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  1. #1
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Tri bike questions

    Yes, I have read some of the other posts, but would like to bring up multiple things. I actually was brought here from a motorcycle forum where I posted a question about doing a triathlon.

    I am 43 years old and currently working hard at getting back into shape. And no, I really don't consider "round" to be the proper shape that I am talking about. I currently work out and pay close attention to my heart rate while running/jogging/lifting/elliptical and swimming at my local YMCA. I wear my heart rate monitor every time, except for the swim.

    I have read the threads over and over, and I hear that I should buy a tri-specific bike for doing triathlons, but I don't plan on having a road bike and a tri bike, especially on my limited budget. My wife says to go and buy a Wal-Mart bike and train on that until I decide on whether I am going to do this or not. I have heard of a small bicycling club in our area, and I am going to try and find out what they are doing and what things they usually try and do as a group.

    Why should I go to a tri specific bike?

    Why not a hybrid like the Gary Fisher "Wingra"? This is really out of my price range, but it is the cheapest of the hybrids that I saw.

    Do you always wear you heart rate monitors, even in the water? I know my heart rate monitor is not water proof.

    What type of bike computer is needed for training purposes, or does everyone just buy a cheap GPS?

    I talked to the salesman at the TREK store, and they wouldn't give me any details about buy used bikes. They only wanted to sell and sell right then. Other than craigslist, where can I find used bikes?

    Another stupid question probably. Can you buy the bikes at the bike stores for under their listed price, or do they get mad when you suggest it? We used to be able to get better deals by asking, but the place I went, I really didn't feel comfortable in asking about getting a better price, other than their MFG asking price.
    Last edited by flip18436572; 06-08-07 at 11:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572
    Yes, I have read some of the other posts, but would like to bring up multiple things. I actually was brought here from a motorcycle forum where I posted a question about doing a triathlon.

    I am 43 years old and currently working hard at getting back into shape. And no, I really don't consider "round" to be the proper shape that I am talking about. I currently work out and pay close attention to my heart rate while running/jogging/lifting/elliptical and swimming at my local YMCA. I wear my heart rate monitor every time, except for the swim.

    I have read the threads over and over, and I hear that I should buy a tri-specific bike for doing triathlons, but I don't plan on having a road bike and a tri bike, especially on my limited budget. My wife says to go and buy a Wal-Mart bike and train on that until I decide on whether I am going to do this or not. I have heard of a small bicycling club in our area, and I am going to try and find out what they are doing and what things they usually try and do as a group.

    Why should I go to a tri specific bike?

    Why not a hybrid like the Gary Fisher "Wingra"? This is really out of my price range, but it is the cheapest of the hybrids that I saw.

    Do you always wear you heart rate monitors, even in the water? I know my heart rate monitor is not water proof.

    What type of bike computer is needed for training purposes, or does everyone just buy a cheap GPS?

    I talked to the salesman at the TREK store, and they wouldn't give me any details about buy used bikes. They only wanted to sell and sell right then. Other than craigslist, where can I find used bikes?

    Another stupid question probably. Can you buy the bikes at the bike stores for under their listed price, or do they get mad when you suggest it? We used to be able to get better deals by asking, but the place I went, I really didn't feel comfortable in asking about getting a better price, other than their MFG asking price.
    Personally, I disagree with the suggestion that you ought to buy a tri-specific bike. They are, duh, specific to triathlons. Which means that they are designed primarily to put you in an aerodynamic position to go fast and straight. If this is going to be your first bike, you may want to ride it for purposes other than tri-training: commuting, riding with the wife to the coffee shop, group rides. On the other hand, hybrids are heavy and slow. So my advice is to buy a good entry-level road bike and maybe some clip-on aero bars and a forward seat post. The Trek 1000 is often mentioned on this forum as a good starter bike.

    Re HRM's: I'll wear mine during races under my wetsuit, but I have trouble keeping the chest strap in place during pool workouts so I skip it.

    Re bike computers: I just have a basic one (Cateye Mity 8) and it suits me fine. There are other bells and whistles like cadence that are popular but I don't feel like I need it.

    Re used bikes: Try another bike shop. Some refurbish them and resell them. Others will have a bulletin board. CL and eBay on-line.

    Re deals on new bikes: I guess it couldn't hurt to ask but I get the feeling that LBSes are working on pretty thin margins as it is. I got a really good deal by buying a bike in the fall after the new models came in, but you probably don't want to wait that long.

    Finally, re Wal-Mart bikes: They're assembled by stock boys not bike mechanics.

    Hope this helps, and welcome to the madness!
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  3. #3
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    $700 is way out of my price range.

    I may have to find something really old, and it will probably be heavier than a hybrid.

    What is out there besides Fisher and TREK that are decent and cost effective.

  4. #4
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    If you're just going to have one bike, do not get a tri bike. They're not especially comfortable for the most part, providing you have them set up for the most aero position (and why else would you get one?). Go for a road bike with short clip-on aerobars. Here is a good discussion on budget-friendly new road bikes. Used bikes are of course a better deal, providing you're comfortable working on bikes, and especially providing that you know how to fit a bike to your optimum position. If you aren't sure what size frame you need, or how high your seat should be, or how high the bars - you should probably go to a good bike shop. Whatever you do don't buy a big-box store bike ... no one will have a clue what you need and the components are so cheap you'll just have endless frustration. As for the clip-on aerobars, you will want a short style made for road bikes; something like the Oval Slam TT here. However, you don't really need aerobars at all for starting out. They will make you faster, but you should probably work on the engine first!

    Heart rate monitors ... I used to use them but never do anymore. I find that for me, perceived exertion is just as effective for pacing. Computers, I like Vetta, the RT277 is what I use on my road bike, and I would recommend it. The cadence feature will be especially valuable for you since most people somewhat new to cycling tend to push too hard a gear at too slow a rate - that'll just make you tire faster. Somewhere around 90rpm is a sweet spot for a lot of people. A pace arrow that tells you whether your above or below your average speed is also useful.

    Dealing at the store - depends on the shop. Lower-priced bikes often have low margins. You might be best off trying to get deals on accessories with the purchase of the bike.

    It's possible to get perfectly good bikes for very little on the used market, but you do have to know what you're doing to an extent. Do you have any bike co-ops locally? Or stores that cater more to commuters/messengers/students than to leisure riders?
    a life well lived is the best revenge

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572
    $700 is way out of my price range.

    I may have to find something really old, and it will probably be heavier than a hybrid.

    What is out there besides Fisher and TREK that are decent and cost effective.
    Older doesn't necessarily mean heavier or slower. Just as an example, my commuter/rain trainer is an '89 Trek 660. Without fenders or lights it weighs in a just a shade over 20lbs. It absolutely hums--I imagine quite a few races were won on this and similar bikes in its day. And it cost me about $250, but I built it up from the frame ($50 eBay find).

    Not saying that it's the only solution to your situation but there are many fine steel race bikes out there that you could pick up for a song. So don't limit yourself to a hybrid if you don't want to.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
    wot?
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    Another option would be to do without the gears and get yourself one of these. Pretty nice bikes by most accounts.
    a life well lived is the best revenge

  7. #7
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    I found a 2005 specialized Allez on craigslist for $375 and its just like new, you can find a good bike on craigslist and ebay if you willing to put in the time searching

  9. #9
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Do you guys seriously buy from bikedirect.com or is that just a posting of the bike type I should be looking at from the LBS?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Plainsman's Avatar
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    I've heard of plenty of folks picking up a decent used bike for $200 or less. Just keep your eyes open. It's also amazing what you can find at a yard sale. Sure, it may have downtube shifters, but hey, they are lighter than brifters! Also, depending on the area you live in, check with the Police Department and the Hospitals. I've heard that they will practically give away bikes that have been impounded or found. I would say spend as little as possible up front, because if you do fall in love with triathlon or just cycling (turn back now ) you'll soon want an upgrade, no matter what type of bike you buy first!

  11. #11
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I have already talked to the police department, and they have an auction twice a year on all impounded bikes. They usually only get kids bikes and mountain bikes.

    I will keep looking at craigslist and a few other local for sale web sites.

  12. #12
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572
    Do you guys seriously buy from bikedirect.com or is that just a posting of the bike type I should be looking at from the LBS?
    I posted it as a good example of an entry-level road bike, whether you'd get it online or at the LBS.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #13
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    I posted it as a good example of an entry-level road bike, whether you'd get it online or at the LBS.
    I was just wondering how many people used their LBS, and how many bought on-line and set it up themselves. Local for me is over an hour away, so I do most of the work on everything myself.

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Well, that's a fair question. I consider myself very lucky to have 4 or 5 very good LBS's just in my town. I usually recommend the LBS when someone is buying a new bike mostly because they'll fit you properly and assemble the bike.

    But if you're confident about being able to find a bike that fits you and can assemble and adjust it yourself, then you can usually get a really good deal online.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  15. #15
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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    What town in southwest Iowa? If you are thinking of coming to Omaha, a bike shop called The Bike Way usually has some pretty cheap bikes.

  16. #16
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Where is "The Bike Way" in Omaha. I stopped at TREK of Omaha on 72nd and Jones. I was told by someone else that there is a better bike shop in Council Bluffs, but I have no idea if that is true or not.

    Are these new or used bikes? I really don't care about a certain brand name, I just want a decent bike that fits me correctly.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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    About 2-3 miles off of the L street exit on I-80. Here is their site, sale bike section.

    http://www.thebikeway.com/salebikes.asp

    BRAN (bike ride across nebraska) starts soon, so pretty much all bike shops are swamped right now around here. I have never been to the bike shop in CB. Another shop close to the bike way is Olympia Cycles. They usually have many steel framed bianchi bikes that are a few years old, but heavily discounted. Was looking at one myself.

    For olympia:
    http://yellowpages.superpages.com/pr...D%3D~lbp_1.htm

    I would call before you head this way again to make sure they have bikes in your general size and price range.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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  19. #19
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I have called about one, but no return phone calls and the other is too short.

    I was told to go to the one on Broadway in Council Bluffs when I was at my daughter's softball games last night. A teacher/coach was talking about the guy and said she got a really good deal.

  20. #20
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    What about a Jamis Venture Sport? I might have found one with a price of $520.00 They say it was just listed above the $700+ TREK 1000 in bicyclist magazine. Since I don't read the magazine, I don't know if it is true or not.

  21. #21
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rplong

    One is sold and the other is too small.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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    I don't know how it was rated by the magazine, but I have heard that it is a good under the radar brand. If you are on a budget, and the price works, try it out.

  23. #23
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Holy crap. A vintage Guerciotti with DA for $500? No wonder that went fast.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  24. #24
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I am in-line to buy the bike if the others deal falls through.

    I know nothing about this bike, anyone care to give me more details.

    The ad said it was either a $1500, or $2500 bike new. He wouldn't give me any details, because he thinks it is sold.

    Should I snap it up if I get the chance??????

  25. #25
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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    No details?? Scam??

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