If you've looked at your stable of bikes and felt that something was missing, there's a good chance it was a Time Trial bike. Too many sunny days have passed without you speeding along on a wind cheating weapon of self-inflicted pain and Strava destruction. It's time to step up to the plate! Don't worry about the cost though; these 5 suggestions are all very money-friendly...
What is a Time Trial bike?
It's all in the name! These bikes are used primarily for time trials as they allow maximum aerodynamic advantage when riding alone against the clock. They are also the weapon of choice in triathlons and Iroman events because of the technically undemanding and predominantly flat bike leg, and also because drafting is forbidden in these sports.
Fuji Aloha 1.1
Relaxed in name but not in nature, the Fuji Aloha 1.1 is made for speed at a budget. The full alloy frame comes standard with a carbon fork, both being aerodynamically sculpted. Equally important in TT riding are the wheels, in this instance being a set of Oval 327 aero clinchers fitted with Vittoria Zaffiro rubber.
A full assortment of Shimano components keeps you charging along: with Shimano 105 shifters, brakes and bottom bracket. The visually most apparent feature of such a bike is the aerodynamic handlebars - a set of Oval Concept 350's with a decent length aero extension equipped. The rest of the cockpit is also from Oval - a company strongly affiliated with Fuji bikes (for good reason, too).
Last of all, this bike comes in a huge size range, from 49cm through to 61cm meaning any and all can ride it.
Bottom Line: This bike is an absolute bargain and a great choice for weekend warriors, those on a limited budget, or simply anyone wanting to dip their toe into the world of TT or triathlon but not yet ready to re-mortgage the house to finance a new sport.
KHS SCR 2000
This 22 speed missile is locked onto your next PB, so get aero and hit it! The KHS SCR 2000 Features a double butted 7005 alloy frame and a carbon fork; budget buyers will be left wanting little else - especially when you see the rest of the gear.
KHS have fitted their latest budget rig with a heap of goodies, from Q2 aero wheels through to Shimano 105 shifting, Profile Aero bars, and a sneaky inclusion of Dura Ace aero bar shifters! KHS have also included one of their well-known TT saddles, the KHS Tri, to keep you comfy under pressure.
To finish things off with a bang, the colour scheme screams fast with a stealth black and red detailed spray job. The only thing missing is you!
Bottom Line: Another budget beater, the KHS has some keen spec and a fine list of quality parts. Again, this bike represents a budget buy. A great starting off point for budding triathletes or TT wannabes!
Cannondale Slice 105
The highly popularized Cannondale green turns heads, never mind the speeds you'll hit on your next ride. With the Slice 105 , a full carbon frame and fork forms a solid foundation for the following gear...
A set of FSA Gossamer Pro cranks and bottom bracket are the foundation of the mainly Shimano groupset. Upgraded 11 speed shifting offers plenty of ratio range, while the Shimano RS11 wheelset keeps you rolling. Slightly wider 25C tires from Schwalbe are notable, seeing as most brands now only opt for 23C tires.
A full Cannondale cockpit keeps performance consistent, from a Slice headset through to a Cannondale stem and Slice Aero seatpost.
Bottom Line: Moving into a more serious world of aero time trial bikes, the Slice still represents a lot of value. The extra grand sponsors a full carbon frame and Shimano wheelset. Is the carbon worth it? Only you can decide, but if you are willing to spend $2500, why not keep reading and see if your budget can stretch into some truly awesome kit. Still a great frame and solid spec roundup.
Trek Speed Concept 7.0
If anyone can build speed into a bike, it's Trek. With their Speed Concept range, they've shown that elite performance can be obtained on a budget and that top tier technology can be blended into a budget friendly bike.
The Speed Concept 7 is testament to all of the above. A full 500 series carbon frame is complemented by Bontrager Race wheels and hard case 23C tires. A matching carbon fork is almost expected, as well as a full Shimano 105 groupset throughout the bike (11 speed nonetheless!). A Vision TT saddle makes a change from the usual Bontrager seats, however it's Bontrager throughout the rest of the cockpit - stem, bars and seatpost.
Bontrager Race Bullhorn bars keep you pinned down low, churning out the watts. Best of all, integrated aero brakes are part of the package!
Bottom Line: Still Shimano 105, but here you are paying for a top-shelf frame and Trek's usual attention to details. At approx $3000 it's not a cheap bike, but the heart of this bike is worthy of later upgrades as you search for faster times. Trickle-down means technology up the range is still represented here. A great choice for the more serious self-funded racer before getting to the pro level.
Check out the comparison: Four TT / Triathlon / Ironman bikes for racers on a budget – by Fuji, KHS, Cannondale, Trek
BikeRoar Editors Pick
Giant Trinity Composite 1
If you want to feel like Marcel Kittel, then good luck... But the Giant Trinity Composite will get you closer than you'll probably ever otherwise be. Giant have developed a stunning reincarnation of their Trinity TT bikes, this time with even better bits and pieces.
A full carbon frame and fork makes a good start, along with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset, 11 speed shifting, and aero braking calipers. A Giant-branded cockpit keeps costs down and performance up, with the in-house brand seen in all areas: stem, bars, seatpost, and even tires.
The Giant P-A2 Aero wheelset sets the standard throughout the bike, even down to their 'front/rear specific' tires! Last of all, Giant have included a saddle mounted bottle cage holder to keep you hydrated. The frame design can be seen to replicate models of the past, with a wheel hugging frame shape and a seamlessly integrated headset to match. Watch out, you'll spend more on speeding fines than the bike itself.
Bottom Line: The Trinity, like the Trek, features many technologies normally associated with much more expensive bikes. Giant have enormous resources and the ability to create great value bikes that are also superbly capable. This bike at approx $3000 plus an Ultegra 11spd drivetrain represents outstanding value.
Now get out there and get aero! If you're a runner or swimmer looking at starting cycling, this style of bike is a no-brainer. Soon you'll be smashing triathlons and aiming for your first Ironman. You know you want to...