The cycling sections of your triathlons are going to be the longest legs, and for them you're going to need the most gear. The most important of this gear is, of course, your bike. So when it comes to choosing the right cycle -- especially for triathletes -- there's a lot riding on your decision. Let's look at some core steps that will give you a leg's up on making an excellent one.
Get Measured and Fit
This is the first step to take for very good reason. Performance cycles are designed and manufactured to maximize efficiency and thus time, and part of that design and manufacturing process rests upon being tailored to each individual rider's unique body. This is why it is crucial to get into a local bike shop and get properly measured before even seriously considering which actual bike you may want. If you're searching for your triathlon bike in Chicago, check out Live Grit's complete bike fitting process to see how it works and our bike package, which will include fitting with any bike purchased based on your measurements, ensuring it is fully custom tailored to your body.
Some commerce is still done the old fashion way, also for good reason. Road and triathlon bikes are major purchases. And because of how custom tailored they are designed to be, they simply don't fall under the normal guidelines for online and big box store shopping. So while you're in a local bike shop getting fitted, begin the next step to making an excellent decision: ask people what they recommend. Your fellow riders and triathletes, as well as their outfitters and trainers, are the best resource for reviews.
In no way, however, do we mean to take the fun out of personally shopping for the right cycle. Once you get your measurements and trusted word-of-mouth advice, take the search for the perfect fit into your own hands. You have a lot to mull over: from road or triathlon; used or new; aluminum or carbon fiber; entry- or mid-level; not to mention all of the options when it comes to bike components and the accompanying cycling gear you'll need as well. In spending some time looking through what's out there, you'll acquaint yourself with the current road and triathlon bike market and the special one will eventually catch your eye.
Buy (from a local shop)
Why buy from a local bike shop (whether used or new)? Because you can come back. Part of the reason Live Grit is starting to be recognized as one of the best bike shops in Chicago is simply because of the ongoing relationships we seek to cultivate with customers. And as a triathlete looking to get the most out of your gear (and yourself), these are the kind of relationships crucial to your success as well. Only through them you can you cover the steps we outlined (measurement, advice, reviews, purchase, fit) as well as the final ongoing step: service. You needn't expect anything to be wrong with your new cycle anytime soon after purchasing, but you will want somewhere to take it to ensure its continued performance.