Picking a road bike for triathlons is a good idea if you’re an entry level triathlete.
Triathlon bikes and time trial bikes are significantly more expensive, so I advise you to start your search with these best triathlon road bikes.
I love road bikes, and they’re multi-purpose, so can be used for your training or commuting, not just competing.
With this in mind, these are my picks for the best triathlon road bikes:
Are Road Bikes Good for Triathlon?
Yes, road bikes are good for triathlons!
If you buy the best road bike you can afford, it will benefit you for everything, both for training and competitions in short and long triathlons.
I recommend such a bike for beginners and more advanced triathletes because you can relatively easily adapt it for a long triathlon or time trial, thanks to its aerodynamic features while having high-quality and entry level components.
If you want to only do long triathlons and have an endless budget, it’s better to consider triathlon bikes or time trial bikes.
In triathlon bikes, the emphasis is on the aerodynamic position that we try to maintain for as long as possible. If you’re an entry level triathlete, you’ll need a lot of time to adjust to the ideal position on the bike.
But, let me simplify it.
A lot of top-class triathletes use their best road bike, so why sway from this? You can buy one for half the price or less than you would for a triathlon bike. So, if you don’t plan to do this regularly and want to save up some money, it’s best to invest in a road bike.
What Is the Difference Between a Road Bike and a Triathlon Bike?
The biggest difference between road bikes and triathlon bikes or time trial bikes is in the aerodynamics. Triathlon bikes have deep carbon fiber wheels, making the bike more aerodynamic.
Bike geometry also plays a part with a triathlon bike. The seat post and handlebars are further optimized for aerodynamics and speed while maintaining comfort. You’ll sit further forward and your legs slightly further back when compared to a road bike, where you’ll be slightly more upright.
Road bikes have around a 72-degree seat tube angle, while triathlon bikes have an angle of 80 degrees or greater.
The need for lightweight and optimum frame stiffness in triathlon bikes dictates the use of aluminum or carbon frames. Also, the pipes are usually of an aerodynamic cross-section to reduce airflow and reduce exposure to air currents.
What Bikes Are Good For Triathlons?
After taking into account the ideal specs for the best road bikes, triathlon bikes and time trial bikes, these are the best triathlon road bikes to go for.
If none of these suit you, check out my review of the best bikes for triathlon—I’ve even included a dedicated triathlon bike in there!
The Savadeck Warwinds 3.0 is super lightweight at only 21.6lbs, making it ideal for a triathlon bike and pedaling efficiency. This is mainly due to its carbon fiber frame, which doesn’t sacrifice durability while remaining light.
In combination with this, the seat post and seat tube are aerodynamically contoured to enhance your speed in a triathlon even further, making it ideal for both beginners and the more experienced athletes.
It’s also equipped with an 18-speed derailleur and double-V brakes, allowing you excellent speed control and braking power.
While this is an excellent entry level bike, customers pick out the pedal quality as lacking. The good news is that they’re easily replaced—you need a little bit of DIY know-how for this.
Also, be prepared to put the bike together when it arrives. I know this isn’t ideal, but customers say that it isn’t too hard to construct.
- Durable build.
- Lightweight at 21.6lbs.
- Easy to get to and maintain a high speed.
- High-quality construction and accessories.
- Good as an entry level triathlon bike.
- The pedals lack in quality for some.
- Be prepared for a frustrating assembly.
The Schwinn Volare 1400 bike is an excellent entry level road bike for a good price point. In particular, it allows you to sit comfortably even for a longer period because of the bike seat tube position, making it great for beginners and pros alike.
So, if you’re looking for a new bike to enter a triathlon or time trial and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is one of the best triathlon road bikes around.
The frame material is aluminum, providing a good balance between durability and weight. Carbon fiber would be better and make it more lightweight, especially since the road fork is steel, which is a much heavier material. Besides, the handlebar, stem and seat post are also durable and lightweight.
Despite the material, customers mention that they don’t have an issue with speed and agility on this popular Schwinn mode. It also has a 14-speed integrated shifter/brake lever combo for more precise shifting and a range of speed options, although other road bikes have more gears.
Things you don’t expect from a company like Schwinn are that the brakes need tweaking a bit to work correctly, and the pedal treads have needed fixing or replacing on arrival. This is clearly frustrating but only occurs in the minority of purchases.
- Quick-release tires.
- Lightweight for a road bike.
- Entry level option.
- Good value for the money.
- Brakes need tuning or fixing to work properly.
- Problems with pedals having a faulty tread.
This road bike is made for advanced or expert triathletes due to its high spec and extra-small carbon fiber frame. Entry level triathletes would be better suited to the Savadeck or Schwinn options.
Combined with the carbon fork, the carbon fiber frame makes the bike very lightweight and fast at 18.5lbs—the lightest of the triathlon bike options I’ve reviewed. Also, it has an efficient aero design for optimum speeds in a triathlon or time trial.
If you aren’t accustomed to such a small and lightweight road bike, I’d say stick to the Savadeck. While this is an excellent road bike, you’ll need to be better at balancing, especially when taking corners.
In terms of components, it has Shimano 105 22-speed drivetrain with Shimano 105 STI shifters for efficient gearing and shifting. It’s also equipped with high-quality Shimano caliper brakes for efficient stopping and speed control. In contrast, some of the cable quality is questionable, with some becoming worn too easily.
While Schwinn has made efforts to make the ride comfortable with high-quality tires and construction, customers mention that the padded seat isn’t comfortable enough. Even though this can be replaced, not all customers had this issue.
- Good bike for the price point.
- Very lightweight at 18.5lbs.
- Semi-aero design.
- Excellent brakes, allowing for good speed control.
- Cables are of a low quality.
- The saddle is not comfortable.
This bike is a decent weight at 24lbs, which is down to the aluminum frame, but the fork is steel, making it a bit weightier. While there are lighter options, the Tommaso Imola is of exceptional quality, thanks to using Shimano components throughout.
Customers mention how it’s a very precise and elegant bike, with the integrated shifters and brakes, in particular, being efficient and noiseless. This makes it excellent as a triathlon bike since you can reach optimum speed quickly via the Shimano Claris 24 gears and control your speed through the rim brakes.
While users pick on the seat as uncomfortable, the handlebar drop isn’t too low to further compromise comfort, striking a good balance with aerodynamics.
One thing that does seem to occur with such a high-quality bike is installation issues. It’s recommended that you get a professional to put the bike together since it won’t come ready to ride. Also note that you’ll need to do this for any warranties to remain valid.
- Reach high speeds easily.
- High-class Shimano components throughout.
- Excellent brake responsiveness.
- Designed for a comfortable riding position.
- Professional assembly required.
- Uncomfortable seat.
My winner of the best triathlon road bike is the Savadeck Warwinds 3.0 since it strikes the perfect balance between quality, weight and affordability. This is especially the case with the carbon fiber frame, which usually attracts a much higher price point.
You can reach high speed extremely fast with this bike and fit it with additional accessories, such as aero bars, to make this well-attuned as an entry level triathlon bike.
It may not have the highest amount of gears or be the most lightweight, but you shouldn’t have an issue controlling it around bends or maintaining and controlling speed. The high-quality Shimano components ensure this.
Even if you’re a more experienced triathlete, you really don’t need to invest in a dedicated triathlon bike. They’re more for the pros, who likely won’t have to fork out the dollars anyway.