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trying to HTFU...
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while price is certainly important, getting fit properly is the _most_ important. any poorly fit bike no matter how great a deal will suck.

goto slowtwitch.com and learn a bit about tri-bike fit:

http://www.slowtwitch.com/Bike_Fit/index.html

is _the_ place to start. tri bikes 'generally' have a steep seat tube angle(STA) to allow you to mimic your regular road bike fit, just rotated forward around the bottom bracket(BB). they will also have a longer 'front-center' which will be designed to compensate for the increased forward weight bias. you will also see that the head-tube angle is a bit more slack than regular road bikes. this forward position allows you to get a more aerodynamic position without excessively compromising your run(on a slack STA bike, you over-extend the hamstrings) and reducing your breathing room by forcing your thighs to be very close to your chest(this is also referred to as the 'dead-spot' at the top of the pedal stroke.)

another note: there will be two(2) different styles of geometry, ITU and 'regular'. ITU refers to the International Triathlon Union which is the governing body for Olympic distance triathlons. they have stipulated certain things about the geometry of the bike which is at odds with 'regular' triathlons, namely, position of the seat(and hence STA), length of the clip-ons and drafting(allowed). ITU tri bikes are more like regular road bikes, and in fact many ITU athletes use regular road bikes with mini-clip-ons. i don't have the ITU rules bookmarked so you'll have to google them. that said, you'll have to decide how those rules will affect your buying decision. if i recall correctly, both Equinox bikes have geos that are ITU acceptable, Trek's most recent bike is a 'real' tri bike with the steep STA.

learn a bit more about fit first before committing to a bike that might not fit or be good for you.

good luck!
 
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