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Triathlon bikes, also known as time trial bikes, are a type of bicycle specially designed for speed. Its peculiar aerodynamic design and the position of the cyclist on it reduce wind resistance and increase pedaling efficiency, which translates into greater speed on the flat.

What are they used for?

Triathlon bikes are mainly used in two types of competitions:

  • Time trial: tests in which the cyclist competes against the clock on an individual route.
  • Triathlon: multi-sport events that combine swimming, cycling and running.

Differences from traditional road bikes

The main differences between triathlon bikes and traditional road bikes are:

  • Aerodynamic design: Triathlon bikes have a more aerodynamic design than traditional road bikes, allowing them to reduce wind resistance and increase speed.
  • Rider position: On triathlon bikes, the rider adopts a lower, more aerodynamic position, which also helps reduce wind resistance.
  • Specific components: triathlon bicycles usually have specific components, such as handlebars with attachments, more aerodynamic wheels and specific transmission groups for time trials or triathlons.
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Features of triathlon bikes

Triathlon bicycles are characterized by a series of elements that differentiate them from traditional road bicycles and turn them into machines designed for speed. Among the most outstanding features we find:

Aerodynamic design

  • The shape of the frame, wheels and components is designed to minimize wind resistance.
  • Tubes with an aerodynamic profile, profiled forks, lenticular or deep profile wheels are common elements in this type of bicycle.

Cyclist position

  • The cyclist adopts a lower and forward position on the bicycle.
  • This reduces the front surface exposed to the wind and improves aerodynamics.
  • Handlebars with attachments, extensions and different types of saddle bases allow the rider's position to be adjusted to optimize aerodynamics and comfort.

Specific components

  • Triathlon bikes usually have specific components for time trials or triathlons.
  • Transmission groups with more closed developments, oval chainrings, handlebars with couplings, integrated disc brakes and specific hydration systems are some examples.


  • Carbon is the most used material in the construction of triathlon bicycles, due to its lightness and rigidity.
  • You can also find bicycles made of aluminum, although they are less common.


  • The latest technologies in aerodynamics, materials and components are present in high-end triathlon bicycles.
  • Integrated sensors, data analysis systems and designs optimized through aerodynamic simulation software are becoming more common.

Advantages of triathlon bicycles

Triathlon bikes offer a number of advantages over traditional road bikes, especially when it comes to speed and performance:

Higher speed on the flat

  • The main advantage of triathlon bikes is their ability to reach higher speeds on the flat.
  • The reduction in wind resistance and the aerodynamic position of the cyclist allow pedaling with greater efficiency and less effort.
  • In time trials or triathlons, the time difference between a triathlon bike and a traditional road bike can be significant.

Reduced wind resistance

  • The aerodynamic design of triathlon bicycles reduces wind resistance, which is one of the main factors that limit speed in cycling.
  • This translates into less effort on the part of the cyclist to maintain a constant speed.

Performance improvement

  • The combination of greater speed and less effort translates into improved cycling performance.
  • Triathlon bikes can help cyclists complete longer rides in less time, climb mountain passes more easily, and improve their results in competitions.

Other advantages

  • Triathlon bikes usually have a more comfortable position for the rider, especially in long distance events.
  • Some models offer storage options for drums, tools and other accessories.
  • The aesthetics of triathlon bikes are attractive to many cyclists.

It is important to keep in mind that the advantages of triathlon bicycles become more evident in long-distance tests or on flat routes. On routes with steep climbs or descents, traditional road bikes can be more efficient.

Disadvantages of triathlon bikes

Triathlon bicycles, despite their advantages in terms of speed and performance, also have some disadvantages that must be taken into account:

Less comfort

  • The streamlined position on the triathlon bike may be uncomfortable for some riders, especially at first.
  • This position can generate pressure on the hands, wrists, back and neck, which can cause discomfort or even injury if you are not used to it.

High price

  • Triathlon bikes are generally more expensive than traditional road bikes.
  • This is due to the high-tech materials, specific components and the complexity of its design.

Driving difficulty

  • Triathlon bikes can be more difficult to ride than traditional road bikes, especially around tight corners or on steep descents.
  • The position of the rider and the aerodynamics of the bicycle can affect maneuverability and stability.

Less versatility

  • Triathlon bikes are designed primarily for speed on the flat.
  • They are not as efficient on routes with steep climbs or descents, nor for routes with traffic or tight turns.

Security risks

  • The low, aerodynamic position of the rider on the triathlon bike can hinder visibility and the ability to react to obstacles or changes in the road.
  • It is important to exercise extreme caution when using a triathlon bike in areas with traffic or adverse weather conditions.

Limitations of use

  • In some countries, triathlon bikes may be prohibited in certain cycling competitions or events.
  • It is important to check local regulations before using a triathlon bike in competition.

Types of triathlon bicycles

There are two main types of triathlon bicycles, each with its specific characteristics and uses:

Time trial bikes

  • Designed for individual time trials, where the cyclist competes against the clock on a specific course.
  • They prioritize aerodynamics and speed on the flat.
  • They tend to have a lower, more aerodynamic position than triathlon bikes.
  • Some models may have specific features to optimize aerodynamics, such as lenticular wheels or fairings.

triathlon bikes

  • Designed for triathlon events, which combine swimming, cycling and running.
  • They seek a balance between aerodynamics, comfort and versatility, as they are used on different types of terrain.
  • They tend to be positioned slightly higher and less aerodynamic than time trial bikes.
  • They include features that facilitate the transition between the different stages of the triathlon, such as integrated bottle cages or storage systems for accessories.

In addition to these two main types, there are also:

  • Track bikes: designed for speed tests in velodromes.
  • Gravel bicycles: with characteristics that make them suitable for riding on both asphalt and dirt.

The choice of the type of triathlon bicycle will depend on the specific needs and objectives of each cyclist. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Type of competitions in which you will participate.
  2. Testing distance.
  3. Type of terrain on which the bicycle will be used.
  4. Budget.

Choosing a triathlon bike

Choosing a suitable triathlon bike depends on several factors that must be carefully considered:

Type of use

  • Time trial: If you are looking for a bike to compete in time trials, where speed on the flat is crucial, you should opt for a specific time trial bike.
  • Triathlon: If you are looking for a bike to compete in triathlons, where versatility and comfort are important, you should choose a triathlon bike.


Triathlon bikes are generally more expensive than traditional road bikes. A realistic budget must be established to determine the price range to consider.


  • Aerodynamics: Evaluate the level of aerodynamics offered by the bicycle, taking into account factors such as the design of the frame, wheels and components.
  • Position: test the bicycle to ensure a comfortable and aerodynamic position that does not cause discomfort or injury.
  • Components: Consider the quality and type of components, such as the transmission group, brakes and wheels.
  • Adjustability: verify that the bicycle can be adjusted to the cyclist's measurements and preferences.


It is essential to try different models of triathlon bikes before making a final decision. This will allow you to compare the features, comfort and handling of each one.


We recommend consulting cycling experts or specialized stores for advice on choosing the most suitable triathlon bike.

In addition to these factors, it is also important to take into account:

  1. The rules and regulations of the competitions you plan to participate in, as some may have restrictions on the type of triathlon bikes allowed.
  2. The conditions of the terrain on which the bicycle will be used.
  3. The rider's personal preferences in style and design.

Choosing the right triathlon bike can make a big difference in the rider's performance and comfort. By taking into account all the factors mentioned above, you can make an informed decision and purchase the ideal bicycle to achieve your goals.

Maintenance of a triathlon bicycle

Triathlon bicycles, being high-precision and technological machines, require regular maintenance to ensure their correct functioning and durability. Here are some tips for maintaining your triathlon bike:


  • Clean the bike after each use, especially if it has been used in muddy or dusty conditions.

  • Pay attention to cleaning the chain, plates and sprockets, using specific products for bicycles.

  • Dry the bike completely after cleaning it.


  • Lubricate the chain regularly, using a specific bicycle lubricant.

  • Pay attention to lubricating the cables and joints of the bicycle.

Component Review

  • Periodically check bicycle components, such as brakes, wheels, tires and cables, for any wear or damage.

  • Replace worn or damaged components immediately.

bike adjustment

  • Adjust the bicycle to the cyclist's measurements and preferences, especially the position of the saddle and handlebars.

  • It is advisable to take the bicycle to a specialized workshop for a professional adjustment.


  • Store the bicycle in a dry and cool place, protected from humidity and direct sunlight.

  • Hang the bicycle from the ceiling or use a support to prevent it from deforming.


Triathlon bicycles serve to improve cycling performance, especially in speed and flat tests. Its aerodynamic design and specific position allow the cyclist to reach higher speeds with less effort.

However, it is important to note that triathlon bikes are not for everyone. Its handling can be more complex than that of a traditional bicycle, and the aerodynamic position may be uncomfortable for some cyclists.

We recommend all cyclists consider testing a triathlon bike before purchasing. This will allow them to experience the pros and cons of this type of bike and make an informed decision.

In short, triathlon bikes are an excellent option for cyclists looking to improve their performance and speed. However, it is important to choose the right bike and use it safely.