By Stefan Abram
Trek has bold claims for its latest iteration of its Speed Concept platform. Not only is the Wisconsin-based brand boasting significantly improved aerodynamic efficiency, the bike is said to be more comfortable, more adaptable to different rider positions, and all while sporting a complete integrated storage and fuelling system.
Faster than ever
Trek is standing by the previous Speed Concept as still one of the fastest bikes in the world, but this update is claimed to have shaved off a hefty 16 watts over and above that model – when traveling at 26mph / 41.8kph, which equates to a Kona-winning pace.
The sheer size of the improvement is being chalked up to the expertise of the Trek Performance Research team's "multi-year quest of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) optimisation through the power of supercomputers."
But although the development of the Speed Concept's design heavily relied on CFD, the 16 watt saving was arrived at from repeated trips to the wind tunnel. "[The numbers] happen to agree with our CFD, but we always do the final validation in the tunnel" said Anders Ahlberg, Trek's Road Product Marketing Manager.
"When we’re searching for the minute gains we are getting these days – since bike/rider aero interactions are so complex – any data or claims you’re seeing [on the Speed Concept] are bike and rider together. In fact, I don’t think we even tested a bare bike in the tunnel."
Comfort and fit
Trek's IsoSpeed technology has been around for quite a while now, with the idea being to add a extra portion of flex to improve rider comfort.
For this latest iteration of the Speed Concept, the IsoSpeed pivot has been moved further forwards to better match the weight distribution of the rider when hunkered down over a set of aerobars.
The comfort boost of being able to take full advantage of the IsoSpeed system is claimed not only to improve improve your performance on the bike, but that the fatigue-fighting properties will also boost your run as well.
To help dial in your perfect fit, Trek has expanded the range of adjustment, with most able to be made with one or two allen keys. To make travelling easier, Trek has designed the bars so that fit is preserved even when they're removed for packing into a bike box
Integrated storage and fuelling systems
Trek has poured a lot of effort into maximising the storage capacity of the new Speed Concept – while ensuring that none of it comes with an aerodynamic penalty.
From the top left going clockwise, the between-the-arms (BTA) bottle allows riders to hydrate without leaving the aerobars, thanks to the flexible straw. The capacity stands at 700ml, but it is refillable on the go with the integrated silicone port.
The Bento Box built into the top tube can store up to eight gels, is dishwasher safe and has two removeable internal dividers to help with organisation
The Aero Downtube Bottle is designed to match the Speed Concept's airflow, holds up to 750ml of liquid and can be used to top up the BTA bottle.
Underneath the Downtube Bottle, Trek has stashed its Flat Kit, which can hold a multi-tool, CO2 inflator head, tube and tyre lever, should you have any mechanical issues far from the feed zones.
The Speed Concept is available exclusively through Project One, allowing athletes to customise their bike so the fit, paint and parts are all perfectly calibrated. The Speed Concept can be ordered on trekbikes.com in select markets and through Trek's global network of retail partners.
All models feature 12-speed gearing, hydraulic disc brakes, electronic shifting and mid-section Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 tubeless ready wheels. The SRAM equipped builds all feature the brand's power meter crankset.
|Speed Concept SLR 6 eTap (SRAM Rival)||$8,799.99|
|Speed Concept SLR 7 (Shimano Ultegra)||$9,499.99|
|Speed Concept SLR 7 eTap (SRAM Force)||$9,999.99|
|Speed Concept SLR 9 (Shimano Dura-Ace)||$13,499.99|
|Speed Concept SLR 9 eTap (SRAM Red)||$13,499.99|
Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
Always looking for the next challenge, he’s Everested in under 12 hours and ridden the South Downs Double in sub 20. Although dabbling in racing off-road, on-road and virtually, to date his only significant achievement has been winning the National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.
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