Sport of Triathlon is expensive AF. Triathlon bike is probably one the biggest expenses that you will have to make as it may give you the most advantage on the course.
People often spend ridiculous amounts of money on their two-wheeled buddies, but totally forget about the main component of getting faster. I believe that the major gains in speed are being made investing in the engine, that pushes the pedals. For every hundred dollars spent on bike, you got to put another two hundred hours spent in training. Improving the bike will help you only so much, but your body is where all the gains need to occur.
Having said that I’ve been still wondering, how much speed can you actually get on a more expensive “fancy” bike? Why do people spend thousands of dollars on their bikes? Does it make sense?
To answer this questions I went on a ride, comparing three bikes:
I rode the same stretch of the hilly road, totaling of 45 km (28 mi)
Both TT bikes are ridiculously faster than my old road bike on the same stretch of the road (45 km). Argon 18 is the fastest and it’s almost 30 minutes faster than my old bike. Aquila is 5 minutes slower than Argon, but it worth considering that I ran race wheels on Argon, while the other one had a set of training wheels on. I am pretty sure that Aquila would go as fast as Argon on the same set of wheels.
Argon 18 E117
To be honest it was a love from the first sight. More about purchasing and the price I payed for this used bike is here.
Below are snapshots taken from Strava. 34 records were set on Argo, averaging 227 Watts (guesstimate calculated by strava software).
Does it worth investing in Time Trial bike? – Yes, absolutely!
How much? – It’s totally up to you and your budget.
The past two years I’ve been training and racing on my 2003 Specialized Allez. I bought it for $300 from Craigslist, while in Phoenix. It got me through a lot. People laugh at me and keep on saying that I should throw it away and get a normal bike. I believe that the only thing that will make you faster in the layer in between the seat and handlebars (yourself). The thought of investing in TT bike been circulating in my head for the past 3-4 months, but I’ve been resisting. I am cheap AF. I count every penny and I am fascinated my the cost of triathlon bikes. A long story short I have finally decided to purchase my first TT bike.
I have zero knowledge about bikes and seeking for advice. I am lost in variety of options and need assistance picking Reliable, USED TT bike. I figured that instead of guessing and talking to salespeople I would ask other triathletes for suggestions.
Success Criteria: 1. I would like to keep the price tag under $2,000 (most likely used), however I will also consider more expensive bikes if they worth it. 2. I don’t care if it’s an older model, what the brand is etc. I choose the bike with the only goal in mind – to get faster and kick some ass on the bike course =) 3. It has to be reliable. 4. Ideally it will already have power meter built in.
Utilize social media. I suggest that you use your local triathlon club Facebook groups, Strava or any social media to get advice from other triathletes. Just mention that you are in a market for a new TT bike, give your search criteria and wait. Even if nobody from your friends sell the bike, there are good chances that they know someone who does.
It’s obviously hard to judge TT bike without riding it for a few hours, but just sitting on it stationary felt good. 54 cm size frame is definitely what I need.
Size Medium: 54 cm Included: Training Wheels: AXIS 2.0 Race Wheels: Zipp 808 10 spd adapted for 11 spd setup (no cassette) $2200 for bike without Zipps
ARGON 18 E-117 TRI – ULTEGRA Di2
By the weirdest circumstances I got connected with Dennis – the owner on Racer Sportif. I rented demo bike from him and returned it back scratched (more details here).
…I brought the bike back in and I didn’t wait until the owner discovered the damage on his own. I went ahead and showed all the scratches… I explained how it happened and said that I appreciate the opportunity to test ride the bike and will cover all the repair costs in full. It was a lot of money for me. Repair costs: $450. I lost the money, BUT I saved my face and acted as a gentleman. More importantly I saved relationship with Dennis – the owner…
We had a great time chatting with him and he mentioned that he might have a used Argon 18 coming in later that week that might be a good fit for me… and it was.
Size Medium: 54 cm Included Extra: Brand new Shimano Ultegra with electronic shifters Di2 Carbon Wheels: RS Real Speed Custom Racing Seat *3-year warranty on both: bike and equipment
Did I like the bike? HELL YEAH To be honest I fell in love with the way it not only looked, but mainly the way it felt sitting or I would say half-laying on it.
Now the main question: HOW MUCH?
Just to give you and idea of what the price is on brand new Argon 18 E117 Tri:
Just to remind you that I am buying a used ~1-2 years old bike with brand new Di2 system installed and tuned at the shop, professional bike fitting ($200-300) AND 3-year warranty on both – bike and all the equipment.
$3,750 (tax included)
That’s the winner. I am a happy owner of Argon 18 TT bike and I pick it up early next week. The price is almost twice higher than $2,000 I set the original criteria on, but I believe it well worth it. Reviews I read online and people I talked to, all confirmed the reliability of Argon bikes, so plus here. It does not come with power meter, but it is still a great price even without it.
I will make another post, sharing my experience with new TT bike and give my honest feedback. Let me know what you think! Cheers