It feels like just last week I was on the Big Island, watching triathlon's biggest race take place on the most sacred turf in our sport. But believe it or not, it's been six months since the event took place, which means it's only six more months until it's going to happen all over again. This is the half way mark, and the 2012 edition of the race is shaping up to be a noteworthy competition. Wellington is out, Armstrong is (most likely) in, and the race may be wide open on both the men's and women's sides.
To mark the halfway point, I went into our image archives to show off a collection of five very different age-grouper bikes from the race. Each bike here is owned by a rider who qualified for Kona, earning the right to compete. Yet even among these elites, equiment choice varies greatly. Not all choices are good in my opinion. But anyone who qualifies for the World Championships has earned the right to ride with gear that makes them comfortable, even if there are "better" options available. So with that in mind, let's take a look at the rigs.
David Condon's Giant TCR Advanced TT
This bike is a perfect example of the idea that a bike can be an "oldie but goodie." The TCR frameset is from the Jan Ullrich days, before Giant adopted the "Trinity" moniker for their timed-event bicycles, and is a fantastic testament to functional minimalism and well-thought-out finishing touches. David started up front with an Oval integrated aerobar and Zipp carbon S-bend extensions. The Oval is very much like HED's original one-piece aerobar, and is likely a very slippery piece of equipment. The aero chord is probably close to 5-to-1, and the hardware stays out of the wind's way.
The Dura-Ace drivetrain is standard, and not integrated as modern bikes have become, but Condon's super tidy cable routing keeps things incredibly clean nonetheless. The Zipp 808 front and 1080 rear clincher combo are last-gen wheels, but still wicked fast. Condon keeps a bottle up front between his aerobars, a reserve on the downtube. He has a third cage behind the saddle, bundled with a slightly messy flat kit that happens to be my only cause for criticism on this otherwise great setup. And David proved he's got the legs for this svelte build - he rocked a 9:34:18 at the race, his first time in Kona!
Next up is a rig from the other end of the spectrum - a very new, very expensive ride.