New bike for new tri athlete

Hi, new to the tri scene and just entered my first ( a sprint distance) and looking to get a new bike, current have an old giant defy 4 that I’ve had a good few years.

My plan is to use the cycle to work scheme for a £1000 voucher and add a little towards the total value, probably up to around 500 so 1500 in total.

I am looking for a road Bike I can do tris on as well as use for my usual cycling and wondering what you’d maybe suggest?

I know a that a TT bike is the best but as I’m yet to actually do any tris and do a lot of normal, hilly road biking in groups (I live in the Lake District) and commuting etc i can’t commit to a tri only bike I’d maybe not get my money’s worth from.


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@Jonnym92 welcome!

There are literally dozens of bike at that price point so if I were you I would simply go to as many local bike shops that do your particular cycle voucher scheme and try as many bikes as you can. General consensus would be to get one that fits you, and a good bike shop would help you with that.

Will it just be used for racing, or are you going to commute / train on it too?

TBH, I’d also probably do your sprint event on what you’ve got. Nothing wrong with your current bike to do a tri on until you know whether you like it or not. I did my first few seasons of tri on a basic trek I bought for £300.

Excellent thanks for that. My plan is to get a new bike for dry/ summer and events as well as training and use my old one in the wetter winter months. The bike I have currently still serves me well and I can average decent speeds for my ability. I think I will do the sprint on my bike I’ve got now as it’s in August so I’ll use something I’m used to.

Thanks for the reply

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There are literally a hundred good road bikes in that price range. Add some clip on bars, and you are set for longer triathlons as well. So much of this is subjective, and you get brand fans who will push their favourite brand… but you can get a GREAT bike for £1500. I used a Specialized Tarmac Sport that I bought in 2012 for a few years of triathlon, and uses it as my day to day bike until last Friday when my son inherited it. Cost me £1200. The entry level equivalent today is probably nearer £1500, but Specialized, Boardman (and you can often find them in stores to look at), Trek… so many choices. Buy something they you fall in love with and enjoy riding it!

Check the terms of your scheme as technically I don’t think you’re supposed to be able to add cash to the voucher. Some shops are more lenient on this (writing the receipt a certain way) but best to check before you set your heart on something over £1k.

I think they’ve removed the 1k limit as well now. Mainly to try to open up to ebikes, so I don’t know if there are limitations governing it or not.

The £1k limit is getting removed GB, but it’s partly employer dependent and how quickly they implement it, if at all. I might nag the lad who does ours when I’m back this week, although it could still take a while.

To answer the original question, I’d have a look at the Giant TCR range, still excellent bikes, stick a set of tri-bars on and you are away.


Hang on until August/September time. Prices will plummet when new (2020) stock comes in.

Pretty sure you’d be able to get something like an entry level kitted (105 or similar) Giant Propel for ~1200 which is an excellent bike and very, very good value for money. Frame itself won’t be far off a TT bike, and with some tri-bars on it you can pretty much have your cake and eat it.

Only downside is that everyone has one, but there’s a reason… :slight_smile:

Trek/Specialized/etc tend to cost more than Giant. For a good few years of your time they won’t be worth the extra. I eventually sold my Propel but it was hard to fault.

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Hi there!

If there’s nothing wrong with your existing, there’s no need to change your bike.

If you’re thinking of tri you could consider something like the planetx range, cheap new but perhaps secondhand for damage limitation.

If you actually just fancy a nice new roadie for tri, just get the one you like the look of. I’m a Cinelli fan, although I prefer their more colourful models:

Is it no longer ‘law’ that when starting out, you get a Planet X and go from there?

I would also check out the Ribble bikes if you want to buy new on CtoW scheme; plenty of bike for your money there too.

When I recently checked out planetX reviews they were not very positive. Has something changed there?

I don’t own one, but I would not put much stock in online opinions. I seriously doubt they have become terrible overnight and suspect they are merely in The Trough of Disillusionment.


I meant more their trustpilot reviews from customers. Lots of negative comments about customer service.

Ah, their customer service reviews online have been bad since I started in tri. See plenty of their bikes at races though.

Like all things in life you get what you pay for, things aren’t cheap for no reason, they’re a high volume low margin business, customer service will cut into their margin. Pay more to someone else and get more…perhaps.

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Yeah, that makes sense

This ^^

You can get some absolute bargains. Race on what you have and look around in September.
I’d back the Giant suggestion, or Cannondale have the supersix ultegra /105 around that price point. Boardman are good bikes if you get past “snob value”. I’d probably check out Dolan myself (I have a track bike) who have great customer service and allow you to choose your own options to a frame.

Ribble also get awful online reviews.

I’ve dealt with both companies and can’t fault either of them.

I see loads of PX Exo’s at the local TT series and evening ones.
I like mine, you can pick one up for under £600 if you wait around.


I’m also under impression difference between £1000-1500 is rarely much unless getting a sale item, as manufacturers tend to compete for best £1000 bike to fit C2W scheme?

+1 for the cannondale. I ride a supersix 105 bought second hand for £500 few years ago. £50 on some tribars and it’s seen me through three years. Would like to upgrade nest year if money permits, but certainly didn’t want or need more to enjoy Tri.

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Not relevant to C2W scheme, but the biggest bang for your £ would be to buy a S/H Cervelo P2C or Trek Speed Concept 7 frame and kit it out diligently.

C2W £1K limit is only a UK market opportunity. Hence the local builders (PlanetX / Ribble) targeting, but Specialized, Trek, Giant, Canondale aren’t going to adjust their global strategy for a small UK market opportunity.

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