Ben Deal + Summer Deal sign w/ TriRig to ride Omni
images by Nick Salazar
Nov 12, 2019  hits 10,381

Ben's bike is just like him: tall, skinny, and quite handsome.
Ben's bike is just like him: tall, skinny, and quite handsome.

Ben Deal with his Omni » My first impression of Ben's rig once we were finished: 'Hey, that bike looks a lot like you: tall and skinny!' As usual with Omni, dialing in his fit was just a matter of finding the right cell in the Omni Fit Guide. Ben is already well-versed in how our products work. He's an obsessive, meticulous, gear-oriented guy who does all his own wrenching and pays attention to the details. We love that kind of athlete, who is always interested in learning more and finding ways to improve.

One reason we love that kind of person is that they offer a really great signal to the general public that TriRig makes good product. And more than that, they tend to offer a new viewpoint with unique insights. We are really excited to see what Ben brings to the table as we bring him into the development process of some new projects we have going on. What projects, you ask? Well, make sure you subscribe to the TriRig Newsletter for all of those lovely details and sneak peeks.

Ben's rig is set up with his Power2Max crank and a budget-friendly Deckas 56t Narrow-Wide chainring he found online. He's running an older Red 22 rear derailleur, completely stock (no fancy jockey wheel upgrade), no front derailleur. It's a super simple, super straightforward, and brilliant setup. He knows his gearing well, and is satisfied with the present ratios for most setups. Still, we left things open to change if needed - note that we always keep shifter housing *external* to the extension. That way, if you ever want to try a different extension shape, it's just a matter of loosening a couple of bolts, and no need to run new cables or redo a housing run. You might notice there are a few rubber O-rings keeping that housing snug to the extensions. That's just part of the packaging for Gamma, temporarily running double duty until Ben more or less commits to the extensions and their position, at which time they'll get cleaned up with the usual bar tape.

Ben Deal and his wife Summer Deal are two of triathlon's most exciting young faces. The couple is in their mid twenties, with an appetite for adventure and the dedication to chase it. We had the opportunity to meet them earlier in the year, and knew immediately that we wanted to be a part of their journey in the sport. And fortunately, the stars aligned, and we are proud to announce that Ben and Summer are officially TriRig-sponsored athletes.

There's a very nice story here, and some of it comes from Ben himself. Here's what he had to say to us:

We’ve always been picky about our bikes, but we’ve also always been on a budget. As a fairly early adopter of 1x, I’ve never even owned a tri bike with a front derailleur, which means I never miss the small jumps offered by a 2x! Thankfully the Omni was designed with 1x in mind, and was super easy to set up. The details Nick designed into the bike really started to stand out while installing the groupset. Simple things like the exit angle of the rear derailleur cable make the routing the cleanest I’ve ever seen on a mechanical bike.

When it came time for one of us to upgrade to electronic, Summer was more than deserving after having suffered through my terrible wrenching over the years. A big pet peeve of mine with electronic groupsets is when the junction or blip box is exposed to the wind in an otherwise clean setup. Fortunately, Omni offers two options for a completely hidden junction box, the stem or the bento storage. We elected to go with the stem, as the bento will without a doubt be filled with nutrition during races.

It's often these small details that really make an impression. Omni's aero-matched skewers are probably our favorite addition to the bike. In the past, I used a cheap pair of anti-theft skewers to minimize my frontal wind area. The aero gain is marginal to be sure, but the mental aspect of it matters just as much as the wattage saved. And because the skewers on the Omni are essentially a part of the fork, they are a perfect aesthetic match, and really perfect the flow of the bike. And of course we’d be lying if we said aesthetics weren’t an important mental aspect as well. I'm fond of saying that 'If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.'

All that being said ... the details don’t matter for anything if the bike doesn’t ride well though. In our second ride outside on the new bikes, we took to our favorite climb in the Albuquerque mountains: a 9 mile ascent followed by an absolute bomber of a descent. In the New Mexico desert winds, this was the first time we ever felt comfortable staying in aero the entire descent. There is no learning curve to riding this bike, it just feels right. And if something doesn’t feel right, it’s just one or two twists of the wrench hidden in the frame to adjust any aspect of the cockpit. The bike just works, and looks good doing it. We can’t wait to put them to the test on the flat and fast 70.3 Indian Wells course in just a few weeks.

-Ben Deal

But there's lots more to this story in the words and images below. Be sure to read all the details in each section. But the long and the short of it is that we couldn't be happier to have this young couple riding for us. Their first race on the Omni will be at 70.3 Indian Wells on December 8th. And that will also be Summer's first race as a pro! Keep your eyes out, and thanks for reading!

Like the rigs? Get all of the gear that Team Deal is riding here, sold exclusively in the TriRig Store!



Tags » bendeal,  omni,  rigs,  summerdeal,  teamdeal,  tririg

Team Deal + TriRig Omni 

The happy vibes of Ben and Summer are absolutely infectious, and it's really fun to get that energy on camera. You can ask them to be serious, but you'll just wind up with everyone laughing. That's more than OK with us! At TriRig, we're all about the relaxed vibe. One thing I love about these shots is that you can see how strikingly different Ben's fit coordinates are compared to Summer's, and yet each bike looks just right. Neither one is even close to the limit of its adjustment range, and each rider has lots of room to tweak that fit going forward.

And the beauty of Omni is that tweaking your fit is, in general, a matter of adjusting just one or two bolts. Ben and Summer were thrilled to get set up on the Alpha One which essentially functions as a mobile fit lab, which replicated their positions in no time.

  • Ben Deal and Summer Deal looking pretty darn slick with their matching TriRig Omni bikes.
  • Ben and Summer love to laugh, and that infectiously-joyous attitude is one of the reasons we couldn't wait to sponsor them.
  • Ben and Summer love to laugh, and that infectiously-joyous attitude is one of the reasons we couldn't wait to sponsor them.
  • Getting just ONE straight face out of Team Deal is pretty tough. And that's why we love them.
  • TriRig is proud to introduce Team Deal, two athletes with an amazingly-bright future ahead of them.
  • Is Nick short, or are Ben and Summer tall? Yes.

Building Bikes + Signing Contracts 

It was a joy to build up the bikes for Ben and Summer. Ben loves doing all his own wrenching, so we did the builds together. And despite taking our time to make sure everything was clear and straightforward, we got both bikes built, completely from scratch, in about 4.5 hours. And that includes the time we took to move everything inside on what began as a very cold morning.

Team Deal wanted to get on the bikes as fast as possible, with time to spare before Indian Wells 70.3, which will be Summer's first race as a pro, and both athletes' first race on the Omni. So rather than source any new components, we worked with what we had on hand. Ben moved over the powermeter cranks from their old bikes (a Power2Max for him, and a Quarq Riken for Summer), and the SRAM Red 1x setup he was using on his previous rig. For Summer, we raided the TriRig workshop and found some Shimano Di2 9070 kit, which we also set up in 1x, along with an X-SYNC chainring that worked perfectly on her Riken.

Ben LOVES doing this stuff. He's a self-professed Craigslist junkie, and really enjoys piecing together a build on a budget. It's a bit of a funny build, because Ben is now riding what we think is the nicest frameset and aerobars on the market, with some of the cheapest kit he could find online. Keep your eyes peeled throughout 2020, we will likely be revisiting the groups for these bikes once the season really picks up. But for the time being, everything is perfectly functional, giving up virtually nothing compared to something snazzier like SRAM AXS or something like that.

  • Ben and Summer signing on. This is the actual moment when they became part of the TriRig family!
  • Ben checking out the Beta 45 rear carrier.
  • Ben checking out the Beta 45 rear carrier.
  • One thing I have in common with Ben: an abiding love for Chipotle. He's doing his best here to pander for a burrito sponsorship. Good luck, Ben. Can I get one too?
  • Ben's only request was to make sure we could fit his Rotor powermeter in the Omni. That's easy, Ben! Omni uses a PF30 shell, which will take every crank on the market!
  • Ben's only request was to make sure we could fit his Rotor powermeter in the Omni. That's easy, Ben! Omni uses a PF30 shell, which will take every crank on the market!
  • Ben's only request was to make sure we could fit his Rotor powermeter in the Omni. That's easy, Ben! Omni uses a PF30 shell, which will take every crank on the market!
  • Ben's bike, ready for a chain and some RD adjustments.
  • Summer's bike in the foreground, with Ben's all blurry in the background.
  • The couple that wrenches together, stays together! Or based on this photo, maybe the saying should describe 'the couple that smiles constantly at one another,' which pegs Team Deal perfectly.

Ben Deal with his Omni 

My first impression of Ben's rig once we were finished: 'Hey, that bike looks a lot like you: tall and skinny!' As usual with Omni, dialing in his fit was just a matter of finding the right cell in the Omni Fit Guide. Ben is already well-versed in how our products work. He's an obsessive, meticulous, gear-oriented guy who does all his own wrenching and pays attention to the details. We love that kind of athlete, who is always interested in learning more and finding ways to improve.

One reason we love that kind of person is that they offer a really great signal to the general public that TriRig makes good product. And more than that, they tend to offer a new viewpoint with unique insights. We are really excited to see what Ben brings to the table as we bring him into the development process of some new projects we have going on. What projects, you ask? Well, make sure you subscribe to the TriRig Newsletter for all of those lovely details and sneak peeks.

Ben's rig is set up with his Power2Max crank and a budget-friendly Deckas 56t Narrow-Wide chainring he found online. He's running an older Red 22 rear derailleur, completely stock (no fancy jockey wheel upgrade), no front derailleur. It's a super simple, super straightforward, and brilliant setup. He knows his gearing well, and is satisfied with the present ratios for most setups. Still, we left things open to change if needed - note that we always keep shifter housing *external* to the extension. That way, if you ever want to try a different extension shape, it's just a matter of loosening a couple of bolts, and no need to run new cables or redo a housing run. You might notice there are a few rubber O-rings keeping that housing snug to the extensions. That's just part of the packaging for Gamma, temporarily running double duty until Ben more or less commits to the extensions and their position, at which time they'll get cleaned up with the usual bar tape.

  • Ben's bike is just like him: tall, skinny, and quite handsome.
  • Ben checking out the lines of his new rig, for the first time.
  • The excitement of Team Deal was palpable; they couldn't stop telling us how excited they are for the coming season. Hey, right back atcha Ben!
  • I particularly love these three-quarters angles on a size Large Omni, which gives you a sense of how the the frame is basically invisible to the wind.
  • I particularly love these three-quarters angles on a size Large Omni, which gives you a sense of how the the frame is basically invisible to the wind.
  • Ben's budget drivetrain with a Power2Max, Deckas 56T 1x Narrow-Wide chainring, SRAM RED 22 rear derailleur, and no front derailleur.
  • Ben's budget drivetrain with a Power2Max, Deckas 56T 1x Narrow-Wide chainring, SRAM RED 22 rear derailleur, and no front derailleur.
  • Ben's budget drivetrain with a Power2Max, Deckas 56T 1x Narrow-Wide chainring, SRAM RED 22 rear derailleur, and no front derailleur.
  • For 2020, we have done a minor refresh on the Omni graphics. It's still nude carbon with glossy clearcoat, and just very subtle (and now much smaller) logos. After all, this bike tells you what it is by virtue of its unique shape, rather than a gaudy logo.
  • Ben runs the Dash Strike saddle, and is running his Beta 45 carrier with the bottle mounted to the INSIDE of the carrier, for easier bottle storage and retrieval.
  • Omni's aero-matched skewers make everything super clean. Shown here with a set of FLO hoops.
  • With no front derailleur, and all of Omni's slick integration, there is simply nothing for the wind to resist, resulting in the fastest rig out there.

Summer Deal with her Omni 

Summer is a lovely complement to husband Ben. Where Ben is interested in all the smallest details about his gear, Summer takes a very macro approach. She wants it to work well, feel right, and look great. After we finished our builds, one of the things that was most satisfying to her was that she and Ben would have such brilliantly-matching rigs. Like Ben, she is riding full TriRig everything, from tip to tail.

The drivetrain was scrounged from stuff we had lying around the TriRig workshop, and is likely to change throughout the 2020 season. But for now, it's Di2 9070, in 1x configuration, with a Quarq Riken crank and X-SYNC 50t chainring. Both Summer and Ben are using a relatively unknown configuration of our Beta rear carrier: a single Kappa cage is mounted on the *inside* of the carrier, so that the cage opens toward the athlete. This makes it substantially easier to get the cage out, without compromising any of the legendary retention strength that our Kappa cage is known for. Other than that, Summer's rig is completely straightforward. She is going to test out the Dash Stage saddle pictured, but hasn't settled on a seat quite yet. As with Ben's bike, ignore the O-rings on the extensions. They're just there until Summer is happy with the setup, and then the usual bar tape will clean things up there.

  • Summer's happy and casual attitude is a beautiful match to her husband Ben, and that attitude is on display here: this was not a posed shot, we just quickly grabbed the frame while she was waiting for us to give her direction on how to stand.
  • Summer Deal and her TriRig Omni, complete with Alpha One bars, Gamma extensions, and Omega X brakes front and rear..
  • Summer's happy and casual attitude is a beautiful match to her husband Ben, and that attitude is on display here: this was not a posed shot, we just quickly grabbed the frame while she was waiting for us to give her direction on how to stand.
  • Summer's rig is very much like Ben's, set up in 1x config, with a Dash saddle, and all the same TriRig products he uses. But where Ben has SRAM on board, Summer is running Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070, and a 50t chainring up front (compared to Ben's 56t)!
  • One derailleur to worry about, and just two buttons: harder or easier. Nothing else to worry about.
  • You might notice there's no shifter on the drive-side brake lever. For Indian Wells 70.3, Summer plans to be in aero pretty much 100% of the time. Using the non-shifter brake lever saves a little frontal area and therefore saves drag. This is a very easy thing to add down the road if they change their mind and decide they want basebar shifting available.
  • Like Ben's bike, Summer's 1x drivetrain looks beautiful on the Omni.
  • And just like Ben, Summer is running the little-known 'reverse mount' on her Beta 45 rear carrier and Kappa cage.

Related Articles
Ben Deal is one of several pros riding the Omni, and here he goes in depth with a detailed video review of his rig and wife Summer's rig as well!
Champion. Survivor. Father. You could call Matt Russell a lot of things, but we're just grateful to call him a friend. Here's our in-depth look at his race rig, locked and loaded for Ironman Hawaii.
In the past couple years, the overall bike tech scene has changed a lot for the top pros in our sport. Let's take a look at the current state of affairs.
Matt Russell has been riding TriRig products for years. For 2019, the elite pro and 6th-place Kona finisher upgrades to our Omni bike and Alpha One bars.
We pulled out all the stops to build a sub-16lb Omni, complete with some pretty special customization.