TriRig Alpha Aerobar: Production
article & images by Nick Salazar
Apr 18, 2013
When we first unveiled the Alpha, I talked a lot about how important this particular product is to me. I'm a bit of an aerobar fanatic, and I wanted this bar to really be something special. Based on the reaction we've received so far, I'd say that the design is a big success. So it is with tremendous excitement that I get to at last show you the finished product. No more computer renders; this is a production TriRig Alpha aerobar. We are now beginning production on our first small batch of aerobars, which will likely be available right around June 1st. If you're keen to get in on that first batch, make sure you subscribe to our Newsletter for updates.
Oh, and we haven't forgotten about the gorgeous Shiv you see in this gallery. That's a topic worthy of its own article, and we'll publish a separate feature on this build in a couple weeks.
If you've been following Alpha from the beginning, you'll notice that the production bar is almost exactly what we originally showed off in the intro article. The outer dimensions of the bar are exactly the same. It's beautifully thin, and has that monster 6-to-1 airfoil on the base bar. But there's one significant change: the extension hardware now has an independent extension clamp mechanism. In the prototype, we left all the work up to just one clamp, which locked down the arm cups, spacers, and extensions at once. By separating out the extension clamp mechanism to a separate bolt, you get the very nice feature of not having to fiddle with your extensions if you want to change your pad stack or reach.
Originally, we didn't want to go this route because things look a little cleaner the original way. But honestly, the added functionality of the change was too awesome to pass up. And there's really no downside to the change; the weight went up a paltry 10 grams for the whole bar, aerodynamics are really unchanged (the minimal addition to frontal area is shielded by your hands and/or BTA bottle), and that leaves only the issue that we added two bolts to each side. And while I hate having even one unnecessary bolt on my aerobars, I think these were absolutely worth the addition.
Independent extension clamp control is really nice when fitting (or adjusting) your bars. If you spent any time achieving the perfect amount of reach and roll, it's nice to be able to keep the extensions where you left them should you want to move the pads around. Moreover, we really thought hard about making these bolts as user-friendly as possible. So we designed them NEVER to be occluded by the arm cups. Even when you run the cups very narrow, you can access the bolts through the cup's bolt holes, which we intentionally designed to line up perfectly with the extension clamp bolts. Sound confusing? Just look at the picture adjacent.
Finally, the separation of extension clamping from the arm cups had another unexpected benefit: the required torque for each application went down. You can put the entire bar together with just a 3mm allen wrench, and only need about 3 or 4 Nm of force on each bolt. That's not only awesome, it's a lot less than basically every other bar on the market. And the thing is rock solid, despite the fact that you don't need to throw out your back just to bolt it down.
What's in the box?
So, how will the Alpha be sold? We've gotten this question several times, and here's the answer. Every Alpha is a full carbon fiber aerobar with carbon fiber arm cups and aluminum clamping hardware. There is only one version of the Alpha itself.
However, we will sell it in three bundles: Alpha + carbon fiber Gamma extensions, Alpha + alloy Gamma extensions, and Alpha without extensions. We really feel like Gamma is the best solution for most athletes, because it allows such enormous position flexibility. But for those of you who simply don't want them, or have another favorite extension, we're happy to accommodate you. At this time, there aren't any specific plans for other bundles (like Alpha + Sigma, or Alpha + Omega, etc). Prices still TBD. Sign up for the Newsletter to get in on all the updates.
In addition, the Alpha comes with a complete spacer kit of 5mm, 10mm, and 20mm spacers, plus all the bolts you need to use them. The spacers are stackable, so you can achieve anything from +0mm to +35mm in 5mm increments. This is another area in which we wanted the Alpha to stand apart from other bars, which often advertise stack adjustment but then forget to tell you that they don't include any spacers with the bar. Alpha is a fitter's dream, and comes with everything you need to make your adjustments. Moreover, the 0-to-35mm range doesn't include the extra option of mounting the Alpha extensions beneath the bar. That drops you another 27mm. So in total, Alpha boasts a whopping 62mm of stack adjustment range. It can get you from the lowest-stack setup on the market to a fairly high-stack one, all using the included hardware.
As you can tell from the gallery here, Alpha was born to be used with our own Sigma stem. Sigma keeps the frontal area to an absolute minimum while providing excellent cable routing and even storage for a Di2 adjustment box. Of course, you don't have to use these parts together. The Alpha uses an industry-standard 31.8mm clamping area, and it's approximately 51mm wide. This makes it just wide enough to use with virtually any stem, but no wider than necessary to keep the frontal area down. And it's no accident that we make the Sigma in a Flat version and a +35mm version. This matches the adjustment range of the Alpha. It's not ideal for several reasons to have a base bar with spacers going up to the sky. We include only 35mm of spacers with Alpha because that's about as high as you should go. But if you're running the Alpha with a Sigma Flat, use up all your Alpha spacers and want to go a little higher, you just swap out for the Sigma 35 and start adding you spacers again.
Also, it's worth noting the overlap right there at +35mm of stack. That is, if you run the Alpha with a Sigma Flat and all 35mm of spacers, you could potentially swap to a Sigma 35 and ditch all the spacers. The only geometric change would be that the base bar comes up 35mm. Your pads and extensions would stay in the same spot.
Okay, that's about all for now. I'm really, really excited to bring this bar to life. It shaped up exactly the way I wanted, and it's absolutely beautiful on my Shiv. Again, pricing and availability are still up in the air a little bit, but we'll keep you posted. And sorry to keep beating a dead horse, but the Newsletter is usually the first place we send updates. We won't answer pricing or availability questions via email or facebook. That kind of stuff is communicated via official announcements only. For now, just enjoy the gallery! And stay tuned for more info on the Alpha as we have it.