Best Triathlon Bike?

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krafty81
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Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by krafty81 »

I have an entry-level Felt S25 that is over 10 years old. Looking for a fast, comfortable bike for 70.3 or full IMs. My coach says Cervelo is the way to go but I have no experience with that. I like Shimano components. Already have good race wheels. Do not want to break the bank here, I am a BH triathlete!
FoolStreet
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by FoolStreet »

krafty81 wrote: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:34 pm I have an entry-level Felt S25 that is over 10 years old. Looking for a fast, comfortable bike for 70.3 or full IMs. My coach says Cervelo is the way to go but I have no experience with that. I like Shimano components. Already have good race wheels. Do not want to break the bank here, I am a BH triathlete!
How much do you have to train to attempt a 70.3? I’d like to try one next year, and not sure what I’d be getting myself into.
Jazzysoon
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by Jazzysoon »

Orbea makes very nice bikes, if you are with a local tri/fitness clubs sometimes you can get discounts at local bike shop. At some price point most bikes are the same, what will make the most difference is getting a professional bike fit so your body is matched to get the most performance out of the bike. You'll spend a fair amount of training so making sure your feet/knees/shoulders/back, etc don't get overly fatigued by being misaligned will be key. Amazing how a shim of a few cm can help.
tesuzuki2002
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

FoolStreet wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:13 am
krafty81 wrote: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:34 pm I have an entry-level Felt S25 that is over 10 years old. Looking for a fast, comfortable bike for 70.3 or full IMs. My coach says Cervelo is the way to go but I have no experience with that. I like Shimano components. Already have good race wheels. Do not want to break the bank here, I am a BH triathlete!
How much do you have to train to attempt a 70.3? I’d like to try one next year, and not sure what I’d be getting myself into.
I'm a seasoned triathlete and have many 70.3s and 3x 140.6 under my belt... training is very dependent on your goals.. I've done 70.3s on no specific training consisting of 10 hours per week... But you gotta throw in a mix of the S/B/R you can't just stick to 1 discipline.

I've done a 140.6 on minimal training ... the 17 hour time limit is a long time...
tesuzuki2002
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

krafty81 wrote: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:34 pm I have an entry-level Felt S25 that is over 10 years old. Looking for a fast, comfortable bike for 70.3 or full IMs. My coach says Cervelo is the way to go but I have no experience with that. I like Shimano components. Already have good race wheels. Do not want to break the bank here, I am a BH triathlete!
I have a 2010 Felt B12 and I still LOVE the bike. Just rolled over the 16K mile mark on the bike and replaced the rear cassette and front chain rings. Still a great bike and I'll easily put another 15K miles on it. I've never spent money on race wheels... I just spend my time training.

I like Cervelo as well. But Felt at the time was offering better deals...
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4nursebee
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by 4nursebee »

Do the allow recumbent bikes for these races?
How old are you all? I ride my bike some and have built up my swimming...
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BlueCable
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by BlueCable »

Please post your budget. Right now, you've basically asked "What is the best car?", which could be answered reasonably with both Toyota Camry or Porsche 911.
dalbright
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by dalbright »

I would check out the classifieds section of the slowtwitch forum and see if anyone has anything near you. It is the best triathlon forum. You are the easiest person to drop weight on...next up is the bike but the dollar per pound goes way (weigh?) up! You will find lots of great triathlon bikes these days, many in brands you've never heard of. I've had a cervelo and it was a great bike but there are so many options and price points. A felt s25 is a great BH level bike. I race on a nearly 20 year old trek time trial bike at this point and will still beat 99% of the field. If you are trying to win, kona qualify etc then you will need a top tier bike to gain that 30sec over a half/full ironman race...Otherwise focus on your form and the engine! Once you start narrowing it down as others have mentioned we can be more help!
Cycle
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by Cycle »

I had a Cannondale slice for an IM, but i ended up selling it as a road bike is just fine for Tris and that bike mostly sat unused.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way
locke1141
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by locke1141 »

I just took delivery of a Cervelo P2. I feel like P2s are very popular as "entry" tri-specific bikes. A family member earned his/her/its pro card on one, so you can't argue it's not fast enough. If you're running triathlons, you will break the bank by definition. Here were my total bike expenses for the P2 including accessories. For those distances, you'll want these types of accessories to carry enough water & nutrition for the race:

Bike: 2300 (on sale from 2900ish)
Bike Fit: 250 + 200 in recommended components for saddle, aerobar shims, shoe inserts
BTA hydration: 160 (xlab torpedo 500)
BTS hydration: 180 (xlab carbon wing) + 2 x 65 (gorilla cages) + 20 (two water bottles)
Bento box: 30
Power meter: 650 (favero assiomas)

BTA - between the aerobars
BTS - behind the saddle

So roughly $4000 by the time my new speed machine was fully kitted out for training & racing, plus helmet and shoes. You could go cheaper on some of these components than I did, but fundamentally the bike & fit was most of the cost. Pro family member recently upgraded to a 10k bike, but I myself should never need to upgrade as an amateur.

Just one data point for consideration...

EDIT - comfort will be a function of the fit (also correct frame size), so whatever you do, make sure you get a proper fitting from a certified bike fitter.
Andyrunner
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by Andyrunner »

Yes Cervelo makes good bikes, can't go wrong with that, but the big question is whether it is the right bike for you?

If you go used, there should be plenty on the market, triathlon has slumped in recent years and no one seems to be buying used ones. I can't sell my wife's old tri bike. As others said go to slowtwitch classifieds forum for good used bikes. Just avoid the lavender room.
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sk2101
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by sk2101 »

Agree with your coach recommendation. Cervelos are good bikes and have excellent resale value. Cervelo just lanched a new PX series so P3/P2 may be a good bargain as they clear out inventory.
That said, on a tri bike the most important thing is to get a bike that fits you well. So I would start with getting a fit and then seeing what frames will get you in the desired position.

ETA: if your race wheels were for your Felt they are probably 10 speed and you will likely need to buy new wheels for your new bike or try to convert them to 11 speed, if possible and worth it.
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sk2101
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by sk2101 »

Andyrunner wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:03 am I can't sell my wife's old tri bike.
Recently had a hard time selling a 2007 Cervelo P2. Ended up parting it out and selling the frameset and all the parts individually on ebay. Got way more than I imagined, but it is definitely more work.
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krafty81
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by krafty81 »

Thanks for the replies. Some answers

I could go up to 8K for a faster bike. Cervelo P3X looks very cool.

As far as training for 70.3, I recently got an online coach and that has made all the difference for me. I am beating times from 11 years ago (I am 60). Long rides / bricks on weekends but weekday load is manageable.

Think I will look at P2/P3X S-Works Shiv and Felt.
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jriding
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by jriding »

Fit is much more important than brand. Go to a few local bike shops and find a bike that feels and looks good. Then get a professional bike fit. Proper fit is critical for triathletes.
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sk2101
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by sk2101 »

krafty81 wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:17 am Thanks for the replies. Some answers

I could go up to 8K for a faster bike. Cervelo P3X looks very cool.

As far as training for 70.3, I recently got an online coach and that has made all the difference for me. I am beating times from 11 years ago (I am 60). Long rides / bricks on weekends but weekday load is manageable.

Think I will look at P2/P3X S-Works Shiv and Felt.
You probably don't need to spend that much. The new P series looks awesome, if it fits you:
https://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Tri ... _7408.html

Also consider the Canyon Speedmax, great value
https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bikes ... /speedmax/
SRenaeP
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by SRenaeP »

krafty81 wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:17 am Thanks for the replies. Some answers

I could go up to 8K for a faster bike. Cervelo P3X looks very cool.

As far as training for 70.3, I recently got an online coach and that has made all the difference for me. I am beating times from 11 years ago (I am 60). Long rides / bricks on weekends but weekday load is manageable.

Think I will look at P2/P3X S-Works Shiv and Felt.
DH is an IronMan. He has two bikes that he primarily uses. He races on a Quintana Roo PRSix and trains on a Cervelos 3. The Cervelos is a new addition though. I can't recall the bike he used to train on.

I don't know how much the Cervelos weighs but the Quintana Roo is very lightweight and he says that made a huge difference vs the bike he had before that. He also changes out various things on his bikes to improve his performance. I know he doesn't have the disc wheels though. I'm not a cyclist so I can't recall all the terms but he loves his power meter as it helps him optimize his efficiency or somesuch.
ohai
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by ohai »

jriding wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:24 am Fit is much more important than brand. Go to a few local bike shops and find a bike that feels and looks good. Then get a professional bike fit. Proper fit is critical for triathletes.
Agree... plus the bike shop will usually service your bike later. The frames are mostly made in the same few factories in China, and are just given different labels. As long as the wheels and shifters are the ones you want, I really doubt you will notice any kind of performance difference among bikes in the same price range unless you are really an elite athlete.
Hikes_With_Dogs
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs »

I have a used P2. Works great. Shimano 105 components. Standard (non-race) wheels.

I passed guys on 10k bikes wtih 2k wheels going up the hills on my last Ironman. If you've raced before, you know it's 90% about the engine.

Personally, I'd prefer a cheaper bike and a nicer trainer (depending on where you live) and a decent power meter and a Zwift subscription! :D
Hikes_With_Dogs
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs »

FoolStreet wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:13 am
krafty81 wrote: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:34 pm I have an entry-level Felt S25 that is over 10 years old. Looking for a fast, comfortable bike for 70.3 or full IMs. My coach says Cervelo is the way to go but I have no experience with that. I like Shimano components. Already have good race wheels. Do not want to break the bank here, I am a BH triathlete!
How much do you have to train to attempt a 70.3? I’d like to try one next year, and not sure what I’d be getting myself into.
Try getting the book Be Iron Fit (for the half distance) from the library. It has 3 types of training plans in it: Just finish, Intermediate, and Competitive. If I recall correctly, the intermediate plan tops out around 10-12 hours a week. The base phase will be 5-6 hours a week, build in the 6-9, peak 10+ hours a week. 2 swims a week, 2-3 each bike/run with a brick session. Includes one long bike and one long run each week. It's very simple, and about the best plan you can get for the price of a used paperback.
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ryuns
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by ryuns »

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:52 am I have a used P2. Works great. Shimano 105 components. Standard (non-race) wheels.

I passed guys on 10k bikes wtih 2k wheels going up the hills on my last Ironman. If you've raced before, you know it's 90% about the engine.

Personally, I'd prefer a cheaper bike and a nicer trainer (depending on where you live) and a decent power meter and a Zwift subscription! :D
I second all this. If you're going the tri bike route (i ride a roadie with aero bars), a P2 is hard to beat for the money. There are obviously amazing bikes out there, but consensus among cyclists is that your description really hits the sweet spot of investment, while minimizing diminishing returns: A fairly aero bike with a good aero position (dependent on good fit of course). Race wheels are great, but expensive. OP should only invest in carbon wheels if their fitness is good and they're already riding an aero helmet, shaving their legs, etc. Trainer + power meter is key. Lots of folks swear by TrainerRoad programs, but I think it's really just what gets you to put in the time. TR is...not entertaining the way Zwift is. I live somewhere with cycle-able weather year-round so I just bought a low-end trainer when I'm riding on short days or it's rainy, but it's still really useful!
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton
latesaver
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by latesaver »

krafty81 wrote: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:34 pm I have an entry-level Felt S25 that is over 10 years old. Looking for a fast, comfortable bike for 70.3 or full IMs. My coach says Cervelo is the way to go but I have no experience with that. I like Shimano components. Already have good race wheels. Do not want to break the bank here, I am a BH triathlete!
your coach should have told you that the best bike is the one that fits you. if you are modest in size and proportions then your options are open.

like all things, there are bikes that are made well and those that aren't. go to the best bike stores in town and talk to the mechanics, not the salespeople.

i settled on the high end Trek TT bike a few years ago and was not disappointed, although it certainly wasn't a "BH" bike. with the power meter, electric shifters, race wheels, ceramic bearings, etc., it was a $20K bike on race day i would guess.
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krafty81
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by krafty81 »

Started test rides today. Rode Felt 1A3 with disc brakes and Di2 electric shifters. While I liked the brakes and shifters, I did not care for the frame or the ride. Rode the Cervelo P3 and am hooked on that so far. Very responsive and nicely balanced! Rep there said the Cervelo P3X does not do well on hills, not sure that is true but I will ride that next. Otherwise, P3 with disc and Di2 (add a power tap) would be the way to go for me I think. Sadly, not a lot of stores in San Diego keep tri bikes in stock as they point to the diminishing number of triathlon participants. I can attest to that as two races I had entered this year (Wildflower and one in Long Beach) were both cancelled, I think due to lack of participation though it was never stated.
trirod
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by trirod »

You’re lucky that you live in the birthplace of triathlon and have a lot of tri-specific stores where you can take bikes for a test ride. In my town we have 4 or 5 decent bike shops but most of them don’t keep any tri bikes in stock or may have one or two but never in my size. So I just keep riding along on my old aluminum Felt DA, which was a great bike for its time but is showing its age. I’m reluctant to spend $3,000 to $5,000 on a brand new bike based just on internet reviews.

Anyway, I do think for a 70.3 or longer distance comfort is a big factor - mostly because the more comfortable it is the more you are likely to go out training and the number and quality of training miles will make more difference than slight differences in weight or aero shaping.

Good luck in your next race!
stoptothink
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by stoptothink »

trirod wrote: Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:14 am Anyway, I do think for a 70.3 or longer distance comfort is a big factor - mostly because the more comfortable it is the more you are likely to go out training and the number and quality of training miles will make more difference than slight differences in weight or aero shaping.
+1 As a former triathlete with a $6k tri-bike. You'll spend countless thousands for a few extra seconds (if that) in a half. FWIW, my wife won her age group this summer in her first ever (sprint) tri and she had the fastest bike split of any woman...on an aluminum 21lbs. disc-braked cyclocross bike with road tires.

Get the bike you feel most comfortable riding on, period.
Sand101
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by Sand101 »

krafty81 wrote: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:34 pm I have an entry-level Felt S25 that is over 10 years old. Looking for a fast, comfortable bike for 70.3 or full IMs. My coach says Cervelo is the way to go but I have no experience with that. I like Shimano components. Already have good race wheels. Do not want to break the bank here, I am a BH triathlete!
The key to getting from here to there quickly lies in a few items, and the frame (the $$$) isn't the biggest one. It is by time saved per dollar, though. What matters? Position (something you can hold for your length race being paramount). Saddle ('cause you have to tolerate that position and the saddle is everything there). Wheels - deep front, disc back (or disc cover, those work just as well and are cheap to make or buy). Tires - huge, huge item - aero and rolling resistance is massive and can cost large chunk of time (buy Conti 5000s and call it good; latex tubes also help). Helmet - hard to quantify as the effect differs based on position; just buy something made for the job. Power meter - controlling effort is a big item.

What doesn't matter - drivetrain is the big one. For the Canyons above if the frame is the same go with the 105 components. 105 works great and you just don't shift nearly as much as with road bikes. I'm a huge fan of buying the frame with the lowest end components (bought an early S5 with the lowest end drivetrain and never regretted it - awesome bike). Put that money into wheels.
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

+1 to a professional bike fit. I'm not a triathlete but I do a little long-distance bike touring and a bike that feels great riding a couple blocks around the store could turn out to be a disaster in the real world.
pendflx
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by pendflx »

Currently deciding between these 3 options (2 Canyon Endurace, 1 Cannondale Synapse). Looking for speed but also comfort. How does the comfort compare?

1. https://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bike/ ... =undefined

2. https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bikes ... roesse=2XL

3.
https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bikes ... be=BK%2FGY

If I go with a Canyon, can I do a bike fit with a local shop and also join their weekend rides? I like the idea of having a good relationship with a local shop but the Canyons for the price compared to the shops Synapse seems like a much better value.
stoptothink
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by stoptothink »

pendflx wrote: Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:34 am Currently deciding between these 3 options (2 Canyon Endurace, 1 Cannondale Synapse). Looking for speed but also comfort. How does the comfort compare?

1. https://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bike/ ... =undefined

2. https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bikes ... roesse=2XL

3.
https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bikes ... be=BK%2FGY

If I go with a Canyon, can I do a bike fit with a local shop and also join their weekend rides? I like the idea of having a good relationship with a local shop but the Canyons for the price compared to the shops Synapse seems like a much better value.
You won't know about "comfort" until you sit on it, that's a totally personal thing. They won't allow you to go on the group rides unless you buy a bike from them? I highly doubt that is the case.
InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by InvisibleAerobar »

HawkeyePierce wrote: Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:07 pm +1 to a professional bike fit. I'm not a triathlete but I do a little long-distance bike touring and a bike that feels great riding a couple blocks around the store could turn out to be a disaster in the real world.
Exactly this

One should really start with fit coordinates (which a fitter will provide during the fitting) and then find a bike that fits those coordinates well. Test rides are overly subjective, and one could easily buy something that doesn't end up fitting well.
pendflx wrote: Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:34 am Currently deciding between these 3 options (2 Canyon Endurace, 1 Cannondale Synapse). Looking for speed but also comfort. How does the comfort compare?

1. https://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bike/ ... =undefined

2. https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bikes ... roesse=2XL

3.
https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bikes ... be=BK%2FGY

If I go with a Canyon, can I do a bike fit with a local shop and also join their weekend rides? I like the idea of having a good relationship with a local shop but the Canyons for the price compared to the shops Synapse seems like a much better value.
you are bringing business to the shop when you get the fit, and you most likely will need to have the bike serviced from time to time. No reason for a shop to turn you away (and if it does, then it's a sign to stay away)

Only caveat is that Canyon's customer service is not very responsive when it comes to certain requests (e.g. spare parts), and your bike may sit unusable for a good while until Canyon can get the part to you.

As for comfort, there's so much that could be done. Different tire sizes on the same frame can drastically affect comfort.
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krafty81
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by krafty81 »

Looking at a Canyon Speedmax 8.0 tomorrow. I think it is between the Cervelo P3 or that bike. Really like the Di2 shifters, not sold on disc brakes yet.
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krafty81
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by krafty81 »

Not impressed with the Canyon build, and they are out of my size until the 2020's come out next year. Now I really like the Cervello P-series. Will rig with Di2 electric shifters, disc brakes and Ultegra and call it a day. If it is comfortable to ride of course!
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krafty81
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Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

Post by krafty81 »

To close this out, I went with the new Cervelo P-Series. Very happy with it. Did a 2.5 hour pre fit on their machine with a very good fitter. They adjusted the bike when it was delivered and it was about 90% there when I hopped on it. Added PIoneer power meter, the bike already has Di2 electric shifters and disc brakes. I like it. Got a military discount and some other "trades" such as a better seat and a better hydration system for the front. Out the door at 7K. Free tune-ups for life too.
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