The bikes that pro triathletes are riding in 2022

What bikes are pro triathletes riding for the 2022 season? Tim Heming takes a look...

Jan Frodeno riding his Canyon on a turbo

It’s one of the talking points heading into every season – the tri equivalent of the Premier League transfer market. Who has signed for which brand and what bikes will pro triathletes be riding this year?

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If there’s one piece of equipment that draws the most attention in triathlon, it’s the bike. It drives competition and innovation as brands understand that if they have the reigning Ironman or Olympic champion riding their prized steed, they are likely to drive more sales.

Bike deals can be among the most lucrative sponsorships professionals can get. But they also don’t want to compromise any aspect of their performance, so finding the brand that will pay them top dollar and also deliver the free speed they require is a fine balance.

With quite a bit of chopping and changing for 2022, we’ve curated a list for you of who is riding what. Without further ado, let’s get stuck into it.

BMC

Kat Matthews rides her BMC Timemachine 01 Disc during the 2021 Ironman World Championship (Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for Ironman)

With the seed planted when the Bicycle Manufacturing Company first licensed Raleigh bikes in 1986, the BMC brand was born eight years on. Still based in Grenchen, Switzerland – with an Olympic velodrome handily on the doorstep – the brand has Yorkshire’s finest Brownlee brothers on its roster.

It also sponsors a seven-strong BMC Pro Triathlon team that includes recent Ironman world champs runner-up Kat Matthews. Alistair’s TT weapon of choice is the BMC Timemachine 01 Disc, with Jonny – focusing on Commonwealth success – on the BMC Timemachine Road 01.

Ridden by: Alistair Brownlee; Jonny Brownlee; Kat Matthews; Chris Leiferman 

Canyon

Canyon’s Speedmax is a familiar sight at the front end of Ironman racing. Jan Frodeno’s been aboard one for all three of his Ironman world titles, along with some of the fastest times ever posted, such as in Roth 2016 and his own Tri Battle Royale last year – where there was even a banked Canyon Turn.

Starting out as a family business in the university town of Koblenz, Germany, Canyon prides itself on being the “world’s leading direct to customer bike company.”

Both Frodeno and Lionel Sanders ride the Speedmax CFR, but with different cockpits – the German favouring longer armrests than the more traditional option favoured by his rival. Find out more in our Canyon Speedmax CFR review.

Ridden by: Jan Frodeno; Lionel Sanders; Daniel Baekkegard

Cube

Lucy Charles-Barclay competes in World Triathlon Abu Dhabi in November 2021 (Credit: Tommy Zaferes/World Triathlon)

The German brand was founded in 1993 in Bavaria and has expanded to now distribute bikes to more than 60 countries throughout the world.

British Ironman 70.3 world champion Lucy Charles-Barclay is a recent convert to its Aerium triathlon model, which uses Cube’s C:68 carbon and advanced fluid dynamics to try and make it the brand’s “fastest TT bike yet”.

As she returns to fitness from injury, if she fancies another crack at the draft-legal racing then the Litening C:68X, with its fully UCI-compliant frame, is the model of choice.

Ridden by: Lucy Charles-Barclay; Andreas Raelert; Michael Raelert

Cervelo

Anne Haug competes on her Cervelo during the bike leg of the 2021 Ironman World Championship in St George (Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for Ironman)

Cervelo has a strong claim to be the most popular bike in triathlon having outnumbered its rivals at the Ironman World Championship for the past decade-and-a-half.

With its S series of road bikes and P series of time trial bike – from Chrissie Wellington on a P2 to Anne Haug on the P5 – the Canadian brand with an HQ and testing centre in California can claim plenty of M-Dot titles as well as victory in all three of cycling’s Grand Tours.

Having ditched the seat-post for the P5X it’s had another overhaul to add hydraulic disc brakes and a lighter, stiffer frame.

Ridden by: Anne Haug; Ben Hoffman; David McNamee; Nikki Bartlett

Felt

Daniela Ryf competes on her Felt IA 2.0 during the 2021 Ironman World Championships in St George (Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for Ironman)

Another bike brand coming out of California, Felt was founded by its namesake Jim in early 1994 and has enjoyed much triathlon success, particularly at the pointy end of women’s Ironman racing.

Of course, it helps when you have Daniela Ryf in the saddle, as was proven once again in St George where the Swiss rode Felt’s IA 2.0 to the day’s fastest split.

The original IA1 was introduced in 2014, but the latest model has a far curvier design to integrate storage for hydration, nutrition and spares, and proved to be 4% faster in the brand’s testing.

Ridden by: Daniela Ryf

Giant

Kristian Blummenfelt competes in his prototype Cadex triathlon bike in the 2021 Ironman World Championship (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Ironman)

The Taiwanese manufacturer is reportedly the world’s largest bike designer and manufacturer with further facilities in the Netherlands, China, and Hungary.

It’s also one of the most talked about in the tri world currently after Kristian Blummenfelt’s unmissable Cadex bike with no top tube lined up in St George.

Cadex is the Giant’s premium wheels, tyres and components brand brandishing the hashtag OVERACHIEVE. The Norwegian is certainly helping on that score.

Ridden by: Kristian Blummenfelt; Gustav Iden

Quintana Roo

The 220 Triathlon team takes the Quintana Roo PRsix2 for a test ride

The brand that brought us one of the earliest triathlon-specific wetsuits also invented the first triathlon specific bike 35 years ago.

Designed, assembled, and hand-painted at its Chattanooga facility in Tennessee with its signature SHIFT+ aerodynamic shaping, Quintana Roo prides itself on customer service and offers pre-race tune-ups to anyone riding the brand at Ironman events in North America.

Ridden by: Matt Hanson

Scott

Sebastian Kienle prepares his Scott Plasma 6 in transition ahead of the start of the 2021 Ironman World Championship in St George (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Ironman)

Starting out as a ski brand, Scott was responsible for one of the biggest innovations in time-trialling, the game-changing clip-on aerobars – used by Greg Lemond to win the 1989 Tour de France.

Its latest triathlon bike, the Scott Plasma 6, boasts fully integrated cables, a hydration system and storage boxes. It’s designed to be versatile so all riders can find their most efficient cockpit position on the bike. That includes 2014 Ironman champion Sebastian Kienle, who still looks to have one of the best positions in the sport.

Ridden by: Sebastian Kienle; Magnus Ditlev; Ashleigh Gentle

Specialized

Flora Duffy leads the bike leg on her Specialized in the women’s triathlon event at Tokyo 2020 (Credit: ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Yet another Californian manufacturer, Specialized has been running since 1974, with its S-Works sub-brand dedicated to the elite end of performance.

The distinctive Shiv has been its time-trial bike for over a decade, from its launch in Kona in 2011 when Craig Alexander went on to ride it to victory.

The brand also sponsors some of the best draft-legal triathletes, including Flora Duffy who was given a special edition golden flecked S-Works Tarmac after becoming the first athlete to win the Olympics and world title in the same year in 2021.

Ridden by: Flora Duffy; Georgia Taylor-Brown; Vincent Luis; Hayden Wilde; Sophie Coldwell; Tim Don

Trek

Alex Yee rides his Trek Émonda during the World Triathlon event in Leeds, which he’ll go on to win (Credit: Tommy Zaferes/World Triathlon)

Founded in 1975 with headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, Trek bicycles are marketed through 1,700 independently owned bicycle shops across North America, with distributors in 90 countries worldwide.

Its long course triathlon bike is the Speed Concept, engineered to be the fastest in its class, with a lightweight 500 Series OCLV carbon frame, drag-reducing tube shaping, a full Shimano Ultegra 11-speed drivetrain, and seamlessly integrated hydration and fuelling systems.

Trek boldly claims its 6mins faster over Ironman than the previous model. Find out what we think of it in our full Trek Speed Concept SLR 9 review.

For draft-legal racing, Alex Yee was on the new Émonda last summer when he won his first World Series race in Leeds.

Ridden by: Alex Yee; Marten van Riel; Sam Long; Holly Lawrence; Taylor Knibb, Mirinda Carfrae

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Top image credit: Joern Pollex