Tri bike makers

Here is a list of triathlon bikes on the market. Many makers have multiple models. Please add any I’ve missed in the comment section below and I’ll add it to the list. My own interpretation of the market is at the bottom of the page.

Aegis

Argon18

BH

Blue

BMC

BP Stealth

Calfee

Cannondale

Canyon

Carrera

Ceepo

Cervelo

Colnago

Co-Motion

Dekerf

Devinci

Dolan

Eddy Mercx

Felt

Focus

Fondriest

Fort

Fuji

Elite

Giant

Griffen

Grognard

Guru

Hed

Isaac

Jamis

Javelin

Kestrel

Kuota

Leader (frames)

LeMond

Litespeed

Look

Lynskey

Masi

Merida

Motobecane

Norco

Orbea

Parkpre

Parlee

Planet X

Pinarello

Predator

Quintana Roo

Ridley

Roark

Salsa

Scott

Schwinn

Seven

Softride (No longer making bikes)

Specialized

Storck

Teschner

Titanflex

Trek

Valdora

Van Dessel

Veloforma

VeloVie

Wilier Triestina

XLAB

I see three categories of tri bikes: Group A) are mass manufactured frames (often with full or partial carbon fiber material) with decent quality components. Group B) are mass manufactured frames of high quality carbon fiber, a single, seamless body, with high quality, user-specified components (top end Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo). Group C) are completely custom builds tailored for a single rider’s body, style, performance, and component preference. Economically speaking, Group A costs between $1500-$3,500. Group B costs between $3,000-$8,500. Group C) can start at $4,500 and while the sky is the limit, it’s fair to say that $10,500 is a pretty good top end range depending on service provided (i.e. power meter and computrainer sessions to derive optimum frame geometry).

Popular brands like Cervelo, Kuota, and Trek offer many items in Group A and B, while some makers like Roark, Parkpre, and Predator cater specifically to the rider seeking a custom bike. In terms of which is the right bike for you, it depends on your level of experience. If you are new to the sport, even after only one or two seasons, a bike from Group A will serve many of your race needs until your body adapts to the tri geometry. To be blunt, the quality of a Group B or C bike may not be accessible by the new athlete. Since most new riders outgrow their bikes after 3 years, the new triathlete may be best served with a Group A bike. When bike splits begin to level off and the athlete finds their physical speed limit, then it’s time to upgrade the bike and essentially buy more speed. A solid Group B bike can be upgraded or adjusted for years without ever needing to move to a custom build. In fact, the custom build’s price point may keep it in the hands of the bike junkie or wealthy individual. But it does give us bike porn lovers something to ogle and dream about.

I suggest a twofold approach: get the best bike you can afford with a paint job like a rusty beater and then train like a mofo. When you pass the weekend warrior neurologists riding $10,000 Italian imports you can smile, lie, and tell them you’ve never done a tri before and borrowed your mom’s bike. You’ll hear the sound of air going out of their tires and brains for miles.

Advertisements

2 responses to “Tri bike makers

  1. It’s good to see Kuota represented but just so you know, my steed (the one I offered up) is a Kalibur (not a K-Factor).

    …just so you know.

    (I’m sure the K-Factor is a nice bike but it is by no means the sexy speed deamon named KALIBUR!!!)

  2. When you give it up, is it your ex-kalibur? (This is a reference to the once and future king of bikes.)
    (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s