I'm looking to get into doing a few triathlons but I have to admit I've never actually owned a road bike much less a tri bike. I've done a considerable amount of mountain biking, although it's been a few years. I'm currently in pretty good running shape, I've done a few half marathons in the past couple of months, no impressive times or anything but I enjoy doing it nonetheless. I swam on a few swim teams years back but I'll still need to get into training for that as well. I've been wanting to get into triathlons for a while now and I'm looking to get a bike. I've read a considerable amount of information on recommendations for beginners about road bikes, tri bikes, used bikes, etc., and the one recurring theme seems to be what fits the best. My wife and I are expecting our first kid in about three weeks so I'm not looking to break the bank on a bike but I also don't want to get something I'll end up needing to upgrade or replace as I improve. I'd ideally like to attempt an Ironman within a couple of years, not looking to be competitive or anything, just looking to check it off the bucket list. I've seen a few relatively inexpensive deals on the internet for Motobecane and Kestrel tri bikes, which seem to have decent reviews, but I reluctant to order a bike without knowing what will fit me or not. I've taken my measurements at home and plugged the numbers into a fit calculator which gives me a rough idea of the frame size and crank length but I'm still pretty clueless about it. The prices for a few of these bikes seem pretty good considering the components but I don't know where I could try them out. I guess my question, now that you've read my short story, is there a LBS that can do a fitting or measurements without having an actual bike? I know a few in the area that sell tri bikes but it looks like most of them are quite a bit more money than I want to spend. I can look up the geometry of the bikes no problem but I don't know how that would coorelate to what would fit me best. I've been searching for used tri bikes roughly my size in the area to see how it fits but I haven't stumbled across one that's either my size or in my budget. I appreciate any help with this.
Subject:RE: Tri bike help / fitting near Wilmington
Not to deter you from the second-hand market due to budget but I was at the same place this time last year but, after reading more about the "fit" component (more important on a Tri vs Mt Bike), opted to form a relationship with a LBS and have them suit me with a bike that fit me. Good thing that I did, as my own "measurements" put me at a 56cm frame size, weras the bike I got (leftover 2010 Cervelo P3) a 54cm was on the verge of being to big for my torso/reach.
Even got a free 45min "Basic" fit on a CompuTrainer by one of the owners that races the same bike
My $.02.. if you are serious about an IM in two years.. a little extra spent now will save you in the long run. If you are looking to try a few tris to see if you like the sport.. by all means go used.. and go for a road bike with some bolt on aero-bars.