With more than 250 triathlon bike designs tested and trialed against four key competitors, and raced by Pro Ironman Athlete Tim Van Berkel, Giant pushes tri bike engineering to a place the brand hasn’t gone before.
Giant introduced its all-new Trinity triathlon bikes during a global media launch at the Ironman World Championships in Kona the weekend of October 10.
Adding to its reputation of 40-plus years of performance craftsmanship, the new Giant range of composite triathlon models includes two series: The Trinity Advanced Pro and Trinity Advanced.
Engineered specifically for the high-performing triathlete, Giant boasts its new line as the world’s fastest race-ready tri bike to-date. A fully UCI-legal time trial version of the new bike, the Trinity Advanced Pro TT, is also being introduced as a frameset for road racers.
“One of the things I love most about this new Trinity Advanced Pro is that it’s a full-on, race-ready machine right out of the box,” said Pro Ironman athlete Tim Van Berkel, who won last month’s Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast triathlon on a prototype model. “From the aerodynamic frame and fork shapes to the new geometry and positioning and integrated hydration and storage – it’s everything you need to go faster in training and racing.”
Van Berkel raced Giant’s Trinity Advanced Pro at Kona, where the bike’s engineering adapted to real-world racing conditions. The bike features Giant’s AeroSystem Shaping Technology and a number of other design secrets that make the model triathlon-specific; one being the AeroVault integrated hydration and storage system to give triathletes a built-in advantage on race day.
The Long Road To Release
Giant was excited to release the new tri models after the long, grueling perfectionist process of designing these offerings. Using extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis and dynamic wind tunnel testing, more than 250 frame configurations were developed and tested before the Trinity Advanced Pro design was finalized. Giant worked hand-in-hand with the Aero Concept Engineering facility in Magny-Cours, France, during this process; together, ACE and Giant engineers created a dynamic mannequin with anatomically correct articulating legs to accurately measure not only pressure and friction drag, but the precise aerodynamic interaction of the rider and bike in motion.
“We tested each of these bikes with and without their hydration and storage units with the goal of understanding which would be the most aerodynamic in a race-ready configuration,” said Giant On-Road Category Manager Nixon Huang. “The Trinity was competitive with the others when tested bare. And with the add-ons necessary for real-world triathlon racing, it was not only the fastest, but it was also the only bike that proved to be more aerodynamic with its hydration and storage components than without.”
The final version of the Trinity Advanced Pro was tested alongside four renowned competitors – the Cervélo P5, Scott Plasma 5, Trek Speed Concept and Specialized Shiv – in a wind-tunnel trial. After the trial, the company reported the Trinity proved to be the most aerodynamic as a complete race-ready unit.
Giant engineers went to great lengths to improve the Trinity’s geometry, features and adjustability for triathletes.
The frameset is now offered in four frame sizes instead of three. The AeroDrive base bar, arm rests and extensions all feature a wide range of quick and easy adjustments.
Also noteworthy for the model is its use of AeroSystem Shaping Technology – a design process that analyzes the distinct airflow conditions of each area in the frame and fork to minimize drag and control airflow of the entire system across all relevant yaw angles. Giant took the new tri bike engineering a step farther, adding a number of triathlon-specific features into the already technical bike. Triathletes will appreciate the AeroDrive Tri fork, made with Advanced-grade composite material and a triathlon-specific 5:1 airfoil shape. Combine the AeroSystem and AeroDrive with Giant’s integrated stem design specific for this new line and the result is a huge improvement in aerodynamic performance. Furthermore, it may be surprising that steering precision is maintained even with increased aerodynamics. What’s that saying about having your cake and eating it too?
To improve the rider cockpit, Giant’s key component in its new models is the new AeroDrive Tri Base Bar. This composite bar features a 5:1 airfoil shape and has a reversible design that offers 40 millimeters of height adjustment. SpeedControl brakes, also designed specifically for facing the elements of a triathlon, were made with both front and rear units integrated and hidden from the wind. To get a mental picture, imagine the front brake matching the profile and trailing edge of the fork. Another cool feature of Giant’s SpeedControl is the rear brake features an innovative fairing that saves three watts of drag at 50 kph.
While the AeroDrive and SpeedControl brakes define the high-performance usability of the new models, the most distinctive elements of the Trinity Advanced Pro design is its integrated AeroVault System. Never underestimate the power of accessible hydration. AeroVault gives triathletes easy access to hydration, nutrition and essentials such as tools and spare tubes. The front hydration unit holds up to 700 milliliters of volume, depending on frame size, with an easy-access port on top. More hydration space is available with the AeroVault downtube bottle – a 440-milliliter unit hidden from the wind by the frame’s uniquely designed downtube.
AeroVault’s storage box, integrated into the top tube behind the stem, gives 290 milliliters of storage for en-ride nutrition and spare items. Shaping of the box improves aero performance and maximizes standover height, which Giant found to be a common weakness with current aftermarket storage options. The soft cover means the rider can access the box from either side. It also prevents water and sweat from getting inside. For easy adjustment and battery charging, the box was also made to house the junction box for Shimano Di2 models.
Choose Your Model
Both lines in the 2016 Trinity triathlon range integrate the new evolution of Giant tri-engineering.
For road races, the Trinity Advanced Pro comes stocked with the AeroVault System, AeroDrive Tri components and integrated rear brake fairing. The refined Trinity Advanced Pro TT frameset features the same advanced-grade composite frame aided by a special AeroDrive TT Advanced-grade fork, stem and handlebar that’s UCI-legal for time trial competition. Pro riders from Team Giant-Alpecin developed and tested the TT frameset before agreeing it was ready for launch. The okay from these pro testers should be proof enough that the frame is highly refined, as even the pre-production versions of the frame were ridden to victory in Tom Dumoulin’s stage win at the Vuelta a España.
The second line, the Trinity Advanced, features the same Advanced-grade composite frame as the Pro, but without the integrated AeroVault system, rear brake fairing and AeroDrive fork, stem and base bar. Both ranges will be offered in select markets beginning in November.