Avenir Cycling & HCI Digital Athlete Samuel Wyatt-Haines talks us through his Time Trial and Triathlon bike selection.
The Trinity isn’t a bike that I take out on the road every day like my other road bikes, it’s not even a bike I do my training on every day. But, when I do take it out I am reminded of the main joy of cycling, which is SPEED. Quite simply, the Trinity is phenomenally fast. Although that’s what you would hope from a TT bike, for some people reading this that have never been on one, it is a totally different experience to a normal road bike. But before I properly go into depth on this bike, I’ll explain a little more the set-up I employ.
The Trinity comes as standard with a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset and Giant’s own PA-2 wheels. The brakes are an integrated set specifically for the frame, much like the basebar. Giant’s own carbon ski bends are provided and an ISM PS1.0 saddle rounds off a pretty decent package for their price of £2999.
For my first season on this bike I only changed out the saddle to my trusted Fizik Ardea Tri, and the wheels to a Selcof disc on the rear and a 60mm Planet X front wheel. It was absolutely brilliant, but upgrading the groupset to SRAM’s eTap, AbsoluteBLACK (53/39) chainrings, 4iiii power meter and Zipp Vuka 110 aero bars, it is now slightly different to the original bike purchased - but the fundamentals remain the same.
There are some key parts of this bike to be discussed and why it should be a real consideration for your next TT bike.
The Trinity is seriously fast on the flats. It holds speed, absorbs a lot of the road buzz and is really comfortable. It is a very stable ride and probably the best way to describe it is like sitting in an armchair. The handling is smooth and predictable, and feels very secure whether you’re doing a fast descent or bouncing over the potholed roads of the UK.
But, it isn’t the lightest bike to get up to speed. The weight is a serious consideration if you are a lighter rider using this bike on a hillier course, but for a more power orientated rider it is a great choice. However this is going to be an issue with almost all TT bikes. But if you’re riding a flat course, then the Trinity will hold itself against any other TT bike.
The brakes are the next consideration. Unfortunately as with most TT bikes using rim brakes they are not great. I’ve used it on some very wet races (Ironman Weymouth 70.3 as one example in recent years) and I have noticed a real lack of braking. But on the whole, hopefully you aren’t braking too much in a TT or Tri.
The Ultegra mechanical groupset which comes as standard works very well. There isn’t much to say about it other than it works. Upgrading to eTap has been a great change and the ability to change gears by the brake levers is a real bonus for long distance triathlons, but if I was just doing time trialling I don’t know how necessary it would be. The shifting whether you’re on electronic or mechanical is brilliant, and adds to the all round high quality of the ride of this bike.
Why I believe the Trinity is just such a good TT/Tri bike is because of the cost and the extras you get with it. At just £1 under the £3000 price tag you get a race-ready bike. Yes the wheels aren’t great, but that is very much the norm for TT bikes. The bike allows you to get into a great position with a huge variety of fittings both on the saddle, arm pads, stack and reach and that is ultimately the most important thing in going fast on a bike.
But where the bike really excels is the hydration and nutrition storage. The ability to hold nearly a litre of liquid in an integrated manner at the front of the bike, and a further 500ml in an aero bottle on the down tube, it is a really great set up. For me that is all I need for a 70.3, and the front bottle is easily refillable if required for a longer race. Additionally, a rear mounted bottle mount is provided with the bike so a further two bottles could be put there too. The hydration carrying abilities of this bike are pretty unrivalled with most other bikes (except the Canyon) requiring bottles being attached onto the bike.
Additionally, the bento box on the top tube neatly blends into the stem and into the front bottle. It’s sufficiently large to hold 4 bars of food plus gas canisters. You could probably get a fair few more gels in there, but as someone that doesn’t use gels I can’t comment here.
Either way, it’s brilliant to be able to carry just so much liquid and food on a bike in such a clean way. The Trinity is a real industry leader in this area.
For 2020, the Advanced Pro version of the bike is in a frame only option at £2399. Whether for the majority of riders you would notice the difference in the front end stiffness due to the higher-quality OverDrive steerer it is difficult to justify going for it. It may come down to a colour choice and you may prefer the stealthier look of the higher quality frame. Otherwise, I’d stick with the Advanced Pro 2.
The Cervelo P-Series 105 TT bike is a good alternative option at £2899, but I think the ability to carry nutrition is where it is let down. The disc brakes are definitely a benefit - but they are standard cable pull discs which are not much of an improvement.
Alternatively, for an additional £1000 you could go for a Trek Speed Concept which is an obscenely fast bike. But whether the extra £1000 over the Trinity can be justified is a difficult one to call.
The best comparison which can be made against the Canyon Speedmax CF 8.0 which is an almost identical price. Both provide great nutrition carrying capabilities and from taking to people who own them they are great bikes to ride.
However, as a totally subjective point, I don’t like the standard brakes as I think it ruins the look of a TT bike. Furthermore, there are always the issues with postage of Canyon bikes, follow up service and difficulty of finding replacement parts in a rush (my experience of talking to Canyon owners and I can’t speak for every Canyon owner).
The Trinity is a great option for the lower price points of TT bikes. Not having ridden the newer BMC Timemachine 01, S-Works Shiv or Pinarello Bolide - but at over double, nearly triple the price I would really hope they are significantly better! How much better, I do not know, and whether it is worth it, I do not know. But, as an overall bike for a great quality ride, speed and comfort the Trinity is a really fantastic bike.
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For clarity purposes, SWH is a Giant ambassador for the Giant Twickenham shop - and therefore may have some bias. However, this is a bike that he has personally purchased and all views are his own.
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