Can You Rent a Triathlon Bike? How To And Should You Do It!

It’s no secret that triathlon can be an expensive sport to get into, and the biggest cost is the bike. While you can use any bike you have available for your first triathlon, you’ll likely want to upgrade as you continue with the sport. Even a hybrid bike could be and option. Here is a post we wrote about it “It Possible to Race a Triathlon with A Hybrid Bike ?!

If the athlete is still not ready to commit to buying your own triathlon bike, there are some rental options available. This can be a great way to try a bike before making an investment. It’s also a solid option if the athlete will be traveling for a race – sometimes the cost of renting can be less than the cost (and worry) of shipping the bike.

We’ll look into different options for renting triathlon bikes, whether it’s worth purchasing your own, and what to expect once you get on the bike itself.

Why They Do Not Provide Bikes at A Triathlon?

While it’d be very convenient for travelers, triathlons do not provide bikes for the race, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. There are a few reasons why races don’t provide bikes for riders, including cost, logistics, and personal preferences.


Races can be expensive to enter, and those funds typically go towards covering race-related costs (Source). This includes equipment rental, prizes, food, barricades, and port-a-potties. If races also had to supply all the gear for racers, the costs would exponentially skyrocket.


Even if the race organizers could afford to outfit every racer, the logistics of making that happen would be a nightmare. They’d have to ensure enough bikes for every rider and transport them to the event. There’d need to be pick-up and drop-off coordination between the organizers and the riders, not to mention handling any last-minute changes.

Personal Preference

Another reason for not providing bikes has to do with personal preference. There are nearly endless possibilities when it comes to finding the perfect bike, plus all of the customizable components that go with it. And this isn’t even considering finding the right size.

If you’re not ready to buy your own triathlon bike, don’t fret – you still have a few options.

How to Rent a Triathlon Bike?

There are a couple of different ways to rent a triathlon bike:

Through a shop

A common way to rent a triathlon bike is by going through a bike shop or a triathlon-specific rental company (Source).

These can be found in common race areas, though it’s important to book in advance. If you have a race in mind, it can help to figure out if there is a rental option in the area before you commit to the race.

Through a peer-to-peer service

Another option for renting a triathlon bike is through a peer-to-peer service (Source).

These services connect you with a local athlete in your race area who is willing to rent out their bike. There may be limited options, though, so it’s important to check in advance.

Borrowing from a friend

If you have friends in the sport, you can always ask to borrow their bike (assuming it fits you). Because you’ll be putting wear and tear on the bike during the race, you should arrange a fair payment ahead of time and have a clear understanding of who will cover any repair costs.

For more on this check out our post “Are Bikes Provided In Triathlon Races? What Are Your Options !

Is It Worth Getting a Triathlon Bike?

Deciding whether or not to purchase your own triathlon bike can be challenging and it ultimately comes down to your personal priorities. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of your new favorite sport, but be careful about making any sudden (and expensive) decisions.

If it’s your first triathlon, you’re likely better off using a bike you currently have or borrowing one from a friend. As you progress in the sport, it may be time to consider getting your own triathlon-specific bike.

If you aren’t planning to be a major competitor, though, you’ll likely be able to get away with an aerodynamic road bike which will be more comfortable for general cycling.

Here’s a list of a few pros and cons of buying a triathlon bike.

Customize to your exact sizingDifficult to re-sell
Train on the bike you’ll use for race dayExpensive upfront cost, plus maintenance
One time purchaseCostly to travel with
Add your favorite componentsNeed space to store it
Built for triathlonsSpecific to a single sport
Pros and Cons of Buying a Triathlon Bike

Think about your unique life circumstances (budget, time, space) and add your own.

For more on this, we highly recommend that you check out our post ” Triathlon Bikes: Complete Entry Level Buyer Guide

Are Triathlon Bikes Hard to Ride?

Triathlon bikes can be trickier to ride than road bikes. The components that make them fast can also make them difficult to handle (Source).

Using aero bars makes the setup even more unwieldy, but improving your bike handling skill can take you a long way.

Here are some ways you can improve your triathlon bike handling skills:

Look where you’re going

It may sound obvious, but you should point your eyes to where you want to go. This can be especially true when cornering. By keeping your focus on your end goal, your body will follow.

Loosen your grip

Keep your hands loose on the handlebars so your body can better absorb the bumps. Not only will this make for a more comfortable ride, it can be a good cue for the rest of your body to stay relaxed.

Avoid braking during turns

As you’re going through a corner, avoid pumping the brakes. If you’re coming into a turn with too much speed, you should use the brakes to slow down just before the turn. If you wait until you’re partway through the corner, you run the risk of sliding out.

Having a strong core and good mobility overall will also aid your riding, so be sure to incorporate some resistance training in your routine. It can also help to take your bike out for a few training rides prior to the race.

While you’ll get a solid feel for the bike when it’s on the trainer, it won’t provide you with the full experience of taking it on the road. That’s where you’ll be able to feel the bike at speed and make any adjustments you’ll want for the race day.

For more on this, check out our post Are Triathlon Bikes Comfortable & When Should You Get One!

Things to Keep in Mind

Buying a triathlon bike is a commitment, so take your time to decide whether it’s the right choice for you. If you know other athletes in the community who are willing to lend you their bike, that can be a great way to see if it’s worth the investment.

You can also check out any rental services that may exist in your area so you can make an informed purchasing decision.

Aprill Emig

Based out of Duluth, MN Aprill loves to write about the outdoors, education, and all forms of adventure. You can find her mountain biking, running, or playing roller derby.

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