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  1. #1
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    First Triathlon Question

    Ok, so I have made up my mind that I am going to do a couple of triathlons later this year. I have my training schedule worked out and am fired up.

    I only have one bike... the ol' commuter. It is a old schwinn moab mountain bike that I have put slicks on. It also has lights, rear rack, and toe clips. My question is... is this acceptable for my first few tris? Am I going to get laughed at in the transition area trying to ride this thing?

    You guys/gals know how expensive a new tri/road bike can be. It is on the list, but I just can't afford it quite yet.

    Comments?

  2. #2
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    It will be fine. Take off the lights and rear rack for your races.

    Add some clip on aero bars and practice riding with them.

    If budget allows, next, add clipless pedals and cycling shoes. (if you don't want to spend for that you'll still be ok with toeclips.)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    It will be fine. Take off the lights and rear rack for your races.
    I know this may sound stupid, but do you really think I *have* to take the rear rack off? The only reason I ask is because it was a super pain to get on.

    Clipless pedals are coming soon, I just don't know when.

    Thanks for the info.

  4. #4
    runnin' down a dream edbikebabe's Avatar
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    Nope, you won't get laughed at. Most people do their first few tris on whatever bike they've got. Mine was on a mountain bike with slicks.

    You might want to take off extra stuff, like the lights & rear rack for the race.

    Good luck!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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    I highly recommend the BMC Time Machine as a good entry level bike for a beginning triathlete.

    http://www.bmc-racing.com/time_machi...637b1e38d.html

    OR, you can just race with what you have and then see if you like the sport. Good Luck and keep the questions coming.

  6. #6
    Senior Member socalslowguy's Avatar
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    I say keep the rack and lights on just for the looks on the guys riding $4K bikes when you pass them.

  7. #7
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    Thanks to everyone for their input. I really appreciate the info.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    Add some clip on aero bars and practice riding with them.
    Is this one of the first things I should do? I ride 32 miles every day commuting to work at a pretty decent pace without aero bars. Will they make that much of a difference in a 12 mile race? They are just supposed to save my legs for the run, right?

    I guess what I am asking is what are the benefits?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rplong
    I highly recommend the BMC Time Machine as a good entry level bike for a beginning triathlete.

    http://www.bmc-racing.com/time_machi...637b1e38d.html

    OR, you can just race with what you have and then see if you like the sport. Good Luck and keep the questions coming.
    Sorry, was that a joke? Here is the info I found for the TT01:

    2007Pricing information:

    Time Machine TT01 custom frameset (pictured above): $12,250


    A little pricey for a starter bike, hey?

  10. #10
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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    Yes a joke. If you look on ebay, you can usually find pretty high priced bikes that people have only used once for a triathlon. Seems silly to me, but I have seen it more than once. I agree with slowsocalguy above, use the bike you have and enjoy passing people who have bought those bikes and the deep dish wheel sets.

  11. #11
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    I can pretty much guarantee you will not be the only one with a non-traditional road bike for your first tri. My wife's first one, there were more than a few Target/Walmart MTBs, complete with knobbies. At my first one, in addition to the usual complement of MTBs, a guy was riding a folding bike with 20" wheels.

    Ride whatcha got, and decide if you want to invest in a tri-specific or road-specific bike later.

    Jim

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    I say look for a used road bike, I rode a mtn bike with the knobby tires and it was HELL! I was the only fool out of 350 on mtn bike. The day after the race I threw the new mtn bike on ebay and found a used specialized and Im so much happier and its way easier to ride. I highly recommend clips and shoes, screw all the toe clips. and i wouldnt think the aerobars would be that big of a deal in a 12 mile ride, yea if you were doing a Olympic tri or IM or HIM then they might be more benificial but for such a short distance i wouldnt think they would help much

  13. #13
    i believe in me evanyc's Avatar
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    i competed in my first tri (wrote about it here) on sunday on my cyclocross bike with road tires and it worked out great. a cyclocross bike is a little closer to a tri bike than a mountain bike, but you'll be fine. lots of people at the race i did had mountain bikes and hybrids and there were several racks on the back of bikes. don't worry about it. your main goal for your first tri should just be to have fun. that was mine, and it kept me from stressing about things and i had a great time and did better than i had hoped!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jer2wcs
    I know this may sound stupid, but do you really think I *have* to take the rear rack off? The only reason I ask is because it was a super pain to get on.
    I say leave it on, empty a six pack of Bud Light and strap it to the rack. A Walmart greeter's vest would be the perfect finishing touch. I was seriously plotting to do just this in a race last year when it was supposed to storm.

    Quote Originally Posted by jer2wcs
    I ride 32 miles every day commuting to work at a pretty decent pace without aero bars. Will they make that much of a difference in a 12 mile race? They are just supposed to save my legs for the run, right?

    I guess what I am asking is what are the benefits?
    You'll go faster with less energy expended, for a pretty cheap investment, compared to a new bike.
    Kendall Frederick

    Orange Park, FL

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