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As I am investigating the idea of biking to work I have a few questions and I would like to pick your brains if I may.

Ok, so what is the difference between a Tri-bike and a road bike?

For the novice rider, is it really important to buy a bike that has better compenents? a lighter bike?

If I want to do this on a budget (a tight budget) where should my priorities be, the compenonts, the frame??

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I would go with a road bike. They run a little cheaper and are more versatile especially if you plan to commute in traffic.

Priorities: Carbon fork (pretty much standard now), Shimano 105 componenets. (Dura Ace is for weight wennies.)

Allow a few hundred for extras like pedals, shoes, computer, bottle cages, etc.
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As I understand it, a tri bike tilts you 'forward' a bit more so as to force you to use a bit less of those muscles that'll be needed in a tri later on for the run. So for everday cycling, a tri bike is probably less efficient than a regular road bike that is designed for the most efficient pedalling. Not being a biker elitest, I'll tell you my gut feeling about components versus weight, I'd go with the lightest bike you can find. I have actually never had high end components and really can't imagine what that would even get me. I shift, the chain moves, what more is there? The weight in grams of components don't mean poo to me, I can shed a pound off my butt and I'll be a much lighter load on the road than dropping money to have some grams tweaked off high buck components. I can't imagine the quality would make much difference, especially out here in the Midwest where it's not a shift-fest compared to places like mountain climbing/descending. I'd say you should focus on the lightest bike you can afford, that's what I did with getting my aluminum trek 1100. And of course, you know I gotta plug getting a recumbent. That's my commute/touring pedaller and unless you have high aspirations of entering triathlons (which you could have a second bike like i've done anyway), the recumbent is going to be the ticket to easy commuting with great sized bags that attach to the seat back and an absolute pain-free ride, your wrists, neck, back and butt will thank you each and every mile that you're not hunched over in a quasi-moto cramp trying to convince yourself that a few hundred more miles and your body will be 'used to' it. Again, it's just me, but here in the upper Midwest, the cycling season is short enough that getting accustomed to the god-awful positioning an upright bike puts your body in isn't worth the time and pain in my book :twocents: (you know I had to say it) G'luck! :wiggle:
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