Where to get a good deal on a used (high end) triathlon bike?
May 25, 2014 8:33 PM   Subscribe

I have a pretty good 2006 Felt S 22 triathlon bike. I'd like to get a newer, faster, better bike. I have time (up to a year?) to get a used triathlon bike. Craigslist isn't great in my area, and eBay doesn't seem to have great deals. Where should I be looking to get a good deal on a used high end tri-bike? (I'm willing to spend up to about $2500) Also any tips on buying the bike, or what I should be looking for in technological advances since 2004? Thanks. (If it matters, I use a 52cm bike, I am 175 cm tall and I'm in Columbus Ohio)
posted by crawltopslow to Shopping (9 answers total)
I got mine on the BeginnerTriathlete forums.
posted by dorque at 9:05 PM on May 25, 2014

I ride bikes, but I don't ride tri bikes.

What is it that your bike lacks, that a newer/better one might have? Lighter/more aero?

Could you make significant gains on your bike by upgrading (wheels or components usually)
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:31 PM on May 25, 2014

(I just looked closer at your link and it looks like maybe it's an aluminum bike? You might get some gains out of a carbon fiber bike. Your components are great though, almost all dura-ace. You might like or get an improvement out of 10 or 11 speed shifting)
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:34 PM on May 25, 2014

That is a really great bike. You are not going to get a very good return on your investment if you're trying to go faster.

I would get a rear disc cover and a power meter and a coach. That would make you faster.

If you want to just try to buy speed, the classified forums at SlowTwitch.com would be a good start.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:34 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

$2500 isn't a very high end bike. I'd buy better wheels for your current bike, depending on the distance you're intending to race.
posted by kcm at 9:39 PM on May 25, 2014

$2500 could be an extremely nice bike if buying used. I bought a bike waaay out of my price range (if it were new) for about the same as an entry level bike last year (that is, I bought a Tarmac Expert for Allez prices)
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:46 PM on May 25, 2014

I agree with kcm, investing in new wheels will get you a much better return on your investment than buying a whole new bike.

As far as technological advances you could be looking at:

* Carbon frame which should be stiffer, lighter and better at damping vibration than your current frame. All that said, a low end carbon frame will usually be inferior to a high quality alu frame.
* Carbon wheels, which will have lighter rims. The further away additional mass is from your hub, the more energy you will need to invest to move it. Wheels and tires are the cheapest way to get a faster feeling bike.
* Electronic shifting. It may sound like overkill, but if you're racing, electronic shifting is a massive advancement. Shift at the touch of a button, from multiple positions. Program your shifting how you want it, have your FD automatically adjust the trim.

I don't know if you use them already, but a heart rate monitor would be a massively useful training tool.
posted by jedrek at 11:39 PM on May 25, 2014

I think for $2,500 one can get a very good used tri-bike. On average, I hear you can spend just over half of the original new price for the bike, so $2,500 can buy you a bike that would have cost $4,000 new maybe.

I have a heart monitor, I might get a power meter. I have time to get a new one, I am trying to gather information on what to look for and where to look over the next year to get a good deal on a bike.
posted by crawltopslow at 5:27 AM on May 26, 2014

You are in America so you are lucky and can take advantage of some of the great deals on the Slowtwitch classifieds.

Though if you are a triathlete and didn't know about slowtitch already, be prepared to lose a day or two going through the articles and forums :-)
posted by trialex at 6:37 PM on May 26, 2014

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