Triathlon Bike Vs Road Bike: Tri Bikes 101

Biking is about having fun and spending quality time. So being a new triathlete you might be confused about taking the right decision which one is better, a Triathlon bike or a road bike. Are you new to biking? Do you need a specific triathlon bike for your first ride?

In this post we will talk about the Triathlon Bike Vs Road Bike debate which has been a hot topic among the cycling community.

According to triathletes, your first race is about having fun and training so at this stage you don’t require any Triathlon bike because they are much more expensive than road bikes. So firstly, you have to get a road bike because they are light in weight, fast and comfortable. 

And all we know is that biking is just about fun not about spending much money. Once you are properly trained you must return to taking the right decision about which bike is best for you Triathlon bike vs a road bike.

Some key Facts about Triathlon Bike Vs Road Bike:

How both bikes are different:

The design or geometry of the frame is an obvious difference between both of them… A triathlon bike usually has a base bar and a road bike has a drop bar as major difference which triathlon bikes have a steeper and larger angle of the seat than road bikes.

So, the steeper and larger angle of the seat can cause aero extension due to which seat position of the tri-bikes is closer to 78 degrees.

That is why a triathlon bike can be used for fast riding because of lower wind resistance and aerodynamic position as the rider can also bend down his lower body easily.

The geometry of the frame in road bikes is a bit different as the spots of the saddle a little behind the pedals which is the cause of twisting turns and sudden acceleration.

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What Is A Triathlon Bike

What Is A Triathlon Bike

The position of the seat on the road bikes is near 72 degrees on average. So, road bikers can climb to a steep position but cannot accelerate quickly.

Now the most obvious question is which is best for you?

A triathlon or a road bike?

Getting the best one from two depends on your need and choice of riding. Are you taking it for road racing or group enjoyment? Or are you planning to compete in the discipline of triathlon races specifically? Because triathlon bikes are usually used for triathlon races and these bikes are not typically used for road races.

Triathlon Bike Vs Road Bike:

Should I get a Tri bike or a Road bike? Tri bikes are usually used by triathletes. So, if you are new to biking you should not get a tri bike unless you are achieving high-level races and with an aero position, mostly on your road bike.

Just like triathlons who can cover large distances even using a road bike. So, after that, you can start looking for tri bikes.

Reasons why you should not get a Tri bike:

The geometry of the frame is an obvious reason behind it, that is why I should not get a tri bike. The worst thing about the tri bike is its aero position and we all know how uncomfortable it is during riding.

This aero position can also change your center of mass by lowering your upper body from the seat to move it forward to the handlebar. So, if you are a beginner, it is difficult to ride on ascending or descending positions in an aero position else a flat surface.

The second major thing about the tri bikes is that these bikes usually have a flat handlebar design so cannot give rest to your hands properly while riding on them. That’s why these bikes are difficult to control because of too much weight.

Meanwhile, road bikes have many advantages over tri bikes. As these are more comfortable, stable and easier to control. These bikes usually provide more resistance on flat terrain because of their upright position.

How much faster is a triathlon bike?

A triathlon bike is much faster than a road bike because of its aero position so the average speed for a tri bike is 27 km/hr up to 40 km /h which also depends on the given distance of course. So, tri bikes are worth it for their faster speed if you are well trained in sports.


The design of tri bikes can be boiled down into a single word drag. Because of its aero position. On the other hand, road bikes are light and comfortable because these bikes usually place their riders more in the wind than the tri bikes.

Where are you riding your bike:

Are you riding on a steep slope or flat terrain? As the tri bikes usually place their rider more in a forward position when they are tucked down into their aerobatics. Which is favorable for the flat terrain. So, most people try to get road bikes because these are better for steep slopes and more stable for longer distances.

So, which one is better A triathlon or a road bike:

Which one is better, a road bike or a tri bike? Usually, all we know is that tri bikes have faster speed than road bikes. That why you cannot take corners at high speed on a tri bike? So, you can get a road bike instead of a triathlon bike.

As if someone enters the sports, he needs a road bike for the first few rides, after that he can add the aero bars in his bike to decrease drag and get it faster.

Generally, you if decide to get a road bike you can use it also for a triathlon just by adding the aero bar as a little modification Meanwhile a tri bike is also required by athletes for a long race – training in aero position and these races tend to improve the overall race performance.

So, both bikes have their specifications according to the needs of someone. But I personally as a biker always suggest purchasing a road bike instead of a tri bike because I prefer comfort and joy over anything else in biking. So, whatever you take is very important according to your position and fits onto your bike correctly.

Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

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