2012 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Bikes Part One

The Triathlete Buyer’s Guide magazine is out on newsstands, and we're giving you a sneak peek at the bike section right here.

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The Triathlete Buyer’s Guide magazine is out on newsstands, and we’re giving you a sneak peek right here. Check out half of the bikes featured in the guide below and come back tomorrow for the other half! More from the 2012 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide.

FELT S22 $1,699
If you want a bike designed with true triathlon geometry that’s well suited to a fairly aggressive position and built with a trustworthy component kit, the S22 is just about the most affordable bike to fit the bill. It is offered in seven frame sizes to make it easier to find a perfect match, and the Sram Apex component kit is more than worthy of a place on the race course. The saddle and brakes aren’t the best we’ve tried, but the highly adjustable aerobar creates a comfortable grip position. Feltbicycles.com

FUJI D-6 4.0
If ride quality is one of your most valued attributes in a triathlon bike, the D-6 is a perfect match. It is one of the stiffest triathlon bikes we have ridden, and it swoops predictably through corners. The 4.0 is built with price-sensitive components throughout, but the complete package delivers first-class ride quality at an entry-level price. Although the small and mid-range sizes have moderately aggressive triathlon-specific geometry, the bigger sizes are best for very aggressive positions. Fujibikes.com

Giant quietly released a new line of triathlon bikes this year based on the Trinity Advanced SL, the bike that triggered the landslide of integrated tri frames. The Composite uses a typical stem instead of an integrated system. Offered in three frame sizes, the seat tube angle gets progressively steeper as saddle height increases. Giant-bicyles.com

BMC TM02 $3,699
The BMC TM02 frame follows the same basic design cues as its sibling, the Tour de France-winning TM01, without the integrated front fork or exorbitant price tag. The TM02 is available with either Shimano 105 or Ultegra component packages, and includes an innovative, hidden rear V-brake caliper. On the road, the TM02 rides out of its price category, with performance that equals or surpasses that of much pricier bikes. The Profile Design T2 aerobar allows for a wide range of adjustability to rider positioning, which is especially helpful for riders that require a short reach to the aerobars. The triathlon-inspired Fizik Arione Tri2 saddle allowed testers to sit comfortably for hours. Bmc-racing.com

GURU 501 $2,900 (FRAMESET)
What makes the Guru 501 so unique is that it is a full-custom, full-aero, full-carbon frame costing a fraction of what you might expect to pay. Designing the Guru 501 is a partnership between the athlete, a local Guru dealer and Guru. The 501 offers a smooth ride that is forgiving but still feels fast. Handling is spot-on, and because it is custom, can be tuned to the tastes of the individual rider. The Canadian company manufactures the 501 in-house at its headquarters in Montreal. Everything from carbon layup to paint is all done under one roof, allowing Guru to maintain an incredibly high level of quality control for each frame it produces.

BH GC AERO $3,000
The GC Aero includes many features that cement it as true triathlon bike, including an innovative three-position seat post that will allow a variety of saddle positions from slack to steep. Frame geometry is a perfect match for moderately upright tri positions. The component package is an eclectic mix of affordable components that still function in unison. Each part can easily be upgraded to satisfy an athlete’s demands, and the carbon aero frame is a performance match for any upgraded parts. The one-piece integrated Vision TriMax bar is a component more often found on much more expensive bikes. Bhbikes-us.com

Triathletes have fantasized about bikes built specifically for triathlon, not road time trialing, for years and several are finally available. In addition to the Shiv’s age-group-friendly geometry, Specialized’s first true triathlon bike has two fast and functional features that are banned in road cycling. Its stunningly deep tubes are more aerodynamic than Specialized’s UCI-legal designs, and it boasts a refillable hydration bladder concealed in the frame. These tri-specific designs combined with other practical features make the Shiv a leader in the drive into the new era of fast and functional tri bikes. Specialized.com

CERVÉLO P5 $10,000
Cervélo has created its fastest triathlon bike to fit the average triathlete. The P5 pairs the brand’s undeniable aerodynamic pedigree with a massive upgrade in stiffness and more realistic fit compared to the P4. The 3T Aduro aerobar developed specifically for the P5 adds a broad range of stack adjustment to prop the rider high above the bike without butchering ride quality, and its elbow pad reach adjustment is limited to 5cm. The Magura hydraulic brake calipers are both powerful and delicate. Training wheels come stock (not the race wheels pictured) to allow the rider to pick their own upgrade. The P5 nails fit, functionality, speed and ride quality. Cervelo.com

The Volt is a wind tunnel-tested design recently released by German manufacturer Stevens. The hidden, integrated brake calipers (front and rear) help to enhance this bike’s aero capabilities. A rising top tube design cleans the front end up nicely and additionally serves as a clean place for the internal cable routing to enter into the frame. The Volt is also available with custom features, including choices of component selection as well as paint. Stevensbikes.de

ARGON 18 E-118 $7,900
The E-118 is built around its integrated fork and aerobar. Factor in the functionally impressive hidden V-brake tucked behind the fork, and the E-118’s leading edge cannot be jumbled. This mandatory integration comes at the price of adjustability, however, so make sure your fit matches the E-118’s tightly integrated structure. The two ways to move the elbow pads are either flipping the stem between two length configurations or lifting the pads with spacers. The extensions can be shortened and the basebar can be flipped to prop the braking grips up in the air. Those points are the limit of the E-118’s front end adjustment. Argon18bike.com

FELT DA2 $8,999
With Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 components and carbon clincher Reynolds wheels spec’d on Felt’s new DA frame design, this bike is a complete dream machine straight out of the box. Its new, wider fit range makes this bike a reality for more people than before, as long as the price tag isn’t a deal breaker. Felt’s Bayonet3 stem system and new aerobar assembly pieces give the newest DA a broad range of potential positions. Not only does this system enable many riders to fit the DA2, but it also contributes to its stiffness and excellent handling characteristics. Feltbicycles.com

For more bikes and other triathlon gear pick up the Triathlete Buyer’s Guide. It’s on newsstands now!

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