The best triathlon bikes reviewed
Throughout the year the 220 team test and review some of the finest triathlon bikes on the market. Here are the tri bikes we considered the best out of all of them; all scoring 85% or more.
Triathlon bikes may be more difficult to handle because of their geometry, but they’re popular because the positives far outweigh the negatives, by limiting their weaknesses to allow them to go faster over 180km compared to a road bike.
- How does riding a triathlon bike differ to riding a road bike?
- What are the different parts of a triathlon bike?
- Which is best for descending; a triathlon bike or a road bike?
- What should be measured in a good triathlon bike fitting?
- What’s the difference between a triathlon bike and a road bike?
- Triathlon bike versus road bike
- Do you need a triathlon bike for 70.3 and Ironman races?
The best triathlon bikes
Canyon Speedmax CFR eTap
- Price: £11,449
- Pros: Clever integration, highly adjustable, used by world champions
- Cons: Expensive, a little heavy
Canyon Speedmax riders have now won the Ironman World Championships five times.
This top-of-the-range model includes integrated storage and hydration, an adjustable carbon cockpit, Zipp 858 wheels and a built-in power meter.
The storage is ingenious, with the hydration bladder packed inside the frame under the bento box.
Meanwhile, the ride is sublime on flats and on descents, and surprisingly stable even with deep wheels.
The Speedmax isn’t super light at over 9kg, but you’ll save weight not needing to add storage other than bottles.
This superbike has a huge price tag, but it’s also close to having everything we’d want for triathlon.
See the full verdict in our Canyon Speedmax CFR Disc eTap review.
Verdict: World-beating speed and the best integration on a triathlon bike yet.
Argon 18 E119 Tri+ Disc
- Price: From £7,300
- Pros: Stable ride, versatile cockpit
- Cons: A bit weighty
Argon 18 claims its latest E119 Tri+ cuts 17 watts-worth of drag compared to its predecessor, and even the disc brakes are aero optimised with the callipers located inside the seatstay, a world first.
Clever downtube storage houses a full flat kit and there’s a roomy top tube box, too.
The cockpit takes some setting up as the bars put you in a very aggressive position, but this bike is a blast at high speeds and stable on descents.
The weight (over 9kg) is noticeable compared to some rivals, but dial in the front end the E119 absolutely flies on flat tarmac.
See our full Argon 18 E119 Tri+ Disc review for more.
Verdict: Innovative and aggressive superbike with some impressive features.
Trek Speed Concept SLR 9
- Price: £12,300
- Pros: Great handling, very fast, light
- Cons: Very expensive, flat kit storage isn’t the best we’ve seen
Trek’s latest Speed Concept is one of the most impressive all-round tri packages we’ve seen.
The brand claims its IsoSpeed system adds a huge 30% more compliance and on the road we can definitely vouch for the excellent comfort offered over many miles, leaving you fresher for the run.
The storage and hydration is all included, and it’s completely ready to race with deep Bontrager aero wheels and a highly adjustable integrated cockpit.
If money is no object and you need to have one of the best triathlon bikes out there, the Speed Concept in this hero guise should certainly be on your wishlist.
Pop over to detailed Trek Speed Concept SLR 9 review for our full verdict.
Verdict: A truly top-of-the-range, cutting-edge triathlon superbike.
Orbea Ordu M10iLTD
- Price: £11,499
- Pros: Nimble handling, great adjustability
- Cons: Lacks integrated storage options
The latest Ordu has a lower bottom bracket area for better weight distribution, a wind tunnel-optimised frame and the Ordu OMX integrated bar system, which has loads of adjustment options and can even flip over for an extra 30mm of height.
At 8.1kg it’s lighter than most modern tri bikes, so understandably climbs well and has nimble, lively handling.
You don’t get much storage other than a toolbox under the downtube, but Orbea says this is to give the rider more choice to fit their own.
If your budget won’t stretch to this, the Ordu starts from £6,999 with less luxurious components.
Give our Orbea Ordu M10iLTD review a read for more info.
Verdict: A highly adjustable racing machine with most bells and whistles you need.
Quintana Roo PRsix2
- Price: £3,799.95 (frameset)
- Pros: Stability, comfort, great storage options
- Cons: Weight
Joe Skipper’s bike of choice has unique asymmetrical chainstays, with the larger non-driveside chainstay and chunky tubes said to give a sail effect to help in crosswinds.
In testing we indeed found the PRsix2 incredibly stable with a familiar, planted ride feel that improves comfort and efficiency when trying to sustain a steady power output.
All storage and hydration is taken care of with a rear tool box, top tube pouch and hydration system.
A rarity in the UK, if you can get your hands on a PRsix2 you won’t be disappointed, with our only slight criticism being the 9.6kg weight.
Read our full Quintana Roo PRsix2 review here.
Verdict: Luxurious superbike ideal for going long.
- Price: £5,019 (frameset)
- Pros: Unique, easy to adjust, plenty of storage
- Cons: On the heavy side
Cervélo’s PX-Series beam-shaped frame blew our minds when it launched seven years ago, and it’s still a weapon, but is now a fair bit lighter than when it was called the P5X.
We’ve always found the PX-Series bikes remarkably ‘normal’ to ride, with no flex apparent despite the missing seat tube.
There’s roomy top tube storage and a toolbox above the bottom bracket, and Cervélo’s split base bar with a mono riser system for the extensions makes fit and travelling with the bike easy.
At north of £10,000 for a full build, the PX-Series is for seriously competitive triathletes dreaming of an Ironman Worlds slot.
See our Cervélo P3X review here.
Verdict: Radical, rapid and well-handling tri superbike.
Cervélo P-Series Ultegra
- Price: £4,500
- Pros: Forgiving geometry, good hydration and storage
- Cons: Entry-level wheels will need upgrading
If your budget won’t stretch to Cervélo’s PX-Series, the P-Series is the sensible choice if you want to stick with the brand that’s been the most popular at the Ironman Worlds for years.
In this build with mechanical Shimano Ultegra shifting, you get hydraulic disc brakes, top tube storage and even an aero bottle on the downtube.
The full carbon frame is aero as you’d expect, but the geometry and fit options offer day-long comfort, which is ideal for long-course debutants.
Everything on the P-Series is dependable and ticks all the speed, comfort, storage and practicality boxes we’d want for triathlon.
For a more detailed verdict, read our full Cervélo P-Series Ultegra review.
Verdict: A great versatile machine from triathlon’s most popular bike brand.
Vitus Auro CR Disc eTap AXS
- Price: £4,699.99
- Pros: Affordable, easy to travel with
- Cons: Lacks integrated storage
We reviewed the previous Auro, praising its value and race-ready build, and the revamped Auro CR maintains a similar geometry, adding hydraulic disc brakes and a redesigned fork.
Described as a “complete aero system”, the Auro CR’s headtube and top tube sit flush for clean airflow, and Reynolds AR62/80 wheels are ideal for speed.
It’s optimised for 28mm tyres, netting you comfort and aero wins. Zipp’s Vuka cockpit is easily adjustable and packs down well for travel.
There’s no integrated storage so you’ll need to add accessories for longer races, but for standard distance and below the Auro CR is ready to race.
Verdict: Race-ready package best suited to standard and sprint distance.
Ribble Ultra Tri Disc
- Price: From £3,799.99
- Pros: Accessible price points, race wheels included, plenty of storage
- Cons: You can get cheaper tri bikes
Ribble’s Ultra Tri has had an inevitable disc brake makeover since we reviewed it, but maintains many of the features that impressed and remains good value for money.
It’s also very slippery, claims Ribble, showing significant drag savings in CFD and real-world testing against the base Ultra TT frame without accessories attached and an initial prototype.
Deep aero wheels from Ribble’s house brand Level are included on the most affordable version with mechanical Shimano 105 gearing, but you can get 12-speed electronic shifting if you pay more.
Whichever spec you go for, the Ultra Tri Disc is ready to set your bike split PB.
Verdict: Top aero tech at a more palatable price.
Score: 91% (for the older rim-brake version)
Giant Trinity Advanced Pro 2
- Price: £3,499
- Pros: Affordable, highly regarded among aero experts
- Cons: Rim brakes not as powerful as disc brakes
We’ve reviewed the entry-level version of the legendary Giant Trinity, but have chosen this upgraded version as our recommendation due to the superior groupset, more advanced carbon fork and integrated hydration.
Giant’s ‘Aerosystem’ shaping technology incorporates CFD and wind tunnel testing to ensure the frameset is aero-optimised, and on the road that will definitely be apparent as the Trinity is wickedly fast.
Even the hydration system is made to slice through wind, and the reversible base bars allow for lots of adjustment.
Upgrade the wheels and this version of the Trinity is an absolute bullet at half the price of some rivals.
Verdict: The bike of choice for many TT specialists, and for good reason.
Score: 78% (for the entry-level version)