By Marc Lindsay
Best Triathlon Bikes
Now that 2014 is coming to a close and we’ve had a chance to test the latest and greatest from this past year, we decided to narrow down our list to find the best bikes of the year. Find out which Triathlon bikes topped our list for the best of the best below.
Best: Entry-Level Frame
Frame/Fork: Cervelo All-Carbon
Components: Shimano 105/FSA mix
Wheelset: Shimano RS010
The P2 has always been at the top of the class for entry-level triathlon bikes. In 2014, Cervelo redesigned the P2, improving the handling, stiffness, and frame dimensions. The components that come stock with the P2 could use a few upgrades, but for $2,800 you won’t find a better frame.
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Frame: SCOTT Plasma 2
Components: Dura Ace, FSA SLK mix
Wheelset: Shimano WH R501
The Plasma2 frame defined how carbon aero bikes are designed. The Plasma 10 with Shimano Dura Ace and a new adjustable seatpost will define how fast you can go.
Frame: Fact 10r Carbon
Components: Shimano Dura Ace
Wheelset: Roval Rapide CL 40
Riding in aerobars for long miles just isn’t comfortable, no matter how you swing it. The exception to the rule is the Alias Pro, which has the aero-shaped tubes that shave seconds but a geometry that just feels right once it’s dialed in. We also like that the Alias is available in different models that cut the price in half with lower-end specs. The Roval Rapide CL 40 are one of the best stock wheelsets you’ll find on any bike right out of the box, and are one of few instances when you won’t need an upgrade.
Frame/Fork: 600 Series OCLV Carbon
Components: Dura Ace Di2
Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3
One of the fastest and most expensive triathlon bikes on the market, I expected big things from the Speed Concept 9.9 and it did deliver. What stood at to me the most though was the pure speed and comfort that this bike design accomplishes. Some bikes are fast, and others are comfortable, but it’s tough to find a machine that is both. While this might not justify the price for some, it does come down to how much you have to spend. Is this bike better than the Cervelo P3, or other top models in the $5,000 to $7,000 price range? Absolutely. Whether or not it’s worth the price for you is something you’ll have to determine for yourself. But if you’re the kind of racing cyclist looking for every edge possible over your competition, you’ll get it in the 9.9.
Frame: Slice Full Carbon
Components: Shimano 105 5700
Wheelset: Shimano R501A
Shimano 105 components, a solid frame and tri-specific geometry—what’s not to love? At $2,450, the Slice 5 is the best of the best when it comes to beginner tri bikes. The stability is excellent and the stock setup won’t hurt your race-day performance. If you do want to upgrade, a new wheelset would make this bike even faster.