This review has been a long time coming. When the Speed Concept first debuted at the 2009 Giro d'Italia Prologue, ridden by Alberto Contador, the triathlon world emitted a collective gasp. Despite an obscure paint scheme and some less-than-revealing press photos, it was obvious that this bike was something special. Hidden brakes, completely hidden cables, and who knew what else. Well, Trek left us hanging for the better part of a year, but finally released the bike to the world in May of 2010, in an overt attempt to become a bigger player in the world of triathlon.
But this bike isn't merely another entry into the tri market. It represents a shift in the tri market, in two ways.
First, this is really the first bike at this level of commercial success to be so thoroughly focused on the needs of triathletes rather than of UCI-bound road riders. Triathletes aboard this machine can know that it was built with their needs in mind, and has the features that they need, right out of the box.
The second and more obvious shift is about what this bike represents in terms of bike technology. The level of integration and attention to detail (both aesthetic and technical) is astounding. Trek has gone to great lengths to inform its public about how this bike was developed, why they included the features they did, and what they think those features mean for the bike's performance and aerodynamics.
Beyond the Glitz
It's a beautiful bike, but what's beneath the surface?
And as far as the whole form following function thing goes, this bike is insanely good-looking. One glance at the pointy end of this bike has most athletes reaching for their wallets. But what's beneath all the glamor? Is this machine everything we've hoped for? What are its quirks, and can you live with them? These are the questions we set out to answer with our review of this attractive machine. We're taking an in-depth look at every aspect of this bike from the handlebars to the chainstays, and every bit in between. There's a lot here, and to us, it's all relevant. Not everything we discuss will be important to every user, and that's not the point. It's that this isn't just another bike, it's a whole new paradigm. And it makes sense to see how Trek achieved its goals, and what sacrifices they may have made in the process. So that's why we're here. To tell you about this thing, from top to bottom. Enjoy.