So, instead of buying a Tri-spcific bike, can I trick out my hybrid?

I have a Trek Hybrid, it’s nice and light, with a men’s frame. I am very interested in trying out the sport of Triathlon this upcoming race season, but I am also interested in not spending too much until I know if I love the sport.

So, hoe much can I change the bike up? Handlebars, pedals, wheels, seat… everything but the frame?

Is it worth it? I know I can pick up a Norco CM2 for about 799…

Any tips…?

Depends on your current performance level and whether you think you might stick with it. I did my first duathlon(run-bike-run,I don’t swim) on a mountain bike set up for commuting, only change I made was to take off the bags, still had the rack and lights. Came in 7th. :smiley:

I just did my first duathlon this year (also a non-swimmer). I have a nice road bike (I am much stronger on the bike than in the run), but there where all kinds of bikes there from all out tri bikes to department store mountain bikes. It was the same at a Tri my girlfriend did. If you are just doing it for fun I wouldn’t worry to much about getting a new bike or tricking out your hybrid.

If the shifters are on the handlebars it makes any kind of handle bar change difficult. They do make several different styles of ‘clip on’ aero bars, but you would have to see if the riding position would work for you. Skinny high pressure road tires are a plus, and swapping out the front wheel is pretty easy, the back wheel is much more difficult/expensive.

Clipless pedals are always a plus and help more the stronger you get. They are also easy to switch to another bike if you decide to upgrade. On the other hand, with toe clips you can leave your running shoes on and cut down on your transition time. At the duathlon I did my girlfriend used toeclips and I changed into bike shoes, her transition time was 30 seconds faster (but I beat her by 5 min on the bike leg :smiley: ).

If you want to get anywhere near ‘changing everything but the frame’ you are much better off buying a road bike or tri specific bike.

Good luck, have fun :slight_smile:

You have two options:

Go to the tri on the hybrid. I’ve seen entry level tris and duathlons with people on mountain bikes. Particularly the enticer and shorter distances. If you like it you can think about getting a road bike. (I would not suggest a TT or tri specific bike unless you are very serious about doing long tris. A road bike will make it easier to train on, ride in traffic etc.)

Put drop bars or clip on aerobars on the hybrid. This usually does not end well, as it the frame geometry of hybrid makes will usually make it uncomfortable to ride with drop bars or clip ons. In particular the top tube length and seat tube angle will be too different to make it work. It is also expensive to put drop bars on, the brifters alone will cost a couple of hundred each. It is also a pain to get them to work correctly with V brakes.

My suggestion, depending on how much money you have, would be to put slick tyres on the hybrid, lock out the shocks if it has a suspension fork (or buy/borrow a plain fork) and just go on the hybrid. I would not bother with clipless pedals or anything like that until you are serious that this is what you want to do. Apart from the learning curve associated with them, wearing your running shoes will make the transition much quicker. To get kitted out on a road bike with pedals, shoes etc can be quite expensive. So make sure you want to do this before you spend too much money.

In any case, in my experience the short tris tend to be won in the run anyway. Most triathletes I know are runners who started cross training for whatever reason. Most of the tris I’ve been there were not many people who were strong on the bike or in the water. But they would destroy me on the run.

I started on a hybrid (was completely misled by the people at the bike store). And I was fine for a while. If you end up liking it or going long, you’ll probably want a different bike.

Change the tires out, though. It’ll be a better ride.