Trek, the largest bike manufacturer in the world, announced its latest assault on the Australian Triathlon market in Canberra with a dealers convention held in September, in what they heralded as the largest event of its type in the Southern hemisphere. The event was launched by the President of Trek Bikes John Burke, and featured legendry bike designer Gary Fisher. While there was the usual plethora of Mountain Bikes, Trek also used the opportunity to raise their profile in the Australian Triathlon market, with the assault being led by Olympian Simon Thompson.
The centre piece of their latest range of bikes is the uber stylish Speed Concept bike, engineered and built in North America, a bike they claim also to be the fastest bike on the planet. The speed of the bike is down to the lightness and stiffness of the bike (thanks to the use of Treks own carbon system) and through the improved aerodynamics of the bike as a result of the unique Kammtail tube shape. What really stands out (or rather does not stand out) when looking at the bike is the neat integration of brakes, cables and electronics. These are all cleverly tucked away in the bikes tubes, further improving aerodynamics and look. Normally this sort of a set up is a mechanics nightmare, however Trek claim to have overcome this with their latest design.
In a nod to triathletes desire to load their bike up with spares, gels, and anything else we think we may need for a 180k time trial, they have cleverly created integrated storage boxes behind the seat post (which comes as standard in the 9 series), and another that can be added to the cross frame. They even claim that the rear storage box adds thrust to the bike due to the effect of the wind hitting it at an angle, such that it increases the bikes aerodynamics.
There is no doubt that this is a fantastic looking bike (and let’s face it that is a consideration for many triathletes) the frame is very light, and the wind tunnel results comparing it to their main competitors is very impressive (see their white paper at www.trekbikes.com), my only question would be whether the storage boxes are wide enough to fit the sort of accessories we normally carry as triathletes including the spare single.
What adds to the excitement for geeky triathletes is the fact that you can customize these bikes for your own unique look and requirements. Trek launched “Project 1” in the States a year ago, and were overwhelmed by demand (3 times their forecasts), with delivery times blowing out to near 11 weeks! They have now doubled their capacity and aim to deliver in 40 days to Australia. With Project 1 (once you find it on their website which is not too easy at present!) you start off my choosing your frame from their Signature series, or the Concept series, you select you colour scheme, add personalized decals, select your drive train and components, and you are good to go. Trek will then send you to a dealer to ensure you get the fit exactly right, and the frame is made to order.
My pick is that you will be seeing a lot of these bikes on the racks at Ironman over the coming months.