I am looking at the FELT Z-100 ( $800 ) and the Tricross from SPECIALIZED.
( on sale for $850 ) I have not ridden a legal bike in 30 years ( I ride a recumbant ) and
I am a "spinner" who likes low gears. Any suggestions for me would
be appreciated....Wayne ( IRONMAN or RUST ) Rendely
Thanks for the comments. I have a Specialized Allez recently fitted for tri (5+ years old and not as knowledgeable when I purchased). Based on my testing so far, I prefer a woman's frame geometry. I'm most concerned about the aero bars as I have never used them and shifting and braking on 2 separate bars makes me nervous. I've done one sprint tri and a duathlon and am currently training for an Olympic distance tri in Sept. My farthest ride has been 35 miles and typically ride 20-25 miles on a Saturday or Sunday.
I just looked up Effingham. In a sort of a small word type of thing my wife grew up in Benton.
@Wayne, I would take a serious look at real Tri bikes as the position you are used to on a recumbent is more open and a regular road bike will probably make you want to sit up to use your muscles in a similar way whre the Tri bike is almost an upside down version of your recumbent position. I would also strongly recommend that you get a compact crank as it will give you almost the range of a triple and if you use an 11-28 cluster on the rear you should be able to spin to your hearts content,
@ Linda, I would also recommend taking a good look at some true TRI bikes as the Specialized Allez that you are currently riding is a good road bike and the newer bikes you are looking at while very nice and probably lighter than your current won't ride significantly differently (assuming you have a proper fit). Fit is everything in a bike, I would spend money on a good fit rather than a new bike unless there is a significant reason to change (bike can't be adjusted to fit being the first) such as a bike not suited to your riding, or wanting to improve your aero position (Tri Bike). As to the fear of different bars doing having different functions, if you are riding in groups a lot then you want to be in a position with your hands on the brakes. If you have open roads where you can see what is coming at you you should be able to handle riding in the aero position and when you see something coming up you sit up so your hands are on the brakes.
I rode a Road Bike, with attached aero bars for the first couple of years doing triathlons, and you can certainly get the job done in that set-up. Any bike will get you 56 miles down the road, far fewer will leave you with fresh enough legs to immediately run a half marathon. When I did finally purchase a tri-bike, I immediately felt the difference in comfort, average speed, and leg freshness after riding. As Don mentioned, a huge part of the speed, comfort, and leg freshness I experienced was because of the bike fitting that I had, and not a pure result of buying a new tri-bike.
With your stated goal of completing a half ironman, I think getting a tri-bike is a good idea. If you have an indoor trainer, you can use that to help you get accustomed to the feel of riding using aero bars.
I have my brand favorites, but they are almost meaningless to another individual because of the differences in our body; leg length, arm reach, flexibility, etc. By getting a bike fit analysis first, it will help you narrow down the list of best choice bikes, and will be money well-spent with respect to return-on-investment.
Best of luck with you search, and final decision.