The Cost Of Triathlon Bikes And What You Get For This Price


As a triathlete, I love this time of the year. The bike manufacturers release their new models with their latest aero improvements, design changes, and storage upgrades. It is a good time for me to review the costs of those bikes across different categories.

The average cost of a triathlon bike is $7,010. It ranges from $2,499 for the first entry-level bike up to $16,999 for the top of the range. The cost of triathlon bikes varies greatly depending on the groupset, the wheels, and the integration systems (hydration and storage) provided. See below the average triathlon bike costs per category:

  • Entry-level: $3,054
  • Mid-range: $4,571
  • High-end: $7,021
  • Top of the range: $12,850

I classified each of the 61 triathlon bikes I found (across 16 major brands) into four different categories depending on their setup. Here are the details:

ENTRY LEVEL TRIATHLON BIKES

The average cost of entry-level triathlon bikes is $3,054.

Price range:

From $2,499 for the Felt B & BMC Timemachine TWO to $3,999 for the Felt IA Advanced 105 (website links)

What you get for this price:

The low entry triathlon bikes are definitely not a budget option from a price perspective and from the components you are getting. All bikes I have analyzed have at a minimum a Shimano 105 groupset, which is an excellent option for starting competition. 

At this level, the wheels are relatively basic (don’t expect any deep-section wheels), and the storage options on the bike are often minimalistic.

The bike which stands out for me:

The BMC Timemachine TWO ($2,499) stands out in this category by its lowest price point, its included storage box under the saddle, and its ability to move the seat post to make it UCI compliant. The latter can be beneficial for triathletes who also want to use this bike during Time Trial.

List of entry-level triathlon bikes:

You can access the website of the manufacturer by clicking on the specific model.

BrandModelPrice
FeltB Triathlon$2,499
BMCTimemachine TWO$2,499
GiantTrinity Advanced$2,500
VentumZ$2,700
FeltIA Advanced 105 Rim$2,999
SpecializedShiv Sport$3,000
Argon 18E-117 Tri$3,000
Quintana RooPRFOUR DISC$3,149
CervéloP series 105$3,200
Quintana RooPRFIVE 105$3,299
CanyonSpeedmax CF 7 DISC$3,799
FeltIA Advanced 105$3,999
Only bikes which are available for sale.
Prices in USD (or converted to USD) from Nov-2020.
Subject to change.

MID-RANGE TRIATHLON BIKES

The average cost of mid-range triathlon bikes is $4,571.

Price range:

From $3,600 for the Giant Trinity Advanced Pro 2 to $5,499 for the Felt IA Advanced Ultegra (website links)

What you get for this price:

In this range, you are getting Ultegra components (mechanical), an aero set of wheels, and some options for storage and hydration.

The bike which stands out for me:

The Giant Trinity Advanced Pro 2 ($3,600) comes at a reasonable price with a mechanical Ultegra groupset, a set of rim brake wheels, a storage box on the front tube, and an integrated hydration system. If you are looking for a race-ready bike, that’s a perfect option.

The only concern I have is the current overall move of the market towards disc brakes. It is currently a great opportunity to find cheaper sets of deep-section wheels. Just be aware that the market might be smaller in the future, especially if you want to sell your bike in a couple of years.

List of mid-range triathlon bikes:

You can access the website of the manufacturer by clicking on the specific model.

BrandModelPrice
GiantTrinity Advanced Pro 2$3,600
CervéloP series Ultegra$4,300
CanyonSpeedmax CF 8 DISC$4,399
DiamondbackAndean 1$4,500
TrekSpeed Concept$4,700
OrbeaOrdu M20LTD$4,999
FeltIA Advanced Ultegra$5,499
Only bikes which are available for sale.
Prices in USD (or converted to USD) from Nov-2020.
Subject to change.

HIGH-END TRIATHLON BIKES

The average cost of high-end triathlon bikes is $7,021.

Price range:

From $3,950 for the Quintana Roo PRFIVE to $10,000 for the Cervelo P3X Di2 and Cervelo P5 Force eTap (website links)

What you get for this price:

This range is by far the one where you can find the most options. More than half of all triathlon bikes I found are in this category! At this stage, you always get an electronic groupset (Ultegra Di2 for Shimano, Force eTap ASX for Sram). What differentiates the bikes are the quality of their wheels and the level of integration of their hydration systems.

The bike which stands out for me:

For triathletes who can afford to pay $8,000 for a bike, I think the Canyon Speedmax CF SLX 8 DISC Di2 is currently the best option. It is not as expensive as its top of the range model (Speedmax CFR). Still, it has the majority of the technological improvements: adjustable cockpit and complete integration of the storage and hydration in the frame. One bento box in the top tube, one box above the bottom bracket, and the hydration system in the down tube. Here is the Youtube video presentation of the Speedmax bike by Canyon:

List of high-end triathlon bikes:

You can access the website of the manufacturer by clicking on the specific model.

BrandModelPrice
Quintana RooPRFIVE$3,950
Quintana RooPRFIVE DISC$4,600
DiamondbackAndean 2$5,000
Quintana RooPRSIX$5,200
Argon 18E-119 Tri$5,250
BMCTimemachine ONE$5,299
Argon 18E-117 Tri Disc$5,700
CubeAerium C:68 SL$5,899
CanyonSpeedmax CF 8 DISC Di2$5,999
FujiNorcom Straight 2.1$6,000
GiantTrinity Advanced Pro 1 Force$6,200
CanyonSpeedmax CF 8 DISC eTap$6,499
CervéloP series Ultegra Di2$6,500
DiamondbackAndean 3$6,500
Argon 18E-119 Tri+$6,500
FeltIA Advanced Ultegra Di2$6,999
OrbeaOrdu M20iLTD$6,999
CervéloP series Force eTap AXS 1$7,000
BMCTimemachine 01 DISC ONE$7,499
FeltIA Advanced Force eTap AXS$7,999
CanyonSpeedmax CF SLX 8 DISC Di2$8,000
CervéloP3X Di2 ARC$8,000
CervéloP5 Ultegra Di2$8,000
SpecializedShiv Expert Disc$8,500
Quintana RooPRSIX2 DISC$8,500
Quintana RooPRSIX DISC$8,500
Argon 18E-118 Tri+ Disc$8,500
ScottPlasma RC$9,000
VentumONE$9,050
CerveloP3X Di2$10,000
CerveloP5 Force eTAP AXS$10,000
Only bikes which are available for sale.
Prices in USD (or converted to USD) from Nov-2020.
Subject to change.

TOP OF THE RANGE TRIATHLON BIKES

The average cost of the top of the range triathlon bikes is $12,850.

Price range:

From $8,456 for the Cube Aerium C:68 SLT to $16,999 for the Felt IA FRD Ultimate Dura-Ace Di2 (website links)

What you get for this price:

At this stage, only pros and a few triathletes in the world will use those bikes. They have the best and most expensive electronic groupset (Dura-Ace Di2 for Shimano and Red eTap for Sram), high-quality wheels, and integrated components. Let’s face it, engineers and marketers spend a lot of time and money on those flagship products to attract triathletes to their brand and who will generally spend money on the mid-range or high-end triathlon bikes.

The bike which stands out for me:

As for the high-end range, I currently think the Canyon Speedmax is the best option. Their top of the range option is the Canyon Speedmax CFR ($12,000 for the Red eTap version) that Lionel Sanders and Jan Frodeno are now riding.

Below is the Youtube video from Lionel Sanders introducing his new bike:

List of top of the range triathlon bikes:

You can access the website of the manufacturer by clicking on the specific model.

BrandModelPrice
CubeAerium C:68 SLT$8,456
OrbeaOrdu M10iLTD$8,999
CanyonSpeedmax CFR DISC eTap$12,000
CervéloPX Series Dura Ace$12,000
CervéloPX Series Red eTap AXS$12,500
CervéloP5 Dura Ace Di2$12,500
SpecializedS-Works Shiv Disc$13,000
PinarelloBolide TR$13,800
ScottPlasma Premium$15,000
PinarelloBolide TR+$16,100
FeltIA FRD Ultimate Dura Ace Di2$16,999
Only bikes which are available for sale.
Prices in USD (or converted to USD) from Nov-2020.
Subject to change.

TIPS TO MINIMIZE THE COST OF TRIATHLON BIKES

Below are a couple of tips that can help you reduce the bill

  • Negotiate with the vendor: everyone would try to negotiate when buying a new car but not always think about it when buying a bike. Apart from 100% online retailer (read Canyon), you can definitely try to negotiate the cost of the bike. You could get a decent discount on the bike, components, or services. If you have a wife or a friend who is also thinking of buying a bike simultaneously, you can for sure get a significant discount.
  • Buy a lower spec triathlon bike and upgrade its components later: it is working for most of the bike components except, of course, any integration systems which are done on the frame.
  • Buy last season’s model: starting at the end of the summer, most bike retailers will start to discount their bikes. If you don’t care about the latest improvement, definitely shop around that time frame.
  • Buy second hand: it will be significantly cheaper than buying new bikes. I would personally not buy high-end triathlon bikes except if it comes with some kind of warranty from a bike shop I know.

As you can see, there are plenty of options available for triathlon bikes. The most important is to know exactly what kind of setup you are looking for and which budget you can set aside.

If you are not ready to buy a triathlon bike, a great alternative is to use a standard road bike and investing in a set of aero bars. Here is an article I wrote about them: 8 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Aero Bars.

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