But I want the cool bike!!!

One of the biggest struggles I am finding as a new triathlete is figuring out how to afford all the stuff!  Running was no big deal.  Shoes are pricey but they are manageable even if you replace them every 3 months (like I do).  Swimming is the cheapest of all three disciplines! But once you start adding in the bike…the game changes!

When I first started the tris I was nervous to invest in a bike (not to mention I didn’t have the cash lying around) because what if I was no good.  What if I hated it.  So I was lucky enough to get a hand-me-down from a running partner.  The bike fit well, and was in great shape but was fairly old and not very upgradeable. I rode it for my first tri (a sprint) and it was fine.  At that point I had decided I was in this for the long haul.  I wanted to go for the grandaddy race eventually, a full Ironman, so I better get some better equipment.

I ended up buying a road bike, an 2010 Scott Speedster S30.  Perfectly acceptable bike. Great bike. But no bells or whistles to speak of.  I rode it for my next tri (and Olympic) and it was fine.  I trained on it all fall and winter in my computraining classes and made some great progress.  I used it for my first Half Ironman in April.  But part of me can’t help but think, would having a true tri bike or TT bike help give me an edge or make me a little better?

I am possibly in the market to get the bike I want… It is a big purchase…  It is a selfish purchase… But I feel I have proven myself in my commitment to triathlon and I deserve the bike.  Hopefully I will be posting some pictures very soon…


  1. I’d say you’ve earned a new bike! You did the right thing, didn’t over-invest initially. PLENTY of people ride road bikes as you already know. But it’s clear you ARE in it for the duration and deserve the best equipment. You can always rent one for a few rides and see what you think. I know my tri club sends emails ALL the time with someone upgrading and hoping to sell their gently used and well cared for bike. But sometimes you have to be proactive and send emails letting them know you are in the market. You DO deserve it! can’t wait to see the pics.

  2. Check ebay and Craigs list if you don’t mind gently used. I know we had this discussion on daily Mile, but I so “get” wanting and needing a new ride. My rims/tires will end up costing more than my husband gently used tri bike he found online. And another friend of mine got a great Specialized on ebay a few years ago that way…he’s actually advised me to look for my Zipps in the same way. And does it help?? He says yes, but not in a “free speed” kind of way..it’s always the rider that makes the difference, but the ride helps him be as successful as he can be. His bike pace has gone from 18-19 mph to 21-22 in the 70.3 distance and his run pace off the bike has dropped from a 9-10/min mi to 8-9/min mi for the 70.3 distance. He’s now got more in the tank after riding faster. He just placed 1st in his division at the 5150 here in New Orleans and earned a spot to the Hy Vee champs….so I’d say that’s proof enough!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I let one of my tri team members know I am in the market for a bike so he has his feeler out for something. I just wonder if I want to buy new so I can really get the bike shop support that comes from a new bike? But if I can get some crazy sick bike for with all the upgrades already done, that might be the way to go.

  3. Is it a big purchase? Yes. A selfish purchase? Perhaps. But you deserve to be selfish. This isn’t spending big bucks on something frivolous. You will ride it for years, and it will help keep you healthy, both physically and mentally. Go for it!

  4. You know, I feel the same exact way, but I’d have to apply for a new credit card to get an awesome bike. I dropped $600 on mine, which is a lot of money to me, but the bike is just a plain old road bike. I’ve been struggling in the bike portion of my duathlons and wonder if my “cheap” bike has anything to do with it as the $6000 bikers pass me.
    Don’t feel selfish about upgrading, if it’s something you’ll use for longer than you would a car purchase, then it’s worth it.

  5. Check your LBS for used bikes as they usually have some great choices and will be able to let you test ride them for fit.

    The bike makes a HUGE difference but then you need the right tires and aero helmet….it never ends.

    My own restriction is a new item for the bike every 6 months this way I am not over doing it.

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