With the average tri-bike costing $5,000, and top-end models reaching over $12,000, it is the most expensive investment triathletes will make in their triathlon journey, hence, triathletes will want to get the best possible bike parts they can afford.
So, in this article, we will be looking at how much the components for a road bike and a tri-bike should cost and how much do they typically weigh, and whether or not you should pay attention to it.
But First, as a whole, what is the cost and weight of Road and Triathlon Bikes? The average cost of a tri-bike is $5,000 while ranging from 1,700 to 12,000 USD and on average weighs 9kg. As for road bikes, the average cost is $3,500 and weighs around 7kg.
In general, bike weight has very little impact on performance. If you are interested in knowing why tri-bikes are heavier and yet faster, then check out our article on How Much Should A Road And TT Triathlon Bike Weigh? Does It Even Matter!
These ‘average’ figures can be misleading because those cyclists who are investing in tri-bikes are those who are serious about the sport and are investing in a piece of equipment that they want to enter into competitions with.
Road bike users, however, include those who are not as concerned about performance and so opt for cheap, entry-level road bikes.
As such, we will be taking the following mid-range bikes from each category as our models to analyze:
Road Bike: Specialized Roubaix Sport ($3,500)
Tri-bike: Cervelo P-Series Ultegra D12 Disc ($6,500)
On a side note, do not waste your money on useless gear purchases and check out my Best Triathlon Battle-Tested Budgeting Gear
How Much Should Road Bike Components Cost And Weigh?
Here is the technical information for the Specialized Roubaix Sport along with the weights and costs of the main components:
|Component||Cost (USD)||Weight (Grams)|
|Frameset: Aethos FACT 10r||$3,200||699g|
|Wheelset: DT Swiss R470||$495||1,795g|
|Front Derailleur: SHIMANO 105 R7000 Series||$40||109g|
|Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 R7000 GS, medium cage, 11-speed||$53||220g|
|Cassette: Shimano 105, 11-speed, 11-34t||$48||364g|
|Chain: KMC X11 SUPER LIGHT 11 SPEED||$95||242g|
|Crankset: Praxis Alba||$140||800g|
|Brakes: SHIMANO 105 R7000 Series||$67 (front), $65 (rear)||294g (combined)|
|Saddle: Body Geometry Power Sport||$130||253g (medium size)|
These are the main components that you may be looking to upgrade on your own bike, so it will give you a good idea of costs and weights in order to compare against alternatives.
Do note that we have analysed the main components only, so the total weight of those components is not equal to the total weight of the entire bike.
The great thing about upgrading your own bike is that you can look at what you can afford and upgrade piece-by-piece. Just ensure that the parts you invest in are all compatible.
To do this it would be a good idea to create a list of your ‘ideal’ components to begin with so that you can slowly build up to your perfect setup. Also, do your own research so that you do not overspend and actually get the most out of your money. For example, check out Does Bike Cassette Speed Actually Matter! 9 VS 10 VS 11 Speed & Cost To Upgrade?
If you are wondering if it would be cheaper to build your own bike then you should first read : Is It Cheaper To Buy Or Build Your Own Tri Bike? Here Is A Better Option!
How Much Should Tri-Bike Components Cost And Weigh?
Now let us take a look at the Cervelo P-Series and break down how much the components on a Tri-bike should cost and weigh. The table below shows the technical information for the Cervelo P-Series Ultegra D12 Disc along with the weights and costs of the main components, again these are the main components only, so the total weight of those components is not equal to the total weight of the entire bike:
|Component||Cost (USD)||Weight (Grams)|
|Frameset: P-Series Disc||$2,500||840g (approx. due to limited data)|
|Wheelset: Vision 55TC Disc||$1,450||1680g|
|Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra, 11 spd||$290||132g|
|Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra , 11 spd||$340||242g|
|Cassette: Shimano Ultegra , 11 spd||$103||232g|
|Chain: Shimano CN-HG-701, 11 spd||$48||255g|
|Crankset: Shimano Ultegra 8000 52/36||$345||674g|
|Brakes: TRP HD-T910||$96.50 (front), $96.50 (rear)||280g (combined)|
|Saddle: Prologo Dimension Tri T4.0||$135.50||204g|
Data was collected from (source)
If you are confused about your Triathlon bike purchase then make sure to check our Triathlon Bikes: Complete Entry Level Buyer Guide
How Different are Road Bike Vs Tri-Bike Components Costs And Weights ?
So, how does the weight of Road bike components differ in comparison to Triathlon bike? There is very little difference in the overall weight of the main components of road bikes and tri-bikes, but there are noticeable differences in the overall prices, despite the tri-bike frame being significantly cheaper.
The table below gives a direct comparison of the prices and weights in order to highlight where these differences are:
|Component||Road Bike |
|Road Bike |
|Brakes|| $69.99 (front)|
|$96.50 (front) |
How does the Cost of Road bikes components differ in comparison to Triathlon bikes? While the frame may be cheaper on the tri-bike, the other components are much more costly. The wheelset alone is almost $1,000 more expensive on a tri-bike. One reason for this is that tri-bikes are engineered for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, and the wheels are a huge part of this.
This is apparent when having a good looking at the pie charts below where the wheelset is 27% of the Triathlon bike components cost were as it represents 12% of the road bike Cost,
Watch the video below to see just how much of a difference an upgrade in wheelsets can make to your average speed with the exact same power usage:
The bike leg of any triathlon is the longest, and arguably the most important in terms of the need for efficiency. As such, triathletes should be looking at all the possible ways in which to maximize their efficiency; be that in terms of energy output with relation to financial input.
Take a look at the stats on your own bike and see how they fare against those given in this article, and you may find there is an opportunity there for you to upgrade your current specification and find your time tumbling.