First sprint tri, no bike training

  • RonaldoSF

    Posts: 35

    Feb 10, 2012 8:29 PM GMT
    I'm planning on doing my first-ever triathlon, a sprint triathlon in the CA Inland Empire, this April.

    Like any beginner triathlete, I lack the equipment for this sport and will have to buy lots of gear. I just recently replaced my running shoes, I'll need to get some swim jammers, and then there's the bike. Good road bikes are expensive, and I just don't have the funds to lug out hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a Cadillac bike that I'll only be using a short amount of time on. They have a decent GMC Denali bike at Wal-Mart that was on sale during Christmas at $80, but now it's back to its normal price of twice that amount (should've bought it back then!)

    Anyway, if I find the bike at that sale price before April then I'll probably just buy that and train on it. Otherwise, what I'm thinking is that for race day, I just rent out a road bike from a shop for like $60, and for training I just get on the Spinning bike at the gymn. I know a stationary bike doesn't compare to training with a real road bike out in the streets, but at least it's something.

    Am I doomed to catastrophic failure by going through with my plan, or does it not matter that much being as it's only 12 miles long?
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    Feb 10, 2012 8:33 PM GMT
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Feb 10, 2012 10:00 PM GMT
    Well, for a sprint tri with a 12-mile bike, you can pretty much do that on any ol' bike and without much in the way of training if all you want to do is finish the race.

    But maybe you'll find out you like doing triathlons, in which case I'd recommend getting a decent bike (you can get one on Craigslist or Ebay) for future training/races.

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    Feb 10, 2012 10:16 PM GMT
    If you plan to stick with it, its really worth investing in a good bike. A few hundred Km's of hard riding and things on cheap bikes break fast and furiously. You'll spend just as much repairing and upgrading.

    Buy a 2nd hand bike. Bikes aren't like cars..they don't lose much quality or value over time. You can replace most parts relatively easily as they wear out so long as the frame and drive train are solid which they should be on any decent 2nd hand bike. This is also a good time to look for them as people are upgrading their bikes and selling their old ones. Thats what I just did icon_biggrin.gif

    You can get a much better bike 2nd hand than new obviously. But if I were you I wouldn't rule out a new bike. Any good lbs will stand behind what they sell making sure you get a good fit which is important. They'll let you ride it before you buy to make sure you get one you feel comfortable on. Tell them honestly that you're just getting into the sport and want something that will last you a season or 2 to train on. Tell them you'll gladly look at clearance models etc. Any good lbs is happy to try and work with someone that is genuinely interested in buying a quality bike from a quality store.

    edit: realized i sort of didn't answer your question but personally, I don't think 12 miles on any bike is going to make a difference. But thats once. You're going to train right? You'll easily train hundreds of miles more than you actually race. Then there's other races etc
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    Feb 10, 2012 10:19 PM GMT
    Not at all my friend. 12 miles will be a breeze for you and doesn't really require much training. The stationery bike should work fine. You should do at least one session a week where you do the bike for 45 mins, and then immediately launch into a 2 to 3 mile run (referred to as brick training). Also as you are finishing the ride part, make sure you are in a low (easy) gear for the last few minutes of the ride (peddling fast with little resistence). This gives your legs a little breather, plus gets the blood circulating. And then start your first 1/2 mile running at an easy pace. It helps your legs transition and minimizes cramping.

    When I did my 1st sprint I was on a pretty high end bike, and got pass by a guy on an old beater schwin bike with the flat peddles not even strapped in. Just have fun but prepare to get hooked icon_smile.gif.

    Also, you don't want jammers, you want tri shorts. They have padding like bike shorts, only thinner. Good luck and drop me an email if you have any questions.
  • parametric

    Posts: 63

    Apr 20, 2012 2:05 PM GMT
    I did my first Tri on that shitty Denali. It worked out fine. Don't let the hardcore bike-nerds talk you into spending thousands of dollars. I got my Giant-Rapid on sale for 800 bucks and it has served me super well in my training this season. Just know that the drive train on the denali is a piece of shit. I'd buy the denali, and replace the drive chain for a total of 200 bucks and that should serve you well for the first year. After that definitely step it up. Its all about progression! Even the money. Do what you can, but begin saving NOW so you can do more later.

  • parametric

    Posts: 63

    Apr 20, 2012 2:08 PM GMT
    Also, on a side note to the others, JUST WENT CLIPLESS. ITS AMAZiNG. seriously.