Your First Triathlon - 3 Steps for Selecting a Bike

Proper bike fit ensures safety and comfort Proper bike fit ensures safety and comfort

Proper bike fit helps ensure safety, comfort, and performance for the cycling stage of a triathlon.

Budget, Purpose & Fit

The bike is the biggest expense new triathletes will face when they get started in the sport of triathlon. Athletes should choose a bike that is within their budget, serves the purpose for their type of training and racing, and is the right fit.  

Follow these three steps for selecting a bike:

Step 1 – Determine the budget for bike and accessories. Try not to stray too far from the budget, however having a little bit of flexibility will help.  Shop for bikes and accessories within the set budget.

Step 2 – Consider what type of training and racing will be performed. Will you be doing a lot of training and a little bit of racing? Will you be riding on the streets that might have more obstacles as opposed to paved trails in which the surface is smooth? Will you be racing on a regular basis with serious time goals?

Road bike with aero bars
A road bike fitted with aero bars

If you are just getting started in the sport, you might want to consider purchasing a road bike. These types of bikes are built for comfort and are able to withstand riding on roads where there might be some obstacles. Road bikes are versatile enough for a good amount of training and racing.

For those who are sure they are going to do several races with serious time goals should consider purchasing a triathlon-specific bike. These bikes are set up to place the athlete in a more aerodynamic position. This position is important to gain speed and train the legs to ride in a way that will help the rider have a better run after finishing the bike portion of a triathlon.         

Either style of bike is a good choice as long as it is within the budget and is fitted properly.

Explore » Your First Triathlon ..3 Tips for Running to the Finish

Step 3 – Get a professional triathlon-specific fit before deciding on a bike, even if you are purchasing a road bike. Having a fit done before selecting a bike will help determine which bikes are best for the your body type. This is important because bikes are manufactured with different measurements and athletes’ bodies also have different measurements.  Having a bike with a proper fit will ensure comfort, safety and reduces the possibility of injury.

Once a bike has been purchased and professionally fit, start riding and training for the race!

Savor the Ride!

Explore » Your First Triathlon ..3 Tips for Running to the Finish

Mari Fridenmaker

Mari Fridenmaker is a USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is the President and Head Coach of Blue Iron Coaching, LLC.  She has been active in the sport of triathlon since 2003 and has been coaching athletes of all levels since 2007.  Her services include Team Coaching, Personalized Coaching, Private Swim Lessons and Individual Consultation.  For more information, please visit her website,  She can be reached at or 404.667.0817.