Triathlon bikes have a frame shape, gears and wheels designed to allow the cyclist to pedal at full throttle for an hour, transferring all the power he has in his legs to the bike. These bikes have to move at a significantly higher speed than road bikes because the athlete has to discharge all his energy in a single hour while the normal road rider has to spread it over several hours. The high speed at which the time trial/triathlon bike moves has therefore influenced the design of the bike, which aims to give the cyclist the most aerodynamic shape possible, in order to best overcome air friction, which is the greatest obstacle at high speeds.
Born in Hawaii in 1978, otherwise known as the Ironman, the Triathlon is an individual discipline involving a bike that provides the Triathlete with speed, aerodynamics but also comfort and ergonomics. Over time, Triathlon bikes or Tribikes have seen a strong development, both for the popularity of the discipline and for the technical level reached and required by the athletes. The athlete is solely responsible for his or her own race pace in a perpetual challenge against time and wind. The rapid and constant technical evolution has certainly concerned the frame and above all the components. The main difference between a tri-bike and a traditional road bike is in the geometry of the bike frame: the seat tube angle is typically 76-78 degrees, steeper than the 72 degree angle of most traditional road bikes. The steeper angle therefore projects the rider forward and into a more aerodynamic body position. Not only are you more aerodynamic on the bike, but this solution is also putting less stress on the quadriceps muscles. This saves energy The bike manufacturers believed in this theory and tried to create a product to meet the growing demand of the triathletes in question. Within a few years, the tri-bike was created to offer aerodynamics, speed and muscular efficiency. The success of the Triathlon is confirmed by the component companies that have made dedicated handlebars - the so-called Tri-bars with aerodynamic and increasingly ergonomic extensions - and high-profile wheels available to riders. Finally, Triathlon bikes have several solutions integrated into the frame for nutrition, hydration and equipment storage. All to enable athletes to put up minimal resistance to the wind.Triathlon / race integration systems. As with road and racing bikes, Triathlon bikes are seeing the rapid rise of disc brakes for greater braking power without increasing air resistance. And let's not forget the use of smaller 650c wheels - a radical change from the traditional 700c wheels. These smaller, lighter wheels have proven useful in providing less rolling resistance and allow the rider to accelerate faster. In triathlons or time trials, the athlete is solely responsible for his or her performance, and while time is short and wind is the worst enemy, the bike must be a faithful ally. Road bike manufacturers have developed uncompromising solutions for this use. Thanks to the large difference in level between the handlebars and saddle and the flat triathlon handlebars placed forward, the rider assumes a very sporty and aerodynamically optimised position on the bike. All this combined with a very steep seat angle, in a triathlon it is the energy saved in every little bit of pedalling that counts.