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Triathlon Bike Reviews

Triathlon Bike Reviews: It is hard to choose the right triathlon bike, but a good place to start is to make sense of the bike reviews available on the internet and in magazines. Most of these reviews seem to use technical jargon that isn't the easiest to understand if you aren't fully in tune with the language.

About Triathlon Bikes

Triathlon bikes like we know now have only really been around since the late 1980's, when Ralph Ray and Dan Empfield designed a bike called the Quintana Roo Superform specifically to cope with the demands of a triathlon. This bike was designed to compensate for the absence of drafting in a triathlon bike race by utilizing a different aerodynamic shape with a steep seat tube, short tube top, smaller wheels and aero-bars.

Its popularity really took off once this bike had its first major success when Ray Browning won the bike leg of the New Zealand Ironman by 30 minutes on one of these bikes.

The Bike Frame

Triathlon bike reviews will all discuss the pros and cons of different bikes, and something mentioned the most will be the bike frame, he largest and heaviest part of a bike is the frame. It stands to reason that the frame is where you can make the most difference to the weight and performance of the bike.

Traditionally bike frames were made from steel alloy, which is both heavy and stiff, but has the advantage of being cheap to manufacture. Most bikes at the lower end of the market use a steel frame. Lighter frames can be made from aluminum alloys but these are more expensive. The most expensive metal bike frames are made from titanium alloys, and some specialist frames are made from carbon fibre.

The tubes will often feature a teardrop cross-section rather than the traditional circular design. Triathlon bikes often feature aero-bars, which stick out in front of the normal handlebar position. This forces the rider into a more aerodynamic body shape and encourages faster riding. Good triathlon bike reviews should have full details of the bike frame construction.

Things to Consider in a Triathlon Bike

Another area where triathlon bikes differ are the wheels. As well as being smaller than a conventional road bike, triathlon bike wheels will typically have few spokes to minimize wind resistance. More expensive bikes may even have a solid carbon fiber back wheel, and the only reason they don't have a solid front wheel is due to the wind making them difficult to steer. The downside of the smaller wheels is an increased rolling drag factor on the ground.

Other factors that are worth considering are the dimensions of a bike and its weight. The lighter it weighs, the easier it would be to race on it - although a small weight difference would only be worth a minor time difference.

So now you know what to look for, where are the best places to find triathlon bike reviews? The obvious places are the triathlon magazines, and their websites usually contain copies of the reviews printed in the magazines. Any of the triathlon forums will also be a good place to get a wide range of user reviews of bikes, although you should take these with a grain of salt.

For a varied opinion, it would also be worth checking out the road and mountain bike publications and forums for their triathlon bike reviews. While the reviewers and readers might not be looking for the same things as a triathlete, alternative opinions can be useful.

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