Looking for Triathlon/TT bike recommendations


I currently ride a 2012 Felt B16. Its a 10 speed mech ultegra.
I like the bike a lot. I got it used but in great shape, with nice set of wheels (Reynolds attack/assault combo).
The bike is slightly too big for me. I am on the low end of recommended height (bike is 52 and i am 5’6).
To boot, felt’s poor design choices of the time lead to a broken hanger in the front derailleur cable guide. Now i cant change the front gears.
The options i have are limited. Going full wireless (sram) is not really an option since is too expensive to put on a frame that is too big for me anyways.

My plan is: Get a new TT bike. I thought i wanted an sram 12 speed bike, but man, those are impossible to find for a reasonable price. Also, depending on the bike I end up getting, I might need to get new wheels, since sram 12 speed hubs are not compatible with the wheels i have.

Now i think i want a di2 for convenience. I can get a bike with garbage wheels and reuse the set i already have.

The bikes Ive been looking are:
Canyon Speedmax (absolutly best bang for the buck, race ready.
I really like the BMC Timemachinme, and my LBS can build one.
They can also build Spec.
There is a dealer nearby that sells Trek and I like their TT bike too.
And recently another dealer started selling Giant, but not sure about those (some people call them a step above walmart quality… but i dont buy that)

I would really like to keep it as close as 4500 as possible.

Thanks all!

Primary things I‘d be looking at:

  1. get a bike that allows you to get in the best possible position. A correctly sized frame should give you „play“ in both directions, so you shouldn’t be at the very limits with your position (used all spacers, or no spacers, seat post fully extended or fully inside, saddle all the way forward or all the way back, extensions all the way out etc…)
  2. find a bike you like riding. It should feel good and make you want to ride it a lot. Give you confidence and allow you to go to the limit. It should also be a frame you can live with.
  3. Make sure you have a PM, it is the biggest gain to training and pacing tech can make for you
  4. Have spare money for a rear disc wheel. A rear disc wheel has been been the biggest technical upgrade to my TTing. Not because it is faster than a rear deep section wheel, but because it has increased stability on the bike SO MUCH. I ride the rear disc in ANY conditions, and I live near the North Sea coast, where heavy and gusty winds are very common. I do all my training and of course racing on that wheel and only choose front wheels of different depth.
  5. Features a frame has to offer: some frames are incredibly fast (Cervelo P5 2016, TREK SC, Giant Trinity) which is obviously good. However, hidden brake calipers or the like save a watt or two, but may be annoying to live with. Tri specific frames are generally heavier and offer features you do not need for TTing. However, they have aero boxes etc for nutrition and spares, that make long training sessions on the bike easier.

Differences on group sets are marginal, rather have money for a PM and get chainrings the right size. The gain from that is greater than going from Ultegra to DA…

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Yes. I will have $ for a PM. Its a most at this point. I cant move my current PM to the new bike (its a 110 bcd and have very limited set of cranks it can work on).

I said TT, but i really meant Triathlon. so a little bit heavier because storage options is not a big deal.

So, the reason i am not 100% in with canyon is that i cant test it. So it hard to say if i will like it or not.

You might get a Speedmax sent and then return if it doesn’t fit. As as I know, it is rather easy to live with and offers loads of adjustability.
But if you can get a good bike fit around you, that’s worth more than any aero gain on the frame. Still, make sure you are not at limits.
I got a bike fit and have moved around a lot of things…

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Yes. This is my #1 goal with the new bike. The current set up although the seat tube is not slammed its as high as I can possible reach. I would need shorter cranks. That is causing my aero is not as aero as it could go.

its not super clear on this pic, but you can probably see i should be probably be lower than I am.

I’m going to beat the dead horse and recommend you get a brand new from scratch fit by an experienced, aerodynamically conscious (and ideally aerodynamically experienced) fitter FIRST. I made this mistake and have been on and off tinkering with my bike for the last 2 years. It’s almost surely the wrong size, and it’s not easy to mess around with. I would look into a fit by someone like Jim Manton at ERO or Eric Reid at AeroFit. If I was single ( :sweat_smile: ), I would do this every year. If I was looking at a new bike, I’d rather do the fit and end up on an adjustable 2013 frame with a TriRig aerobar than a brand new superbike that isn’t quite in my ideal adjustment and tinkering range.

After that, I would recommend Giant Trinity for the money if you fit the narrow range on it (there are a couple options for aerobar tilt on them), but generally great value. Next, Premier Tactical looks very solid and is a pretty complete setup for a reasonable price. Trek Speed Concept seems good value and they’re pretty much the standard setter on front end adjustment for the modern bikes coming out. While I expect them to get a new model out in 2021 or 2022, it’s still an awesome bike.

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From the look of this picture, your frontal area is pretty large. Getting lower at the front can be one way of mitigating that, but might lead to discomfort and also your head pop out even higher. Also, I don‘t know how long the TTs are you are doing. Full IM? I have never ridden a TT bike further than 100k at a time.

I‘d recommend you try out a lower position and work on being able to hold that. You position doesn’t look optimal from an aerodynamics stand point. A position however has to work as a whole. Some are more rounded and upright, some are flatter and they can all work:

Dennis having a more upright position, probably higher A, but pretty good Cd.
Evenepoel being just mega flat, but not quite as powerful.

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Oh man. I have a BMC TimeMachine frame going spare but sad to say it’s a medium/large :sob:

Also the brake under the chainstays limit both the choice of power meters and means you need to remove the chainset to adjust the driveside brake shoe (can you tell I’ve had issues with this otherwise lovely bike? :grimacing:)

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A few years back I went with an Argon 18 E117 as it was the price I wanted to pay, clearly stated it could take wide rims and the rear brake was up high (clearer of road grime and no issues with clearance).

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I was looking at them yesterday. Price seems reasonable

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+1 on getting a fit.

Find a great fitter, start with that, then look at bikes that work. I’d seriously consider going secondhand as well. TT bikes tend to be low mileage as you’re not generally out there doing group rides, training in the rain, etc on your TT bike. And there are lots of triathletes who either upgrade every year or 2 or who don’t stay in the sport that long. Plenty of good deals on relatively new and good condition bikes to be had in other words, and there’s not been enough innovation in the last few years that’s there’s much in the way of “must have” features on new bikes. Maybe worth considering a bike with integrated hydration and storage (I assume you’re doing 70.3 or longer events from the number of bottles in the picture!). And leave enough in the budget for an aero helmet, there’s easy gains right there!

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I have a 2018 Giant Trinity and have had zero quality issues. Its not my daily bike, but I have put about 4000 miles on it. If I bought another TT bike today, the main thing I would look out for is disc brakes, just so that I can use the same wheels between my road bike and the TT bike. Too bad there’s still only a few companies making reasonably priced disc TT bikes.

While I am happy that I went to a fitter before buying the TT bike, the amount of adjustability on modern TT bikes makes this less of an issue. Basically I could fit any bike with a decently adjustable cockpit, in a size small. I definitely could have figured that out myself. Granted, I did have some dialed measurements to give me a good starting setup when I did buy the TT bike.


Disc brake TT bikes will be releasing in large quantities within the next 18 months.
Canyon Speedmax, TREK SpeedConcept, Giant Trinity, Bianchi Aquila, Pinarello Bolide, Colnago Kone are all set to be released soon, so that might help with choices.