We first spotted what looked to be the new Trek Speed Concept time trial bike at Critérium du Dauphiné back in June and can finally confirm it has indeed broken cover. The Wisconsin-based company today announced that the Trek Speed Concept Triathlon bike and Speed Concept TT bikes are available for purchase.
It's been seven years since Trek last updated the Speed Concept bike. The new version brings a surplus of contemporary changes with a distinct focus on real-world usability where the bike and rider work together as one system. With Trek making a big deal about the Concept Speed's efficiency, adjustability and speed, it has all the makings of one of the best time trial bikes.
Faster than ever
Trek claims the Speed Concept is the fastest bike its ever tested and claims the new bike saves a full six minutes, compared to the old bike, over the Kona full Ironman race course, which equates to about 16w at a speed of 45km/h. Of those six minutes, it credits four minutes purely to aerodynamic optimisation. Trek is also keen to, again, make it clear that most of the drag reduction comes from the interaction between the rider and the bike and, by considering the system, the Speed Concept makes the rider faster.
First, there's the question of what the other two minutes in time savings come from? The credit there goes to the move to disc brakes. Although disc brakes generate drag, they allow more freedom compared to the rim-brake equivalent when it comes to the design of the wheels, and the frame and fork interface - making for an aero advantage. The next place Trek looked to optimise was the storage system. To be fast over long distances a rider needs to carry nutrition, hydration, and a flat repair kit. According to Trek, the best systems on the market were drag neutral but it was able to go beyond that with the Speed Concept by taking advantage of the shapes needed for hydration.
Storage, assembly and pricing
The between-the-arms (BTA) bottle enhances aerodynamics by smoothing air in this area. A clip near the arm allows for drinking from the roughly 700ml capacity without ever leaving the aero bars. It's also easy to refill during a race with a port on the top that accepts the nozzle of another bottle.
While the BTA bottle is a separate purchase, the downtube bottle comes standard on the Speed Concept bike. Capacity is 750ml and, like the BTA bottle, it also enhances aerodynamics. Trek says the system is 14 per cent faster when the bottle is in place.
Outside of hydration, there are two additional storage solutions onboard which cover opportunities to enhance aerodynamics. The bento box and the flat repair storage take advantage of the increased frame space to hide from the wind. Up top, the bento box allows for organisation via two optional dividers and has space for about eight gels in total. The flat repair storage system resides behind the downtube bottle and only requires removing the bottle, not the cage, to access it.
Adjustment also plays a massive part in the new bike's appeal. Extensive adjustment in every direction is possible in the front end and there's no need to re-cable the bike because of slotted and split spacers, and travel to and from events are now a simple exercise thanks to the removable base bar.
Trek has also included a top-tube-located IsoSpeed pivot. The implementation in this bike is new though and specific to the triathlon category making the new bike 40 per cent more compliant than the outgoing model.
For dedicated time triallists, Trek has also revealed the new Speed Concept TT bike, which is available only as a frameset. It takes the aerodynamic design and tailors it to a different challenge. Without the need for covering long distances, the TT version strips down everything possible. It's the lightest version of the same design and lacks the provisions for long-distance riding.
Whichever bike you need, purchase of the Speed Concept is only available through the Trek Project One system. In this way Trek allows the rider to get the exact bike allowing customisation through the use of frame colour.
Trek Speed Concept models & pricing
- Speed Concept SLR 9 eTap: £12,100.00 / $13,499.99
- Speed Concept SLR 9: £12,100.00 / $13,499.99
- Speed Concept SLR 7 eTap: £9,250.00 / $9,999.99
- Speed Concept SLR 7: £8,850.00 / $9,499.99
- Speed Concept SLR 6 eTap: £8,100.00 / $8,799.99
- Speed Concept TT frameset: £3,350.00 / $4,999.99
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