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First don't buy anything for her yet. If you are going to buy her a bike, take her to the local bike store, tell her she is going to be competing in iron man races, and listen to what they have to say. A triathelon bike is a very customized machine that is designed for that type of competition. If she really wants to be competitive, she is going to need someone to help her get the right fit.

Now it won't be the most comfortable ride, and you can compete with other types of bikes, but any good bike shop should let her test ride them. Then you can find the best fit for the budget you have available.
 

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I wish her luck, and at the top levels of the sport weight is paramount. Comfort isn't much of a consideration for those tri bikes. A good friend of mine does the half ironman's, and the occasional century bike race. She did the Hotter than Hell 100 a couple of years ago in 5 hours and 20 minutes. Now 100 miles in August in Texas heat on a bike in 5 hours 20 is not bad to begin with, but when you consider she had to fix a flat in that time, its actually quite impressive. Even more impressive that she did it on a bike that is a number of years old.

Don't sell her short, she very well maybe a world champion one day, but if its not anything more that staying healthy and fit she has a big leg up on life and thats as important as any world title.
 

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I'm going to disagree here. If she rode a WalMart bike, and you're looking at $200 bikes on eBay, my guess is that you don't have unlimited funds. But she can still be competitive with a bike that isn't triathlon-specific. A decent used road bike with an aero bar is a good start. Since she's not going to be part of a team, or ride in a peloton, aerodynamics will play a bigger role in her success.

If you do have the coin to get a tri-specific bike, seek out a bike shop that specializes in triathlon bikes. She can ask other competitors for advice on that. Don't just assume that a shop that sells bikes is going to point her in the right direction. A triathlon bike is indeed a specialized piece of gear. But that doesn't mean she can't be competitive without one.

Keep us updated.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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I read someware That a Tri-bike is built so as to put the rider in a position on the bike that makes the transision from bike to run much easyer. I do see some Try-bikes on craigslist.
 

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Rollin Solo like Han...
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that bike on is ebay is most likely no better than your walmart schwinn. like I saw mentioned above, a true tri bike is a very specialized machine and at a certain level of competition is going to be needed to compete. For a beginner, I'd recommend and nicer road bike that can be slightly modified for triathlons. I have several customers that do this and others that run full race rigs.
 

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A race-able road bike.
A tri bike is a twitchy fragile thing. Also not allowed on most road group rides.
If it is one bike, I would/DO have a fairly nice road bike I can race.
I race triathlons...in my road bike, as do about 75% of the other competitors.
 

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I ride with some tri folks. None of them use tri bikes. As for buying a bike online, I would only do that if she had tested one of the same bikes locally and liked the feel. Once she does get her bike, she should be fitted by someone who understands all the various procedures for getting the best out of her bike.

Good luck!
 

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I ride with some tri folks. None of them use tri bikes. As for buying a bike online, I would only do that if she had tested one of the same bikes locally and liked the feel. Once she does get her bike, she should be fitted by someone who understands all the various procedures for getting the best out of her bike.

Good luck!
Agreed. Visit a local bike shop and get some expert advise and fitting before making another step. Chances are if she is going to do this, get her something good. A good, reputable shop will be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck!
 
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