Jun 24

Tips for Common Goggle Problems (a little spit goes a long way)

While training for a triathlon I have started racking up the swimming miles.  This process has been a big learning experience as I have struggled through laps with leaking or foggy goggles, missing ear plugs; using nose plugs, swim caps, and more.  So far the biggest challenge has been with my goggles.

After doing a lot of research it seems that if your goggles are leaking a lot they are probably not a good fit for you or might just be a cheap goggle.  I will also add that in one instance I had gotten a small tear in the seam of my goggle.  I didn’t notice until after a long swim, and had finally hopped out of the pool to grab an extra pair that I had.  The likely cause was my little baby using them as a teething toy one morning.  So the following is a list of tips for goggles that fit

  1. Don’t just go with the cheapest option.  A good pair of name brand goggles can be anywhere from $15 to $30 and are well worth the cost.  Speedo is a very reputable brand in the goggle arena.  I would recommend looking at a sporting goods store to compare a few different name brand goggles.
  2. The goggles you own may not be the best fit for your face.  A sporting goods store will give you a lot of options for shape and size.  Often you can open the packaging up and try on goggles to test out the fit.  Try putting on the goggles and letting them stick to your face.  If they stay in place and feel comfortable they will probably be a good option for you.
  3. If you have tried a couple different goggles and still can’t get a good fit, they make goggles that are a little more like a facemask.  They work great for swimming distance and work for a variety of faces.

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I have a narrow face and have had several problems with different goggles.  One pair that I got has a really small nose bridge and the goggles give me a headache.  Another pair seems a little too wide for my face and water gets in on the side.  My most

Another problem that I have had recently is fog.  It gets bad enough that I have a problem swimming straight… in a pool.  I have also learned several tips about foggy goggles.  If this has been a common problem for you try out these 3 tips.

  1. It may be time for a new pair of goggles.  New goggles usually have anti-fog properties, but over time even the best goggles will start to become foggier.  Dirt and scratches will make it worse.
  2. A common trick for swimmers is to spit into the goggles.  Spit, rub, rinse and they are ready to go.
  3. Using dish soap baby shampoo to clean can help.  A very thin layer of conditioner works well too.

Hopefully these goggle tips will help you problem solve your issues in the pool.  It has made my long swims much less stressful.  I can focus more on breathing and stroke and worry less about the water or fog in my goggles.  For additional suggestions, try out Slowtwitch.com. http://204.187.14.165/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=3998067  It has a great forum for triathletes.

Image Credits: Rona Proudfoot (Title Text Added), Alex Bianchi

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Jun 24

30 Marathons that Allow Jogging Strollers (the ULTIMATE guide to running with baby)

Running with children can be a fantastic way to instill a sense of fitness and an appreciation for the outdoors.  A lot of moms and dads end up running with a jogging stroller during their training runs but it can be nearly impossible to find marathons and races that allow them.

We have put together a list of 30 marathons and half marathons that actually allow runners to run with their stroller.  You can sort by month, state, price, or race name.

Do you know of a marathon or half marathon that allows strollers?  Post it in the comments section and we will add it to the list! 

RACE
DISTANCE
MONTH
CITY
STATE
COST
Hill Country Marathon Marathon October Marble Falls TX $70-90
Hill Country Marathon Half Marathon November Marble Falls TX $70-90
Skirt Sports Half Marathon Half Marathon June Louisville CO $95-155
Rocky Mountain Half Half Marathon August Rocky Mountain NP CO $110
Santa to the Sea Half Marathon December Oxnard CA $55-95
Run You Go Girl Half Marathon September Tacoma WA $65-95
Santa Hustle Half Marathon December Indianapolis IN $50-55
Bunny Rock Half Marathon April Chicago IL $60-80
Eugene Holiday Half Half Marathon December Eugene OR
Sisters Hald Marathon Half Marathon April Sisters OR $40-60
Hattiesburg Clinic Half Half Marathon April Hattiesburg MS
Oshkosh Half Marathon Half Marathon April Oshkosh WI $45
Irving Marathon Marathon April Irving TX $74-115
Irving Marathon Half Marathon May Irving TX $74-116
Wallis Sands Half Half Marathon May Rye NH $60-70
Camp Wannarunamileormore Half Marathon April Bald Eagle Regional Park MN $50-65
Massacre Marathon Marathon February Greensboro NC $40-60
Twin Lights Half Half Marathon April Gloucester MA $60-70
Fifty Yard Finish Half Marathon June Orchard Park NY $55-85
Den Fiesta Bowl Half Half Marathon December Scottsdale AZ $45-70
Go Girl Run Marathon April Springfield MO $60-85
Germantown Half Half Marathon March Germantown TN $45-65
New Years Race Half Marathon January Los Angeles CA $85-125
Run Bentonville Half Marathon March Bentonville AR
Run For Water Half Marathon May Abbotsford Canada $60-100
Crystal Coast Half Marathon March Morehead NC $55
Owl Roost Rumble Half Marathon April Greensboro NC $35
Run Carolina Beach Half Marathon October Carlonia Beach NC $40-80
Heros Half Half Marathon April Everett WA $55-75
Triple Lakes Race Half Marathon October Greensboro NC $40-50
Zion Half Half Marathon March Zion NP UT
Great Smoky Mountain Half Marathon September
Crawlin’ Crab Half Half Marathon October Hampton VA $60-90
Showing 1 to 33 of 33 entries

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 What Months are Marathons that Allow Strollers?

As you can see from the list the majority of the marathons and half marathons on the list are in April. This is obviously a great thing because you will not need to worry as much about your baby being too hot or too cold.  April is one of the best running months due to weather.  In fact the IDEAL temperature for running is actually about 50 degrees.

With each increase in temperature of 10 degrees there is an almost exponential increase in pace per mile of the average runner.  The elite runner will be affected slightly less than the average runner. However, when temperatures reach levels greater than 85 degrees you should use caution and listen to your body. Below you will find a chart indicating the effect of temperature on race pace  . . . thus April races are a great time of year.

TEMPERATURE
PACE PER MILE
IMPACT
50 8:00 min/mile None
60 8:12 min/mile 2-3% increase
70 8:31 min/mile 6-7% increase
80 9:06 min/mile 12-15% increase
85 9:31 min/mile 18-20% increase

Benefits to Running with a Stroller: Calories Burned

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There are obvious benefits to running with a stroller.  You shouldn’t automatically decide to not run with your baby because it will be more difficult . . . that is one of the benefits.  Below are some of the ways that pushing a baby stroller during training runs and races can actually be a good thing:

  • Increase muscle strength
  • Burn more calories
  • Spend time with baby
  • Get kids outside

Muscle Strength

The added weight of the stroller and the baby will actually work to increase resistance while running which will work to build muscular strength and endurance in your hamstrings and quads.  The. increased weight will provide some of the same benefits that running bleachers will as far as developing strength.

Calories Burned Pushing Jogging Stroller

Burning calories is what it all about right?  It is pretty simple to find online calculators that will estimate the amount of calories burned while running based on weight of the runner.  These alone are not 100% accurate as they do not include such physiological factors as heart rate, vO2 max, and other metabolic processes involved in burning calories.  So as long as you can keep that in mind you can make very rough estimates regarding the amount of calories burned pushing a jogging stroller by using those numbers.

So you can use the calculator below to get a general idea of how many calories you burn while pushing a jogging stroller:

Weight: put in how much you + the baby + the jogging stroller weigh

Grade: if you are running on a generally flat course just make this “0”

** This is not a science or 100% accurate number but is merely a means of providing an estimated # of calories that you can burn while running with a jogging stroller.

Spend Time With Baby

Ok I realize that for some parents this is not really a benefit as they use jogging and exercise as their alone time but for me this was always a great time to spend with my kids.  When our first son was born I would take him on multiple walks a day in our Jeep Jogging Stroller this was a great chance for me to just spend time with him and tell him stories.

Sandi also ran MANY long runs pushing Taz in the stroller.  In fact she even ran one 18 mile training jog with Taz in the rain . . . with the Jeep stroller he stayed completely dry!

>>View the Jeep Stroller Here<<

Get The Kids Outside

Running with the baby in a jogging stroller is a great way to get the kids outside at an early age. It is clear from the literature that kids are spending less time outside.

Spending time with the kids outside together as a couple is a fun way for mom and dad to organize family time together and allows for parents to train together as a couple.

Finding the Right Jogging Stroller

If you do plan to run with your child in a race than you need to make sure that you have the right one for the job. Getting a top of the line stroller can actually cost a bit but it will make the entire journey much easier.  We have written extensively HERE about find the right double jogging stroller.

So put your excuses aside.  Search the list above of the top marathons and half marathons that allow strollers and then hit the road and get going. Running a marathon with a baby will be a highly satisfying experience for the whole family.

 

Do you know of a marathon or half marathon that allows strollers?  Post it in the comments and we will add it to the list! \/\/\/\/\/

 

Image Credits: Ed Yourdon (post text added), Bill RuhsamEric Peacock

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Jun 24

6 23 2014

Jon

FOOD:

Breakfast: smoothie

Lunch: 2 beefy 5 layer burritos, Dr Pepper

Dinner: Sweet peppers, Mango, Water

EXERCISE:

I actually went to the doctor today for my jock itch and was able to get some prescription strength anti fungal medications.  Hopefully I am back up and running soon!

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: 8 oz OJ, 8 oz tomato juice, fruit leather

Lunch: turkey cheese sandwich on whole wheat ciabatta bread, banana, 1 sugar cookie

Snack: 2 sugar cookies

Dinner: mango, spaghetti and sauce

Snack: 2 slices cinnamon toast

EXERCISE:

After 2 days of rest time to get back to it.  I woke up and headed to the pool before work.  Jon was home with the kids today.  It was raining and I watched the sky anxiously for a while to make sure there were no signs of lightning.  The intense wind and rain agitated the pool a lot.  It felt a lot more like an open water swim.  I felt the cool refreshing rain on my back the entire swim and completed a full 2000 m.  It felt great and I am feeling more and more ready every day.  That being said, I got home and immediately researched goggles as I have been having endless problems with fog and leaking.  I may be buying a new pair of goggles soon.  My 6 year old pair may be on its last leg so to speak.

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Jun 23

6 22 2014

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: Waffles 2 with butter syrup

Snack: 2 slices cinnamon toast

Lunch: cheese and multigrain crackers

Dinner: watermelon, zucchini, lasagna, corn, garlic bread, spinach salad, rum cake

EXERCISE:

rest day

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Jun 21

6 21 2014

Jon

FOOD:

I had some soda and small snacks at work around 3am.  Other than that I haven’t eaten yet today.  I will have dinner and some cookies and then sodas at work.  Working nights really throws things off a bit.

EXERCISE:

None

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: 8 oz tomato juice, 2 slices toast with jam

Snack: 2 choc chip cookies

Lunch: 2 tacos

Snack: laffy taffy

Dinner: 2 steak fajitas with beans rice cheese sour cream

Snack: 2 slices cinnamon toast

EXERCISE:

rest day

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Jun 21

6 20 2014

Jon

FOOD:

Well I was back to work after two weeks off.  I don’t recall everything that I ate yesterday.  I had a lean cuisine microwave meal at work some cheese, 2 mountain dews, 2 donuts (people bring us a lot of stuff and I am weak).

EXERCISE:

None

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: None

Snack: nut cluster, fruit leather, string cheese

Lunch: 4 slices cinnamon toast

Dinner: Ribs, rice, raspberries, 1 corn on the cob

Snack: 3 choc chip cookies

EXERCISE:

Mag trainer for 1 hour!  I have no idea what distance that would equal to, but I adjusted the resistance so that it was a good workout.

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Jun 19

6 19 2014

Jon

FOOD

Breakfast: Nutrigrain bar, 8 oz skim milk

EXERCISE

800 m swim

8 mile bike ride

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: ½ cup oatmeal with brown sugar and milk

Snack: fruit leather, nutter butter bites (½)

Lunch: turkey cheese sandwich, (bowling alley)

Dinner: orange chicken with stir fry veggies, rice, strawberries/raspberries

Snack: oreo bites

EXERCISE:

Swim in the morning 1000 m

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Jun 19

6 18 2014

Jon

FOOD:

Breakfast: Smoothie, Eggo Waffle

Lunch: Cheese Quesodilla, Lemonade

Dinner: McDonalds value meal .. . with way too much Coke

EXERCISE:

I have been suffering from a horrid case of jock itch lately so I have been trying to prevent any dampness or sweating in that area.  Didn’t workout today or yesterday.

Sandi

FOOD:

Breakfast: 30 oz smoothie (orange, berries)

Lunch: 2 Brisket tacos, 1 sugar cookie, a few bites of pecan cobbler

Snack 2 sugar cookies.  4 oz of a very high Calorie shake we serve at the hospital I work at.  We were doing a taste tests today.

Dinner: Chicken sandwich, french fries (small), 1/2 cheeseburger

EXERCISE:

I did a 5 mile run today at 9:19 pace.  It rained in the early evening and the temperature dropped a little just before my run.  I now have a few blisters from three nights in a row of running.  Tomorrow I swim!

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Jun 19

Playgrounds turned Ghost Towns (Why Don’t Kids Play Outside Anymore)

My workout today consisted of an 800m swim in my community pool and a short 8 mile bike ride around town.  Nothing too fancy, but during the entire time that I was out I could count the total number of kids that I saw outside playing on one hand.

In a recent study published by The Telegraph in April 2014 they found the following depressing information:

  • 1/4 of children spend less than 30 minutes playing outside PER WEEK
  • 80 per cent of parents admitted they have never taken their children star gazing or fishing
  • 60 per cent said there is now more for them to do indoors

Read the entire article HERE.

400 Acres of Parks and No Children

I live in a beautiful town in North Texas that maintains a total of 400 acres worth of parks including trails, nature preserves, pools, splash pads, and playgrounds. This number doesn’t even include the neighborhood parks and pools contained within the majority of the HOA communities within the city.

We live in a community of about 500 homes with an elementary school and playground and a community pool perfect for swimming.  We generally head over to the pool somewhere between 7:30 – 9:30am.

Here’s the kicker . . . we have only ever seen 1 other person in the pool with us.

During my 8 miles ride today I went through the largest park in town, past my neighborhood pool, through a green belt, and through 2 other neighborhood parks.  During this ride the number of children that I saw could literally be counted on one hand.  I did see several elderly couples walking or feeding the ducks.

So, Where are All the Children

Retro photo of Far west town

It is summer in Texas which means all the children are out of school but it also means temperatures are warm.  In North Texas the summer temperatures in June reach about 95 degrees in the early afternoon.  In the morning time the weather is only in the upper 70’s.  Getting out in the morning is the best time in this area to avoid the heat . . . so weather is a poor excuse for not being outside in the mornings.

There are approximately 30,000 children under the age of 18 in our town.  Where are they? They have parks, they have money, they have time, they have the weather . . . but they aren’t going outside.

“The inactivity—particularly of outside, large-muscle, physical activities—is being replaced by other things.  It’s not like kids who are inactive are sleeping all the time. But it’s a lot more sedentary activity, like watching TV or playing [on a] computer. That is a double whammy because not only are they not getting the large muscle activity that they used to get when they were outside playing all the time, they’re doing something else, and that’s a cultural thing, not just a physical thing.”

-William Kull, president of the Red Apple Foundation

This 2008 study found that not only were children spending less time outside but that there was also a change in culture occurring in our society inciting them to spend less time outside and more time on indoor activities.

Nature Deficit Disorder

Author Richard Luv has dedicated his career to the study of “research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults”. You can find his book:“Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder” HERE.

“Within the space of a few decades, the way children understand and experience nature has changed radically. The polarity of the relationship has reversed. Today, kids are aware of the global threats to the environment—but their physical contact, their intimacy with nature, is fading. That’s exactly the opposite of how it was when I was a child.”

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So how do we get our kids back outside and prevent them falling victim to “Nature Deficit Disorder”? Three simple actions will make the difference and start the role getting our kids back outside and fill our parks once again.

  1. Example
  2. Mandates Unnecessary 
  3. Fun is Key

These suggestions come from a 2009 study published by Heartland.org where they studied the responses of 60,000 children ages to 6 – 17 regarding physical activity.  You can view the article here (this is where the quotes below come from).

Example

Parents can set an example for their children.  The researchers did not notice a decline in adult activity and thus suggest that parents should bring their kids along with them when they are outside:

“By instilling a love for outdoor recreation in youth, parents and role models not only help their children immediately but also set a long-term precedent for a healthy life.  The decrease in outdoor activity has accompanied an increase in obesity, ADHD, and depression. Outdoor recreation has been shown to improve achievements both in education and in health.”

 

Mandates Unnecessary

The researchers argue that government mandates will not work in improving or increasing outdoor activity.  While awareness campaigns can aid in increasing public knowledge of obesity and other associated outcomes of a sedentary lifestyle making a rule and expecting children to just fall in love with physical activity will not work.

“They think they’ll just make a rule and people will fall in line. That’s not the way it works. You have to motivate people, and that’s a tougher challenge.”

 

 Make it Fun

Introducing children to outdoor activities in a way that makes it fun will aid them in desiring to continue to go outside.  This is not the job of schools and should be done at home.  If schools mandate situps and jumping jacks (which aren’t fun for kids) than kids may stop wanting to be outside.  Instead try some of these fun outdoor games for kids or these pool games to help kids love playing in the pool.

Try simply taking your child on a nature walk, play rescue games or princess games with your kids.  Go outside and look at the stars.  Its not a science . . . its just being outside that counts.

“Kids are outside because it is fun, not necessarily because it’s good for them. The fun habituates them to a healthier long-term lifestyle.”

 

Picnic_in_Columbus-e1403198642356

Motivating Your Friends to Take Their Kids Outside

As a reader of SimpleFamilyFitness you already know how important it is to be outside with you kids you are already a fit mama or daddy.  The important this is to just relax and have fun.  Don’t use your children as an excuse for not being outside  . . . instead use them as a catalyst for being outside more.  Not only will it keep your house cleaner but it will prevent obesity, wear them out, and build a new generation of children who love the outdoors.

Do you have friends who don’t take their kids outside?  Try these tips to get them outside:

  • Join or start a Facebook group for moms and dads that posts activities for kids
  • Post your activities on the SimpleFamilyFitness Facebook page to motivate others
  • Google search “activities for kids in  . . . ” with your city name
  • Invite them to your community park for a picnic
  • Take them to the Zoo
  • Find a splash park and invite them to play

Generally speaking people want to be active and enjoy being outside.  Inspiring others by simple invitations can be enough to get them moving and outside.

Do you have tips to get your friends or tips for keeping you kids moving?  Share them below.

Image Credits: Matt WierPostdlf

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Jun 19

How to Buy a Triathlon Bike Without Breaking the Bank (amazing tips and tricks to save big $$$)

It’s no secret . . . triathlons are not the cheapest hobby in the world.  It can cost thousands of dollars to start running tris.  The most costly expense by far that any newbie triathlete will face is the cost of the triathlon bike. Finding a cheap triathlon bike can be incredibly difficult to do.  This chart below highlights our picks for the top 12 triathlon bikes that won’t break the bank (okay we did include an $8,000 bike for fun just because they are so cool to look at).

What to Look For in a Good Triathlon Bike

Okay so what really drives up the cost of different bikes are several aspects rather than just one thing these include:

  • Derailleurs (what actually shifts the gear)
  • Frame (steal, aluminium, carbon)
  • Wheels
  • Handle bars

Of course there is much more that goes into the overall cost of a triathlon bike, but those are the main driving factors in bike price.

What the %&$** is a Derailleur Anyway?

With the derailleur being one of the single most important factors that makes a triathlon bike either cheap or expensive it is important that you understand what one is and what makes one more expensive than another.

Shimano_xt_rear_derailleur-247x300

Wikipedia defines a derailleur as follows:

Derailleur gears are a variable-ratio transmission system commonly used on bicycles, consisting of a chain, multiple sprockets of different sizes, and a mechanism to move the chain from one sprocket to another.

In plain English that just means that the derailleur is the mechanism that moves the chain up and down from gear to gear.

When you hear someone talk about “COMPONENTS” they are generally referring to the derailleurs, brakes and shifters.

What Makes One Derailleur More Expensive Than Another?

Okay now that we know what exactly a derailleur is, what makes one more expensive than another?  In order to get a cheap triathlon bike you have to balance component quality with budget and try to find the best bike with the best components for the lowest cost possible.

Better derailleurs will generally:

  • Use less steal and thus weigh less
  • Have better construction to last longer
  • With better construction they will shift gears more smoothly

In the chart above you will see that all bikes have Shimano components.  I have attempted to list the type of component being used.  The “Low End” or “2300” component will be heavier and not last quit as long as the 105, Ultegra, or Dura Ace.

You will quickly see that the cheaper bikes have the Low End components.  If you buy a cheap tri bike you can always hang on to the bike and decide to upgrade the components at a later date as finances allow.  This is a trick that many bikers use to slowly create the perfect  bike.  One year upgrade the wheels, the next the front derailleur and so on until you have the bike of your dreams.

Hierarchy of Shimano Derailleurs – Comparison Chart

The chart below was not created by me but was borrowed from ChooseMyBicycle.com, you can view the original chart HERE.

This chart details the differences between each of the different Shimano components from lowest cost to most expensive.  If you are wondering what the difference is between a Shimano 105 and Dura Ace than this chart will help you to know which is the best and what the differences are.  This also works are a great comparison chart of all of the Shimano rear derailleurs.

I currently have a Javelin Triathlon bike with Shimano 105 and really have no complaints.

 

 

COMPONENT DESCRIPTION LEVEL
Shimano 2300

SHIMANO 2300

Basic Road Bicycle component

Low cost

Entry
Shimano Claris Shimano ClarisEvolved version of the 2400 groupset Entry
Shimano Sora

SHIMANO SORA

Reliable Gear and Braking system

Light Weight

Entry
Shimano Tiagra

SHIMANO TIAGRA

Light weight

Compact

Cost Effective

Mid Range
Shimano 105

SHIMANO 105

Very Light

Exceptionally Smooth

Increased Durability

Mid Range
Shimano Ultegra

SHIMANO ULTEGRA

Hollow Crank arms

Improved pivots and springs

Intermediate
Shimano Dura-Ace

SHIMANO DURA-ACE

Equal shifting through range

Perfect accuracy while shifting

Pro

Do I Need a Triathlon Bike or a Road Bike?

man triathlon iron man athlete standing with all his equipment in silhouette on white background

More than anything a triathlon is about conserving energy.  You learn to swim in a way that saves your energy for the bike, you learn to eat while biking to have enough energy to run, and you learn to run in a relaxed manner so that you can finish the race.

In road biking you are looking for power and energy conservation is not as much of an issue.

It is this key difference that triathlon bike builders have integrated into the design of tri bikes.  The more of these innovations you have built into your tri bike the more expensive your bike is going to be.

So when it comes down to it . . . it is not NECESSARY to go out and purchase a new tri bike with all of the latest gadgets and gizmos if you are just starting out.  Instead buy a cheaper road bike and purchase desired ad ons.

 

A road bike will work perfectly for an entry level tri bike and it is much cheaper as most tri bike companies try to put all the latest technology on their bikes to have the coolest and best looking bikes out there and it can be hard to get an entry level tri bike for under $1200 minimum.

When I was a Boy Scout I did the Cycling Merit Badge and we had to do 4-25 mile bike rides and 1-50 mile bike ride.  I completed all of these rides on an old Huffy Mountain Bike from Wal-Mart.

Don’t get me wrong.  The more expensive bikes will make riding a bit easier but you can easily complete you training rides, sprint tris, and even short course triathlons on a simple mountain bike.  If you begin to do longer rides than a nice cheap triathlon bike might be a good investment. If later on down the road you start needing to worry about shaving a few minutes off your time than upgrading to a more expensive and decked out bike might be something you can save for.

When I say cheap I mean about $300-$700, this will get you a great bike that will last for years if well maintained.  If you feel that you MUST have an entry level tri bike plan on spending at least $1200.

So What Is the Difference Between a Road Bike and a Tri Bike?

  1. Seat Angle – Tri bikes have a much steeper seat angle that places the rider closer to the handle bars creating a more aerodynamic position.  This also puts less stress on your quads thereby saving energy for the run.
  2. Smaller Wheels – Triathlon bikes have 650c wheels vs 700c wheels of the road bike.  This creates less friction with the road and allows for greater acceleration.
  3. Aero Bars – Tri bikes come equipped with aero bars that allow the rider to lay forward in a more aerodynamic position.

Triathlet auf dem Fahrrad

These are the main differences between a road bike and a triathlon bike.  The fact of the matter is that these three things can all be changed at a later date for a nominal cost.  You can purchase a new seat post, new handle bars, and a new wheel set all for much cheaper than buying a top of the line triathlon bike.

 You’re Ready to Buy Now What?

So the first thing you need to know before going out and spending money on a new bike is the actual size bike that you should buy.  To do this you I recommend going to a local bike shop and having the clerks fit you on a couple bikes.  Act like you are SUPER interested in buying one of their bikes and get the number.  Alternatively you can use an online bike size calculator like this one here.

>>ONLINE ROAD BIKE SIZE CALCULATOR<<

This number tells you the size frame that you should buy.  There is room for adjustment once you purchase the bike but this number will give you a starting point.

Now, take this number and head over to Amazon or Craigslist to actually purchase your bike.  I recommend Amazon.com for a new bike or Craigslist for a nice used bike.

If you do decide to use Amazon and use one of the links above we do earn a commission and we GREATLY appreciate it! (Thanks : ).

For Craigslist I would suggest SEARCH TEMPEST.  What Search Tempest does is allow for you to search the entire USA for what you are looking for . . . a feature missing from Craigslist.

Either of these two methods will work great for finding a nice cheap triathlon bike that meets your needs.  Sandi and I actually used Craigslist to find a new Tri bike at half price as it was a closeout.  After negotiations we were able to get two new tri bikes for $1200 including shipping . . . a great deal!

Bike Is Here . . . Now What?

No that the bike is in your home and you are done ohhing and awing over the shiny new toy you need to put it together and head over to a bike shop to get it fit.  Fitting the bike will insure that the geometry is all right and that the positioning is right to not put pressure in the wrong areas (remember its all about energy conservation).

You can attempt to fit the bike on your own using this amazing website HERE (TRI BIKE FIT). Warning:: Doing this on your own will not ruin your bike but you may be left working MUCH harder on your rides than necessary.

The Bottom Line

There are cheap triathlon bikes out there and it is possible to race and train without going broke.  In the end I think the bottom line is that you don’t want to spend thousands of $$ on a bike that will only save you 5 minutes.

You want to find a bike that is reliable, comfortable, and fits within your budget.

Please realize that while the super expensive bikes look awesome they are NOT required to start running triathlons.  If you already have a mountain bike in the garage grab a pump dust off the cob webs and hit the road.

If you really need a good bike set up a budget (a couple hundred bucks will do the trick) and head out and get the bike that meets your needs.  Remember if REQUIRED you can make updates later on down the road.

Now use our list and pick out your bike (if you do click on one of the bike links and make a purchase we do earn a commission and GREATLY appreciate it) Thanks!

See you on the road!

Image Credits: C. Corleis

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