Welcome to TriBikes.org which gives you all the latest news and reviews on tri bikes (short for triathlon bikes).
What are Tri Bikes?
Triathlon bicycles are optimized for aerodynamics, having special handlebars called aero-bars or tri-bars, aerodynamic wheels, and other components. Tri bikes also use a specialized geometry, including a steep seat-tube angle (generally 76-78 degrees, as opposed to 73-74 degrees for a road bike) both to improve aerodynamics and to spare muscle groups needed for running.
Tri Bikes Vs Road Bikes
The tri bike vs road bike discussion has been going on for years. Before you start to ask this question you should have a couple of sprint triathlons or duathlons under your belt. For your first couple of events use whatever bike you can find, beg or borrow, whether it’s a road bike or even mountain bike. Once you are sure you want to pursue triathlon you can ask the question.
Road Bikes Geometry
Road bikes are made to handle well in a wide variety of circumstances including climbing hills, cornering, and riding in packs of other riders where space is tight. The seat tube angle is generally 73 degrees and the rider’s position is often upright. The hands are positioned on top of the hoods to allow for easy shifting and braking. This position allows for maximum power transfer when pedaling, especially climbing, and quick response times when in a pack of riders.
Tri Bikes Geometry
Triathlon bikes also handle well but in a completely different way. Tri bikes are made to go fast while utilizing rider energy efficiently and even conserving energy to some extent. In order to accomplish this, tri bike geometry has a steeper seat tube angle, usually 76-78 degrees. The head tube angle is usually a little less aggressive and the top tube is slightly shorter. The chain stay is also often one centimeter or so shorter than a standard road bike. This geometry allows the rider’s hips to remain open while riding low in the aero position.
Attaining and holding an aero position on a tri-specific bike compared to a road bike with clip-on aerobars should be significantly more comfortable, especially for longer periods of time. The forward position requires more energy from the hamstrings when pedaling. This will conserve some energy for the quadriceps when the bike leg is over and it’s time to run.
Every person is different and there are some people that just cannot get used to the tri bike position, compared to a standard road bike. If you’ve been bitten by the triathlon bug and you plan on training and doing triathlons and multisport events, get one of the many tri bikes available.