Matt Russell's TriRig Omni
article & images by Nick Salazar
Feb 1, 2019
TriRig is incredibly proud to announce that Ironman champ Matt Russell is on board as a TriRig athlete for 2019. The Sarasota, Florida resident has been a fan and customer of TriRig for several years, riding our Omega X brakes whenever his bikes were compatible. Matt has an incredible history, including going 8:04:45 at last year's Ironman World Championships, a time that would have won the race in seven of the last ten years.
This season, he's upgrading to a full-blown Omni bike, complete with Alpha One bars, Gamma extensions, Omega brakes, Beta rear carrier and Kappa bottle cages. In short, he's now a TriRig athlete through-and-through. Oh, and the keen observer will notice that Matt is riding with the first production unit of our upcoming Universal Cover, which hides the front brake, and the Monopost, for the cleanest possible front end. We are still finishing our production tooling, but we do expect the cover to be available for the 2019 season.
Russell had this to say to us:
I had multiple offers for the 2019 season. But I have been a long-time customer of TriRig, and admired their innovation and unique approach in the triathlon world. I was really excited to get on the Omni. I build up all my own bikes, which is often a long and frustrating process. This was the first time in my career that the build was a truly fun process. Everything is completely straightforward and really easy to adjust.
Matt is actually a perfect fit on the bike. Once we learned his fit coordinates, all he had to do was slam his stem, set his saddle height, and set the Alpha One's Monopost at 3.5. It replicated his old position perfectly.
Next month, we will be bringing Matt to the wind tunnel, and one of the things we will test is whether he can get any advantage from tilting his hands upward. Given how quick and easy the adjustments are on Alpha One, we might test a few other positions with him as well.
The other really exciting piece of Matt's new setup is that he will be trying a 1x drivetrain for this year, at our suggestion. He's running the Vision Metron crank with a 50t ring up front, and is going to ride a 3T cassette in back, the 9-32 "Bailout" version. That will be a nearly-perfect match for his previous 2x setup, which had a 56t-42t crank, and an 11-25t cassette. He's controlling the gears with a SRAM eTap rear derailleur, two Clic shifters plugged into his Gamma One extensions, and the BlipBox is hidden nicely in the Omni's integrated storage box.
Probably the most fun thing about working with Matt is how open he is to making incremental improvements, to get the most out of his equipment. A lot of pros are very stubborn in their ways, or simply ignore the aspect of their performance that has anything to do with equipment, until it comes back to bite them (think Crowie in 2010). Matt is always asking questions about how he can improve his setup, the relative merits of diffent bottle locations, etc. So although this gallery shows his bike setup in its initial configuration, don't be surprised to see some small changes over the year as things progress and we do more testing. For example, after some discussion about tires (which Matt initiated!) and review of the available data, we recommended that he try out the new Continental GP5000 (with latex tubes, of course), 23mm in front and 25mm in back. Matt went so far as to ask whether adding a little tire sealant as a prophylactic against punctures would add a significant amount of rolling resistance (he had concluded that it wouldn't, but asked us to weigh in, and we agreed). He has already been observing best practices, but wanted additional input as to whether there were areas for improvement. This guy cares deeply about equipment, and that is really exciting. Far too many pros overlook this aspect of their performance, and it is awesome to be working with a guy who stands out as so thoughtful and open-minded.
We are headed to the wind tunnel with Matt next month, and he is eager to see whether some arm tilt or other refinements might help him be even faster.
Usually if you go to a wind tunnel and want to test a different position, you're talking 30-40 minutes or more between tests, to swap out aerobar parts. With the Alpha One, it's less than 5 seconds to test a new position. And with the measurements printed right on the bar, it eliminates all the guesswork. We can tell exactly how many degrees of tilt we are testing, and every millimeter of stack height we adjust.
Matt's attention to detail and dedication to riding fast gear also makes his representation of our brand that much more valuable: he might be the most meticulous gear-head we've ever met in the pro field, and he chose to ride the Omni. In short, this is the cleanest, simplest, and fastest setup Matt has ever ridden, and we're thrilled to help him find speed for 2019. Check the gallery for plenty more photos and details.
Matt Russel with his Omni
Matt had this to say about his new bike: 'I had multiple offers for the 2019 season. But I have been a long-time customer of TriRig, and admired their innovation and unique approach in the triathlon world. I was really excited to get on the Omni. I build up all my own bikes, which is often a long and frustrating process. This was the first time in my career that the build was a truly fun process. Everything is completely straightforward and really easy to adjust.'
Probably the most fun thing about working with Matt is how open he is to making incremental changes, and always asking questions about how he can improve his setup. So although this gallery shows his bike setup in its initial configuration, don't be surprised to see some small changes over the year as things progress and we do more testing.