If you want to start training and taking part in women’s triathlon, you should have some familiarity with basics of women’s triathlon bikes.
Compared to a regular road bike, women’s triathlon bikes are designed with a different geometry. The seat tubes of a triathlon bike are more forward with 75 to 78 degrees of inclination and are lower on the front end to provide a time trial position. Due to its steeper seat tube angle, the quads are more emphasized and you do not need to use your run muscles so much, as a result you can reserve more of your efforts for the running part of the triathlon.
Ordinary road bikes on the other hand are designed to corner, climb, and sprint well. Their seat tube angles range from 72 to 74 degrees and are set up to cater for common riding positions. With their more upright and less aerodynamic position, you will need all your muscles to provide more power to them.
However, road bikes can be transformed into triathlon bikes by adding a forward seat post and aero bars, if you are just starting out and have a road bike, then spending a few bucks converting your old bike will save you money. If you do decide to really get into triathlon then you can always upgrade when the time is right.
Many people are worried that they will look silly if they enter a race without all the latest gear, but you may be surprised, not everyone who enters a triathlon has thousands to spend on a bike, there are people of all levels and not all of them have the latest gear. Do not be put off by all the pro pictures in the magazines, these people are exactly that, pros, at the top of their game, a beginner should not compare themselves to a world champion. Do not worry about anyone else, concentrate on doing the best with what you can afford right now.
Usually, triathlon bikes have 650c or 700c wheel sizes. The 650c wheels accelerate better and are lighter because they have less surface area exposed to the wind compared to 700c wheels. They are also suitable for riders that are under 5’10’’. On the other hand, 700c wheels are the standard wheels for a bike. Even though they are a little bit bigger, 700c wheels provide more comfort and less rolling resistance. They are proportional to riders who are taller than 5’10”.
Race wheels are also intelligently created aerodynamically, and are different to the wheels that you train on. A pair of aero wheels will enable you to cut through the air much better while also achieving higher speeds, in timed events they will help trim off the seconds.
In order to be a successful triathlete, you also need to know how to find the right position on the bike. Always remember that the right position can be determined by knowing your bike’s measurements. If you plan to purchase a women’s triathlon bike, you should visit bike shops in your area that specialize in fitting. Inform them about the events that you intend to do and then they can give the measurements that will suit your needs. If possible, determine the size of the bike that is ideal for you.
Learn the bike lingo so that you will understand the specs of the bike when you are measured, and you can then converse confidently with the salesperson and get the product that is right for you. Make sure you test the bike thoroughly, and ask every question you can think of before you hand over any money (prepare a list of questions before you go to the shop). If you have a friend who has bike experience, take them with you, and if the salesperson is not giving you what you want, be prepared to walk away and go somewhere else, or ask for someone who can answer all of your questions.
Buying a good quality bike is like buying a car, you want the best one for your money, shop around and do not settle for anything you do not really want, but remember, the cheapest is not always the best. I would rather pay a bit more money for a bike from a local shop who has a good reputation, and will do adjustments on the bike and help me out when I first get it, than buy the same bike online to save money and have to deal with someone off of ebay or in Hong Kong who just deals in volume, knows nothing about bikes and has no local aftersales service.