Triathlon - Just starting out in cycling but I want to take a stab at a triathlon
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03-04-10, 03:26 AM
Hi everyone I am new to the forums and cycling in general and bought a bike a month ago. It is a Fuji Cross Comp cyclocross bike. The reason I went with a cyclocross bike was because I wanted something to ride on both road and trails because I didn't know at the time what I would like more. So long story short I am finding that I am liking road riding a lot more than trails. Also I have become so addicted to cycling that I try to ride everyday. Right now on my bike I do about a 15mph pace on a twisty 3 mile track that has a lot of inclines and declines.
Right now I have the stock tires on my bike which are 700x30 and give me a lot of road resistance but I like it that way because I want to work on my endurance. I figured that if I was going to race I would just get a pair of road slicks and swap em out.
So here's my dilemma. I used to be a runner and swimmer 5 years ago when I was in the Army but stopped doing it when I got out because of college and work so I didn't have much time. Now that I graduated last December I have a bit more free time and that's why I decided to get the bike so that I could start getting back into shape.
The triathlon I am thinking of doing is at the beginning of May and it's a 300meter/11mile/2mile which from what I've read is a good beginner distance if you want to get into Tri. Now what I am wondering is if I can use my cyclocross bike in a triathlon? Do you have to have aero bars on the bike?
I am not looking to win any trophies or anything, I just want to have fun and see if I can finish. Also I want to take a stab at a Tri because it looks like a lot of fun and if I really get into it I might just buy a Tri bike next year.
Here is a link to the triathlon:
03-04-10, 06:57 PM
I don't have a real substantial answer for you but as I am in a similar position to you thought I'd jump in. Besides, no one else has. Like you I am new to this, just got into cycling last year, and thought a Tri this year would be fun. I am aiming for a 'SuperSprint' (375m swim, 10K bike, 2.5k run) as a starter, but that's not until August so if training goes really well I might go up a level. Actually yours looks better to me as the swim is shorter and (unlike you) that is my weak point by far. REALLY unlike you I am over 50 but am in decent shape, I know I could do the bike and run part of those events next weekend if I had to. Swim will be a challenge but I'll be doing all this alongside my 14 y o son who's going into a kids/teens tri...and swimming is his strong event, so I think he can coach me.
ANYWAY...as far as the bike, it seems like these entry level Tris are often done by people who just want to finish, or to have fun, and apparently it's not uncommon to see people doing the bike ride on mountain bikes or even bikes less suitable. If that's the spirit you have, or maybe a bit more competitive, but not really striving to be #1, then I doubt you need to worry about the bike, if it fits you and you can do a good pace for the distance. This is pretty much what I have gathered from everything I have read here and elsewhere and from talking to people who do Tris. Doubtless there are people who would insist you have to have a certain bike, certain wetsuit, certain training regimen, but let them run their own race.
I saw that someone here had turned a mid-80s Centurion road bike he bought for $15 into his Tri bike, and he was happy with it. And that wasn't even a high end Centurion, probably weighed over 25 lbs. I came in to cycling through the C&V door, and only have old bikes, so that is what I'll likely be riding. Not sure what bike; I have a great Centurion that weighs about 20lbs, but something else may come along by August. I don't know if I'll add aero bars or any other major mods. Not sure it's needed, esp on such a short ride where you don't have to worry so much about balancing out the use of muscle groups. Also if I'm comfortable on drop bars I don't know about introducing a new element.
Plenty of time till August though...I kind of wish my event was as soon as yours. I might have to find another mini Tri earlier in the summer!
Good luck and keep checking in, I will too!
You can use any working bike as long as it has two brakes and all the bar ends are plugged. Good luck!
03-04-10, 07:22 PM
welcome gus, I think you would be ok to ride the cyclo cross in your first Tri, while I haven't done mine yet I've been to a few and there are alot of full blow mountain bikes.
I've been training for 7 weeks now and I think I'm ready- I've never been a runner but have always been a decent swimmer and a good cyclist- the best parts of triathlons is if you suck at swimming but good on a bike you can always make your time up.
well just wanted to say welcome!
03-04-10, 07:40 PM
Get in there and tri it. You will only learn from what you experienced. My first few triathlons were sprints. I liked them but as I was just starting to get into the run, it was over so I decided to go for the half ironman. I did it and with many complications, I finished. I am now in the pool swimming like a fish and getting prepared for two century rides within a week and my 13th marathon to follow. I hope that by the end of the year I will be ready for the ultra distance somewhere in this world.
03-04-10, 07:47 PM
Sounds like a plan! That's a nice looking ride and you will be fine on it, just make sure you follow the basic rules as caloso pointed out (not a problem with your bike). You could probably even hold off on the slicks until you race it once and see how it goes. If you are running the 46/36 with a 12-25 cassette, with a decent cadence you'll be able to crank out some mph. Sounds like a great distance for a first race that you've picked out. You'll find a really helpful group and ladies and gentlemen here, so keep those questions coming!
03-04-10, 08:50 PM
Yes you can use your bike. Whenever I do sprints there are always a few people even on mountain bikes. No there are no rules about having aerobars or slicks. Those are just useful to make you faster. Have fun and I am sure you will like it.
03-04-10, 11:41 PM
Thanks for all the info everyone. I actually went into one of the LBS we have in town that specializes in Tri and talked to someone who told me almost everything you guys have said. He said that the majority of people who start doing tri's usually never start out with a full blown tri bike. He told me to give it a couple of races and see how I like it and then decide if I want to go for a Tri bike or maybe even a bike that is designed for both road and tri like the Cervelo S1 and Kestel Talon which they carry.
I also read up on all the Tri rules about drafting and passing and have already seen a couple of videos on transitions. I am starting major training tomorrow and also signed up for a 5k run that my girlfriend's mom is doing at the end of the month to condition myself better for the race in May.
03-05-10, 06:58 AM
Hi Gus, if you would like to read a brief overview of what to expect in a basic triathlon, we have posted one on our site under the section, Tri-Basics (link in signature). Hope your training is getting off to a great start!
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