Review: 2014 New Trek Speed Concept
Jan 13, 2014
article & images by Nick Salazar
When Trek unveiled the original Speed Concept back in 2009, it was a total jaw-dropper. No one had ever seen a frame with components so beautifully integrated from tip to tail. Virtually every cable on the bike was completely hidden, the word "Kammtail" became part of the triathlete's vernacular, and hidden centerpull brakes gave the bike the cleanliness of a track rig. It was amazing, and put Trek's competitors on notice that they needed to step up their game.
Fast forward to today, and it's easy to see the Speed Concept's influence on the triathlon world. Bikes like the BMC TM01, Cervelo P5, Pinarelo Bolide, and Felt's brand new IA owe plenty of design inspiration to Trek's excellent work with the SC. Canon Bicycles even gave a similar name to their SC-esque rig, the Canyon Concept Speedmax. Trek's influence on the market is undeniable. Integrated brakes are everywhere. Truncated airfoils have taken center stage. And best of all, the market has begun to focus on the message that a tri-specific fit is the most important component of the bicycle purchase, thanks to the runaway success of the Speed Concept.
So where does Trek go from here? Can lightning strike twice? Is there a way to refresh the platform and make it new and exciting, without losing what made it so special in the first place? The answer is a resounding YES. The 2014 Speed Concept isn't just an awesome new rig, it's proof that Trek listens to its customers. Virtually every complaint I could come up with about the original bike has been addressed in one way or another on the new bike. I'm so excited about what Trek has done here, I can barely keep my thoughts in order. I'm going to try to write this review in the usual way I do in-depth frame features: start from the front of the bike and work my way back and down. And that's fitting, because probably the coolest stuff about the new bike is in the new front-end, specifically that insanely awesome aerobar.
But before we dive into all the specifics, it's worth noting that Trek hasn't just revised the original Speed Concept. This isn't an incremental update; it's a completely new bike, with entirely new molds, and a set of completely revised mechanical concepts.
So hit the jump, and let's get started.