Trek Debuts Redesigned Speed Concept Bike

Electronics Battery Integration: The new iteration of the Speed Concept solves for a big need for tri bikes: hidden integration. It will feature dedicated cable stops and a proprietary seat tube-located battery mount, certainly to accommodate Shimano's new Di2 internal battery. And with rumor that Campagnolo too has a small, cylindrical battery in the wings, hiding the bulky componentry is looked after.

Integrated Storage: The previous Speed Concept was a Swiss Army Knife in terms of integrated utility, highlighted by the Draft Box, a utility box mounted behind the seatpost that served to stash all your flat kit necessities; tube, levers, Co2 cartridges and heads and a multi-tool--it returns again on the new Speed Concept. Also returning is the Speed Box, an integrated Bento Box for race-day food storage. But it undergoes some changes: Trek says a silicone design makes it an easier access point. Trek says it can store up to eight gels, or two gel flasks.

New, however, is an option for the Carbon Computer Cage—effectively a horizontally oriented "between the aero bars" bottle cage, which will mount on center between the aero bar pads, atop the aero bar extension bolt point. In addition, Trek will offer a team-issue computer mount that will extend forward and up, above the forearms. So for those worried about BTA setups, it's evidently been accounted for.

A final integration element comes with the 2-pack Aero: a behind-the-saddle two-bottle bottle holder. But it's much more than that, serving to aid in the trailing edge aerodynamics off the back of the rider, with other storage capabilities beyond the bottle storage.

The combination of the accoutrements, Trek says, makes the bike faster with than without them. Some are listed as "drag neutral" not providing an aero advantage or disadvantage, items like the redesigned Draft Box and Speed Box. But new items, like the 2-Pack rear hydration can certainly aid in the aero configuration.

This is the revamp of a bike model that, while "relatively" long in the tooth in an industry of annual quick-turnover models, has maintained its stead in the face of several new bikes that have hit the market after the Speed Concept, and simply failed to measure up. When it was launched, the Speed Concept was one of the first triathlon bikes to truly hide all the cables, to integrate the brakes and use tri-specific, tri-legal functionality add-ons (Draft Box, etc.) to improve the aerodynamic performance of the bike.

Trek executed one of the most interesting tests in development of the new frame: wind study, in Kona in conjunction with the Ironman World Championships, and in the Phoenix/Tempe area for Ironman Arizona. The study is a telling chart of wind cycles; wind direction and speed through the course of a day, from Oct. 11 to Oct. 15 in Kona and annual data for Phoenix. For athletes doing these races, it's not only valuable "for what it's worth" data. But it also puts a fine point on the fact that yes; frame shape is not only key, but also critical. The faster you can get through the wind, the faster you can get off the course and avoid peak winds that—as the studies show—tend to increasingly hamper a rider as the day goes on.

In a nutshell, Trek claims a savings of 99 seconds on the Hawaii Ironman course for the average age grouper at 20 miles per hour over the previous Speed Concept. Trek's Ironman Arizona wind predictor estimates a savings of 148 seconds over the 2013 Speed Concept for that same 20 mph rider on the Tempe course.

"It's one thing to say you have the fastest in the wind tunnel, but we went out and made the effort to see what real world conditions are," Breckon said. "We went out and measured it and made a point to figure out exactly what the conditions are."

More: 3 Steps to a Faster Bike Split

About the Author

LAVA magazine Senior Editor Jay Prasuhn has served as a technical, feature and destination writer for more than 13 years, covering and photographing events including the Hawaii Ironman, the Olympic Games and the Tour de France, as well as IndyCar and NASCAR motorsports events. An Ironman, ultramarathon and Leadville 100 MTB finisher, Prasuhn makes his home in Encinitas, Calif. You can follow him on Twitter at @jayprasuhn.

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