Looking for my First Triathlon Bicycle

I’ve recently been on an intense and borderline obsessive mission to purchase my first triathlon bicycle. With 2016 being my first “real” triathlon season, I really want to set myself up for success. I completely understand that an expensive bike won’t make me faster. But, I do believe that I need something better than my cyclocross bike if I stand a chance of making some top three finishes in my 35-39 age group this year.

After completing 4 sprint triathlons last year, I’m moving up to some olympic/internationals and some half-ironman distance triathlons this year. Although I plan to compete in more than double the triathlons I did last year, I don’t want to purchase a brand new bicycle because of 1) my budget and 2) I want to be sure that I’m in this triathlon relationship for the long haul.

Here’s my current criteria for finding a used triathlon bike:

  • Budget: Up to $1200 (I still want to budget $200 for a professional 2-3 hour bike fitting)
  • Brands: Cervelo, Trek, Felt, Specialized, i.e. well-known brands with well-established models.
  • Components: Shimano 105, Ultegra, Dura Ace or SRAM Apex, Rival, Red
  • Frame: Carbon (preferred) but will consider aluminum if the bike has great reviews.
  • Looks/Visual Appeal: I’m going to be spending a lot of training time and race time with my bike, so I need to have bike that I can be proud of performance-wise and visually.
  • Fit: Obviously, the bike needs to fit. I plan to test ride any of the used bikes that I consider purchasing.

Based on my criteria and what I could find in about a 4 hour radius, here are my current considerations:

2011 Felt S22 (56 cm)

  • Listed at $799 (Highest Bicycle Blue Book value: $576)
  • Ultegra/Dura Ace components
  • Aluminum frame (but great reviews from Bike Radar)
  • Bonus: Seller is also including hydration system and unused speed play pedals
  • I’m definitely interested in this, even though I think the owner has it listed too high (he won’t budge). It’s still a lot of bike for the money AND has great reviews.


2008 Trek Equinox 9.5 (56 cm)

  • Listed at $1,050 (Highest Bicycle Blue Book value:$1,106)
  • Ultegra/Dura Ace components
  • Carbon Frame
  • Bonus: Seller says bike is in “showroom condition” as he has only used it a few times before injuring his knee. Sidenote: it seems like everyone who is selling their 4-5 year old bike has only “slightly used it” …sigh…
  • I have a feeling that this will be the bike I end up purchasing. It looks to be in great condition, the pricing is reasonable, and the bike specs are great.


Trek Speed Concept 7.0 (Med)

  • Listed at $999 (Highest Bicycle Blue Book value:$1,027)
  • SRAM Apex components
  • Carbon Frame
  • Bonus: Owner will also include new tires, like new Look Keo pedals, Like new Adjustable Bontrager Hilo RXL Tri saddle, Aero Bontrager Bento box and Aero rear mount Bontrager tube and puncture kit box.
  • I REALLY like the way this bike looks and the specs, but I’m not sure if this will fit me. I’m going to confirm by visiting my local bike shop (LBS) and using their size cycle to determine if I can fit this.



2009 Trek Equinox 7.0

  • Listed at $700 (Highest Bicycle Blue Book value:$686)
  • Shimano 105 components
  • Aluminum frame (many reviews complain that the frame is “heavy” compared to its other counterparts)
  • This bike is the closest to me distance-wise (an hour). The price is great, but the bike is a little on the heavier end. If there were no other options, or if my budget was much lower, I would go with this one, but I think I can get more bike for my money.


It’s still hard to say what I’ll end up buying, but I’ve had a lot of fun searching and reviewing the bikes that I’ve come across.


Check out my complete list (click to enlarge):



Stay tuned….