Triathlon Bike Vs Road Bike

We are doing a half Ironman towards the end of the year but are new to the cycling element of triathlons and need to figure out which type of bike to buy.

We are runners and want to know if its worth going straight to a tri bike?
I've heard due to the positioning of the seat on a tri bike, your quads and hamstrings are 'protected' more during the cycle, so that when you need them for the run afterwards, you've not worn them out already.

We have no intention of riding on road normally etc but tri bikes are apparently not great for hills and corners. Some of the ironman routes are flat and fairly straight and others not so much.
Not sure which option to go for and wondered if any one had any experience as a newbie?



    Tri bikes are highly specialised. They are unlikely to be suited to general training rides. A road bike will be more versatile for different courses. Tri bikes would probably be owned by serious triathletes that already have another bike.

    Having said that there are many variants of road bikes as well suited to different types of riding. Endurance, climbing, Peleton racing, time trials etc.

    Get onto some of your triathlon mates and see what they have.


    If you have no intention of riding outside of the triathlon, then does it really matter which bike? I guess it's a case of; are you doing the event for leisure or are you in competition and will do more of them?

    I've gone through many bikes, predominately mountain bikes but have had a few road bikes, and the rule of thumb given to me which I now live by is to get a bike that covers 90% of the type of riding you're doing. Eg. if predominately straight and flat, then a bike to suit. If twisty and climby, then that's another bike.

    There's generally a few if any bikes that can cover all areas well.


    Tri (or TT) bikes fit a very niche type of riding. Flat roads, no climbing, no stop/starts, no long distances. Honestly, if you not looking for a bike to do a Tri then forget about them. Go for a road bike. Aside from the general options, I'd recommend you look at what tyre width each road bike supports. Up until about 2 years ago road bikes typically went to a max width of 28mm. Now days your "Adventure" or "Gravel" bikes - which are pretty much a road bike with wider clearances can hold 35mm or 41mm. This means you can fit a more versatile tyre and re-purpose the "road" bike to suit your needs (until such point as you need a mountain bike).