1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
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    Mountain bike for a triathlon?

    I was hoping to buy a used Cove stiffee hard tail or something for mountain biking.. Then I also was thinking of maybe training for a triathlon for the hell of it... Just for fun ya know? I'm not looking to do great in one, just want to do one and complete it. Now if I hypothetically were to enter a triathlon, I don't need a sick triathlon bike because chances are I won't win. But does anyone see a problem with me using a hard tail bike for a 12 mile race that isn't off road?

    thanks (and be gentle, I'm new)

  2. #2
    AKA Dr.Nob
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    You'll look ridiculous but then again so does every triathlete so that wont be a problem.

    And even though your brand new you already have the required bike handling skills (which is none) so you wont be out of place there either.

    So jokes/unflattering stereotypes aside if you were to put some slick tires on a mountainbike and pump them up high it will do fine for the odd tri.

    Just beware that the stiffee is a jump/park bike and not built for distance riding. You may not be able to put the seat up high enough to ride comfortably.


    Oh and just so you konw triathlon is ranked inbetween Chess and Curling on the official top 200 list of cool sports.
    Not that all teenagers are evil mind, just most of them.

  3. #3
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    well if you dont care remotely about winning.. or being competitive.. or coming in dead last by a huge margin, hey by all means do a tri on a mountain bike.

    tri bikes make lightweight carbon road bikes look slow.. theres probably something wrong with gumby mark though, nothing wrong at all with tri racing. its a very physically demanding sport, tons of respect to those who do well in it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbymark


    Oh and just so you konw triathlon is ranked inbetween Chess and Curling on the official top 200 list of cool sports.
    thanks for your help guys and I understand that I'd be better off with a regular bike instead. But this comment here really doesn't mean anything to me. Chess shouldn't be a sport and I would rather play volleyball then curling. Second of all, whose the idiot who named 190+ other sports that were cooler then a triathlon? Because I've played all the "cool" sports and that's about 10 on my count. I wasn't asking about getting into triathlons, I was asking because I wanted to try one or two. I'm in pretty good physical condition and I probably couldn't finish a triathlon with a very good time currently. But I think it would be interesting to do one just to say I did it.. Not a lot of people are even close to being in good enough shape to do one

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    well if you dont care remotely about winning.. or being competitive.. or coming in dead last by a huge margin, hey by all means do a tri on a mountain bike.

    tri bikes make lightweight carbon road bikes look slow.. theres probably something wrong with gumby mark though, nothing wrong at all with tri racing. its a very physically demanding sport, tons of respect to those who do well in it.
    Like I said, point taken. On the other hand, I doubt that out of the 50 triathlons that are occurring june through september, everyone will have 1000-2000$ triathlon bikes.

    These aren't olympic triathlons such as like 1mi swim, 30 mi bike, 20 mi running... I'm talking easier stuff like 1/4 mi swim, 12 mi bike, 4 mi run

    I'm just thinking of fun ways to spend my time this summer. So far I've got sky diving down, I've been rock climbing and I'm saving for a sport bike

  6. #6
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tactix23
    chances are I won't win. But does anyone see a problem with me using a hard tail bike for a 12 mile race that isn't off road?
    There's no particular reason why you could not ride 12 miles on road with a mountain bike. Tyres that roll well would make it even easier. Should take only about half an hour anyway, if you go hard.

    If you want to do it, DO IT.

    If you want to squeeze a little more speed out of the bike, set the fork very rigid (and low if you can), get the bar low (inverted riser bar?) and put bar ends on the bar.

  7. #7
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    Nah, you'll be fine on your mtb. Buy some slicks, pump up the tires so they're hard as rocks and you'll be amazed how fast it is. Lock out your fork / rear suspension if you have it. Or... go to Craigslist and pick up a used road bike for $400, fix it up and use that. If it's a true junker you could even race on a singlespeed, and if you're in really good shape you'll be blowing past people on $2000 bikes. Feel free to laugh.

    Rock climbing is awesome! Glad you've got into it.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tactix23
    Like I said, point taken. On the other hand, I doubt that out of the 50 triathlons that are occurring june through september, everyone will have 1000-2000$ triathlon bikes.

    These aren't olympic triathlons such as like 1mi swim, 30 mi bike, 20 mi running... I'm talking easier stuff like 1/4 mi swim, 12 mi bike, 4 mi run

    I'm just thinking of fun ways to spend my time this summer. So far I've got sky diving down, I've been rock climbing and I'm saving for a sport bike
    we're sort of on the same page. i sold an "efficient" maestro bike for a kona because its just so much more fun. i ride a 900 dollar OCR1 roadbike for fun and am starting to enter long rides and maybe a few races here soon. you dont need premier equipment, but if you're doing road rides, man its SO nice to be doing them on a road bike! i really dont care about winning, or being competitive.. but i like to at least sort of show up with the right gear for the event.

    if you want to do road events, you'll be so much happier doing them on a road bike. doesnt have to be the most bling carbon tri bike, even a low grade road bike will be a relief to ride versus a mountain bike. my $3000+ x9 lightweight xc bike just sucks on the road compared to my 900 dollar OCR!

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    I'll rephrase mine too...

    If you want to ride trails and occasionally enter something like the short triathlon, for fun, curiosity or just "because", you can do it on the mountain bike. No doubt about that.

    If you want to ride on the road frequently, you'll certainly be happier there on a road bike.

  10. #10
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    woohoo! I love me some good advice

    Thanks so much!

  11. #11
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    You'll be fine. I'm racing in a duathalon this summer that's a 2 mile run, 15 mile bike, 2 mile run, and the bike is on roads. They have a whole division called the fat tire division that I'm gonna race in which REQUIRES a mountain bike and minimum 1.90" wide tires. If I can do 15 miles on a mountain bike on the road, I'm sure you can do 12.

    Oh... Did I mention I'm gonna be riding my mountain bike in the MS150 also this year? That's 75 miles a day for 2 days on a mountain bike. Yeah, I know... I'm insane. It's not the first time I've been told that haha.

    Best of luck in your tri, and remember... Have fun!

  12. #12
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    Do it on a mtb if your just doing it for fun. My brother did quite a few triathlons on a hardtail mtb (he didn't do to bad either). Once he decided that he was going to keep riding tri's he got a road bike. Your just going to be expending more energy pushing more weight and at a less aerodynamic riding form.

  13. #13
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    Tactix, you can use a mountain bike with slicks and do fine. Only drawback I see is that you will be work 10x harder than the people with a road bike. By the time you hit the run, you will be exhausted. I use the time I spend on my road bike as a relaxing cruise between a tiring swim and a harsh run. You won't get the "break" in between. I'd suggest just finding an old cheapo road bike to use. I see people all the time on some 20 yr old Ross road bike doing great. It just makes it a little more fun.

    12 miles in a tri on a montain bike will not take 30 min BTW. Probably double that. I had to comment on that so when your training you're not killing yourself to make 12 miles in 30minutes. Whatever you plan on using, just remember to have fun doing it. Don't get kicked in the swim

  14. #14
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    I agree, a MTB will make you work way too hard. In Triathlons- the path of LEAST resistance(i.e; road bike) will determine the winner.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  15. #15
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mount Dora Cycles
    ... 12 miles in a tri on a montain bike will not take 30 min BTW. Probably double that. I had to comment on that so when your training you're not killing yourself to make 12 miles in 30minutes.
    OK, I admit... that would be pushing it. At least you would be half dead when you still have the run left.

    Anyway: the distances are clearly doable, when you go at a pace that does not kill you.

  16. #16
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    much appreciated guys. Any recommendations for a used 200 dollar bike? Or is that not enough money? Someone told me my frame should be 16-18" in another thread

  17. #17
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    you won't be the only one there on a mountain bike. Most at sprint distances are doing the same as you - just trying it out, the ones I've done, tri bikes look out of place (the equalivant of showing up to a beginner-class xc race on a $10k carbon weight-weeny rig).

    just do it, have fun. I'd be amazed if you even come in dead last provided you can do 5k at a brisk walk and swim 4-500 yards without drowning (there will be people at most sprints that can't do either).

  18. #18
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    I say pickup up the biggest, baddest, burliest 6+ " full susser with 2.25+" tires with huge knob and ride with that.
    As long as you're not dead last, you've won!

  19. #19
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    I have done a few tri's and did my first one on an old old trek 850 (?) Put slicks on it and didn't do that bad. Same as you, just wanted to try it see what it was all about. I then bought a road bike, did some more now sold my road bike for a mtn. and currently fixing up an old Ross that I got for 50 bucks. I can't wait to smoke the guys on the 3000+ TT rigs. Anyway, go for it and have fun!

  20. #20
    local trails rider
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    "used 200 dollar bike"
    Ahhh, money is tight?

    That is not a lot of money for a bike. Buying used, you are stuck with what is available. For that kind of money, I'd look for an older bike with no suspension, but all the mechanical stuff working (stay away from Wal Mart!). A rigid bike would probably be better for the triathlon but tougher on trails.

    A bike nees to be a good size for you: not too long or short.

  21. #21
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    triathlon & mtb bikes

    Most races will have a novice and/or " fat tire " division so you can compete with others of similar expierence or equipment. If you register in the fat tire division be sure to check if slicks are allowed. Some races will not allow slicks in the fat tire division.

    Be careful though triathlons are habit forming.....

    finish the race, don't be last & have fun!

  22. #22
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    the tri you are doing is a mini tri... you'll be fine... for an optimal MTB roadie setup you'll want a rigid xc bike with some slick (or at least smooth) centered tires.

    if you search carefuly you can find an older road bike in the 200$ price range... (craigslist is your friend)

    or for less you could find an older rigid MTB (from the era of when a MTB was a MTB, not an XC bike, a DH bike, a FR bike, ect ect lol)... make sure it fits you properly, it'll likely already have bar ends on it (good), slap some smooth rolling tires and give the bike a good tune up and roll...

    heck you could ride a huffy if it comes to it and have a ton of fun...

    ride it an enjoy yourself
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  23. #23
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    A friend of mine did a mini-tri recently and overheard another biker complain about all the mountain bikes that passed him by. So I would say - rest assured, someone will always have slower, heavier, etc. bike than you have. I, personally, think what is important is that you are there, trying. I am going to go on a 25mi race following some of the suggestions I have seen on this forum - on my mtn bike. Its all good!!

    Mel

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