Purchasing My First Triathlon Bicycle

Today, I’m both excited and relieved to have purchased my first triathlon bicycle (tri-bike). I’m excited because the past few weeks leading up to today was very time consuming. I spent most of my available time searching Craigslist bicycle listings in locations up to 4 hours away in search of the perfect “first” triathlon bicycle. I went the “used” route because I’m new to the sport and didn’t want to invest in a nice, new bike only to do one Half Ironman (let’s see how I feel after the race…). In my research, I found that there are a lot of nice used bikes for sell. However, some of the prices listed are WAY over the actual value of the bike.

One of the very first tri-bikes that I saw (2008 Trek Equinox 7.0) was a short 45 minutes away and was listed for $800. I researched it and immediately liked what I saw, reviews were positive except for one thing: the bike had an aluminum frame and was a smidgen on the heavy side (21.something lbs for the frame). For some reason I let that bother me, and decided that I needed my bike weight to be as light as possible. That resulted in a ton of Craigslist browsing and a long list of “gotta-haves” for my first bike:

  • Carbon Frame
  • Dura Ace or Ultegra Components
  • The “cool/sexy” factor (specifically the rear wheel distance from the seat tube. The closer the wheel and wheel cut-out of the seat tube, the sexier!

Slowly my reasonable “$700” budget for a used tri-bike started slowly inflating to the point that I was trying to convince myself that spending $1200-$1400 for a used bike would be reasonable if it had everything I wanted. At one point, I was prepared to drive 4 hours away and pay $1050 for a Trek Speed Concept 9.5 (carbon frame, Dura Ace, etc.).

Long story short, the price and distance for the Trek Equinox 7.0 helped me with my decision. Also, I referenced this particular bike review several times during my decision making process: http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/category/bikes/time-trial-triathlon/product/review-trek-equinox-7-09-32739/

The bike came with the following specs:

  • Aluminum frame
  • Shimano 105 Components
  • Stock Bontrager Wheels, seat, aero bar system
  • Profile Design Aero Drink system
  • Generic non-clip pedals (I will swap the pedals out for some clipless Look Keo pedals)

Funny situation: when I met the seller, I took the bike on a test ride. I had never ridden a tri-bike before, aside from that, the seat height was much too low for me. I’m sure I looked like a total newb crusing down the street with my seat too low, while switching the gears on the aerobars, trying to see how they worked. The only thing that really helped me out, was getting measured for a bike at a triathlon store a few weeks prior. So even though my test ride was not optimal, at least I knew that my bike size was a 56cm and that this bike was a size 56cm.

I love the look of the bike and look forward to training and racing on it!