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Best Triathlon Bikes of 2024 to Win Races and Set New PRs

woman racing on a triathlon bike

From complete newbies to experienced Ironman triathletes, we’ve put together a list of the best triathlon bikes in 2022.

Triathlon bikes look daunting at first sight, but it’s all for a reason.

These aerodynamic frames come with time-trial-specific aero bars, comfortable saddles, and ultra-fast wheels.

Whether you’re training for your first sprint triathlon or trying to qualify for Kona, we might have the perfect triathlon bike for you.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the best triathlon bikes for all levels of triathlon. This includes bikes for triathletes from complete beginners to experienced ago-groupers. These triathlon bikes are suitable for any distance, from a sprint triathlon all the way up to a full Ironman.

Here, we’ve made a list of the best triathlon bikes.

What Are Triathlon Bikes?

Best triathlon bikes, canyon speedmax cf 7 disc, scott plasma 6, trek speed concept slr 6, cannondale systemsix hi-mod ultegra di2, cervelo p 105, giant defy advanced 1, cervelo s5 force axs, trek speed concept slr 7, how to choose the perfect triathlon bike, frequently asked questions.

Triathlon bikes are bicycles specifically designed for a triathlon, which is a three-sport endurance event involving swimming, biking, and running. Triathlons range in distance from Sprint to Ironman, which is said to be one of the toughest endurance tests in the world.

The biking portion of a triathlon typically lasts from 20 minutes to six hours and is ridden as an individual effort.

As opposed to criterium or road racing like we see in the Tour de France , triathlon biking is typically an individual time trial where drafting is not allowed. That means that your bike speed is determined by only you – your aerodynamics, power output, and speed.

Most triathlon bike courses are flat and straight, with some (if any) corners or hills to navigate. This is one of the reasons that triathlete bikes are heavier and more aerodynamic than road bikes.

With more aerodynamic tubes and aero bars, triathlon bikes sacrifice some cornering and climbing ability. But on most triathlon courses, the extra straight-line speed is well worth the sacrifice.

In triathlon, the run portion always follows the bike, which means that triathlon bikes need to be comfortable.

You wouldn’t want to step off the bike and go straight into a 10km run with a sore back, cramping glutes, and fiery quads.

Especially in long-distance triathlons (half Ironman and Ironman distances), it is crucial to ride a triathlete bike that is equally fast and comfortable.

That’s why you’ll see extreme-looking saddle and handlebar positions on most of these triathlon bikes. It takes some getting used to, but these triathlon bikes are actually quite comfortable, even while riding in the aero position.

Let’s jump into our list of the best triathlon bikes which includes bicycles for every level of triathlon and which are suitable for any triathlon distance.

Best Overall Triathlon Bike

Canyon CF 7 Disc

  • Bento box and toolbox included
  • Lightweight (9.4kg)
  • Crankset includes 4iiii Precision power meter

It is almost impossible to beat the combined value and quality of the Canyon Speedmax CF 7 Disc . Many iterations of the Canyon Speedmax have made their way into the triathlon world in recent years, and the quality continues to rise.

At a fantastic price point, you can get one of the most popular triathlon bikes for beginners and professionals alike. Weighing in at 9.4kg, the Speedmax CF 7 Disc is also lightweight for a triathlon bike, making it a great choice for hilly terrain.

The hardshell Bento box on the top tube is a Canyon Speedmax staple, and it is perfect for storing gels, bars, and more. There is also the practical toolbox located just above the bottom bracket. Its design actually increases aerodynamics while also storing tools and parts like spare tubes or a multi-tool.

Canyon CFD-optimised seat stays further increase aerodynamics, sticking out like wings just above the rear wheel.

This bike comes with a Shimano 105 R7000 4iiii Precision power meter and Selle Italia Watt Superflow saddle, both bargain add-ons at this price point.

The Shimano 105 components decrease the bike’s value, but anyone but elite triathletes will truly be bothered by them. Disc brakes are included, as well as 11-speed shifting and 2X gearing, giving the Canyon Speedmax CF 7 Disc a big range of gearing for hilly routes.

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Best Pro-Level Triathlon Bike

Scott Plasma 6

  • Shimano Ultegra Di2 components
  • Plasma 6 Disc Carbon, HMX frame
  • Schwalbe PRO ONE TT TL tires

Scott Plasma 6 is one of the best triathlon bikes in the world for professional-level racing. Its Plasma 6 Disc Carbon, HMX frame has fully integrated cables, a hydration system, and storage boxes.

Built for triathlon-specific speed, the Scott Plasma 6 is perfect for all triathlon distances from sprints to full Ironman.

The frame includes Shimano Ultegra Di2 components and 24 speeds. This gives you tons of range to cover flat terrain, fast downhills, and steep climbs. The entire bike weighs just 9.8kg.

Up front is a Shimano Ultegra 52/36T crankset, while the rear sports an Ultegra 11-30T cassette. Designed with TRI geometry and plasma HMX seatpost, the Plasma 6 is specifically engineered for triathlon.

Schwalbe PRO ONE TT TL tires provide a healthy balance of grip and speed, while the Shimano RT-CL800 160mm disc brake rotors provide plenty of stopping power.

The biggest downside of the Scott Plasma 6 is the price tag. But if you’re a competitive triathlete with a healthy budget, the Scott Plasma 6’s performance is next to none.

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Best Race-Ready Triathlon Bike

Trek Speed Concept SLR 6

  • SRAM Rival AXS drivetrain
  • Tubeless-ready carbon wheels

If you’re an ambitious triathlon or time-trial racer, the Trek Speed Concept SLR 6 is just the tool you need to help you reach your goals. Its frame is made with lightweight carbon fiber, and the aerodynamic frame is built for straight-line speed.

The Speed Concept SLR 6 comes with 700c x 25mm tires, though the frame can fit tires up to 28 mm wide.

As you’d expect from a high-end triathlon bike, the Trek Speed Concept has hydraulic disc brakes and a SRAM Rival AXS electronic drivetrain.

While the carbon frame is great for racing, this triathlon bike also comes with tubeless-ready carbon wheels that are significantly lighter than aluminum wheels.

The Speed Concept’s $9,000 price will appeal to seasoned triathlon bike buyers, or those who are new to the sport but ready to bite the bullet. For beginner triathletes, the carbon fiber frame and triathlon-specific geometry are ideal.

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Best Road Bike for Triathlon

Cannondale SystemSix Hi-MOD Ultegra Di2

  • Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset
  • Lightweight BallisTec carbon frameset
  • HollowGram 64 carbon wheels

Road bikes are perfect for beginner triathletes and cyclists who race more than just triathlon. With drop bars and more relaxed geometry, road bikes are ideal for group rides and road races in addition to triathlons. Cannondale SystemSix Hi-MOD Ultegra Di2 is the classic race machine, according to Cannondale .

Its lightweight, low-drag BallisTec frameset is made of carbon fiber, and the entire bike weighs just 8.2kg, which is lighter than just about every triathlon bike.

Shimano Ultegra Di2 components are present throughout the frame, both reliable and versatile. The SystemSix Hi-MOD comes with 2×12-speed shifting and an 11-30T cassette.

Like top-end triathlon bikes, the Cannondale SystemSix comes with hydraulic disc brakes with 160/140mm rotors, and 25c tires. Specifically, this bike comes with Vittoria Rubino Pro tires which are both grippy and fast.

Overall, the SystemSix has a more relaxed geometry compared to triathlon bikes, which makes it slower in time trials but much more versatile.

You can comfortably spend five hours on the Cannondale SystemSix, whereas you’d be much more limited on a triathlon bike.

The Cannondale SystemSix Hi-MOD is ideal for beginner triathletes and cyclists who don’t want to go all-in on a triathlon-specific bike yet.

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Best Value Carbon Triathlon Bike

Cervelo P 105

  • Shimano 105 shifting
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Carbon frame and fork

The P Series is Cervelo ’s most popular line of triathlon bikes, and for good reason. With three different bikes on offer, there is a range of quality and price points for every level of triathlete. For beginner triathletes, there is the Cervelo P 105 .

With a Cervélo All-Carbon frame, the P 105 keeps weight down whilst maximizing aerodynamics, both crucial features for any triathlon bike.

Cervelo P 105 includes Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes, providing good value at this price point.

There is a big range of gearing on offer thanks to the Shimano 105 52/36T crankset and 11-30T, 11-speed rear derailleur. This makes the Cervelo P 105 better suited for beginner triathletes.

There is a little bit of weight added on with the Zipp Vuka Alumina handlebars, but the built quality is still high.

Made for triathletes, there are three different nutrition and hydration pockets on the Cervelo P 105: Smartpak 400, Aerobottle 500, and a rear hydration mount.

For competitive triathletes looking for the best starter triathlon bike, the Cervelo P 105 could be the perfect fit.

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Most Versatile Road Bike for Triathlon

Giant Defy Advanced

  • Shimano Ultgera hydraulic disc brakes
  • D-Fuse seatpost and handlebars
  • Tubeless 700x32c tires

The Giant Defy Advanced 1 is an endurance road bike that is perfect for all types of road riding. Though it is not the fastest in a straight line, it is much more comfortable and versatile than triathlon-specific bikes.

Overall, the Defy Advanced 1 is perfect for beginner triathletes and those who want to explore, train, and race on the same bike.

Giant’s Advanced Composite frame is specifically engineered for endurance road riding, promoting smoothness and comfort on long rides.

Related: Full Review of Giant Bikes

There is even a D-Fuse seatpost and handlebars which absorb shocks and vibrations from the road. For an affordable road bike, these kinds of features are hard to come by.

Impressively, at this price point, the Defy Advanced 1 also has seamless disc brake integration, flat mounts, and 12mm front and rear thru-axles.

The most unique features of the Defy Advanced 1, compared to the other bikes on this list, are its endurance and versatility features.

The frame has huge tire clearance at up to 35mm, and disc-brake integration which helps the Defy Advanced 1 tackle everything from triathlon pavement to gravel mountain roads. Defy Advanced 1 comes with Giant Gavia Fondo 1 tubeless 700x32c tires, and Shimano Ultegra components with 11-speed, 11-34T shifting.

Even at this price point, the Giant Defy Advanced 1 comes with hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm (front) and 140mm (rear) rotors.

Best Aero Road Bike for Triathlon

Cervelo S5 Force AXS

  • Lightweight at ~8kg
  • SRAM Force AXS components
  • Lightweight Cervelo Carbon

The Cervelo C5 Force AXS is perfect for a wide variety of road riding and triathlon.

Its geometry is ideal for fast and long races that benefit from marginal aero gains. A pair of clip-on aero bars can be attached to the handlebars for beginner triathletes looking to improve their straight-line speed.

The Cervelo S5 Force AXS has a frame that uses carbon layups and road race geometry designed for quick reflexes and precise handling.

SRAM Force AXS components offer 10-33T gearing and a 48/35 crankset which is quite small by road bike standards. This is yet another reason that the Cervelo S5 is ideal for beginner triathletes and road cyclists, especially those who are nervous about climbing.

The entire bike weighs about ~8kg, which makes the Cervelo S5 Force AXS the lightest bike on this list by a significant margin.

Vittoria Corsa TLR G 700x28c tires offer a good mix of straight-line speed and versatility, which is why most pro riders ride on 25-28mm tires nowadays. This makes the Cervelo S5 one of the better road bikes for triathlon and competitive group rides.

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Best High-End Triathlon Bike

Trek Speed Concept SLR 7

  • Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Smart storage solutions

The best Trek Speed Concept bike available is the SLR 7 . This bike has the same Trek carbon frame as the other models in the series but features upgraded components across the board.

This includes Shimano Ultegra Di2 components, which is electronic shifting that is among the best in the business.

The Speed Concept SLR 7 offers 12-speed shifting with an 11-30T cassette, and a 52/36T crankset. This provides a large range of gearing for triathletes, but one that might not be suitable for beginner triathletes on hilly routes.

Out front, the SLR 7 comes with integrated handlebar and stem for a neat aerodynamic cockpit. For fueling, the Speed Concept comes with smart storage that lets you carry fuel without affecting aerodynamics

Finally, powerful hydraulic disc brakes are at the front and the rear of this bike, though you probably won’t use them that much if you’re chasing speed.

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Unless you’re a professional bike mechanic, it can be hard to see the difference between many of the most popular triathlon bikes.

Even among the best triathlon bikes in our list, the differences may seem only marginal. Do 15 grams even make a difference?

When choosing the perfect triathlon bike, there are three things you must consider: aerodynamics, weight, and value.

Your bike’s straight-line speed is arguably its most important feature. Next to that is weight, which matters more or less depending on your training and racing terrain.

Lastly, and most importantly for some, is the value of your triathlon bike. We’ll tell you how to get the biggest splash for cash when choosing the perfect triathlon bike.

Aerodynamics

Triathlon bikes are all about straight-line speed. After your body position (which is crucial for speed), your aerodynamics are next determined by the profile of your triathlon bike’s frame and wheels.

In the triathlon world, the better your aerodynamics, the faster you go. In some cases – windy days, hilly routes, or technical courses – the most aerodynamic frame is not always the best.

But in most triathlons, you’ll want the most aerodynamic triathlon frame and wheels.

Generally, you can look at a triathlon bike and wheels and see how aerodynamic they are.

The more material the better, and the most aerodynamic frames have thick frame tubing, deep sectioned wheels, and a rear disc wheel. This is the fastest straight-line setup that is suitable for most triathlons.

But, as we’ll see in a minute, it’s also the most expensive.

There was a long-held belief in cycling that lighter was always faster.

And while this is true on an hour-long climb, it is not always true on the flat.

In fact, power and aerodynamics are far more important than the weight on flat roads, which covers the majority of triathlon racing.

During a flat, 40km time trial, it does not matter if your bike weighs 18 lbs or 28 lbs. But as soon as the road tilts up and down, weight becomes a factor.

The steeper and longer the climbs, the more important weight is to triathlon performance. Consider your training roads too: are they flat, hilly, or mountainous?

On hilly or mountainous terrain, a lightweight triathlon bike may be better than a heavier but more aerodynamic triathlon bike. In addition, the faster you go, the more aerodynamics matters than weight.

Thus, beginner triathletes are more apt to use lightweight triathlon bikes, while elite-level athletes will be faster on a heavier aerodynamic frame.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to purchasing a triathlon bike is the price. While baseline models may cost around $2,000, higher-end triathlon bikes can cost upwards of $10,000 when you include aerodynamic race wheels.

When choosing the perfect triathlon bike, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck. The answer is a combination of your current ability and future triathlon goals.

In the sport of triathlon, the better you are, the narrower the margins are between first and last.

This is when high-end race equipment becomes even more critical when the difference between 1st and 10th could be just a few minutes. For competitive triathletes, it makes sense to invest more into getting the perfect triathlon bike.

But for beginner triathletes, the difference between competitors is more often down to fitness and experience than their equipment choices.

As a beginner or intermediate-level triathlete, you will benefit more from structured training and minor equipment purchases like a new helmet, running shoes, or carbon race wheels.

A special note for long-distance triathletes such as Ironman competitors: due to the extra long training hours, it is best to invest in a triathlon bike right away.

The more time you spend in the saddle, the more important it is that you have an excellent frame, a comfortable saddle, and aero bars that you can spend hours in.

Just as Ironman athletes invest more time into their training, it makes sense to invest more into your triathlon bike to maximize comfort and performance.

What kind of bike is best for a triathlon?

Triathlon bikes are the best bikes for triathlons. The only exception would be if you are a complete beginner and have never ridden a triathlon bike before. Riding in the aero bars is an aggressive position that can take some getting used to, so it is better for beginner triathletes to start with a road bike for triathlons.

Most triathlon courses are straight and flat, and there is nothing faster on that terrain than a triathlon bike. If your triathlon course is uniquely hilly or technical, then it may be better to race on a road bike; but this is a rare case.

Is a triathlon bike worth it?

A triathlon bike is worth the cost for competitive triathletes. There is nothing faster in a straight line than a triathlon bike. A road bike with clip-on aero bars is not even close. In order to achieve your fastest times and compete near the top of your category, you need a triathlon bike for triathlons.

If you’re worried about the investment, remember then you can resell your triathlon bike if it doesn’t work out. As long as you keep your triathlon bike in good working condition, you will be able to resell it for a good chunk of the original price.

If in doubt, start with a road bike for your first few triathlons. Then add clip-on aero bars when you’re ready to be more competitive. Once you want to compete for the win, go with a full-on triathlon bike.

Is a road bike OK for a triathlon?

Yes, most triathletes start on road bikes for their first few triathlons. This is because road bikes are more versatile than triathlon bikes, and you can use road bikes for training, racing, climbing, group riding, and more.

When you’re ready to upgrade your racing set-up, you can even start with attaching a pair of clip-on aero bars to your road bike. This allows you to go faster in a straight line without having to invest the time and money into setting up a whole new triathlon bike. But for serious triathletes, there is nothing faster and more comfortable than a triathlon bike.

What’s the difference between a triathlon bike and a road bike?

The main differences between a triathlon bike and a road bike are frame shape and aerodynamics, aero bars, and wheels.

Triathlon bikes have thicker and more aerodynamic tubing than road bikes which are heavier but faster in a straight line. Whereas road bikes have drop bars – handlebars with three available hand positions – triathlon bikes have aero bars which are time-trial-specific handlebars with long extensions for your forearms.

Lastly, triathlon bikes have deep-sectioned wheels and sometimes rear disc wheels which are heavier but faster than shallower road bike wheels which are designed for climbing and all-around riding.

Why do triathletes use TT bikes?

Triathletes use TT bikes, or time trial bikes because triathlons typically involve an individual effort rather than group riding. The only exception is Olympic-style triathlons which allow pack riding; but in these triathlons, racers use road bikes instead of TT bikes.

For individual effort, TT bikes are faster than road bikes. This is because TT bikes are more aerodynamic than road bikes. And during an individual effort, you don’t need to worry about pack riding skills such as braking or positioning.

Is a triathlon bike faster than a road bike?

Yes, a triathlon bike is faster than a road bike on a straight and flat road. Triathlon bikes are much more aerodynamic than road bikes thanks to their unique tube shapes and time-trial-specific handlebars. Though triathlon bikes weigh more than road bikes, there is no significant penalty for increased weight on flat roads.

Road bikes are faster than triathlon bikes when it comes to climbing and descending since road bikes are lighter than triathlon bikes, and they also handle much better in corners.

Why are tri bikes heavier than road bikes?

Triathlon bikes are typically heavier than road bikes because they use more materials. Whereas triathlon bikes are designed for straight-line speed, road bikes are designed for a mix of speed, cornering ability, and climbing. Thus, road bike frames have thinner tubes and less overall material to keep them lightweight. Road bikes typically have lighter and shallower wheels which are lightweight as well as aerodynamic.

On the other hand, triathlon bikes have thicker aerodynamic tubes which use significantly more material than road bikes. Triathlon bikes also have deep-sectioned wheels, and sometimes rear disc wheels, which are super aerodynamic, but also significantly heavier than shallower wheels used on road bikes.

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Best Triathlon Bikes: Top Picks for Your Next Race

If you’re looking to participate in a triathlon, one of the most important investments you’ll make is in your bike. Triathlon bikes are designed to be fast, aerodynamic, and comfortable for long rides. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you. In this article, we’ll break down the best triathlon bikes of 2023 and help you understand the key components and features to look for when making your decision.

best trek triathlon bike

Understanding Triathlon Bikes can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re new to the sport. Triathlon bikes are designed specifically for triathlon events, which include swimming, cycling, and running. These bikes are different from traditional road bikes in several ways, including their geometry, aerodynamics, and components. Triathlon bikes are designed to be faster and more efficient, allowing you to conserve energy during the cycling portion of the race and perform better overall. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at the top triathlon bikes of 2023 and what sets them apart from the competition.

Key Takeaways

  • Triathlon bikes are designed specifically for triathlon events and are different from traditional road bikes.
  • The top triathlon bikes of 2023 are designed to be fast, aerodynamic, and comfortable for long rides.
  • When choosing a triathlon bike, it’s important to consider factors such as bike components and technology, bike fit and comfort, aerodynamics and performance, weight, stiffness and stability, additional features and accessories, price and value considerations, regulations and standards, and frequently asked questions.

Understanding Triathlon Bikes

If you’re new to the world of triathlon, you may be wondering what makes a triathlon bike different from other types of bikes. Triathlon bikes, also known as tri bikes or time trial bikes, are designed specifically for the needs of triathletes. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at what makes triathlon bikes unique.

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One of the most significant differences between a triathlon bike and a traditional road bike is the geometry. Triathlon bikes have a more aggressive geometry, with steeper seat tube angles and shorter top tubes. This design allows you to get into a more aerodynamic position, which can help you go faster with less effort.

Another key feature of a triathlon bike is the aerobars. These are the handlebars that allow you to get into an aerodynamic position. Aerobars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it’s important to choose the right ones for your body and riding style.

Getting the right bike fit is essential for any cyclist, but it’s especially important for triathletes. A good bike fit can help you ride more comfortably and efficiently, which can translate into faster times on race day. Most triathlon bikes have a fit range that allows you to adjust the bike to your body size and riding style.

Aerodynamic Position

The key to going fast on a triathlon bike is to get into an aerodynamic position. This means lowering your body and reducing your frontal area as much as possible. The more aerodynamic you are, the less wind resistance you’ll encounter, which can help you go faster with less effort.

Finally, it’s worth noting that triathlon bikes are designed to be ridden in a horizontal position. This means that your torso is parallel to the ground, which can help you get into a more aerodynamic position. It also means that you’ll be using different muscles than you would on a traditional road bike, so it’s important to train accordingly.

In summary, triathlon bikes are designed to help you go faster with less effort. The aggressive geometry, aerobars, and aerodynamic position all work together to reduce wind resistance and improve your speed. Getting the right bike fit is essential, and it’s important to train your body to ride in a horizontal position.

Top Triathlon Bikes of 2023

Are you looking for the best triathlon bike to help you crush your competition in races? Look no further than these top triathlon bikes of 2023.

Canyon Speedmax CF 8.0

The Canyon Speedmax CF 8.0 is a top-of-the-line triathlon bike that offers a perfect balance of speed and comfort. With a lightweight carbon frame and aerodynamic design, this bike is built for speed. The bike also features a comfortable cockpit and adjustable seat post, making it easy to find the perfect riding position.

BMC Timemachine

The BMC Timemachine is another top contender for the best triathlon bike of 2023. This bike is designed for speed, with an aerodynamic frame and integrated brakes. The bike also features a comfortable cockpit and adjustable seat post, making it easy to find the perfect riding position.

A2 Bikes SP1.2

The A2 Bikes SP1.2 is a great option for those on a budget. This bike offers a lightweight carbon frame and a comfortable cockpit, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced triathletes alike.

Argon 18 E-117 Tri Disc

The Argon 18 E-117 Tri Disc is another top triathlon bike of 2023. This bike offers a lightweight carbon frame and aerodynamic design, making it a great choice for speed. The bike also features a comfortable cockpit and adjustable seat post, making it easy to find the perfect riding position.

Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc

The Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc is a top-of-the-line triathlon bike that offers unparalleled speed and comfort. With a lightweight carbon frame and aerodynamic design, this bike is built for speed. The bike also features a comfortable cockpit and adjustable seat post, making it easy to find the perfect riding position.

Quintana Roo PRfour

The Quintana Roo PRfour is a great option for those looking for a comfortable and fast triathlon bike. With a lightweight carbon frame and comfortable cockpit, this bike is built for speed and comfort.

Giant Trinity Advanced

The Giant Trinity Advanced is a triathlon bike that has been designed with both aerodynamics and adjustability in mind. The frame is made from Advanced-grade composite material and features AeroSystem Shaping Technology, which reduces drag no matter which direction the wind is coming from.

The Ventum One is a top-of-the-line triathlon bike that offers unparalleled speed and comfort. With a lightweight carbon frame and aerodynamic design, this bike is built for speed. The bike also features a comfortable cockpit and adjustable seat post, making it easy to find the perfect riding position.

Diamondback Andean

The Diamondback Andean is a triathlon bike that offers a comfortable ride and a sleek design. With a lightweight carbon frame and aerodynamic design, this bike is built for speed. The bike also features a comfortable cockpit and adjustable seat post, making it easy to find the perfect riding position.

These are just a few of the top triathlon bikes of 2023. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced triathlete, there’s a bike on this list that will help you achieve your goals.

Entry-Level to High-Performance Bikes

When it comes to triathlon bikes, there are three main categories: entry-level, mid-range, and high-performance. Each category has its own set of features and price range. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from each category:

Entry-Level Triathlon Bikes

Entry-level triathlon bikes are perfect for beginners who are just starting out in the sport. These bikes are designed to be affordable and easy to use, without sacrificing performance. They typically have a more relaxed geometry, which makes them comfortable for long rides.

RJ-Sport Race Number Belt - Triathlon Race Belt BIB Holder

One of the best entry-level triathlon bikes is the Felt B series. These bikes are priced under $3k, and come with a range of features that make them perfect for beginners. They have a lightweight frame, Shimano components, and a comfortable saddle.

Mid-Range Triathlon Bikes

Mid-range triathlon bikes are designed for more experienced athletes who are looking for a bike that can handle longer distances and more challenging terrain. These bikes are typically more expensive than entry-level bikes, but they offer better performance and more advanced features.

The Cervelo P-Series is a great mid-range triathlon bike. It has a lightweight frame, aero handlebars, and a comfortable saddle. It’s perfect for athletes who want to take their performance to the next level.

High-Performance Triathlon Bikes

High-performance triathlon bikes are designed for elite athletes who are looking for the best possible performance. These bikes are the most expensive, but they offer the best performance and the most advanced features.

The Ventum One is one of the best high-performance triathlon bikes on the market. It has a unique frame design that reduces drag and improves aerodynamics. It also has a range of advanced features, such as electronic shifting and a power meter.

No matter what your skill level or budget, there’s a triathlon bike out there for you. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level bike or a high-performance machine, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Bike Components and Technology

When it comes to triathlon bikes, the components and technology used can make a significant difference in your performance. Here are some of the key components and technologies to consider when choosing a triathlon bike:

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are becoming increasingly popular in the world of triathlon bikes. They offer improved stopping power and better modulation, which can be especially useful in wet or slippery conditions. Many of the top triathlon bikes now come with disc brakes as standard, including the Trek Speed Concept SLR 7 Gen 3 and the Argon E-117 Tri Disc.

Shimano Components

Shimano is one of the most popular brands when it comes to bike components. The Shimano 105 groupset is a reliable and affordable option that is often found on entry-level triathlon bikes. The Shimano Ultegra groupset offers improved performance and is often found on mid-range bikes. For the highest level of performance, the Shimano Dura-Ace groupset is the way to go.

Bottom Bracket

The bottom bracket is an important component that connects the crankset to the frame of the bike. There are several different types of bottom brackets, including threaded, press-fit, and BB30. The type of bottom bracket used can affect the stiffness and weight of the bike.

Hydration System

Staying hydrated during a triathlon is crucial, and many triathlon bikes now come with integrated hydration systems. These can include water bottle mounts, hydration bladders, and even built-in hydration storage compartments. The Ventum One is one example of a triathlon bike with an integrated hydration system.

Direct-to-Consumer Model

Many triathlon bike brands now offer a direct-to-consumer model, which can allow you to get a high-quality bike at a lower price. Brands such as A2 Bikes and Canyon offer direct-to-consumer triathlon bikes that are designed to be affordable and high-performing.

Bike Technology

Finally, bike technology is constantly evolving, and many of the top triathlon bikes now come with advanced features such as electronic shifting, aerodynamic frames, and integrated power meters. The Shimano Ultegra Di2 is an example of an electronic shifting system that can provide precise and reliable shifting, while the Cervelo P-Series Triathlon Bike is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible.

By considering the components and technology used in a triathlon bike, you can choose a bike that is optimized for your performance and comfort. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced triathlete, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs and budget.

Bike Fit and Comfort

When it comes to triathlon bikes, finding the right fit is crucial. A well-fitted bike can help you ride faster, longer, and with less discomfort. A poorly fitted bike, on the other hand, can lead to pain, injury, and a less enjoyable ride.

To ensure a proper bike fit, it’s important to consider factors such as your body measurements, riding position, and flexibility. You can work with a professional bike fitter to help you find the right fit for your body and riding style. A bike fit can include adjustments to the saddle height, handlebar position, and pedal stroke to optimize your power output and reduce the risk of injury.

Comfort is also a key consideration when choosing a triathlon bike. After all, you’ll be spending hours in the saddle during long training rides and races. Look for a bike with features that will help keep you comfortable, such as a padded saddle, ergonomic handlebars, and shock-absorbing components.

Adjustability is another important factor to consider when choosing a triathlon bike. A bike that can be easily adjusted to fit your body and riding style can help you achieve optimal performance and comfort. Look for a bike with adjustable components such as the saddle, handlebars, and stem.

Overall, finding the right fit and comfort level is essential for any triathlete looking to perform at their best. Take the time to research and test out different bikes to find the one that will best fit your body and riding style.

Aerodynamics and Performance

When it comes to triathlon bikes, aerodynamics and performance are two of the most important factors to consider. A bike with good aerodynamics helps you cut through the wind and reduce drag, giving you an aero pedigree and an aerodynamic advantage over your competitors. This can make a significant difference in your overall performance, especially on long-distance events.

One of the key aspects of aerodynamics is the bike’s frame design. A bike with a sleek, streamlined frame can reduce drag and improve your acceleration. The stiffness of the frame also plays a role in performance, as it affects the bike’s handling and tightness. A stiff frame can help you transfer power more efficiently, giving you better acceleration and handling.

Another important factor to consider is the bike’s wheels. Deep-section wheels can improve your aerodynamics and reduce drag, but they can also be heavier and affect your handling. It’s important to find a balance between aerodynamics and weight when choosing your wheels.

In addition to the frame and wheels, other components such as the handlebars, seat post, and fork can also affect aerodynamics. For example, a bike with an integrated handlebar and stem can reduce drag by eliminating the gap between the two components. A seat post with an aero profile can also help reduce drag and improve your performance.

Overall, choosing a triathlon bike with good aerodynamics and performance can give you a significant advantage on race day. Make sure to consider all the factors mentioned above and find a bike that fits your needs and budget.

Weight, Stiffness and Stability

best trek triathlon bike

When it comes to triathlon bikes, weight, stiffness, and stability are three crucial factors that can make or break your performance. A lightweight bike can help you go faster, while a stiff and stable bike can provide you with better power transfer and handling.

The weight of a bike is particularly important when it comes to triathlons, where every second counts. A lighter bike can help you accelerate faster and climb hills more easily. However, it’s important to note that a lighter bike doesn’t always mean a faster bike. You also need to consider the stiffness and stability of the bike.

Stiffness is another important factor to consider when choosing a triathlon bike. A stiffer bike can provide you with better power transfer, which means that more of your energy is used to propel you forward. This can translate to faster speeds and better performance. However, a bike that is too stiff can also be uncomfortable to ride, especially on longer distances.

Stability is also important when it comes to triathlon bikes. A stable bike can provide you with better handling, especially at high speeds. This can help you navigate corners and descents more easily, which can be crucial during a race. Lateral stiffness is also important for stability, as it helps to prevent the bike from flexing or twisting during hard efforts.

When choosing a triathlon bike, it’s important to find a balance between weight, stiffness, and stability. Look for a bike that is lightweight, but also stiff and stable enough to provide you with the power transfer and handling you need to perform your best.

Additional Features and Accessories

best trek triathlon bike

When it comes to triathlon bikes, there are a few additional features and accessories that can make a big difference in your performance and overall experience. Here are some of the most important ones to consider:

Nutrition is key to performing your best in a triathlon, and having a way to carry your energy gels, bars, and other snacks can be a game-changer. Consider adding a bento box to your bike’s top tube, which can hold all of your nutrition within easy reach. Alternatively, some bikes come with frame bosses or Bontrager Speedbox-compatible bosses, which can allow you to attach a storage box directly to your frame.

Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is crucial during a triathlon, so having a reliable water bottle is a must. Look for a bottle that’s easy to use while riding, such as one with a self-sealing valve or a twist-lock cap. Some bikes also come with a downtube bottle, which can hold a larger volume of fluid and reduce drag.

Triathlon Watch

A triathlon watch can be a great tool for tracking your progress during a race and keeping you on pace. Look for a watch that’s waterproof and has a long battery life. Some watches also come with features like GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, and training plans.

The Devox 30A is a popular wheelset for triathlon bikes, known for its aerodynamic design and lightweight construction. If you’re serious about improving your performance, upgrading to the Devox 30A can be a worthwhile investment.

Overall, these additional features and accessories can help you perform your best during a triathlon. Consider adding them to your bike setup and see how they can improve your experience.

Price and Value Considerations

When it comes to buying a triathlon bike, price is a major consideration. Triathlon bikes can range from a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand dollars. The price of a triathlon bike can depend on various factors such as the brand, the materials used, and the features included.

While it may be tempting to go for the most expensive bike on the market, it’s important to consider the value of the bike. A more expensive bike may not necessarily be the best value for your money. You should consider the features that are most important to you and your budget.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of entry-level triathlon bikes that offer good value for their price point. These bikes may not have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive models, but they can still provide a great riding experience. Some examples of entry-level triathlon bikes include the Felt B Triathlon Bike and the Cervelo P-Series Triathlon Bike.

If you’re willing to spend more money, you can find triathlon bikes with more advanced features such as disc brakes, aerodynamic designs, and carbon fiber frames. However, keep in mind that these features may not be necessary for everyone and may not provide a significant advantage for beginners or those on a budget.

It’s also worth noting that some road bikes can be used for triathlons, especially for beginners who are not ready to invest in a dedicated triathlon bike. Road bikes tend to be less expensive than triathlon bikes and can still provide a great riding experience. However, keep in mind that road bikes may not have the same aerodynamic design as triathlon bikes, which can affect your speed and performance during a race.

In summary, when considering the price and value of a triathlon bike, it’s important to find a bike that fits your budget and provides the features that are most important to you. Don’t be swayed by the most expensive bike on the market, as it may not necessarily be the best value for your money.

Regulations and Standards

best trek triathlon bike

When it comes to triathlon bikes, there are certain regulations and standards that you need to be aware of. These regulations are put in place to ensure that all athletes have a fair and equal chance to compete.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is the governing body for triathlon, and they have specific rules regarding the size and shape of the bike. The bike must have a maximum wheel diameter of 70 cm and a minimum weight of 6.8 kg. The handlebars must be stationary and may not extend beyond the front wheel axle. The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) also has regulations regarding the bike’s size and weight, which are similar to the ITU’s rules.

It is important to note that these regulations are constantly changing, so it is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest rules. You can check the ITU and UCI websites for the most current regulations.

In addition to the regulations set by the governing bodies, there are also standards that you should consider when choosing a triathlon bike. For example, aerodynamics play a significant role in triathlon, so you want to choose a bike that is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. This means that the bike should have a streamlined frame, wheels, and handlebars.

Another important factor to consider is the bike’s fit. The bike should be adjusted to fit your body properly, which will help reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance. You should also consider the type of pedals and shoes you will use, as this can affect your speed and efficiency.

Overall, it is important to choose a triathlon bike that meets the regulations and standards set by the governing bodies and is designed to help you perform at your best. By doing so, you can ensure that you have a fair and equal chance to compete and achieve your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find triathlon bikes for sale?

If you’re in the market for a triathlon bike, there are a few different places you can look. Many bike shops carry triathlon-specific bikes, so you can start by checking with your local shop. You can also find triathlon bikes for sale online through retailers like Triathlete and Better Triathlete . Additionally, there are websites and forums dedicated to buying and selling used triathlon bikes, such as Slowtwitch , Pinkbike , and Craigslist .

What is the most expensive triathlon bike on the market?

The most expensive triathlon bike on the market can vary depending on the year and model. However, some of the most expensive triathlon bikes currently available include the Cervelo P5X , the Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc , and the Trek Speed Concept .

Are Felt triathlon bikes worth the investment?

Felt is a well-respected brand in the world of triathlon bikes, and many triathletes swear by their bikes. Felt triathlon bikes are known for their quality construction, aerodynamics, and speed. However, they can be quite expensive, so it’s important to consider your budget before making a purchase. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not a Felt triathlon bike is worth the investment will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

Is the Trek triathlon bike a good choice for beginners?

Trek is a popular brand in the world of triathlon bikes, and their bikes are known for their quality and durability. While some Trek triathlon bikes can be quite expensive, they also offer more affordable options for beginners. The Trek Speed Concept SL 5 is a great choice for beginners, as it offers a good mix of performance and affordability.

What is the best road bike to use for a triathlon?

While triathlon bikes are specifically designed for the demands of triathlon racing, some triathletes prefer to use road bikes instead. If you’re looking for a road bike to use for a triathlon, there are a few key features you should look for. First, make sure the bike has aero bars or clip-on aerobars to help you maintain an aerodynamic position. You should also look for a bike with a lightweight frame and fast-rolling tires. Some popular road bikes for triathlons include the Cervelo S5 , the Specialized Tarmac , and the Canyon Ultimate .

Can I find quality used triathlon bikes for a reasonable price?

Yes, you can often find quality used triathlon bikes for a reasonable price. Many triathletes upgrade their bikes regularly, which means there are often used bikes available for sale. You can check websites and forums dedicated to buying and selling used triathlon bikes, such as Slowtwitch , Pinkbike , and Craigslist . However, it’s important to be cautious when buying a used bike and to thoroughly inspect the bike before making a purchase.

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Reviewed: The Gen 3 2022 Trek Speed Concept SLR 7

We give you the nitty gritty details and ride impressions on the 2022 trek speed concept—a simplistic-but-necessary update to trek's well-loved (and well-worn) speed concept line., review rating.

Trek has finally added disc brakes, simple build/breakdown for travel, and a minimal suspension system to its Speed Concept line—all while trimming weight and improving aerodynamics, handling, and acceleration.

Simple fit adjustments/build/breakdown Fantastic handling/acceleration Shockingly light weight Improved aerodynamics More options with disc wheels

Surprisingly rough ride despite suspension system No truly integrated hydration Aerobar extensions cannot be swapped Very wide, very stiff stock saddle 51mm wheels are a little shallow to come stock

19 pounds 12 ounces

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2022 Trek Speed Concept SLR 7: The Basics

We dig much (much) deeper into each of the features on the 2022 Trek Speed Concept SLR 7 in our extended review here , but let’s take a look at the basics you need to know about this bike. For our review, we rode the baseline SLR 7 Ultegra Di2 version, but the framesets are the same from the SLR 7 to the SLR 9 Dura-Ace. First, Trek has finally upgraded their slightly long-in-the-tooth Speed Concept line with disc brakes—which were a long time coming. They’ve also ditched the monopost aerobar riser for a two-post system and much-simplified front end that’s incredibly easy to work on (for travel, fit, or even general maintenance).

best trek triathlon bike

The new Speed Concept also has the fascinating IsoSpeed suspension system that’s meant to remove vibrations from the road into the rider—reducing fatigue for the bike and run. Trek has also improved aerodynamics by a claimed 16 minutes over 112 miles (or 16 watts at a Kona-winning 26mph average pace— here your mileage may vary, a lot) and somehow kept the weight below 20 pounds for a size medium with all hydration and storage removed. This is no small feat, by the way.

2022 Trek Speed Concept SLR 7: What We Liked

Trek did a great job with this big Speed Concept update by simplifying where they needed to (the front end, assembly, etc.) and making some pretty interesting improvements elsewhere (the IsoSpeed suspension, the integrated tool kit cleverly housed in the downtube, monstrous, organized storage in the top tube, etc.).

best trek triathlon bike

As such, Trek rides the fine line very well between features and real-world usability. But the thing that truly stands out on this bike is the ride itself. It’s rare to find a bike that handles intuitively—even on the first ride—cuts corners tightly, without being twitchy, and actually jumps when you stand up. Sure, killer sprinting isn’t going to win your next Ironman, but it does make riding it much more fun than some wobbly noodle. This is a bike that’s not only a blast to ride, but it’s light weight, and solid feeling—things won’t be rattling off this bike, nor do you need 100 allen wrenches of varying types from microscopic to star-shaped.

2022 Trek Speed Concept SLR 7: What Could Have Been Better

One of the biggest flashy features I was excited to try on this bike was the otherwise omnipresent IsoSpeed that Trek has been using on its various road lines for years. It all makes sense for triathletes—less vibrations mean less fatigue, less fatigue means a better ride and run, especially over long-course distances. Sadly, the unadjutable IsoSpeed only handles high-frequency road chatter as good as most well-tuned double-diamond bikes, but medium- to low-frequency bumps and jolts still hit. Technically beam bikes like the Dimond, Ventum, or Cervelo PX-Series have been using suspension, but the new Speed Concept is singular in the double-diamond world. Make it adjustable (like many other Trek bikes), and maybe it’ll be better, but otherwise the Speed Concept was a little jarring, even when compared to something like the Scott Plasma 6 or the new Quintana Roo V-PR.

There are a few other nitpicky things potential buyers should probably know, but I’ve covered that in more detail in this extended review .

best trek triathlon bike

Conclusions

This is a great bike on a long-needed upgrade to a well-loved line. As a gear editor who has to assemble, adjust, ride, readjust, ride again lots and lots of supercomplicated superbikes, it’s a joy to quickly assemble and adjust a new bike that’s actually fast and (mostly) does what it says it will. I can’t oversell how much fun this bike is to ride—as a quick, tight-handling setup that draws similarities to most people’s (and brands’) benchmark favorite tri bike, the Cervelo P5. Both bikes are UCI-legal, still have tri-specific details, are simple in their design, but well thought out, and extremely effective in their execution. I expect most of my big complaints (above) and little complaints (this review) can easily be ironed out in future iterations, so I’d still recommend this upgrade to anyone—particularly those Trek owners who have been toiling with rim brakes, brake-caliper cowlings, and wacky front ends.

RELATED: Trek Speed Concept SLR 7 Extended Review 

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best trek triathlon bike

Triathlon Bikes

Empower Your Triathlon Journey

A Review of Trek Triathlon Bikes: Trekking to the Finish

Trek Triathlon Bikes are a popular choice among triathletes of all levels, offering a wide range of models to suit different needs and preferences. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced triathlete, Trek Triathlon Bikes have a model that will fit your needs. In this review, we’ll take a look at the different models of Trek Triathlon Bikes available, compare and contrast them to each other, and provide a balanced overview of the pros and cons of each model.

One of the most popular models of Trek Triathlon Bike is the Speed Concept. The Speed Concept is known for its aerodynamic design, which helps to reduce drag and increase speed. It’s also designed with a wide range of adjustability, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your body. This model is perfect for triathletes looking for a fast and efficient bike that will help them to improve their times.

Another popular model of Trek Triathlon Bike is the Madone. The Madone is known for its lightweight design and advanced aerodynamics, making it a great choice for triathletes looking for a fast and nimble bike. It’s also designed with a wide range of adjustability, which helps to ensure that you get the perfect fit for your body. This model is perfect for triathletes who want a fast and efficient bike that will help them to improve their times.

The Trek Triathlon Bikes also include the Domane, which is built for comfort and stability. The Domane is known for its unique IsoSpeed decoupler, which helps to absorb road vibrations, providing a more comfortable and stable ride. This model is perfect for triathletes who prioritize comfort and stability, and are looking for a bike that will help them to maintain a steady pace over long distances.

Also in the Trek Triathlon Bike range is the Emonda, which is designed for climbing and sprinting. The Emonda is known for its lightweight design and advanced aerodynamics, making it a great choice for triathletes looking for a fast and nimble bike. It’s also designed with a wide range of adjustability, which helps to ensure that you get the perfect fit for your body. This model is perfect for triathletes who want a fast and efficient bike that will help them to improve their times.

In conclusion, Trek Triathlon Bikes are a great choice for triathletes of all levels. They offer a wide range of models to suit different needs and preferences, including the Speed Concept, Madone, Domane, and Emonda. Each model has its own unique features, making it easy to find the perfect bike for you. Whether you prioritize aerodynamics, comfort, stability, or speed, Trek Triathlon Bikes has a model that will fit your needs. With a Trek Triathlon Bike, you can be sure that you’re getting a high-quality bike that will help you to improve your times and achieve your triathlon goals.

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Best triathlon bike 2024: unleash your speed with these aero machines

Gear up for success with our top picks of triathlon bikes

best triathlon bike: pictured here, a person riding a tri bike wearing a full cycling gear

  • 1. Best overall
  • 2. Best for storage
  • 3. Best affordable
  • 4. Best for comfort
  • 5. Best for enthusiasts
  • How to choose

Matt Kollat

Best triathlon bike 2024: Quick links

00. Top 3↴ 01. Best overall : Canyon Speedmax CF 8.0 02. Best for storage : DJI Mini 2 SE 03. Best affordable : Cervelo 105 Disc 04. Best for comfort : Felt IA 05. Best for enthusiasts : Potensic Atom

Welcome to the world of triathlons, where the only thing scarier than the swim leg is trying to navigate the sea of triathlon bikes. While it's true that riding the best triathlon bike won't magically turn you into the next Ironman champion, it can certainly help you slice through the air with more finesse than a butter knife through, well, butter. These bikes are sleek, aerodynamic machines designed to make you feel like you're flying, even when your legs are screaming for mercy.

But before you dive headfirst into the world of tri bikes, let's pump the brakes for a moment. Choosing the right triathlon bike can feel like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded – confusing, frustrating, and likely to leave you in a tangled mess. With so many technical terms and options to consider, it's easy to feel like you've stumbled into a Tour de France team meeting by mistake.

Fear not, fellow triathletes! We're here to help you navigate the labyrinth of triathlon bikes and emerge victorious on the other side. From groupsets to wheelsets, we'll break down the jargon and simplify the process so you can focus on what really matters: crossing that finish line with style.

And hey, while you're at it, why not treat yourself to a fancy fitness wearable to track all your triathlon adventures? Check out our guide to the best triathlon watches – because nothing says "I'm a serious athlete" like a watch that can keep up with your multisport lifestyle. 

Conversely, if you need something less intimidating to ride on, you might want to check out T3's best road bike guide.

Best triathlon bikes to buy right now

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

Best overall

1. canyon speedmax cf 8.0.

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Canyon is famous for providing excellent quality bikes for a very reasonable price, which is true for the Speedmax CF 8.0. The full carbon construction is as light as a feather, with the medium-sized frame weighing only 8.6 kilos. The setup comes complete with a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Mavic Carbon wheels.

Every detail has been taken into account, including the type of saddle used for the Speedmax CF 8.0, to maximise comfort as well as performance. The Fizik Mistica is a triathlon-optimised saddle with a shorter and wider nose and non-slip material on the top so you can ride comfortably for longer. Relatively speaking, of course.

Read our full Canyon Speedmax CF 8.0 review .

Best for storage

2. ribble ultra tri shimano 105.

Ribble has perfected the full carbon Ultra frameset to provide the least aerodynamic friction possible. This feature will be useful when riding the 56-mile cycling part of the Ironman 70.3 in a headwind. You don't need anything to hold you back more than necessary.

The Ultra Tri groupset consists mainly of Shimano 105 R7000 pieces, apart from the brakes, which are a TRP T860 alloy set. The cockpit is Ribble's own, with bars and the stem designed for the Ribble Ultra Tri. The wheelset consists of Mavic Aksium Clincher wheels and Continental Ultra Sport 2 tyres with an extra deep profile.

Given the thick profile and all the additional storage units on the frame, the Ribble Ultra Tri is slightly susceptible to side wind, but since the bike is very light, it won't affect your riding experience all that much, especially in aggressive riding positions.

Best affordable

3. cervelo 105 disc.

Cervelo is the most popular bike brand among Ironman Kona competitors (external link), and the P-series is one of its more affordable tt bike ranges. That said, even the cheapest Cervelo P bike, the 105 Disc, will set you back over $3,000, so it's definitely not for people who need a tri bike to use once a year.

The Cervelo P series is designed from the ground up to cater for the needs of all long-distance triathletes: the bike is race-ready pretty much straight out of the box, equipped with a bento box, downtube bottle and a rear seat hydration mount, so you can keep your cycling water bottles on you without compromising on the aero properties of your setup.

Get ready for a bumpy ride, as the P series has increased stiffness at the bottom bracket and overall torsional stiffness compared to its predecessor. Said stiffness will enable you to transform energy to forward momentum more easily: less power wasted on vibration.

Best for comfort

4. felt ia | advanced, rim brake | 105 | 2020.

The Felt IA Series won the Ironman World Championship five times out of the last six years, which says a lot about the performance of this series. The IA | Advanced, Rim Brake is your entry to this very prestigious family.

The Felt IA | Advanced, Rim Brake | 105 | 2020 uses a Shimano 105 R7000 groupset and an all-carbon aero frame. For the 2020 year, Felt introduced the lighter and stronger Textreme frameset to the entry-level model of the series, to everyone's delight.

The bike is slightly heavier than the Canyon and Boardman entries on this list but still comes under 10kg, which is impressive considering all the tech involved here. All the better, Felt also included a BTS storage pack, so you can also store your wheel-fixing accessories or food/drinks in an aerodynamic compartment.

Best for enthusiasts

5. bmc timemachine 02 two 2020.

The BMC Timemachine 02 Two is a very competent tri bike. The always reliable Shimano 105 groupset does the work just fine when it comes to commandeering the derailleur in between the 22 available speed options. Better still, the Shimano Dura-Ace Barend shifters compliment the groupset beautifully and make shifting gears in the aero position way easier.

The Timemachine 02 frame is hyper-aero and slices through the air: everything is fat and flat to reduce drag on the road. The dual-mount seatpost is a nice touch and lets riders customize their riding position in a variety of ways.

Feel free to go fast on the BMC Timemachine 02 Two: the hidden brake booster tech "increases the brake-lever-pull to calliper-free-stroke ratio", as BMC puts it. The same system allows for the complete disconnection of the cockpit (when paired with electronic shifting options) for travel purposes too.

I wouldn't put the BMC Timemachine 02 Two in the beginner tri bike category as it not only has a rigid carbon setup and therefore provides a firmer ride, but it also mostly caters for more experienced tri riders with barend shifters and stuff like the highly customisable seat post.

How to choose the best triathlon bike for you

Assuming you won't want to break the bank when investing in a new triathlon bike, there will be some compromises you will have to make when picking a tt bike.

Most bike descriptions highlight the type of groupset they use. A groupset is all the parts on the bike that make it move and stop, so all the equipment that transforms the kinetic energy generated by your legs and body to forward momentum (plus the brakes). This includes the crankset, the bracket, brakes, shifters and derailleurs, but even the chain and rear cassette too.

Groupsets you will see most often on time trial bikes are the Shimano 105, the Shimano Ultegra and the Shimano Dura-Ace. Of the three, the 105 is the most 'basic' set, and the Dura-Ace is the most advanced. The 'basic' is in brackets because the 105 is by no means a cheap set, and as with all technology, advancements from higher-end models cascade down to later-year entry-level models, meaning a new Shimano 105 is probably more advanced than a Shimano Ultegra from a few years ago.

Another key factor to take into account is the frame . Many triathlon bikes have aero frames, where 'aero' stands for aerodynamic. This frame type comes from the world of time trials, where they came up with a light but rigid frame composition. Every gram matters in time trial races, and as technology advanced and production costs dropped, aero frames made their way from track courses into the world of triathlon, too, becoming an everyday sight as opposed to being a toy of the top 1% of triathletes.

The wheelset is also crucial when deciding on a setup. These are made out of many different materials, but you would like something light, like carbon, to make the bike even lighter altogether. 

Are triathlon bikes worth it?

We would argue that a dedicated triathlon bike is mainly worth it for people who take triathlon racing seriously. That said, for longer races, riding on a well-calibrated tt bike can mean the difference and enable you to ride in relative comfort, not to mention other features found only on triathlon bikes such as compartments for food/gels/drinks etc.

What is the difference between TT and triathlon bike?

The primary distinction between a time trial (TT) bike and a triathlon bike lies in their design and intended use. Time trial bikes are engineered for solo races against the clock, prioritising aerodynamics and speed over comfort. They feature aggressive geometry with a steeper seat tube angle, shorter wheelbase, and aerodynamic frame shapes.

In contrast, triathlon bikes are specifically crafted for triathlons, which encompass swimming, cycling, and running. While they also emphasise aerodynamics, triathlon bikes place additional emphasis on rider comfort during longer rides and efficient positioning for smooth transitions between disciplines.

Furthermore, while both types of bikes incorporate aerodynamic frames and components, they may differ in certain features. For instance, triathlon bikes may include additional storage options for nutrition and hydration to support extended rides without the need for dismounting.

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Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well , and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews ) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.

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Better Triathlete

Road Bikes for Triathlon

best road bikes for triathlon by State Bicycle Co.

If you’re new to triathlon, investing in a road bike is a perfectly fine place to start. But even for experienced triathletes, a road bike can provide adequate capability as a tri bike. Just add clip-on aero bars .

Below are some of our favorite road bikes for triathlon, ranging from the most affordable to more mid- to high-end options. These are bikes that you might spend $2K-$3K on but will deliver on performance demands for both triathlon and road cycling.

Road Bikes Under $2,500

Road bikes over $2,500.

Also, check out our page on triathlon bikes to see tri and time-trial-specific models.

These are some of our top picks for triathlete-friendly road bikes with more affordable options priced under $2,500. They offer great entry-level options for beginners. But they don’t compromise on performance, either.

State Undefeated Disc Road

State Undefeated Disc Road Bike for Triathlon

We’re big fans of State Bicycle Co. The Undefeated Disc Road is one of the best entry-level performance road bikes money can buy. Also available in a sleek Graphite color scheme, the Undefeated comes highly reviewed (4.8/5 average rating with sixteen solid customer reviews.)

The Undefeated is uniquely engineered with Y9 Kinesium (aluminum alloy with titanium)f or a lighter, smoother ride. It’s approximately 21 lbs and is built with a 1×11 drivetrain.

You can buy it directly from StateBicycle.com for $1,499.

Trek Domane AL 2 Road Bike

Trek Domane AL 2 Road Bike

If you’re on a $1k-ish budget but still want something good quality and long-lasting, the Trek Domane AL 2 is a terrific option from Trek.

We also like the Domane AL 2 because it’s relatively light for an aluminum frame bike (carbon fork), weighing about 21 lbs, and is built with Bontrager components and a Shimano drivetrain.

The geometry of the Domane AL 2 is well-suited for triathletes who are looking for something aerodynamic and versatile on the road, especially with clip-on aero bars.

Last we looked, you could find the 2023 Trek Domane AL 2 for $1,129.99 at Als.com.

SCOTT Speedster 40

SCOTT Speedster 40 Road Bike Triathlon

The SCOTT Speedster 40 is a smooth-riding, fast-rolling alloy bike that’s designed with an aerodynamic frame and endurance-friendly geometry. In short, it’s an affordable alloy road bike that’s well-suited for triathletes.

Built with a Shimano drivetrain, Syncros Race wheels, and Schwalbe Lugano Tires, Scott’s Speedster 40 is a performance enabler that’s built to maximize your performance on the road.

We’ve found the best price for the SCOTT Speedster 40 to be $1,499.99 on Als.com.

SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike

savadeck carbon fiber road bike

When it comes to affordable carbon road bikes, SAVADECK offers some of the best options that money can buy. Built around a sleek aerodynamic frame, SAVADECK’s Carbon Road Bike comes complete with a Shimano SORA R3000 Derailleur System, shifters, and mechanical disc breaks.

In addition to the frame, the fork and seat post are both carbon, making for an exceptionally light (weighing just over 21 pounds) and smooth-riding road bike. For tread, the bike comes with Continental Ultra Sport II 700x25c tires, which can top out at 120TPI.

Available for about $1,700, the SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike comes pre-installed and is easy to assemble with minimal tools and experience. It’s available for purchase on Amazon .

Pinarello Gan Road Bike

Pinarello Gan 105 Road Bike

The Pinarello Gan 105 Road Bike is a premium road bike that comes at quite a bargain. Featuring the performance-oriented Shimano 105 R7000 11-speed groupset, the Pinarello Gan is a full-carbon build that’s led by Pinarello’s Onda Fork for precise corning, optimal stability, and vibration dampening.

This triathlon-friendly road bike comes equipped with Fulcrum Racing 600 wheelset and Pirelli P7 tires. This combination delivers a fast, smooth, and dependable ride for both short-course and long-distance cycling. The complete build ways a mere 18.6 pounds, making it one of the lightest and fastest road bikes under $2,500.

Look for the Pinarello Gan 105 on Competitive Cyclist.

Ridely Fenix SLA

Ridely Fenix SLA Road Bike

The Ridley Fenix SLA is one of the most rugged road bikes that’s ready for a wide range of riding. It could be the perfect entry-level bike for any beginner cyclist/triathlete looking to maximize their performance.

Ridley, being a proper race bike brand, built the Fenix SLA as a race-ready machine that’s still in budget-conscious territory. The triple-butted aluminum frame delivers a smooth ride quality and confident durability. The fork is a 24T/30T carbon fiber blend, helping lighten the load over rough, long, and demanding rides.

A 32-tooth big ring delivers high top-end speed potential, and an 11-speed cassette delivers incredible range for climbing/gearing. This is all built around the trusted Shimano 105 drivetrain and groupset, along with hydraulic disc brakes.

Ridley Fenix SLA is priced around $1,899 while supplies last at Competitive Cyclist .

Tommaso Monza Endurance

Tommaso Monza Endurance aluminum road bike for triathlon

The Tommaso Monza Endurance is an Italian-made aluminum road bike that’s built with a carbon fork for added vibration dampening and weight savings. The total bike weight is just over 20 pounds, making it one of the lightest aluminum frame bikes available.

Built with a Shimano Tiagra groupset and drivetrain, the bike delivers a vast range of speeds (20-speed) with an 11x32T chainring. The Tiagra shifting is known to be highly responsive and lightning-fast, delivering a high-end feel for entry-level pricing.

Tommaso built the Monza Endurance with rider comfort in mind, offering a WTB Bold saddle and ultra-compact ergonomic drop bars. Equipped with 40mm rims and bladed spokes, it’s hard to believe this bike isn’t a high-dollar ticket item.

Attractively priced just below $1,200, the Tommaso Monza Endurance is available for purchase on Amazon.

Schwinn Fastback Tourney AL

schwinn fastback tourney road bike for triathlon

For a triathlon-friendly road bike priced under $1k, the Schwinn Fastback Tourney AL is a solid option from a reputable brand in the industry. It’s an aluminum frame, so it’s slightly heavier than carbon options (weighing just under 25 pounds). But its geometry is engineered with efficiency and performance in mind.

The Schwinn Fastback Tourney AL uses traditional rim breaks, which are much easier to maintain compared to disc. And the drivetrain is controlled by a Shimano AO70 STI shift and brake levers, along with Shimano front and rear derailleurs that deliver smooth shifting.

With a 4.3/5 star rating, the Schwinn Fastback Tourney AL is a great entry-level road bike for triathlon and beyond. For under $800, you can’t beat it. Purchase it today on Amazon.

HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike

HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike

As one of the most highly-reviewed carbon road bikes (5/5 star rating), HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike offers a race-oriented design that’s well-suited for all types of riders. As a high-quality build, it’s also a great deal priced just below $1,600.

As an offspring of Google in 2014, you can think of HeartsBio as a California-based health products brand that offers affordable yet top-notch bikes at aftermarket/wholesale prices. Don’t be put off by its generic branding, as this carbon road bike is notably light and fast.

The total weight of this carbon road bike is 18.7 pounds, making it a very lightweight option for the price point. The groupset is Shimano SORA (18-speed), and it comes with an ergo-saddle and other customizable options.

Offering great value for the money, you can purchase the HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike on Amazon .

SAVADECK Phantom 2.0

SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Road Bike

Another top pick carbon road bike from SAVADECK is the Phantom 2.0. Not only does this model come equipped with higher-end components, but it’s also engineered for performance-minded cyclists weighing just 17 pounds.

The feel on the Phantom 2.0 is a bit stiffer, which triathletes and road cyclists will appreciate. But it’s also still very compliant and responsive, providing an excellent all-road option for climbing and out-of-the-saddle sprints.

The bike is built with a Shimano Ultegra 8000 groupset, 50mm carbon wheelset , and Continental Ultra Sport II 700x25c tires. It’s also topped with a race-oriented Fi’zi:k saddle.

Priced around $2,300 for the full build, you can purchase the SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 on Amazon .

Schwinn Phocus

Schwinn Phocus road bike for triathlon

For an aluminum drop-bar road bike that weighs 24 pounds and is less than $800 out the door, the Schwinn Phocus is a sweet option that doesn’t break the bank. Well-suited for triathlon, time-trial, and road racing, the Schwinn Phocus is a versatile road bike that delivers on performance.

Relatively lightweight and responsive, the Phocus series is a testament to Schwinn’s century-old legacy in the cycling industry. The bike has been reviewed over 200 times and has earned 4.2/5 stars. With quick-release wheels and seatpost, it’s also easy to maintain compared to other performance road bikes.

Priced right around $750, you can purchase the Schwinn Phocus 1400 or 1600 series models on Amazon.

These road bikes offer more advanced technology and performance. For serious cyclists or those looking to maximize their capability on the bike, check out some of these great options below.

Specialized Tarmac SL6 Sport Bike

specialized tarmac sl6 road bike for triathlon

The Specialized Tarmac SL6 is a road bike designed with aerodynamics a top priority. Appropriately named a “sport bike,” the Tarmac SL6 is a very lightweight steed that’s highly aero and ready for any triathlon. Overall, it’s one of our favorite road bike choices for triathletes.

The 2023 Tarmac SL6 Sport Bike is quite a level up from the Tarmac SL5. Not only does the SL6 offer a more evolved carbon fiber frame and fork, but it’s 20% lighter than the SL5. It’s also equipped with quality DT Swiss wheels, Shimano 105 drivetrain, and a few S-Works touches.

Right now, the best price for this is $2,699.99 at Als.com while supplies last.

Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0

Canyon Endurance Road Bike

Canyon Road bikes are recognized for offering a high degree of performance, comfort, aerodynamics, and aesthetics. The Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 is the perfect representation of Canyon’s ability to offer a beautiful-designed, top-tier road bike in the sub $3k price range.

The Endurace CF SL is the carbon model in Canyon’s Endurance series of road bikes. It’s equipped with Shimano Ultegra R8000 components and weighs just over 17 lbs / 8 kg. The Endurance AL (aluminum) models are available sub $2k, but pack an additional ~2 lbs / 1 kg.

Rated a 9/10 by German Rennrad magazine, the Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 is an award-winning bike that suits long hours in the saddle. Well designed for bike racing, training, triathlon, or touring, the Endurance CF SL is a comfort seeker’s bike that caters well to athletes covering long distances.

See Canyon’s Endurance bikes to learn more.

Felt FR Race Bike

Felt FR Race Road Bike for Beginners

The Felt FR Race Bike is an all-star choice that embodies the Felt brand name for simplicity, speed, and mindful engineering. The FR is a carbon-built freedom machine that’s impressively lighter and stiffer compared to most other road bikes. 

As one of the lightest road bikes at an attractive $2.5k price point, the Felt FR weighs 17.8 lb / 8.09 kg, which is the byproduct of Felt’s UHC Advanced + TeXtreme carbon fiber frame, fork, and ControlTaper steerer tube. 

The Felt FR with a Shimano 105 setup can be acquired at a cost of just above $2k. Felt provides an array of build options, including the $12k featherlight FR FRD Ultimate that weighs an astonishing 15.2 lbs / 9.1 kg and comes built with a Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain.

Find out more about the Felt FR Race Bike .

Trek Domane SL 5

Trek Domane SL 5 Road Bike

The new Domane SL 5 from Trek bikes is a carbon road machine that’s gotten high praise. Coming in at just over $3k, the Domane SL 5 is acclaimed for its speed, smoothness, and versatility.

For those seeking a gravel-friendly road bike that can withstand rough road riding, the Domane SL 5 provides generous tire clearance enabling up to 38c wide tires. While Domane’s geometry is optimized for long-distance comfort and weighing 21.8 lbs / 9.9 kg, it also has the capacity to be an all-out race bike.

Trek’s Domane SL 5 is built with a Shimano 105 groupset. The bike also has an internal storage compartment for stowing tools and gear, which is a thoughtful addition for long-distance cyclists. 

Take a gander at the Domane SL 5 for more information.

Boardman SLR 9.2 Disc Carbon

Boardman SLR 92 DISC CARBON Beginner Road Bike Triathlon

The SLR 9.2 from Boardman is a carbon road bike that’s beautifully engineered for a long, low race position. It’s one of the best road bikes for triathlon beginners and elites alike. Its frame has a narrower, more aerodynamic design compared to most other bikes in its class. Combined with aero bars, the SLR 9.2 seamlessly transforms into a TT bike.

The Boardman SLR 9.2 is modestly equipped with Shimano Ultegra R8000 series groupset and a 50/34 chainset with an 11-30 cassette. Stock builds run Alexrims RXD3 Wheels with Vittoria Rubino Pro Graphene 2.0 tires. Altogether, the bike weighs a mere 17.6 lbs.

The SLR-series of Boardman melds optimum power transfer, comfort, and aero-optimized/wind-tunnel tested triathlon performance. Price may vary on this bike from Boardman, typically starting around $3K.

For more info, visit Boardman Bikes .

Cannondale SuperSix EVO

Cannondale Supersix Evo Road Bike

The Cannondale SuperSix EVO is the ultra-fast evolution of the legendary SuperSix ethos. With its sleek, drag-reducing tube shapes and race-driven geometry, the SuperSix EVO delivered 30-watt savings at a 30 mph / 48.3 kph compared to the preceding model.

Design with Cannondale’s high-strength, high-stiff BallisTec carbon composition, the SuperSix EVO has developed a long-standing legacy for its smoothness, handling, and speed. It’s equipped with Shimano 105 components and hydraulic disc breaks.

The Cannondale SuperSix EVO is an agile and durable road bike with an aerodynamic frame that’s shown to reduce drag by 30% compared to standard round bars. Integrated cable routing, 30mm tire clearance, and an overwhelming reputation for smoothness are a few additional qualities that make the SuperSix EVO an all-star choice for the price.

Check out the Cannondale SuperSix EVO .

Specialized Allez Sprint

The Specialized Allez Sprint Comp Disc is a high-end entry-level road bike the provides a stunning look and high-return performance ROI. The Allez Sprint Comp is considerably stiffer and more compliant than your normal $2.3k road bike, which maximizes power transfer while providing a rigid feel.

Dovetailing on the design inspiration of Specialized Tarmac’s “Rider-First Engineered™,” the Allez Sprint doesn’t compromise comfort for stiffness and performance. The Allez Sprint is superiorly responsive and agile and is designed from an advanced aluminum alloy.

Finished with Specialized Tarmac’s Disc FACT carbon fiber fork, Allez Sprint absorbs the road while providing incredible stiffness and front-end handling. The Allez Sprint is a strong contender, even against full carbon fiber competitors. See more tech specs and details of the Specialized Allez Sprint Comp Disc .

Cervélo Caledonia Carbon Road Bike

Cervelo caledonia entry level road bike

The Cervélo Caledonia is a carbon road bike that provides an optimal balance between comfort, speed, and responsiveness. Athletes can leverage Cervélo’s notable power transfer capabilities and receptive handling, all while enjoying smooth, compliant saddle comfort over the course of long rides.

The entry-level Caledonia option comes with Shimano 105 drivetrain and starts at $2.9k. It’s a performance-ready road bike that provides ample performance for crit racing, pack riding, ultra-cycling, adventure bike racing, and triathlon.

Get a closer look at the Cervélo Caledonia Carbon .

Triathlon Road Bike FAQs

These are our 2021 picks for entry-level road bikes by Specialized, Trek, Felt, Cannondale, Canyon, and Cervélo. Stay tuned for regular updates, and see road bike FAQs below for more information.

best beginner road bikes

How Much Does a Good Road Bike Cost?

Depending on your preference for new versus used options, the cost of a high-quality entry-level road bike usually various between $1-2k on up brand new. It’s a broad question that greatly varies based on one’s budget, performance demands, and the current marketplace, both local and online.

In most cases, a brand new, high-performance road bike will cost $4-5k on up. Upgrade to an even higher-end model, and you can easily drop $10-15k on a baller road bike. Conversely, you can downgrade to the sub-$2k price range and still acquire a trusted steed that unleashes your athletic potential. 

Can You Use a Road Bike for a Triathlon?

Best Road Bike for Triathlon Beginners

Yes, road bikes can absolutely be used for triathlon training and racing. For most beginners with limited cycling experience, a road bike is often recommended for the first year or two as an athlete builds handling skills and confidence.

Adding clip-on aero bars to a road bike can enable athletes to achieve a better aero position 1 without relying solely on drop bars. Aero-adapted road bikes are especially useful for a myriad of reasons, but especially for triathlon and ultra-distance cycling when having a variety of hand positions helps with comfort across long days of riding. 

When equipped with aero bars, using a road bike for triathlon isn’t far off from an actual time trial/triathlon bike. Sure, there’s a steeper seat tube angle and aerodynamic design considerations with TT bikes. But for most athletes, a road bike functions just fine for triathlon, all while also providing better range for non-TT style cycling. Here are some of our favorite picks.

Alternatively, triathlon bikes are not made for optimal handling. They are designed for straight-line speed and aero-position riding. In turn, a triathlon bike can certainly offer aerodynamic advantages 2 compared to a road bike, which saves considerable time in long-course races and Ironman distances. However, the aero advantage of TT bikes comes at the expense of agility and quick handling, which is important not only for beginners but also for group riding, drafting, and comfort.

beginner entry level road bike

How to Ride a Bike on the Road?

While bikes have many of the same rights as vehicles, it’s important to use your best judgment and avoid high-traffic roads that might endanger your safety. Always use shoulders, designated bike lanes, and commuter trails whenever possible to avoid vehicle traffic. 

When sharing the road with automobiles, such as a shoulderless road, exercise extreme caution and awareness. Bicyclist fatalities by motor vehicle crashes continue to increase in the U.S. and are only intensified by higher rates of phone-distracted driving.

Before hitting the road, learn the basic hand signals to let other drivers and cyclists know when you are stopping or turning. Also, be sure to acquire proper bike lights, such as a red taillight, ideally with blinking or strobe abilities, and a bright headlight and/or headlamp.

Also, if you use clipless pedals and cycling shoes over flat pedals worn with any shoes, get familiar with clipping in and out before taking your bike to the road.

Should I Get a Road Bike or a Gravel Bike?

Gravel cycling has become increasingly popular over the years, as many athletes enjoy the versatility and minimal traffic that comes with unpaved road riding. 

Most road-specific frames and brake systems do not accommodate wider gravel tires, so you’re often limited to skinny tires and paved roads. For cyclists who are seeking greater versatility and capability in their riding (e.g. gravel, two-track, fire roads, single track, and other unpaved surfaces), a quality gravel bike can offer a better investment than a road bike only.

Many gravel bikes can accommodate both road and gravel tires – so it’s easy to swap out wheelsets depending on the riding you’re doing. Some of today’s “gravel plus” bikes allow up to 3″ wide tires with 650b wheels (or 2.8″ for 29er/700c wheels). At that range, you’re able to ride most mountain bike terrain.

The major drawback is cost – or the cost of owning multiple bikes. Most high-quality gravel bikes – like carbon and titanium gravel bikes – are typically priced over $3k for a solid entry-level performance option. Add a nice carbon wheelset, triathlon tires , and aero bars, and you can quickly spend a lot of money. If you don’t have that kind of money to spend, check out these budget gravel bike options that are under $3k.

Last Word About Beginner Road Bikes & Triathlon

When exploring options for triathlon, road bikes are a great place to start and can last many years of use for competitive triathlon racing and other cycling events. Be sure to invest in a bike that will maximize your potential (like the bikes shown here).

A beginner’s first time on a road bike is often an unforgettable experience.  The level of speed and efficiency felt with narrow tires, a lightweight frame, and drop-bar handlebars makes for a fast and fun ride. Add high-end technology at entry-level prices, and you get some of the best road bikes for the cost.

beginner entry level road bikes

Road bikes are freedom machines in many regards. Whether for performance, commuting, touring, or triathlon, buying a road bike is a practical investment for a myriad of paved road cycling.  

But let’s be real. New road bikes can cost the equivalent of a few months’ rent/mortgage, as most mid-range models are priced well above $4-5K. Tack on any additional components and features, and just the cost of an entry-level road bike can quickly escalate.

For those who don’t have a limitless budget or more than $4k to spend on a new bike, these mid-level and entry-level road bikes deliver on performance without don’t break the bank (too much). 

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1. Sheel AW, Lama I, Potvin P, Coutts KD, McKenzie DC. Comparison of aero-bars versus traditional cycling postures on physiological parameters during submaximal cycling. Can J Appl Physiol. 1996 Feb;21(1):16-22. doi: 10.1139/h96-002. PMID: 8664843.

2. K. B. Blair, “Cycling Aerodynamics: Clearing the air,” MIT Open Course Ware, 2013. [Online]. Available: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/experimental-study-group/es-010-chemistry-of-sports-spring-2013/lecture-notes/MITES_010S13_lec10.pdf   

Tyler Tafelsky Gravel Cyclist

Tyler Tafelsky

Endurance athlete, professional off-road cyclist, and avid blogger, Tyler Tafelsky participates in long-course multisport and cycling events. Today, Tyler competes in ultra-distance cycling races at the professional level. Since starting Better Triathlete in 2014, he has been the head of content for the site's editorial team. Learn more about Tyler

Best Road Bikes for Triathlon

Whether you’re new to triathlons and looking for the best road bike to get started on, or if you’ve decided to upgrade your current bike, there are a lot of factors to consider while you shop. With prices averaging around $2500-3500, a decent road bike is not a purchase most people are able to make impulsively. 

Best Road Bikes for Triathlon

You’re going to want to think hard about a lot of factors, such as your budget, your own personal strengths and weaknesses as a rider, what your current and future goals may be, and how comfortable you are with servicing your own bike. Aside from practicality, you might also want to look at how prestigious or reliable a company is, how attractive or personalized your bike looks, and any factors that may meet very specific needs or wants you have.

Let’s take a look at some recent models and how they may fit into your overall needs, goals, and desires.

Cervelo Soloist

Cervelo Soloist Review

If you have followed triathlon or road racing much over the last twenty years or so, the name of this bike may jog memories of Team CSC riding the original Soloist to many victories in the early 2000s. This particular incarnation shares little more than the name, however. After a history of appealing to professional racers, Cervelo has expressly designed this bike more for the everyday rider, and less for the pros. 

Starting at $3400, the Soloist is somewhat more affordable than most of Cervelo’s line, reflecting the brand’s intention to appeal to the amateur racer. Its tidy under-stem routing for hoses and cabling allow for easy break down for packing into a bike bag for easy storage or travel, as well as being reasonably mechanically simple if you want to work on it yourself. 

If you want to build your own bike, the frameset is available separately in a number of colors, including Alpenglow (white), Embers (black) and Gold Dust (metal flake gold metallic). Some find the down tube chunky, and under certain lights the carbon frame can make the finish look dirty, but most people feel that the overall look of the soloist is sleek enough and overall decently attractive. 

At 8.1kg, it’s reasonably light but certainly not the lightest carbon fiber bike on the market, which for the price point could be considered a downside. However, its fast handling and smooth ride even over rough terrain make it a joy to ride. Although it buffers road vibrations well for a surprisingly comfortable ride, some riders find that the hollow tubes tend to amplify road noise more than is preferable for many.

Overall, for an attractive, prestigious model that you can ride, service, and pack with ease, the Soloist may be an affordable way to enter into a higher end carbon fiber bike. 

Specialized Tarmac SL6

Specialized TARMAC SL6 Review

Fans of this company know the lore of its founder selling his Volkswagen Bus in 1974 to fund his cycle tour of Europe, bringing back Italian bike components that ultimately led to starting his own company selling bike parts under the name of Specialized. There’s not a lot of new technology offered in Specialized’s latest Tarmac model, but that’s okay! There’s a reason the Tarmac has been this brand’s mainstay for years, and this newest offering continues to show how great these bikes can be, conventional as they are.

Fairly priced at $3000, the SL6 features a carbon fiber frame, rigid suspension, some internal cable routing, and a comfortable weight of 8.03kg. There are some fun color options, including Metallic White Silver, Tarmac Black and Raspberry, Tarmac Black and Chameleon, and Smoke. Some people do tend to find that the remaining exterior cables can look a little bit messy, but the simplicity of the overall construction ultimately is a win. It’s fairly easy to pack into a bike bag, and relatively simple to service, so if you travel for races a lot or a’re new to working on your own bike this factor may be a plus for you. 

The handling mimics higher end models, but at a much lower price point. The low head tube angle and stable wheelbase give smooth cornering, and as with all Tarmacs it climbs well. Some people find that it doesn’t maintain speed as well on straightaways, but overall the everyday rider is likely to find that this bike meets all their needs.

Trek Émonda SL5

Trek Emonda SL5 Review

As a company that is nearly a half a century old, Trek has been on the forefront of new concepts for more decades than most active triathletes have been alive. From their early days of experimenting with molded carbon fiber frames, to more recently exploring eco-friendly options and recycling technology, this is definitely a brand that consistently rolls with the times and continues to produce quality bikes.

The Emonda SL5 is no exception to the quality that consumers have grown to expect from Trek. Starting at $2700, it’s an affordable option for a new or casual rider, and provides a nice entry into a carbon frame bike. The Emonda is a lot heavier than many carbon fiber options, weighing in at 9.16kg, but its heft and firmness provides a stability that keeps you grounded while still allowing you to feel the road. 

Its steep head angle allows for comfortable steering and a nimble feel on turns, but it doesn’t go unnoticed that the weight might give a heavy feel on steeper climbs. Internal cabling gives a sleek and tidy appearance, however if you’re newer to servicing your own bike, or aren’t especially mechanically inclined, you might find this unwieldy when it comes to packing up or working on this model.

Color options are minimal and not super flashy, offering brushed chrome and metallic blue, but if you’re looking to upgrade from an aluminum bike to a carbon option, this is an affordable and reliable starting point.

Canyon Aeroad CF SL 7 Disc

Canyon Aeroad CF SL 7 Disc Review

Although the Canyon name didn’t start appearing on bikes until the mid 1990s, the company had already been working in cycling parts and supplies for a solid decade. The original Aeroad has been around since 2010, and those who have followed the success of prior models in the last six years aren’t surprised to find that the Aeroad CF 7 Disc gained popularity quickly.

Starting at $3999, this carbon bike is on the heavy side, weighing in at 7.95kg. The white and black paint job can make this an easy bike to find in transition! 

It’s not necessarily the easiest bike to work on if you prefer to do your own work, especially if you’re new to servicing your own bike. Some people find that the brakes can be a little bit fussy to get right if you have to remove the wheels for servicing, but there is a lot of adjustability that even beginners can utilize for the best personalized experience. 

Performance wise, this bike is impressively responsive and climbs well, but can have somewhat of a road feel when speeding up or cornering. It’s still surprisingly comfortable, however. The frame geometry has been carefully engineered to make sure that you feel good spending time on your aero bars.

Overall, this bike provides a decent mix of components, a solid ride, and a race-ready unit that suits riders of all levels. 

Cannondale CAAD13

Cannondale CAAD13 Review

From their modest start manufacturing bike bags before branching into hand made bicycle frames, Cannondale has now become an international name in cycling, sponsoring numerous Ironman World Championship athletes. Their CAAD line (for “Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design”) was introduced 30 years ago, and has moved from mountain bikes to the competitive racing road bikes they’re known for today.

Starting at $2500 and weighing in at 9.1kg, the CAAD13 moves away from the traditional diamond frame seen in previous models and leans into a frameset that more closely resembles more modern race bikes. This improves rider comfort as well by creating a smaller rear triangle and allowing for more flex through the seat tube. New aero features such as truncated aerofoil tube profiles reduce drag by as much as 30% over prior models. The CCAD13 also accommodates larger wheels in both front and back. 

Aesthetically, some people tend to find this bike less attractive than other options that may put a little more focus on a clean, sleek look. The paint job and exposed welds can give a cheaper look, and the color schemes can seem flat. However, the semi-exposed cable routing does allow for a simple and straightforward construction that may appeal to some.

Despite its relatively hefty weight, the ride is surprisingly lively and climbs more effectively than you might expect. It offers clean handling and cornering, and a ride as smooth as a more expensive carbon option. 

If you’re not overly fussy about how fancy your bike looks, the overall performance and comfort of the CAAD13 makes this a reasonably priced option well worth considering.

Quintana Roo SRFIVE

Quintana Roo SRFIVE Review

Quintana Roo is considered by some to be the height of innovation in the triathlon world. Over a quarter of a century ago, they were the first company to introduce a triathlon specific wetsuit, incorporating new characteristics such as increased buoyancy and flexibility, as well as easier transitions with an outer coating more resistant to fingernail tears. Only a couple of years later, they then produced the first real triathlon specific bike, building off of the introduction of aero bars to create a full unit truly designed for racing triathlons.

In the years since these innovations, bike brands across the world have built on these ideas to continue to deliver the best possible technology for triathletes. Quintana Roo has stayed in the thick of it all, sponsoring numerous triathletes over the years.

The SRFIVE is a speedy option, offering a comfortable, stiff ride. At a fairly middle of the road weight of 8.3kg, you are allowed a lot of control in shifting your body weight through turns, and minimizing braking. It climbs relatively well, though some warn that you may want to decrease speed more than usual on steep descents. 

Starting at $3000, the prestige of the brand name is enough for some to make the price tag worth it, but for others it seems over priced for what may seem like middle of the road weight and handling. The look is as sleek as it gets – a clean frame with completely hidden cables, eleven excellent color options, and a hand painted finish job that seems more solid than some.

You’re bound to like this bike from the get-go, but you may find you outgrow it sooner than you expect, which can be a problem at this price point, especially if you upgrade to make the base model truly race ready. 

Decathlon Triban RC520

Decathlon Triban RC520 Review

You may be more familiar with this line under the name B’twin. A household name for many years, Decathlon moved to overhauling the bikes under just the name Triban, in order to differentiate between the sheer number of bikes they produce across varying platforms.

Triban bikes are the lower price point in the Decathlon line, coming in well under the higher end Van Rysel models. Starting at a very affordable $1500, it’s probably not surprising that you’re looking at a heavier bike without any particularly exciting features. With color choices unambitiously ranging from navy to grey to blood orange, you definitely won’t have the prettiest or fanciest bike on the course with the Triban RC520, but it will certainly be much easier on your wallet than many other options. So, is it worth it? Let’s take a look at what it can (and can’t) do.

This bike is definitely designed more for comfort and distance than it is for speed and aerodynamics, but depending on your experience, needs, and goals, that may be a plus for you. Its ergonomic handlebar is a great shape for comfortable road riding, and the backwards sweep sits you in the saddle a little more upright, allowing you to ride all day in pretty comfortable form.

Its not going to give you an edge on speed, however. At 10.5kg, you’ll feel the weight of this bike in climbs, cornering, and overall agility. A big bonus for this bike is its excellent gearing, which does offset the weight to a certain point. 

If you’re new to the sport and want a less expensive first try, this is a good bike for training and early races. However, if you are at all serious about advancing in triathlons it’s likely that you will find you outgrow it soon enough that even the minimal price tag may not make it worth it for you if you are planning to continue in the sport to any significant degree.  

Ridley Fenix

Ridley Fenix Road Bike

Ridley is a somewhat newer company in the world of triathlon bikes, but they have quickly made their mark on the sport. Started in Belgium in 1997 by a frame builder and painter, the company soon became the leading racing bike manufacturer in the country, and has become world renowned for quality triathlon bikes, and can boast 18 Tour de France titles. 

Starting at $3010, this is an extremely affordable bike for the new or intermediate rider. It may seem uncomfortably stark at first glance, but despite its minimal frame, the Fenix is firm and stable and unlikely to incur significant damage from any bumps you might encounter, and provides for a more enjoyable ride than you may expect. If you’re looking for a smooth ride, you should know that some riders find that uneven terrain is less comfortable than you may prefer. On smooth roads it’s an impressively comfortable ride, but when you encounter bumpy terrain, you’re going to feel every pebble.

It’s not as aero as some other options in this price range, but again the comfort on long miles is a plus. At 8.1kg, this road bike is reasonably impressive in its handling, and you are likely to find that its biggest advantage is its performance on slopes. You’ll find yourself able to ascend and descend comfortably without any loss of speed or control.  

Overall, its stiffness and handling are excellent, but it’s not the lightest road bike you’ll find at this price point. 

Liv Avail Advanced

Liv Avail Advanced Review

Over 50 years ago, Giant was established as a bike company in Taiwan, and to this day is the world’s largest bike manufacturer and designer. In the late 1970s, the company joined forces with Schwinn, which ultimately became three quarters of Giant’s sales at that time. When Schwinn went in a different direction in the late 1980s, Giant moved forward to forge its own way. As a triathlon bike company, there’s no more prestigious connection than their sponsorship of world champion Kristian Blummenfelt, arguably the world’s most forefront champion triathlete today. 

The Liv concept was founded in 2008 as a line produced specifically for women. Their focus on what they call the 3F – Fit, Form, and Function – is designed to specifically meet the needs of female athletes who may struggle to find equipment that makes sense for their particular needs. 

The Liv Avail Advanced is an endurance bike that offers versatility at an affordable range, in both carbon and aluminum options. Designed as it is for smaller, female riders, it offers a number of features such as smaller shifters, narrower handlebars with a shallow drop, and a size range ideal for riders as short as 5 feet. Small shifters with a short reach are ideal for smaller hands.

At 8.01kg, this bike gives sharp, easy handling and fast reactions. It feels peppy, agile, and responsive. Although it is built more for endurance than speed, it still feels very race-focused. Narrow seat stays eliminate a lot of road noise and comfort is definitely at the forefront.

There are great color options such as gloss chameleon blue, and combined with the neat and tidy integrated internal seat clamp, the overall look is sleek, clean, and attractive. 

Starting at $2500, this bike is a great choice for smaller riders who need a more comfortable option, and it doesn’t lack in aesthetics, speed, or comfort. 

Finding the Right Bike for You

Choosing the right road bike for your budget, body, mechanical aptitude, and overall needs can be complicated. You will want to consider where you are in your riding, training, and racing goals. You will need to seriously consider a number of questions, such as:

How serious are you at delving into triathlon racing?

This can determine whether you’re in a place to purchase an entry level bike or something a little bit more advanced. 

How many races a year will you be competing in?

Take a look at whether you’ll be entering a lot of races or spending more time on the road training, maybe for fun or fitness. 

Will you need to travel?

If you’ll be competing in races across the country or even the world, its important to consider how easily your bike can be dismantled for packing, and rebuilt for racing.

Do you want to work on your own bike, or take it to a shop for service?

A bike with less complex mechanisms is easier to work on by yourself, but a more complicated bike may cost you more in the shop.

What does your budget look like?

This can be one of the trickiest questions to answer. You might have a limited amount you’re able to spend, so determining what your priorities are can help determine whether a bike in your personal spending limit is really worth it for what your personal needs are.

No matter what bike you choose, you’re bound to find things you love and things you would prefer were different, and that’s okay. The perfect bike probably doesn’t exist – as long as you learn and grow with whatever bike you have, you’ll discover more and more about what works for you. Always be ready to grow to the next page of your own journey, or as technology advances.

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Best time trial bikes and triathlon bikes 2024: what to look for and our hand picked recommendations

Slicing through the air is no easy feat so we've compiled a list of best time trial and triathlon bikes that will make the job a fair bit easier

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best time trial best triathlon bikes

Time trial bikes and triathlon bikes are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, in a bid to minimise drag and make you as fast as possible.

As soon as you travel over 15kph (roughly 10 mph) the biggest force you have to overcome as a cyclist is drag and the faster you go, the greater the drag.

Often referred to as the race of truth, time trials are considered by many to be purist form of bike racing. Being an event where rider and machine alone are pitted against the clock, cyclists have always looked to maximise aerodynamics in order to go as fast as possible. 

If you're wondering where to start, our pages on everything you need to know to get into time trials will give you the complete low down, from how to get started through to the best kit at the Tour de France , world championships, including what you might see at the Olympics . 

In this race, the bike can make a big difference - and the more wind cheating it can be, the better, although be sure not to overlook the importance of wearing one of the best skinsuits for cycling to assist in the wattage department.

 Here is our guide to time trial and triathlon bikes in which we will explain what to look for and the main differences between different models.

What ever your motivation or intended use, here is a list of triathlon and time trial bikes that you may want to consider.

Best time trial bikes

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Read on for more information on what to look for, and an explainer on what you can expect at each price point. First, here are some models we recommend.

With each product is a ‘Best Deal’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.

Giant Trinity Advanced Pro 2

A frame set built around Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) testing, and wind tunnel testing, the Trinity uses advanced-grade composite throughout the frame and fork. The cockpit features an 'Aero Vault' system with an integrated front hydration system, plus ski-bend handlebars.

At this price point, the groupset is Shimano Ultegra, with a standard 36/52 chainset and Giant 's own P-A2 wheelset.

The rim brakes are again Giant's own SpeedControl SL creation, and there's an ISM saddle which is popular among time triallists.

Bianchi Aquila CV Time Trial Carbon Ultegra Road Bike

Bianchi has used a carbon aero frame, embedding the Countervail technology that you'll find in bikes such as the Oltre XR4. This material increases the comfort of a frame that might otherwise be stiff and unyielding.

The geometry is designed for UCI WorldTour level pros, and is super aggressive, with plenty of aero nods, such as the shaped seat tube and integrated front end plus a 'NACA' (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) airfoil shape to the handlebar - though we'd like to see the level of external cabling reduced in time.

The brakes are hidden and the aluminium seat post can be set in two different positions, to suit TT or triathlon needs.

Cervélo P2 105 time trial bike

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Cervélo has long had a name in aero frames, and the P2 aims to bring performance to those starting out on their journey.

Sharing the same carbon frame as the higher end P3, this model comes with Cervélo's BBRight bottom bracket, which increases stiffness, and a dropped down tube to cut down on drag.

The cockpit is highly adjustable, and the groupset is Shimano 105 with a 50/34 chainset. The system itself is more than sufficient, but that compact chainset is something you might want to swap unless you like to spin a smaller gear.

The wheels are Shimano RS100 clinchers, wearing 23Continental Grand Sport Race clincher tyres. Again, you might want to upgrade to some deeper wheels with wider tyres for more comfort and more efficient rolling over bumpy roads.

If you're looking for the ultimate in speed seeking design, check out the unconventional looking Cervelo Px5.

Canyon Speedmax family

Our expert review:

The Speedmax family from Canyon is vast - starting from the £2099 for the Speedmax CF 7.0 and travelling north of £8k for the Speedmax CF SLX 9.0, with plenty of options in-between.

The entry level model enjoys a carbon frame, built around a Shimano 105 frame with Mavic Cosmic Elite hoops. The cockpit features the Canyon H30 Basebar Flat CF.

As you move through the range, the cockpit becomes even more sophisticated, with greater integration and more storage space, ideal for long distance events.

Di2 shifting is introduced at higher price points, which reduces hand movement required to shift, and the wheels become deeper and faster, such as the Zipp 858 NSW hoops fitted to the CF SLX 9.0 LTD pictured.

  • Take a look at the Canyon Speedmax range

S-Works Shiv Disc limited edition

The redesigned Shiv from Specialized has been fine tuned specifically for triathlon, and is now 60 seconds quicker than the UCI legal Shiv.

The fin at the back holds water, with Ironman length races at front of mind. To make travel easier, the bars fold by simply loosening five bolts.

For the price - £10,999 - you'll be expecting top end spec, and you certainly get it, with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifting, Roval CLX 64 carbon rims, and hydraulic disc brake.

Read more: Specialized Shiv redesigned

Boardman ATT 9.0

Boardman had its own wind tunnel, and its bikes were tested and optimised to cut through the air as efficiently as possible.

The ATT 9.0 is an entry level option that boasts a C10 carbon frame and the wind cheating attributes of many of the top end bikes, but with a Shimano 105 groupset and 35mm Vision Team Comp wheels.

The Zipp cockpit isn't the most aero optimised, but it is highly adjustable to help you achieve your optimum position.

What is a time trial bike or triathlon bike?

Time trial bikes are specifically designed for the demands of riding against the clock, usually on flatter terrain where the difference between winning and loosing can often be mere seconds.

Maximising aerodynamic efficiency is the number one priority for a time trial bike, with comfort and weight becoming secondary.

Time trial bikes are also popular with triathletes competing in non drafting triathlons and Ironman events.

You don't need a time trialbike to take part in a time trial or triathlon, but if you want to maximise your performance and go as quick as possible, you should look to use one.

This is because they have different geometry to normal road bike which enables the rider to adopt a much more aerodynamic position.

As the first point of impact with the wind, it's vital to get the front of the bike as aerodynamic as possible, with even attention being paid to the impact of equipment being strapped on to your bike can do to your numbers. For example the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt bike computer has been specifically designed to work in harmony with a bikes aerodynamics. 

Typically all time trial bikes will have forward facing tri-bars to enable you to get your arms and body narrow, a shorter head tube helps achieve a lower more aggressive position, while the seat tube angle will be steeper, positioning the rider over the bottom bracket and further forward on the bike.

What's the difference between a road bike and a time trial bike?

Time trial bikes are usually less comfortable, considerably heavier (usually 1-2kg or 2.3-4.6lbs), with deeper tube sections that make the frame more aerodynamic. The cockpit will feature a flat base bar and some tribars with gear shifters on the extensions, which is much more aero than a drop handle bar.

The main difference is geometry. You can stick a pair of clip on tribars onto a road bike (and this is a great starting point for beginners) but you will struggle to get the right position because normal road bikes try to position your bum behind the bottom bracket.

TT bikes have steeper seat tubes that allow the rider to rotate the pelvis and sit over or in front of the bottom bracket. The steeper seat tube allows the rider to open up the hip angle, which helps distribute the load to different muscle groups in the legs.

What’s the difference between a time trial bike and triathlon bike?

In the UK time trialling is a popular sport, however in the rest of the world it is much more niche. Consequently, the market for Triathlon bikes is much larger than that for TT specific bikes.

The best time trial bikes are primarily designed for use by professional riders competing in WorldTour bike races such as the Tour de France. Races such as the Tour fall under the jurisdiction of the UCI and have to convene to the rules of that governing body.

The UCI rules and regulations dictate tube shapes, frame design and geometry. UCI legal bikes have to conform to the classic bike frame design of two triangles and the other rules stipulating what can and can't go on a bike, not that brands haven't questioned the balance between clarity and ambiguity  of the rules. 

>>> Triathlon suits: everything you need to know

The rules and regulations for the best triathlon bikes are much more relaxed than that laid out by the UCI and the result is that riders can adopt more aggressive positions and bike design can be more radical. A great example is the Cervelo P5X.

If your wondering where to start, our page dedicated to everything you need to get into triathlon will help and guide you in to the sport. 

It's worth noting that in the UK, most Time Trials , including open events fall under the remit of the CTT governing body and not British Cycling. For CTT events it is fine to use a Non UCI legal bike such as the Cervelo P5X or water bottle fairings like those that can be added to the Canyon Aeroad . A notable exception to this would be the National Time Trial championships .

Watch Video - How much speed can you buy? (featuring the canyon speedmax tt bike)

The best entry level time trial and triathlon bikes

The best entry level time trial bikes will usually come with a good quality aluminium frame and mid tier groupset such as Shimano 105.

Wheels are likely to be non aero, although some brands will supply entry level deep sections, although you can always upgrade at a later date to a pair of the best road bike wheels . 

They will feature less integration than the much more expensive top end models and this results in the frame being slightly less aerodynamic. However, this is usually less than you would think, often in the region of just six watts.

The reason for this is that the biggest obstacle to the wind will always be YOU, the rider.

Entry level time trial bikes are equal to top spec machines in their ability to allow the rider to adopt an aero position, with the rider typically accounting for 90% of the total drag at 48kph (30mph).

One of the best examples of this is the story of Richard Bussell, who won the National 10 mile time trial championship on bike refuted to cost just £1000 . Although the bike was made up of used parts, it demonstrates that the difference between top end frame sets and entry level is aerodynamically small.

The best mid level time trial and triathlon bikes

The best mid point time trail bikes are likely to be carbon and you will likely start to see some integration. Integration involves specially shaped parts and components that help streamline the package. Groupsets are likely to mid level, such as Shimano Ultegra mechanical and Di2.

The best top end time trial and triathlon bikes

At the highest end of the market are the best time trial bikes and will be mirror images of those used by professional athletes and serious amateurs. Expect to see lots of exotic looking tube shapes, especially if looking at a non UCI legal time trial bike, designed especially in the most effective way to cheat the wind. 

The top end time trial bikes will also be slightly more aerodynamic than mid price machines, although taking just the frameset into consideration this is only likely to be handful of watts, and the vast majority of the savings will be in the design or choice of components the bike is equipped with. 

To a competitive rider, where every watt counts this can be significant though. Top spec groupsets, such as SRAM eTap and Shimano Dura Ace help reduce weight, giving top end machines a slight weight advantage over mid price bikes.

Electronic groupsets are often found on top end models. Great examples of top spec time trial and triathlon bikes are the Canyon Speedmax CF SLX and Cervélo P5.

Another option is the BMC Timemachine. This model family is available in two key versions: Timemachine TM01 or Timemachine TM02 . The former features a 'v cockpit' which lifts the stack height and is more suited to triathletes. The TM01 also has a hinged fork, to allow for easy brake pad swapping when alternating between aluminium training wheels and carbon race wheels. With the additional v cockpit and fairings, such as the storage box, the Timemachine is not UCI legal, which is worth bearing in mind.

Features and what to look for

Wheels on Time Trial Bikes

Generally speaking, the deeper the wheel the faster it will be, with a rear disc being the preferred option for top time trialists. Time trial bikes are not often sold with disc, or optimum race wheels. If buying a complete bike we would suggest a bike with some decent wheels that can become your training hoops. You can invest further down the line in some faster wheels. It is worth budgeting for fast wheels as many experts suggest they offer more of an aerodynamic advantage than the frame. Regarding which wheel type is fastest (tubulars, clinchers and tubeless), we have a video you can watch here.

Groupseton Time Trial Bikes

If most of your racing is likely to be flat, then the slight weight saving of a premium groupset is not going to be hugely significant.

If you are looking to save money without a loss in performance then equip the best time trial bike you can afford with a slightly lower specced   road bike groupset . #

That said, electronic groupsets are useful because they are easier to set up and maintain - something advantageous on very aero frames, with complicated cable routing. Electronic groupsets also allow you to position additional shifters on the base bar as well as the tribars, which is useful.

Frame design of the best time trial bikes

The best time trial bike will only be the best if it fits you, as this will determine if you can get into an aero position, so make sure you undertake a bike fit in some shape or form before you invest. 

Time trial bikes size differently to road bikes (often a size smaller), so it is worth asking an expert, having a time trial specific bike fit, or sitting on a few in a shop. 

Again, the consensus among experts is that wheels make more difference than the frame, so if are looking to save cash, but not loose too many watts, it could be better to spend more money on the wheels and potentially go a little lower on frame spec. For example, a Canyon Speedmax CF with a Zipp 808 front and Disc rear wheel, would be faster than a Canyon Speedmax CF SLX with Zipp 404s front and rear .

Saddle on the best time trial bikes

Do not be too concerned with the saddle your TT bike comes with as most people will swap out the saddle in a bid to try and find something that suits them. If you want more info on how to find the right seat for you, head over to our guide on the best cycling saddles , which includes our pick of the best, hints and tips on finding one to suit you, along with a helpful buying guide video. 

UCI Legal Time Trial Bikes

If you are going to be competing in UCI events, then make sure the frame is on the UCI approved frames list and is legal. Team Dimension Data race on the Cervelo P5 , but in order to make it UCI legal the team has to swap the fork for the shallower Cervelo P3 one.

Other bikes such as the Canyon Speedmax and Scott Plasma have non UCI legal fairings and nose cones, that can be removed to make the bike legal, should the need arise.

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After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. 

Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third , completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12 .

But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia . 

Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg

Belgian beats Elisa Longo Borghini to take her first WorldTour win in the rainbow jersey

By Tom Davidson Published 2 March 24

Saying good night and gGyour cycling performance by improving muscular strength, speed, and reduce injury

By Hannah Bussey Published 2 March 24

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best trek triathlon bike

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  • The Best Triathlon Bikes in 2023

best trek triathlon bike

Triathlon is one of the most demanding sports, both physically and mentally. Triathletes have to be in perfect physical shape to endure swimming, cycling and running.

To ensure the best performance across these different sports, you need to have adequate equipment. When it comes to cycling, choosing the right triathlon bike is certainly the crucial thing that will affect your performance.

In this article, we will explain what are the most important features to consider when you look for a triathlon bike and review some of the best triathlon bikes available on the market.

Best Triathlon Bikes

Specialized shiv expert disc, the best triathlon bike for professional triathletes.

specialized shiv expert disc

  • Crosswind-Optimized Frame
  • Proprietary Hydration and Nutrition Fuelcell Storage Systems
  • 77° Seat Tube Angle
  • 38 mm Rim Wheel Depth
  • Disc Brakes

Looking at the price tag of this bike may cause some dizziness but if you are looking for the best triathlon bike for the money, this model by Shiv is, without a doubt, cream of the crop. The first model came out in 2012 and it immediately became a classic among triathletes for its distinctive features and great performance.

This bike is incredibly aerodynamic and optimized for crosswinds. The carbon frame is adjustable and comes with Shiv’s unique Hydration and Nutrition Fuelcell systems that provide the best storage integration you could possibly ask for. There is enough room to pack 10-12 gels or 4-5 bars, so you won’t have to take breaks to eat and lose valuable time.

The frame is available in four different sizes, which is probably enough for most people to find their perfect fit. The bike also comes in two colors. In addition to a pretty high price, another possible downside of this model comes from the fact that the front end is a bit larger compared with average triathlon bikes.

  • Comes in Four Sizes and Two Colors
  • Adjustable Frame
  • Great Storage Integration
  • Very Aerodynamic
  • Electronic Shifting Components
  • Front End a Bit Large

Canyon Speedmax CF 8 DISC

The best affordable triathlon bike.

canyon speedmax cf 8 disc

  • Aerodynamic Carbon Frame
  • Shimano Ultegra Groupset
  • 80.5° Seat Tube Angle
  • DT Swiss ARC 1400 Dicut Wheels

Although there are certainly cheaper models to be found on the market, this triathlon bike is pretty affordable for the quality that you get. The bike is available in multiple sizes but it only comes in one color, which is stealth black.

This triathlon bike can go very fast thanks to the high-quality parts that are included, such as the aerodynamic Canyon carbon frame and fork, DT Swiss ARC 1400 Dicut wheels and the Shimano Ultegra groupset with electric shifting and disk brakes. All of these components are there to maximize speed and minimize drag on the bike.

Additionally, this model is incredibly light and quite adjustable. It has a solid storage integration and aerodynamic cable integration, built by modern standards. One thing that could be improved is the rigidness of the frame that makes the bike unsuitable for commuting.

  • Good Cable Integration
  • Aerodynamic
  • Electronic Shifting
  • Only Available in One Color
  • Not Best On Sharp Turns
  • Not the Best Choice for Commuting

Cervelo P3X

Most versatile triathlon bike.

carvelo p3x

  • Extremely Aerodynamic Design
  • Unique Nutrition and Hydration Storage System
  • 32 mm Rim Wheel Depth
  • 72.5° Seat Tube Angle

One of the most radical-looking bikes on our list, Cervelo P3X is one of the top choices for professionals even though it can’t be used in UCI events. This model is strikingly different from the previous models in the series, with an incredibly aerodynamic and light design.

The bike comes with an exception storage integration and plenty of room to stash water and food that will last long enough even for the longest and hardest races. Like the majority of triathlon bikes for professionals, P3X is equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 components, one of the best for electronic shifting. That means that you can shift from both the aero extensions and the base bar.

This bike is available in four different sizes and two models that are slightly different when it comes to their components, so they also differ slightly when it comes to price. On the downside, the bike has 32 mm rims, which is not as fast as deeper rims. Also, the seat tube angle is set at 72.5 degrees, which is more suitable for road bikes than triathlon bikes. Still, these features also make the bike one of the most versatile on our list.

  • Comes in Four Sizes and Two Models
  • Extremely Aerodynamic
  • Some Features More Suitable for a Road Bike

Liv AVOW ADVANCED

The best women’s triathlon bike.

liv avow advanced

  • Women-Specific Frame Design
  • Proprietary AeroVault Hydration and Nutrition Storage Systems
  • 35 mm Rim Wheel Depth

If you are on a strict budget and looking for the best triathlon bike under 3000 dollars, Liv Avow Advanced should be one of your top choices. And since the frame is made with a carbon layup specific for women, this bike is also one of the best women’s triathlon bikes on the market.

Consequently, the bike only comes in three sizes – XS, S and M. This bike is equipped with Shimano 105 drivetrain that provides many gears but it is not an electric shifting setup as we obviously prefer for our triathlon bikes. However, it is designed to be very aerodynamic and lightweight, with rim brakes that are much lighter than disc brakes even though they are a bit less precise.

Another great feature is the seat tube angle of 77 degrees, right in the ideal range for triathlon bikes. The bike has internal cable routing to ensure proper cable integration, as well as the AeroVault System that provides easy access to integrated hydration and food or tool storage.

  • Comes in Three Different Sizes
  • Mechanical Shifting
  • Average Rim Wheel Depth
  • Not Suitable for Men

SCOTT Plasma RC Bike

Most customizable triathlon bike.

scott plasma rc bike

  • Syncros Capital 1.0 50 Wheels
  • 75.2° Seat Tube Angle

If you are looking for a state-of-the-art triathlon bike and you don’t care about the cost, the new SCOTT Plasma model is one of the best bikes you’ll find on the market. The bike comes in 5 different sizes but it is only available in a combination of black and brown.

The frame and the fork are made from the proprietary Plasma 6 carbon, while the bike designed in a way that obviously puts the focus on aerodynamics. In fact, this bike probably has the deepest headtube of all triathlon bikes. The bike is extremely adjustable and light, with an impressive storage capacity, which is perfectly incorporated into the overall aerodynamic design.

Of course, other components on the bike are also high-quality. For example, the Shimano Ultegra groupset that provides the electronic shifting, or the Syncros Capital wheels. Apart from the high price, it is hard to find other faults with this triathlon bike.

  • Comes in Different Sizes
  • Great Storage Capacity
  • Excellent Storage and Cable Integration
  • Very Expensive

How to Choose a Triathlon Bike

If you are a professional triathlon competitor, then you are certainly aware of the most important features a good triathlon bike should have. But if you are just starting out in this unique multisport contest, then you might wonder why you should buy a triathlon bike if you already have a good road bike.

Road Bikes vs. Triathlon Bikes

The main difference between road bikes and triathlon bikes is in the seat tube angle. Traditional road bikes have a seat tube angle of 71-74 degrees, while triathlon bikes come with a seat tube angle of at least 76-78 degrees.

This difference is important because the seat tube angle determines which muscles are utilized when you ride the bike. For example, a steeper seat tube angle puts you in a more aerodynamic position. Usually, when you ride a regular road bike, you will use your quads and hamstrings – a perfectly fine thing if you are sticking to just cycling. However, if you also have to run afterwards like you do in triathlon races, it can be hard to adjust to running.

Meanwhile, if you ride in a more aerodynamic position, you will use your quads less so you can use them in a running portion of a triathlon. In addition to this, there are other factors that play a role in better results that triathlon racers achieve with steeper seat angles and you can read about them here .

Of course, if you already have a road bike, it can be cheaper to modify it than to buy a new triathlon bike. A simple clip-on extension can simulate the forward aerodynamic position of triathlon bikes but you will miss out on other important features specific to triathlon bikes like geometry, integration and storage.

Choosing a Triathlon Bike – Important Features to Consider

Before you decide on a bike that you want to buy need to take into account the type of competition that you want to enter. For example, triathlon events under ITU (International Triathlon Union) have no restrictions when it comes to bike features for competitors.

However, if you want to participate in an event organized by UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), you should first check their rules and standards before you buy your bike. Of course, this is only important if you want to use your new bike for events other than triathlon.

Since that is not our concern in this article, we will talk about the best bikes made specifically for triathlon races. So, when you choose a triathlon bike for yourself, there are a few important factors to take into account.

Since triathlon bikes are not cheap, you may want to take some time and think about all the features that a triathlon bike has.

Like any other type of bike, the purpose of triathlon bikes is mostly influenced by their geometry. If you are not familiar with bike’s geometry, you can check out this guide for reading bike geometry charts .

For example, triathletes spend a lot of time on their bikes and they need to be comfortable during that time. They also have to be able to run long distances after they get off the bike.

The seat tube angle is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to the bike’s geometry. We have already covered this – triathlon bikes have steeper seat tube angle than road bikes, starting at 74 degrees up to 80+ degrees.

Another factor to consider here is the top tube length. Triathlon bikes usually have a longer top tube, as well as an elongated reach compared to other bike types. The reason for this lies in the aim to stretch the rider out and put them in a more aggressive, almost completely horizontal position that improves their aerodynamics. This can also distribute the rider’s weight more evenly between the wheels.

Aerodynamics

This is the key component of triathlon bikes since even a small advantage can add up during the hours spent in the saddle and lead to significant benefits. In addition to this, weight is usually not a concern since most triathlon races are held on flat roads with very few hills involved.

However, triathlon bikes also need a lot of storage, which is why creative and integrated solutions for this problem can greatly improve the aerodynamics of certain triathlon bikes. Depending on the bike manufacturer and bike model, there are a few ways to improve the bike’s aerodynamics.

  • Oversized Tube Profiles – This can help the wind pass without deviation and reduce turbulent airflow and drag. Some manufacturers may also cut the “tail” off oversized tube profiles to reduce weight and stimulate the same airflow.
  • Integration – Hiding or integrating things like cables, brakes and storage can efficiently improve the aerodynamics of triathlon bikes. For example, some manufacturers place brakes behind the forks or inside them, while others hide them behind fairings at the front of the bike. Meanwhile, the majority of triathlon bikes come with internal cables, which also protects them from damage in addition to making the bike more aerodynamic. We will cover later in the article, and in more detail, how storage space is integrated on triathlon bikes.
  • Altering the Frame Shape – Some triathlon bikes feature a dropped downtube, reducing the space between the front wheel and downtube and improving airflow. Another common modification are dropped seatstays that reduce drag, while some brands have completely removed the seatstays from their bikes.
  • Wheel Depth – Some manufacturers choose to go with a deeper wheel profile since it is more aerodynamic. However, others may put shallower wheels on their bikes since they make the bike easier to handle and add more weight to the bike.

Storage Integration

In addition to the integration of cables and brakes, another important thing to consider is the integration of storage systems for fluids, nutrition and tools.

Before these modern times, triathlon bikes relied on after-market modifications, such as saddlebags, rear water bottle holders, storage cases for food placed on the top tube, etc. Modern solutions are much more sophisticated and integrate these storage systems into the bike’s design, so you won’t need to think about any retrofitted parts.

Some of the most common examples include integrated top tube food storage, integrated hydration system, draft boxes that provide storage for tools, spares and tubes while also assisting airflow, etc.

Of course, these integration features usually drive the price of the bike up, so the more expensive bikes have better integration systems. However, models with more sophisticated integration systems are also harder to modify, making the maintenance and adjustments more difficult and expensive.

Comfort is very important for bike riders, especially for triathletes since they spend hours on the bike and being comfortable is certainly a priority.

One of the features to consider when it comes to comfort is adjustability. Being able to adjust your position can make you more comfortable and improve your performance. With this in mind, look for bikes that have multiple levels of cockpit adjustment – those that allow you to move the front pads not just back and forward, but also further apart or closer together, as well as up and down.

Another feature to consider that directly impacts your comfort levels is the saddle. The saddles for triathlon bikes are designed to provide a more aggressive and aerodynamic position. These are also commonly shorter than regular saddles and have a cutout section in the middle to relieve the pressure on the soft tissue of the pelvis and improve comfort.

The last, but not the least, is the shape of the TT extensions which can be curved, straight or point upwards. The choice is up to you and your preference and what makes you the most comfortable.

The focus, at least when it comes to gears for triathlon bikes, is on the choice between electronic and mechanical. Unlike other bike types, triathlon bikes are, arguably, best suited for electronic shifting. One reason for this lies in the fact that it removes the need for laborious cable routing.

Another reason comes from the fact that it allows you to change gears from both brake-bars and the TT extensions, removing the need to move your hands to the bar ends to shift.

However, if you opt for electronic gearing, make sure to charge it properly or you risk having flat batteries in the most important times, like on event day.

As you probably already know, triathlon bikes are not cheap. However, there is a huge range of prices that depends on the brand name, different features and especially storage integration.

Prices for triathlon bikes can range anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to more than $10,000, so take your time to compare different models, their features and, ultimately, their prices.

While the price will not always be the best indicator of the bike’s quality, in many cases it does mean that the bike has better features like being lighter, faster, provide better shift quality, be more durable and comfortable. But to make the most out of your triathlon bike and ensure better performances, you should also consider other equipment like a triathlon watch or triathlon shorts.

Just by taking a look at the prices of triathlon bikes, it is pretty clear how important it is to make the right decision. Consider all the features before you make that decision and, if possible, take the bike for a test ride.

We hope that our guidelines and reviews have been helpful and that you were able to use them to find the best triathlon bike for your needs.

About The Author

Vladimir is a former journalism student and an active freelance writer. He has a lifelong passion for sports, especially soccer, basketball and tennis. His basketball playing days ended after high school but he still likes to play hoops with his friends. Vladimir also likes to ride his bike at some of the most popular green areas in Belgrade, Serbia.

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Green Deals

Save on e-bikes, electric riding mowers, and more in today’s best green deals.

Avatar for Reinette LeJeune

Kicking off this week’s green deals is the spring sale from Blix Bikes that is taking up to $600 off e-bike models as well as offering up to $292 in free accessories, lead by the Dubbel Utility e-bike for $1,499 with $292 in free gear. It is joined by the Greenworks 80V 42-inch CrossoverZ Zero Turn Electric Riding Lawn Mower at $4,500 , as well as the Baseus 140W 6-port USB-C Power Bank Station for $75 . Plus, all of the other best new Green Deals landing this week.

Head below for other New Green Deals we’ve found today and, of course,  Electrek ’s best EV buying  and  leasing deals . Also, check out the new  Electrek Tesla Shop for the best deals on Tesla accessories .

Get up to $892 in savings during Blix Bikes’ spring sale

Blix Bikes has launched a  spring sale  that is taking up to $600 off its lineup of e-bikes with each purchase also receiving up to $292 in free accessories. A standout amongst the offerings is the  Dubbel Utility e-bike for  $1,499 shipped , with the dual battery option for  $1,899  in  bright white ,  slate grey , or  matte nu cream . Down from its usual $2,099, this particular model saw regular discounts during most of 2023’s sales events, dropping to $1,499 at the lowest. Today’s deal comes in as a 29% markdown off the going rate, returning costs to the all-time low. Along with your purchase you’ll also receive a free front basket, passenger seat, passenger foot pegs, and a Dubbel frame bag worth $292 – so all-in-all, you’ll be getting a total of $892 in savings! Blix is also offering an extra $200 off any purchase of any two e-bikes by using the promo code  RIDETOGETHER  at checkout.

The  Dubbel e-bike  is equipped with a 750W (1,350W peak) rear hub motor and your choice between one or two 48V batteries that pushes this e-bike up to max speeds of 20 to 28 MPH and travels a range of 40 to 80 miles, depending on your choice of battery setup. It offers five levels of pedal-assist with a 12-magnet cadence sensor, and a digital display that relays real-time information such as battery level, odometer, speedometer, travel distance, pedal assist settings, and also supports Bluetooth connectivity to the Blix app for more comprehensive performance data. It also comes stocked with an integrated LED headlight, a rear cargo rack, and a pair of puncture-resistant tires for a smoother ride. Plus, with this deal you can also carry passengers with the added seat and foot pegs.

More Blix e-bike deals:

  • Ultra Fat-Tire All-Terrain e-bike with $200 in free gear:  $1,499  (Reg. $2,099)
  • Packa Genie Cargo e-bike with $217 in free gear:  $1,499  (Reg. $2,099)
  • Vika+ Flex Folding e-bike with $178 in free gear:  $1,499  (Reg. $1,899)
  • Aveny Skyline Commuter e-bike with $178 in free gear:  $1,499  (Reg. $1,999)
  • Sol Eclipse Cruiser e-bike with $207 in free gear:  $1,599  (Reg. $1,899)

best trek triathlon bike

Save $1,000 on this Greenworks 80V Electric Riding Mower

Best Buy is offering the  Greenworks 80V 42-inch CrossoverZ Electric Zero Turn Riding Lawn Mower with six 4.0Ah batteries for  $4,499.99 shipped  through the end of the day. Normally fetching $5,500, we only saw two discounts for this particular package over 2023 and another last month, with the biggest of them dropping costs to $4,000. Today’s deal coming in as an $1,000 markdown off the going rate and lands as a return to the second-lowest price we have tracked.

The  80V CrossoverZ  is the most comprehensive mowing solution from Greenworks to date, and was designed to handle up to 1.5-acres of land on a single charge with the six included 4.0Ah batteries. Sitting atop a 42-inch reinforced 12-gauge steel cutting deck, this mower comes equipped with a 80V TRUBRUSHLESS motor, the equivalent of a 24 horse-power gas motor, that can handle hills and inclines up to a 15-degree slope at a maximum speed of 8 MPH. You’ll be able to sit comfortable in the high-back padded seat with back support, able to adjust the cutting height between a minimum of 1-1/2 inches to a maximum of 4-1/2 inches. This deal includes three dual-port turbo chargers which can have batteries refilled and ready to go in just 45 minutes.

Baseus 140W 6-port USB-C Power Station now $75

The official Baseus Amazon storefront is offering its  140W 6-port Laptop Power Bank Station for  $74.99 shipped ,  after clipping the on-page 50% off coupon . Already down from its usual $170, this device started off at a $220 MSRP upon its release in August, with three discounts in 2023 that ultimately brought its list price down to the current $170. With the arrival of the new year we’ve already seen it drop further once before, ultimately dropping to a $74 all-time low just last month. Today’s deal comes in as a combined 56% markdown off the going rate, giving you $145 off its original MSRP and dropping costs to the second-lowest price we have tracked.

This  power bank station  has a 48,000mAh (153.6Wh) capacity that is more tailored for personal use rather than keeping your campsite energized. It sports a compact design weighing in at just 4.5 pounds, making it easy to store inside your bag or carry along with you thanks to the included carrying case with an over-shoulder strap. It features bidirectional 140W charging that refills its own battery in just 1.5 hours while juicing up your MacBook Pro 2 or an iPhone 14 up to nine times. It has an LCD display that keeps you informed on power levels and charging statuses as well as six ports to cover all your device charging needs: two ACs, two USB-Cs, one USB-A, and one DC.

Winter e-bike deals!

  • Super73 RX Electric Motorbike: $2,999 (Reg. $3695)
  • Lynx All-Terrain e-bike: $2,999 (Reg. $3,999)
  • Juiced’s HyperScrambler 2: $1,999 (Reg. $3,499)
  • Aventon Aventure.2 All-Terrain e-bike with free extra battery: $1,799 ($2,499 value)
  • Aventon Abound Cargo e-bike with $372 in free accessories: $1,799 (Reg. $2,199)
  • Heybike Brawn Fat-Tire e-bike: $1,449 (Reg. $1,800)
  • Hover-1 Altai Pro R500 e-bike: $1,353 (Reg. $2,300)
  • Electric Bike Co. Model J e-bike: $1,299 (Reg. $1,499)
  • Velotric Go 1 Utility e-bike: $1,299 (Reg. $1,799)
  • Trek Electra Cruiser Go! Step-Over e-bike: $1,200 (Reg. $1,600)
  • Aventon Pace 500.2 e-bike: $999 (Reg. $1,599)
  • OKAI Stride Electric Bike: $930 (Reg. $1,600)
  • Razor Rambler 20 e-bike: $900 (Reg. $1,000)

best trek triathlon bike

Other new Green Deals landing this week

The savings this week are also continuing to a collection of other markdowns. To the same tune as the offers above, these all help you take a more energy-conscious approach to your routine. Winter means you can lock in even better off-season price cuts on electric tools for the lawn while saving on EVs and tons of other gear.

  • Hover-1 Helios electric folding scooter offers 24-mile range at 18 MPH for $332 (Reg. $700)
  • Amazon Basics 24-pack of rechargeable AAA batteries falls to $18 (Reg. $32), more from $15
  • Electric Bike Co.’s Model A e-bike offers 60-mile range with free anti-theft alarm at $1,499 (Save $329)
  • EGO’s Power+ 56V electric lawn mower includes two batteries at $600 (New low, Reg. $1,048)
  • Greenworks 40V 20-inch cordless electric snow blower sees discount to new $148 low ($272 off)
  • Husqvarna’s Automower 115H robotic lawn mower with smart controls now $562 (Reg. $700)
  • EGO Power+ electric chainsaw down to $200 (Save $69), spare batteries from $135, more

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Green Deals

Mountainbike

  • TFR Downhill
  • TFR Cross Country
  • Baloise-Trek
  • TFR Triathlon
  • Trek Ambassadors
  • Regional teams and athletes

best trek triathlon bike

  • Lidl-Trek Fanclub
  • trekbikes.com

An impressive Skujins races to second at Strade Bianche

best trek triathlon bike

Despite a crash and two punctures, Toms put in an outstanding performance and finished on the podium behind Pogacar: “It was a battle, this podium is a huge reward”

At Strade Bianche, super Toms Skujins left everyone speechless and took a well-deserved second place, confirming that he is currently enjoying great form. Ahead of him only Pogacar (UAE), the absolute ruler of the race, was almost unreachable for the entire peloton.

But for Lidl-Trek today it was Toms’ performance that counts. Splendid, generous, memorable.

best trek triathlon bike

©Zac Williams/SWpix.com

The Latvian proved to be strong with both the legs (coming back into the peloton three times after two punctures and a crash) and with the head in all the key moments of the race. When Pogacar decided to say goodbye to the top riders’ group, Toms held his nerve and kept his legs fresh, waiting for the perfect moment to launch his move towards the podium.

At 25km to go, he sized the moment and attacked to chase Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny). Once the Belgian had been caught, they rode together until the final climb in Siena, where Toms made his decisive effort to go alone to the finish to claim second.

In Piazza del Campo, Toms could enjoy a podium finish of absolute prestige.

best trek triathlon bike

©GettyImages

Toms' reaction

Without the team I would have not been second. It’s the first time I’ve been the designated leader in the race and I hope I paid them back well for that. I flatted twice already before I crashed, and both times I took the wheel from Jacopo, and both times Eddie and Fabio waited for me to get me back into the mix, and then to get me well positioned ahead of sector seven. They really did everything they could. It’s a pity that against Tadej there’s not much you can do, but I think with everything that happened today we can be more than satisfied.

best trek triathlon bike

After I crashed my gears were jammed with mud, it was a hard moment, and luckily we had a bit of road after Santa Marie so I changed my bike. It was a battle, not just physically but also mentally. Today it was already a success for me any place on the podium, so I’m very satisfied. It’s one of the most beautiful podiums that you could have with the finish in this square in Siena. It’s a very special race, you always know it’s going to be crazy and you just have to keep fighting. Today was definitely one of those days.

Already last weekend I could see that I’ve stepped up again. That’s the goal every year, to step up, and every year I seem to manage to do it. There’s more racing to come, the Team is growing and I’m very happy to be a part of it.

best trek triathlon bike

In this story

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best trek triathlon bike

A podium start for Milan at Tirreno-Adriatico

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Pedersen claims second in Paris-Nice opener

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Longo Borghini breaks the ice at Trofeo Oro in Euro

best trek triathlon bike

PHOTO GALLERY – An epic day on the white roads

best trek triathlon bike

  • Toms Skujins

A photographic tribute to the gutsy performances of our Strade Bianche teams, topped off by the second places of Elisa Longo Borghini and Toms Skujins, thanks to the shots of Twila Federica Muzzi and ...

The best electric bikes of 2024

Our picks for the best electric bikes for riders of all types and budgets, based on dozens of reviews and tests.

  • The best for most people
  • Best budget ebike

Best fat tire ebike

  • Best for commuters

Best electric dirt bike

Best under $1,000

Best cargo ebike, best folding ebike, best front-storage cargo bike, best for long distances.

  • What to look for
  • Ebike rules and regulations

Meet our testers

  • How we test electric bikes

The best electric bike for most people

The best ebike for most people

It's not the flashiest, but we think the RadCity 5 Plus will more than fit the needs of most riders. It's comfortable, offers plenty of power, and comes with lights, fenders, and a rear rack for your gear. Plus, RadPower makes a lot of accessories that let you easily customize the bike.

In our tests, we found the RadCity 5 Plus to be responsive and powerful enough to get us up and down hills easily, and do so in comfort. It is a bit heavy at 64 pounds, but that should only be an issue if you try to go farther than it's 55-mile range.

Read more below .

The best affordable electric bike

For those who don't want to spend too much on an ebike, the Ride1Up Turris offers just about everything you could want, with few compromises. 

If you're looking for an ebike that can go anywhere, look no further. This bike is responsive, stable in all conditions, including snow, has both lights and turn signals, and even comes with fenders.

Read more below

The best for commuters

This affordable ebike has a neat feature: Its handlebars can turn sideways, so it'll take up less room when you have to store it in a hallway or some other cramped space. It's also fairly light, has a great range, and has a built-in rear rack.

This BMX-style fat tire bike delivers some great thrills on trails and dirt paths. It has a powerful motor to get you around, but no suspension.

This lightweight ebike lacks some niceties you'll find on more expensive rides — you'll have to provide your own lights and fenders — but it delivers a zippy ride around town at a great price.

The best cargo ebike

A truly versatile ebike that can be configured with dozens of accessories. It's also compact, powerful, very comfortable to ride, and one of the most affordable cargo bikes around.

Read more below 

Click to view more products...

This futuristic-looking ebike is made from carbon fiber, which keeps its weight to just 36 pounds. It has a speedy electronic shifter, responsive and powerful motor, and a great range for something this small. It ain't cheap, though.

Read more below.

When you need to haul really big loads, the Supercargo CL is your best bet. It has a ton of space, yet is very stable and even fun to ride.

Longest range

With dual batteries, this bike has the endurance to get you wherever you need to go. And, it's often on sale for a very reasonable price.

1. The best for most people 2. Best affordable ebike 3. Best fat tire ebike 4. Best for commuters 5. Best electric dirt bike 6. Best under $1,000 7. Best cargo ebike 8. Best folding ebike 9. Best front-storage cargo bike 10. Longest-range e-bike 11. What to look for 12. Electric bike FAQ 13. Ebike rules and regulations 14. How we test ebikes  

What makes for the best electric bike? With so many models out there, it's hard to know at a glance which model will get you where you need to go and which features you can and can't live without. That's why we've tested a number of the top models across all types of electric bikes to give you the best recommendations for your needs. 

We test the bikes by riding them around, to see how responsive their electric motors are when going up hills and getting started from a dead stop. We also gauge the comfort of the bikes over long miles, and note the ease with which we can use their various features, such as an accompanying smartphone app. And, we also test the bikes' battery life; while endurance is affected by many factors, such as terrain and temperature, we try to the best of our ability to see how the bikes live up to the company's estimates.

While many of the best electric bikes are expensive — upwards of $2,000 — they're coming down in price; in fact, we also have a list of the best budget electric bikes under $1,500. And before you do any riding, be sure to pick up one of the best bike helmets to keep your head safe, and one of the best bike locks to keep your ride secure. 

Read on for all our best electric bike picks. 

The best electric bikes you can buy today

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

best electric bike

1. rad power radcity 5 plus.

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

For the vast majority of riders, the Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus will be the best electric bike. It has a comfortable design, plenty of power, and a multitude of mounting points for things such as baskets and child seats. Plus, it comes with a rear rack and mudguards. Its 7-speed shifter, combined with three levels of pedal assistance and a twist throttle is more than enough to get you up even the steepest of hills.

Rad Power says that the RadCity5 should get upwards of 50+ miles on a charge; in our testing, it came fairly close — about 40 miles. 

We really enjoyed pedaling around on this bike, which is offered in both step-through and step-over models. Its battery, while not fully integrated into the downtube, provides plenty of range, and can also be used to charge your phone (with the right adapter). The one caveat is that this bike weighs a hefty 64 pounds, so you're not going to want to lug it up stairs.

At a starting price of $1,999, it's reasonably affordable, but you should check out our Rad Power Bikes promo codes for the latest discounts. 

Read our full Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus review .

Best affordable ebike

2. ride1up turris.

While there are plenty of great electric bikes that cost more than $2,000, the Ride1Up Turris shows that you can get a lot of value from an ebike that costs much less. During our testing, we found the Turris' 750W motor to be more than powerful enough for most situations. We were equally impressed with how quickly it responded when we started pedaling, as many budget ebikes exhibit a slight delay in these situations. (There was a slight lag when using just the throttle, though).

Other standout features include its mechanical disc brakes, easy-to-read digital display, and bright 60 Lux headlight. Included front and rear fenders helped keep our clothes clean on wet days, and its wide, 27.5 x 2.4-inch tires made for a comfortable ride — so much so that we thought that the front suspension felt a bit extraneous. 

There's no taillight, so you'll want to check out our picks for the best bike lights , and unlike some pricier ebikes, you'll have to assemble a few pieces of the bike yourself, including the handlebars, front wheel, and pedals. We also had to make a few adjustments to the fenders, which might mean a trip to your local bike shop. 

But for those who want an affordable electric bike to get around town, the Turris should be at the top of your list. 

Read our full Ride1Up Turris review .

3. Aventon Aventure.2

If you're looking for a fat-tire electric bike that's less than $2,000, the Aventon Aventure.2 is hard to beat. It's as good off-road as it is on pavement, has a beefy battery and a clear color display, as well as fenders that'll save your clothes from getting too muddy. Other niceties include a brake-activated rear light and turn signals.

The Aventure.2 has both pedal-assist and throttle modes, and the battery and wires are neatly integrated into the frame. What's more, the battery can be removed for charging. The battery lasted nearly the advertised 60 miles on a charge, but, as with other ebikes, we drained it much faster when we relied on the throttle.

While not as capable as a dedicated mountain bike, the Aventure.2 was able to get us up and over hilly terrain, and its torque sensor was quick to translate our pedaling into power. 

Our only real critiques were the bike's 77-pound weight and its front suspension fork, which felt unnecessary. Otherwise, it's an excellent bike for the price.

Read our full Aventon Aventure.2 review .

best for commuters

4. charge bikes city.

If you plan on commuting to work, Charge Bikes City may well be the best ebike for you. Not only does it come with features like full-fenders to keep the mud off and a rear rack for a pack or bag, but it does everything well for a very reasonable price. The Charge City has a five level power assist, as well as a full-power throttle button, should the need or hill arise. 

The biggest reason why we think this bike is best for commuters is that its handle bars fold flat, so you can more easily store it in an apartment or a cubicle at work. It comes with all the necessary bells and whistles a commuter is going to want, including the bell (actually a superior and very loud electronic horn). The bike is available in both step-over and step through, and in a few color options, too.

The City's electric assist is so smooth you'll think you're doing all the work yourself. At night, the bike's lights sufficiently lit up the road and the throttle helped us zip around potential trouble when we felt out of gas. Its advertised range of 50 miles held up, too; we found we only had to recharge the bike every three days using it on our regular commute.

Founded by folks from biking icon Cannondale, Charge's sui generis feature is that even newbies can assemble the bike right out of the box in 10 minutes or less. All you basically have to do is put the front wheel on. 

Read our full Charge Bikes City review

Best BMX-style bike

5. juiced ripracer.

The Juiced Ripracer is a lot of fun, and costs a lot less than you might think. It's one of the more affordable offroad ebikes we've tested, and it can go just about anywhere. This fat-tire bike has 20-inch wheels and a 40.3-inch wheelbase that's meant for trails and other unpaved surfaces. However, its lack of shock absorbers, like most e-mountain bikes, means you're in for a rougher ride. 

Its 750W motor delivered some real get-up-and-go, and, thanks to its low-end torque, was great for charging up hills. In one concession to its price, the Ripracer has a cadence, rather than a torque sensor, so you have to rotate the pedals a couple of time before the assist kicks in. As it's a BMX-style bike, the Ripracer is a lot smaller than other mountain e-bikes, which also makes it easier to maneuver around tight spaces. 

Read our full Juiced Ripracer review .

6. Ride1Up Roadster V2

At first glance, the Ride1Up Roadster V2 It looks like a regular, non-motorized commuter bike — the better to blend in with traditional rides — but concealed inside is a battery capable of up to 30 miles of range. 

The Roadster V2 is also one of the lightest ebikes we tested — it weighs just 33 pounds, so carrying it around shouldn't be a problem — and although there's no step-through model, Ride1Up offers it in two sizes to accommodate riders of nearly all heights. 

The Roadster V2 was fast and fun on flat and rolling terrain, and its belt drive made for a very quiet ride. However, this is a single-speed model, so it's a bit hard to get moving on hills. 

There are a few concessions to get to this price: The Roadster V2 doesn't have lights of any kind, nor does it have fenders, and it uses rim, rather than disc brakes. We also found its display to be on the small side. Still, if you can live with those compromises, you'll enjoy the Roadster V2.

Read our full Ride1Up Roadster V2 review .

7. RadPower RadRunner 3 Plus

How's this for an endorsement? Our reviewer loved this bike so much that he decided to buy one for himself. 

While it can't haul as heavy loads as some other larger (and much more expensive) cargo bikes, the RadPower RadRunner 3 Plus is more than capable of carrying you, your kids, and plenty of groceries wherever you need to go. We loved its responsive 750W motor, its comfortable ride, and its low center of gravity, thanks to its 3.3-inch thick, 20-inch tires.

However, we found it to be fairly heavy, tipping the scales at 75 pounds, so you're not going to want to try pedal it without any power assist. But we found its advertised 45-mile range to be pretty accurate, so long as we didn't go too heavy on the throttle.

Aside from its performance, what made the RadRunner 3 Plus stand out so much to us was its versatility: You can outfit the bike with any number of combinations of racks, seats, bags, and other accessories to truly customize it for your needs. And, its relatively low price for a cargo bike makes it a real bargain for those looking to replace their car with an electric bike.

Read our full RadPower RadRunner 3 Plus review .

8. Gocycle G4i+

The Gocycle G4i+ looks like something a supercar designer would build, which isn't surprising given that it was conceived by former McLaren sports car engineer Richard Thorpe. Not only is this bike's unique wheels-on-one-side and tapered body eye-catching, but we were able to fold it up in less than a minute into a size small enough to get us on and off a train, and past our security and into our office elevator. At 36 pounds, it's one of the lightest folding electric bikes out there, too. 

Despite that, this bike was a real pleasure to ride. Its electric shifter responded near instantly, as did the pedal assist and throttle. However, while the G4i+ has daytime running lights, you'll have to pay extra for a legit headlight, as well as mudguards. Also, the G4i+ has a great smartphone app, but one of the flimsiest methods of holding your phone on the bike itself — a cheap solution for a bike that costs $7,000. 

If you're looking for something slightly more affordable, GoCycle also sells the G4i ($5,999) and the G4 ($4,799). A 2022 version of the G4 has an injection molded composite mid-frame. Still too much for your wallet? Then you should check out the Brompton Electric C-Line Explore , which starts around $3,000. 

Read our full GoCycle G4i+ review .

9. Yuba Supercargo CL

The Yuba Supercargo CL can haul an astounding 500 pounds, making it one of the heftiest electric cargo bikes in its class. Yet, it offers a surprisingly stable ride, thanks to its low center of gravity. Its cargo area is very customizable, letting you convert it from a place to carry groceries to a space to tote your tots to soccer practice.  

Magna hydraulic brakes and a Bosch mid-drive motor were very responsive, though the relatively small 20-inch tires and lack of suspension did make bumps feel a bit jarring. The Supercargo CL starts at around $6,000, but is incredibly customizable; you can select from a range of accessories to adapt the cargo area to suit your needs. 

If you're looking for a cargo bike that can haul more than the Rad Power RadRunner 3 Plus, this is the model to consider.

Read our full Yuba Supercargo CL review .

10. NIU BQi-C3 Pro

There's nothing worse when running out of power when riding your electric bike, especially if you're miles from home — and at the bottom of a hill. With its dual batteries, the NIU BQi-C3 Pro is the best electric bike for those who have range anxiety, as it can give you up to 90 miles of range before you need to recharge. And, that's no boast — based on our testing, we found that 90-mile estimate to be pretty accurate, too. 

But range isn't the only thing we liked about the BQi-C3 Pro: It has mechanical disc brakes, front and rear lights, and a rear rack so you can carry things wherever you plan to go. A carbon belt drive is another nice-to-have feature, as it's quiet and easier to maintain than a traditional metal chain. Its step-through design also makes the bike easy to use for riders of all sizes; we tried it with both a 5' 11" rider and a 5' 3" rider, and both found it comfortable. 

Our only real complaint with the BQi-C3 Pro is that at 70.5 pounds, it's one of the heaviest electric bikes we've tested that's not a cargo bike, so this is not a model to buy if you have to go up any stairs. Still, the bike's 500W motor was more than powerful enough to get its bulk moving with ease. 

The bike's regular price is $2,199, but we've seen it on sale during the holidays for as low as $1,299, so wait for a sale to pick it up.

Read our full NIU BQi-C3 Pro review .

What to look for when buying an electric bike

Pedal-assist or throttle? All electric bikes have what's called pedal-assist; you start pedaling, and the bike's motor kicks in to make your ride a little easier. But you need to put in at least some work: you won't go anywhere unless you pedal. Most electric bikes will also let you set the level of assistance, so you can decide how hard you want to pedal.

However, some electric bikes will also have a throttle. Press a button or push a lever, and the bike will do all the work for you — no pedaling needed! Using a throttle will quickly eat up the battery life on the bike, so you'll get far less of a range if you don't want to pedal at all.

Motor type Less expensive electric bikes traditionally use a rear hub motor. Mid-drive motors located in the center pedal crank shaft tend to be more expensive but offer better overall balance and smoother shifting. 

Motors are also rated based on their power, measured in Watts. Typically, the least powerful motor will be 250 Watts, but unless you're a very large person or planning to go up really steep hills, the motor size shouldn’t be a major determining factor for your purchase. More important,  there is no industry standard for measuring Watts (is it continuous or peak and if peak, for how long?). So in general, a motor’s Watt rating isn’t a reliable indication of power.

Battery size Consider where you live. If you're in San Francisco you're going to want more help than if you're cruising around Austin. Watt hours (Wh) is the most important figure for comparison—it takes into account battery output and battery life to give you a better sense of available power. Higher Wh translates into more range. 

Many electric bike makers will also include an estimated range (usually about 40 miles) that you can get off a single charge. You should take this figure with a large grain of salt, as that number is usually determined under ideal circumstances: A fairly lightweight person riding on flat terrain with no wind, and at the perfect ambient temperature for the battery. Range is also dependent on the level of power assist being used, whether full-throttle has been applied and for how long, and your average speed. As they say, your mileage may vary.

Removable or built-in battery? Most bike batteries will handle rides of about 40 miles and need to be plugged in for at least a couple of hours to get to 80 percent of capacity. So if you have a more demanding commute, consider a model that lets you swap out the battery rather than a bike with an integrated battery. 

Also, if you live in a place where you can't bring your bike inside or get close to a wall outlet (such as if you live in a walk-up apartment), definitely look for a bike with a removable battery. It will make your life a lot easier.

Step-over or Step-through? Many electric bike makers will offer their bikes in two configurations: Step-over (which has a top bar that runs parallel to the ground) and Step-through (the bar is angled downwards). Once upon a time, step-through models were traditionally thought of as women's bikes, but that perception is changing. It's generally easier to get on and off a step-through bike, as you don't have to lift your leg over a bar. 

Safety features If you're planning to ride your electric bike in traffic or in low-light conditions (such as dawn and dusk), it's worth looking for an electric bike with built-in head and taillights. While increasingly common, it's not a standard feature on all models. 

Electric bike FAQ

What are the different types of electric bike.

Generally speaking, electric bikes fall into the same categories as non-electric bikes. Here's a quick summary of some of the kinds of electric bikes you'll find.

Road bike: These are meant solely for riding on roads, and are designed for speed. They will have thinner tires and curved handlebars, so that the rider will be crouched forward. Higher-end models may also be made out of carbon fiber, so as to make the bike as light as possible.

Mountain bike : Designed for off-road use, mountain bikes will have thick, knobby tires, full suspension, and a burlier frame to better absorb bumps and jumps. 

Fat tire bikes : Similar to mountain bikes, fat tire bikes are meant to be ridden off-road, usually on very soft ground, such as mud, sand, and snow. As their name suggests, these bikes have very wide tires — as much as four inches — which helps keep a grip on unsteadier terrain.

City/Commuter bike: Made for urban dwellers who need to get around town, a commuter bike will have tires that are somewhere in between a road and a mountain bike. Generally, the bikes will be configured so that the rider's back is vertical when seated, which gives them a better view of their surroundings.

Cargo bike: These bikes are made for carrying heavy loads, and will have a cargo area either in the front or rear of the bike. Because of the payload area, these bikes often tend to me much longer and heavier — and more expensive — than a typical bike.  

What is a good speed for an electric bike?

In the U.S., electric bikes are limited to 20 miles per hour; that is, they can only provide you with power — either through pedal-assist or with a throttle — until the bike hits 20 MPH. While you can easily go faster than 20 MPH on an electric bike, the rest of that power will have to be provided by you — or gravity. 

How much does an electric bike cost?

Electric bikes range widely in price. Some of the best cheap electric bikes start at around $1,000; you can certainly find models for less, but quality will be less. 

The bulk of electric bikes cost anywhere from $1,500 to around $2,500, and there are hundreds of models in this price range.  

Higher-end and specialized electric bikes — such as cargo bikes — will cost upwards of $3,000, and can easily reach $6,000 to $8,000, which is a sizable investment. 

rules and regulations

There has been a lot of confusion about ebikes (pedal assist versus throttle bikes) and where you can legally ride them. Some municipalities have banned ebikes from bicycle paths, for example. Many places classify ebikes depending on whether they can go full throttle and have a maximum speed of 20 or 28 mph. There are three official classifications:

Class 1: Ebikes that only assist while you pedal, with a top speed of 20 mph.

Class 2: Ebikes with a throttle that don't require you to pedal but have a top speed of 20 mph.

Class 3: Ebikes that only assist while you pedal, with a top speed of 28 mph.

So check your local regulations before you buy. And always wear a helmet.

Dan Cavallari is the former technical editor for VeloNews Magazine, who currently reviews electric bikes, the best bike lights , best bike locks , and other bike accessories for Tom's Guide. In addition to VeloNews, his work has appeared in Triathlete Magazine, Rouleur Magazine, CyclingTips.com, Road Bike Action, Mountain Bike Action, CycleVolta.com, Tomsguide.com, and much more. 

Dan also hosts two podcasts on his site, Slow Guy on the Fast Ride: One is about cycling and other outdoor activities, while the other looks at mental health issues. Most recently, Dan also covered the 2022 Tour de France. Dan lives outside of Denver, Colorado with his family. 

John R. Quain has been reviewing and testing video and audio equipment for more than 20 years. For Tom's Guide, he has reviewed televisions, HDTV antennas, electric bikes, electric cars, as well as other outdoor equipment. He is currently a contributor to The New York Times and the CBS News television program. John has also written our guide to the best bike helmets . 

how we test

All the bicycles in this feature were road (and in some cases, off-road) tested by Tom’s Guide reviewers and staff. 

The testing process begins when we first receive the bike; as most come only partly assembled, we assess the difficulty with which we have to put the final pieces together. Typically, this involves attaching the front wheel, handlebars, and pedals, but some bikes are easier to put together than others. 

Next, we take the bikes for a ride, evaluating their comfort, handling, responsiveness of their motors — some will be faster to apply power than others — as well as how they perform over a variety of terrain and conditions. For example, if we're testing a fat-tire bike, we'll take it off-roading; if we're testing a cargo bike, we'll load it with kids and grocery bags. 

If a bike has headlights and/or taillights, we'll also check to see how bright they are in dimmer conditions. After all, you're not going to only ride it during the day. We'll also try out any other safety features, such as bells and horns. 

We also evaluate the advertised battery range of an electric bike. Many companies will offer, shall we say, optimistic range estimates based on ideal riding conditions: A light rider using the lowest level of power assist, and traveling on a level road in 70-degree conditions. 

But, that's not reflective of real-world use. While it's impossible to replicate the exact same conditions from one bike review to the next, we do our best to provide as much detail in our reviews as to how we rode the bike (terrain, pedal assist levels) to determine how close to accurate the companies' claims are.

Finally, if an electric bike comes with an app — as is becoming increasingly common— we'll test it out too, to see how easy it is to use, and how well it works with the bike itself. 

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Mike Prospero

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.

  • John R. Quain

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  • Marc-G Hello, I noticed a couple of errors in the article around pricing on a couple of the bikes. Regarding the Gazelle Medeo T9 classic, your article list a starting price of $1999 but clicking the link takes you to their site where the least expensive model is $2499 and no model called Medeo T9 Classic is available nor can such a model be found with search. The second model is the VanMoof S3 which is listed in the article with a starting price of $1999 but going to the site shows a price of $2299. As someone trying to persuade his wife that an ebike would be a worthwhile purchase for me, I’d be grateful if you would clarify these discrepancies. One last thing. On the article itself, it says it was published 21 hours ago when it was actually published on July 21. I’m going to assume some aspect of it was updated but I can’t spot any changes to it and would appreciate it if whatever was updated could be noted somewhere. Many thanks for the article. Pricing confusion aside, it’s been quite helpful for me. Reply
  • Marc-G Thanks for the reply. Just went back to the top of this page and realized that it said 2020. However, if that’s the case, why is it made to look like a recent article? Does that mean all the authors did was change the title from best of 2020 to best of 2021? That seems kind of disingenuous to me. Reply
  • mprospero Hi Marc - We've recently updated the pricing for all the models. We've also added new ones to this list as we've reviewed them. Reply
  • GFujioka You do your readers a disservice and reveal your partiality by not listing the 64,5 lb weight of your number one bike. Cheers. Reply
  • gtilford One factor that seems to be missing from virtually every review-support. I have some friends who could not get parts for their ebikes for 6+months, and they were only 1 year old. I've had problems getting parts with a highly recommended brand. The bike is well made, it performs well, but parts are nearly unobtainable. If I knew then when I know now about parts availability I wouild not have purchased the brand. Reply
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Best road bikes under £2,000 for smooth cycling in 2024

Hearing the call of the open road?

If you’ve decided to get into road cycling this year, you may well be eyeing up a brand-new bike. Fancy road bike models that come with all the bells and whistles a professional athlete might need are eye-wateringly expensive, but there are also plenty of affordable entry-level models out there that make the perfect first model for beginners – and we’ve rounded up seven of the best road bikes that come in at under £2,000, with a few great models under £500 too.

Shopping for a new ride? First, think about where you’d like to take your new road bike. If you’ll be cycling to work every day, a simple, commuter-friendly bike will suit you best. If you like the idea of heading off main roads and onto more adventurous trails, a gravel bike with tougher off-road tyres is ideal. Or if you want to work on covering longer distances on roads or even training to tackle your first triathlon, a speedy, sporty model is your best bet.

Whether you’re preparing for a race or just pedalling around the city, there’s an affordable road bike to suit you in our roundup.  

How to get the right size bike

Getting the right size frame to suit your body is absolutely crucial when you invest in a road bike – it’s the key to a comfortable ride, mile after mile.

You can choose a female-specific or a unisex bike. Road bikes designed for women tend to offer a range of smaller sizes and are also designed to fit the female form (most women have longer legs and shorter torsos than men). Like with most outdoor kit, the only real way to check a road bike is right for you is to ride it for a few miles – but you can look for other indicators when ordering a new bike.

First, check the manufacturer’s size guidelines – they’ll often advise a certain size according to your height and your inside leg length. When you try out a bike in person, make sure your feet can stand flat on the floor when you’re standing astride the bike, and that the seat and handlebars are adjustable into a position that feels comfortable and natural.

What features to look for

Road bikes usually have ‘drop’ handlebars – these allow you to adjust your hand and body position depending on if you want more comfort or are aiming for speed. Road tyres are speedy and responsive, but less able to tackle rocky or muddy terrain, where they may slip or puncture, so they’re best for tarmac.

Thinner road tyres in sizes up to 28mm are all about speed, while thicker tyres up to 45mm can also hit the dirt on gravel tracks. If you fancy trying a spot of bike touring, look for a bike with bolts and mounting points so that you can add panniers and carry luggage.

Affordable road bikes don’t usually have all the premium technology and materials that bikes aimed at seasoned cyclists carry, but useful features in bikes under £2,000 to look for include disc brakes (usually considered more powerful and weatherproof than rim brakes), and a lightweight frame.

Most entry-level bikes have a steel or an aluminium frame – carbon is lighter and faster, but usually more expensive, although some models combine an aluminium frame with a carbon fork to shed the pounds. Bikes also come with ‘groupsets’ – brake and gear parts designed to work together – you’re most likely to find Shimano components in more affordable road bikes.

Shop the best road bikes under £2,000 below

Specialized Allez

An oldie but a goodie – Specialized’s unisex Allez model has been around for forty years, so it must be doing something right. The newest iteration of the Allez is a comfortable steel and carbon road bike that’s perfect for the brand’s target riders – weekend pedallers, commuters and anyone just getting into road cycling.

First road bikes don’t get better than this – on test, we found the Allez was a great balance of speedy and comfy, sported reliable disc brakes and was tough enough to deal with a little gravel or bike touring on the weekends too.

Buy now £1000.00, Specialized

Liv Langma Advanced Disc Pro 2

Liv Cycling specialises in women’s bikes, so they’re a great place to start if you want a female-specific model or if you’re after a smaller frame than most. With bike frames starting from XXS (from 4’9ft) to L (6ft), there’s a road bike in the range to suit women of all shapes and sizes.

Our pick for under £2,000 is the Langma, a sporty model with disc brakes. The Langma can keep up on bike club rides and is lightweight and speedy up hills but is still enough of an all-rounder to ride anywhere from city streets to country roads.

Buy now £1899.00, Tredz

Ribble Endurance 725 Disc

After a classic road bike to get you started? Lancashire-based brand Ribble has trotted out the Endurance 725 Disc to fit the bill. This is the base model of the Endurance (you can also splash another £400 on the zippy Sport model) - but we think there’s plenty to get started with here for beginners.

While this is a steel bike, it isn’t prohibitively heavy thanks to a carbon fork, and it also features disc brakes. Sizes range from XXS (4’11) to XL (6’3) and you can even have the bike colour customised. A lovely ride to take from the commute to your first weekend road rides.

Buy now £1499.00, Ribble

Bobbin Kingfisher

Cycling to work is a brilliant way to incorporate fitness into your daily routine – and if you’re after a simple and affordable commuter bike for your urban adventures, we rate the Kingfisher.

This no-frills but attractive, retro-looking commuter bike is a unisex design. It may be kind on the bank balance at under £500, but this bike is surprisingly comfortable, with a vegan leather saddle and padded handlebars. Despite its steel frame, it weighs in at under 12kg so you can pick it up if needed. Bobbin calls the Kingfisher their ‘lightweight runaround’, which sums it up in a nutshell.

Buy now £373.00, Bobbin

Trek Domane AL 2 Gen 3

While they price palatably at under £1,000, Trek still packs a lot of good stuff into its Domane model. Disc brakes give confidence in all weathers, the aluminium and carbon frame is lightweight enough not to get in the way of a brisk pedal up hills and the frame feels solid and supportive to ride.

The Domane’s Shimano parts are also easy to replace or upgrade as you progress with road cycling. This is a good-looking bike, too. If you aren’t really sure what you need in a first road bike, you can’t go wrong with Trek’s reliable models.

Buy now £935.00, Trek

Carrera Zelos

A proper road bike for under £500? Look to Carrera’s £385 Zelos. While this is a simple, entry-level steel model, it features a Shimano groupset and disc brakes, plus a very comfy saddle, so it’s ideal for seeing if road cycling is for you without breaking the bank.

You can add a rack for weekend adventuring and you could easily upgrade to some hardier tyres over time, too. A great budget buy.

Buy now £385.00, Halfords

Merida Silex 200

If you’ve got gravel in your sights, Merida’s Silex is a great all-rounder model that can tackle much tougher terrain than most road bikes. Add bottles and racks for bike touring, luggage carrying and bike-packing adventures, ride over uneven terrain with ease and feel confident in all weather thanks to efficient disc brakes.

On test, we found we could clock up the miles comfortably on the Silex, which provided a nice solid ride. If you like the idea of a road and commuter-ready bike with an adventurous side, Merida’s model is a great choice.

Buy now £865.00, Tredz

There’s no need for your first road bike to cot the earth – Specialized’s Allez is a great all-rounder, Bobbin’s super-affordable commuter, the Kingfisher, is ideal for biking to work and if you like the idea of trying gravel, Merida’s Silex comes highly recommended.

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