Any old road bike will do for a triathlon. Hell, we’ve seen a Taft-esque man lumber through a sprint on a mountain bike. But if you want to be in the optimal position for performance in a multi-sport race, to thrive in long course and ultra-distance races, then a bike with a triathlon-specific design becomes important. You’ve got to get aero. You’ve got to cheat the wind. You’ve got to avoid the recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. You’ve got to pick up chicks on account of your sick superbike. We’re here to help.

Editor’s Note: bikes fit differently across brands, even if they’re the same size. Test out different bikes before buying one — and then have yours custom fit by a professional.

MORE CYCLING: The Best Road Bikes for Any Rider | Interview with Cannondale’s Henning Schroeder | The Best American Mountain Bike Trails

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