Cycling is a great sport as well as an excellent means of exercise and, for those who are starting to work on creating and design their bikes, it can sometimes be very demanding.
You may have tried. Perhaps you have a mental representation of the kind of bike you want, and you want to create your triathlon bike since you possess a container full of unused parts in your garage and a bank account that has suffered from bike upgrades.
If this is you, you might be curious about how to build your tri bike. They are a fraction of the cost of a complete bike. You can buy a frame, scratch the new bike itch and choose the components to assemble your new bike slowly (or quickly) into the perfect machine of your dreams.
Building a bike from an empty structure can be one of the most rewarding things a cycling enthusiast can experience. It allows you to have complete and creative control over the bike.
If you don’t like the transmission, the wheels, or anything else, it doesn’t matter. If you wish to spend your money on one component and save elsewhere, you can do it. When choosing the parts, the cranks should be of the right length, the wheels also should be ready for racing, and each small part will be just as you want it.
Of course, a triathlon bike is easy to work on, fun to modify, and even more amazing to ride on once you’re done. Sure there are numerous carbon fiber and graphene compound frames out there that cost a little bit of fortune (depending on your budget), but you shouldn’t let that intimidate you.
What is a Tri Bike?
A triathlon (tri) bike is designed for short distances generally associated with the cycling part of a triathlon or for the maximum performance of a time trial. Because endurance is not an issue, cyclists tend to adopt a more aggressive riding position on a triathlon bike using an aerobic configuration.
Triathlons are the answer for those who love all three sports. Triathlons, which involve swimming, biking, and running at different distances, offer a significant challenge of endurance, strength, and mental endurance.
The cycling component of a triathlon represents a considerable part of each event, around 60% of the race, whatever the distance was chosen. As a result, triathlon-specific bikes with different cabin configurations, different geometries, advanced aerodynamics, and innovative storage solutions are in high demand.
How do triathlon bikes differ from other bikes?
One of the most frequently asked questions for a beginner triathlete is, “Should I buy a road bike or a tri bike?” It’s a good question, and your answer depends on your personal triathlon needs. Let’s look at the basics.
The main differences between a triathlon bike and a road bike are the geometry of the structure, more precisely the angle of the seat tube. A triathlon bike has a much larger seat tube angle (76 to 78 degrees), compared to 72 degrees for a typical road bike. The stiffer corner of the tri bike can create a more “aerodynamic” position.
Building a Tri Bike on a Budget
If you wish to build a tri bike from scratch, here are some of the components you need:
- Frame (You may use an old bike frame to begin)
- Cockpit and brake levers
- Aluminum aerobar extensions
- Drivetrain (including chain, derailleur, shifter and crankset)
- Cage and mount
- Bike front brakes
- Stealth pocket
- SRAM Cassette
- Clipless pedals
- Carbon wheels
- Disc cover
- Cable ties and Electro tape
This bike setup should cost you less than $3,000. Watch this video to see how Ben from Ben & Summer Deal built his bike:
Credits: Ben & Summer Deal
Alternative: Buy an Affordable Pre-Owned Triathlon Bike
An old question for beginner triathletes is whether they should buy new or used bikes. Unlike purchasing a wetsuit, where a used one could be broken, scratched, scuffed, dated, and can be slightly odorous, a used bike can be very, very good.
Craigslist and eBay are the perfect places to get what was a $1,200 bike for half or less. We advise you to consider a regular bike if it offers a better structure. We would hesitate to purchase a bike of more than five years, only because it may be outdated when considering the more recent technological and material advances.
Carefully inspect the bike and look for cracks in a carbon fiber frame. The only thing that is very difficult to repair is carbon fiber cracks. Most cracks occur in places where screws and gaskets are present, since most carbon fiber cracks come from overly tightened screws.
Even if you have a limited budget, you can get the tri bike of your dream by creating one for yourself. All you need is a healthy garage (full of the right bike parts), or you could buy spare parts and fix it by yourself. The other method is to get a used bike, then customize it to your taste. Regardless, make sure to stay safe whenever you are working on your bike!