Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chicago, the leafy NW side
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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!
I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.
- Dr Samuel Johnson