The Best Triathlon Bikes for 2020
The bike leg of triathlon races are usually the longest and coming with it, is the importance of what kind of steed you will be riding on this leg. Most triathletes started triathlons or even duathlons riding their roadies, hybrids or even MTBs. But as they progressed through the sport, they became more finicky on their choice of triathlon bikes. Without being subjected to the long arm of UCI, these triathlon super bikes have become exotic and cool (well this is subjective as some manufacturers have really pulled the extreme on design concepts).
The manufacturers’ aim is to feature what triathletes look for in a triathlon super bike—an aerodynamic machine with a good fit(so one can run well after the bike), while providing features like nutrition and hydration capability which are crucial to long distance events.
We list the 2020’s best triathlon bikes based on a specific need:
Great Fit for Women
Liv Avow Advanced Pro 1
Liv prides itself with producing bikes with geometries that are designed with the female body in mind. This high-end model of Liv promises huge performance gains and comfort. The front end cockpit is highly adjustable, allowing for a true customizable fit. It has multiple hydration and nutrition storage options-downtube, top tube and between aerobars, all aero-designed which compliments the frame and the fork in what Liv is branding as Aerosystem Shaping Technology—another way of telling potential riders—this is the perfect choice for the high-performing female triathlete.
Best for Beginners
Cervelo has been the top brand among competitive age groupers in the sport of triathlon, and 2019 with having the most number of bikes at Kona—they did it again and that is 15 years in a row! You don’t have to get the high-end models of Cervelo (and which we will also feature later) to experience the racing pedigree, but this entry level P2 is no slouch–and could be the best value–bang for the buck for its aerodynamic effieciency to cost ratio!
It has trickle down aerodynamic technology from its more higher end brothers P3 and P5, but uses affordable components which you can also upgrade when the bug kicks in. It is a solid option if you are a beginner; as you learn the ropes of grabbing the performance gains from training, this bike will grow with you as you also try to install with it gears and components that will match your performance efficiency.
Best for the Aero Geek
Tririg have been making fantastic aero-designed products and components over the years. Their components have been constantly used to make other bike brands be more aero—in look and of course in functionality. Now comes their first complete bike, which uses all of their components, designed to supremely cheat the wind while having the great fit as possible due to extreme amount of adjustablity, thanks to its well known handle and aerobar–Alpha X.
This build screams clean, fast and radically unique. Don’t let the first look fool you with lack of storage–bottles can be carried in between arms on the aerobar as well on the back of the saddle. A nutrition box is inside the top tube, and nicely-well installed, right inside it, and not protruding on the top—another design feature. There are compromises, you must find a mechanic that will be used to tinkering with such system (it has aero skewers too), but if you are an aero nerd, you will definitely find this bike truly worthy–and its price tag of a complete build at $7990 USD.
Best for Iron-Distance Triathlons
Cervelo P3X/PX Series
This is the type of bike design and technology that makes Cervelo the no.1 bike in Kona Ironman World Championships for the 15th straight year. When its bigger and more expensive brother P5X was released in 2016, the highest end model was $15,000 USD. It ushered in again the era of beam bikes, but also the use of disc brakes in tri bikes–not that Cervelo was the first to use them in a Triathlon bike–Parlee was first in TTiR. Cervelo pulled the plug on P5X after 2 years–and released P3X and eventually the PX Series–and Cervelo claims they are lighter and stiffer than the P5X and they are more at reach with Cervelo’s market–$10,000 USD or $8,000 USD on differing specs.
With those price cuts, you will be fooled if you thought the P3X is a watered-down version, but then think again. It still has P5X main features–front end adjustablity, a stupendous amount of storage for water bottles, nutrition and emergency tools and tubes–and made it 16% lighter on the frame and they claim it is stiffer too. What’s not to like, expecially if you are training and racing for an Ironman?
Canyon Speedmax CF SLX 9.0 LTD
On its website, Canyon mentions world champions Jan Frodeno and Patrick Lange, and why won’t they? The last 5 Ironman World Championship titles were all ridden with this German-engineered machine. It’s not uber-fancy compared with other radically-designed super bikes, but it blends it well all together–aerodynamics, smart integration of all components, including multiple options for hydration and nutrition (which makes this suitable for long distance racing). Not too mention that at $10149 USD, it also includes top end Shimano Dura Ace components as well as Zipp 858 NSW wheelset. That’s a top high-end performance mindset for you.
One of Best and Fastest Money can Buy
Specialized Shiv TT Disc
Specialized pulled no stops when creating this one of the wind-cheating bikes of triathlon. The nutrition is not hard to miss; the rear-mounted Fuelcell system makes sure you are hydrated throughout your long-distance triathlon journey. The frame and innovative shape of the fork works well together to prioritize aerodynamics and stiffness–and the Retul system from Specialized makes sure that each frame will provide an achievable ideal fit–adjustability will be high on the integrated cockpit. SRP 13,000 USD with Shimano Durace Ace and Roval CLX Wheelset.
Best with Pedigree as the Fastest Bike in Kona
Pinarello Bolide TR+
Well if you want to own the bike that has the pedigree of owning the fastest bike record at Kona, first with Bolide TT in 2017 and the current record of 4:09:06 (ave 43.42 kph) over 180kms, then you got to look at the Pinarello Bolide TR+. Sure you do not have the speed and power of Pro Triathlete Cameron Wurf to pedal the wattages for the long haul, but the triathlon specific bike from the Italian manufacturer made some integrated design upgrades to make it a tri-specific model from the old Bolide TT frame that team sky used for time trials and what Wurf used in 2017 to break the Kona record. Noticeable features now are the storage options in the down and top tube, and also the inclusion of disc brakes.
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