced anterior pelvic tilts and shorter crank lengths.
When it comes to gears, triathletes usually opt for electronic gears over mechanical ones. This is not only less labor-intensive, but it also ensures that the triathlete doesn’t have to sacrifice aerodynamics. However, when opting for electronic gears, it is integral to make sure that they’re charged.
The main materials used are aluminum, steel, titanium, and carbon fiber, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. While aluminum is light and stiff, it tends to wear down easily. Steel is durable, shock-absorbent, and comfortable but has the disadvantage of being heavy. Many triathletes are fond of carbon fiber frames because of how comfortable they are, their shock absorbency, and their lightweight nature, but these, too, have a catch – they tend to be flexible. Lastly, titanium is widely regarded as one of the best materials for bike frames. Not only is it durable and lightweight, but it is also extremely shock absorbent and stiff. However, titanium bikes tend to be costly and not all triathletes can afford them.
Because triathlons are all about timing, triathlon bikes have to be aerodynamic. Some features to look out for include oversized tube profiles (to decrease drag), integrated brakes and storage, and internal cables.
With triathlons being as long as they are, comfort is key when choosing a bike. One way of ensuring comfort is to make sure that your triathlon bike is adjustable and allows for front pads to be moved. A comfortable saddle can also make a huge difference – triathletes should make sure to opt for shorter saddles with anterior pelvic tilts so that there isn’t as much pressure against their pelvis. The shape of extensions is also an important factor in ensuring comfort. These should allow your wrists to stay in a neutral position that provides support for your upper body.
Our Final Thoughts
We hope that this list of the best triathlon bikes has helped you narrow down your selection – no matter which bike you end up choosing, we’re sure you’ll be happy with the performance and durability!