Kona Age-Grouper Rigs

 Apr 7, 2012 article & images by Nick Salazar

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.

Tags » cervelo,  frames,  giant,  look,  quintanaroo,  rigs,  storck
  • David Condon's Giant TCR Advanced - It's old, but it's still good to go.
  • David Condon's Giant TCR Advanced - David's name plate and the flag if Ireland.
  • David Condon's Giant TCR Advanced - water bottle kept in place by nothing more than a rubber band.
  • David Condon's Giant TCR Advanced - the lesser-used SMP saddles are a twist on the split-nose design.
  • David Condon's Giant TCR Advanced - Condon's rear hydration and flat kit could be consolidated a bit to keep things a little cleaner perhaps.
  • David Condon's Giant TCR Advanced - From the front, this is a deadly-sharp rig.
  • Erik Sven's Storck Aero 2 - This is what $10,000+ buys you.
  • Erik Sven's Storck Aero 2 - Storck's integrated front end is fairly clean and adjustable.
  • Erik Sven's Storck Aero 2 - Zipp Firecrests are saturating the tri world, and for good reason.
  • Erik Sven's Storck Aero 2 - Cable management could use a little work, especially with an aero brake like the Omega.
  • Erik Sven's Storck Aero 2 - The rear brake is a beautiful piece of minimalism built right into the seat stays.
  • Erik Sven's Storck Aero 2 - This rear end could be improved by moving the flat kit to a frame-mounted aero bottle and tucking the bottle cage right against the saddle.
  • Kenny Steil's Quintana Roo CD 0.1 - I'm a fan of stealth paint jobes, and this one certainly qualifies. Steil will be in Blue for next year, and riding an Omega brake to boot!
  • Kenny Steil's Quintana Roo CD 0.1 - Kenny rode an Adamo TT saddle.
  • Kenny Steil's Quintana Roo CD 0.1 - SRAM RED Black completes the stealth look.
  • Kenny Steil's Quintana Roo CD 0.1 - Steil rides Osymmetric rings.
  • Kenny Steil's Quintana Roo CD 0.1 - An aero bottle below will hold a flat kit, and the standard cage holds course bottles.  Perfect.
  • Kenny Steil's Quintana Roo CD 0.1 - TorHans gets the BTA duties, and also holds Steil's computer.
  • Kenny Steil's Quintana Roo CD 0.1 - I definitely like Steil's trick of using skateboard grip tape on the shifters. I do the same thing on my Di2 shifter pods.
  • Kenny Steil's Quintana Roo CD 0.1 - Here's the pointy view of the rig.
  • Marie Protat's LOOK 596 - The 596 is getting long in the tooth, but it still gets the job done.
  • Marie Protat's LOOK 596 - These cables are an absolute mess. This calls for an Omega brake!
  • Marie Protat's LOOK 596 - LOOK's Zed crank is one of the coolest things the company has ever made - it weighs next to nothing, accepts compact or standard rings, but only works with LOOK's proprietary bottom brackets.
  • Marie Protat's LOOK 596 - Now that saddle has seen some miles.
  • Marie Protat's LOOK 596 - Flat repair is left up to a single shot of Vittoria Pittstop.
  • Marie Protat's LOOK 596 - Microshift components probably work fine, but I'd much prefer a system with an R2C type lever, if not Di2.
  • Steve Kukta's Cervelo P2C - Easily the most well-loved bike on the course, this P2C has been decorated tip to tail.
  • Steve Kukta's Cervelo P2C - The entire rig is Big Island themed.
  • Steve Kukta's Cervelo P2C - The names on the bike are cancer victims known to the rider and his family.  He rides in their memory.
  • Steve Kukta's Cervelo P2C - Accessories were taped on this bike everywhere. It wasn't the cleanest look, but it's what the rider likes.
  • Steve Kukta's Cervelo P2C - No real estate went unused.
  • Steve Kukta's Cervelo P2C - As you can see, there are cables and bits jutting out everywhere, but who am I to criticize such a devoted person?
  • Steve Kukta's Cervelo P2C - Obviously a machine that's been ridden quite a bit.

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