Blue Triad SL Review

 Nov 20, 2011 article & images by Nick Salazar

All the ins and outs of the Blue Triad SL

I have to admit that I had really underestimated the Triad SL. Blue's newest flagship, unveiled late in 2010, was a significant departure from their previous top-end bike. And at first blush, the revisions looked like they were following trends rather than setting them. But a closer look reveals that the bike actually represents a great set of choices regarding how to keep the bike both very clean and very easy to use. The more I got to know the bike, the happier I was with its overall feature set. It's an easy bike to build, easy to break down for travel, and has to be taken as a whole to be appreciated.

Below is a video of my impressions of the bike overall, and the pages beyond that will look at more specific parts of the bike and my conclusions. Enjoy!

Tags » blue,  frames,  triadsl
  • The Blue Triad SL, in all its glory.
  • The Triad SL's bayonet fork is easy to wrench.  Just a single M6 bolt locks it down, and the aero spacers work just like standard spacers on a round fork.
  • The aero spacers are a nice compromise between usability and aerodynamics.  Still, it's generally a good idea to pick a bike that fits you without many spacers, if any.
  • The aerobar is a nice bit of kit indeed.
  • Minimal bolts on the bar: one (or two) for each arm cup, and one for each extension.  Compare that to fourteen bolts for the Speed Concept.
  • The underside of the bar is nice and clean, no junk hanging out.
  • As usual, my first order of business was to slap on my trusty Dash Tri.7 saddle.
  • The rear end is angular and mean-looking.
  • Another shot of the rear cluster.
  • Just a single bolt grabs the extensions - this is a very nice bar to work with.
  • The rear brake cable housing is lined internally, making it SUPER easy to install.
  • The rear derailleur cable is internally-lined as well for easy installation, but you have to order a frame specific to either cabled systems or Di2 - beware if you plan to upgrade in the future.
  • BB30 means just about any crank will fly on this machine, though you may need an adapter.
  • The bike looks great equipped with SRAM Red and a 54-tooth chainring.
  • You can see the large shim in the background - normally this would be trimmed, but Blue asked that I didn't cut the fork down any further, so it stayed on.  The shim itself is what gets compressed by the headset - not the stem - so it was a simple matter to ride slammed without cutting the fork.  That's a nice feature to have if you're still fine-tuning your position.
  • Add on a slim brake like this rare Hooker SL, and the frontal profile is as clean as they come.
  • I was loaning this brake from Heath Dotson of, just for the photos.  It would be nice if there were a more readily-available brake of this kind ... and I think I'm going to look into producing one - stay tuned!
  • It looks lean and mean, and it rides that way too.
  • The Blue Triad SL
  • Another shot of the Hooker SL brake that I borrowed from Heath Dotson of
  • The fork uses a standard 1-inch headset and bearings, so it's easy to find replacement parts if necessary.
  • Blue hides the rear brake beneath the bottom bracket, a move that many manufacturers are doing these days.  This one isn't as sleekly integrated as the brakes on the TM01, Speed Concept, or Felt DA, but this is exactly what Specialized has done with their rear brake for years, and it's worked out well for them.
  • Just a fun little shot I took when dialing in my position on the Blue.  It was a great bike to ride, and I was sad to see it go out the door.

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