Edinburgh Cycles used to be just that, a big bike shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. Now both their shops and the in-house ‘Revolution’ range are expanding rapidly – and riding the Triad, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.
Despite it's low price, the Triad 2.0 turns in a polished, weak-link-free performance. The quality, responsive-feeling frame and well chosen, contemporary componentry mean you’ve got a bike that shines in every part of the ride, refusing to reference its restricted budget whatever you ask it to do.
Ride & handling: Feedback-rich authority that’s the right side of firm for long day rides
The Triad's big tyres, large front disc rotor and wide bar all translate into an immediately confident ‘proper bike’ feel on the trail. Across the meadow and down the diagonal rooty off-camber towards stinky steps (by the sewage works) there’s no trace of wandering or wimping out from fork or front end, with the Truvativ cockpit giving a reassuring amount of feedback to brace against.
Down steps, rocky chutes, drop-offs and numerous other ugly sections on subsequent rides, we were consistently impressed with the RockShox Recon fork too. The coil springs are smooth over the small stuff and get full travel regularly if you ride them hard, but they rarely felt out of their depth or out of control. With no air leaks to worry about, durability should be excellent too.
The big front brake and consistent tyre grip mean you can leave braking late and corner harder than with most other bikes at this pricepoint. There’s also decent room under the chainset, so you can keep the power on through rougher sections without stubbing your toes, making it a bike that you can push properly hard through technical trails.
Firm frame responses and ample breathing space are equally supportive and encouraging if you want to put the effort in and the weight is fine for a bike at this price. The stiff aluminium frame isn't that forgiving over the bumps, but it’s well within bearable limits for long rides as long as you stand up over the worst bits, and the feedback and speed it adds is all part of the Triad’s outstanding ride.
Frame: Up-to-date alloy chassis which isn't overly uncomfortable
The Triad frame is made for Edinburgh by Merida, one of the world’s largest bike builders and a leading hydroformed tubing expert. That means you get a totally up-to-date ‘technoformed’ butted aluminium frame complete with massively-flared-to-receding-rectangle profile down tube for more eficient stress dispersal.
The slightly egg-shaped head tube gets enlarged top and bottom lips for the integrated headset, while the triangular top tube carries gear cables on the corners and brake routing underneath. Straight gauge skinny seatstays use an A-frame design, while vertical to flat oval flex chainstays complete the rear end.
Tyre clearance is alright with 2.2-inchers, and there are threaded mudguard eyes on the back if you need them. There are two bottle cage mounts inside the mainframe too, but no rack mounts. While the alloy bottle is a nice touch it’d be even nicer with a cage to put it in too, but every penny counts when putting together a bike at this price.
Equipment: Smooth coil fork plus quality wide bar, big tyres and big front brake rotor
Considering the classy frame and the low price, the Triad's kit really stands out. The SL model brings stiff ‘power bulged’ legs and easily set up post mount brakes onto the Recon fork for the first time.
While it’s still officially a 2009 model until the calendar says otherwise, Edinburgh automatically update to the newest SRAM family kit as it becomes available. That means the latest smooth-shifting Truvativ cranks, broad Stylo SL bars and the stiff, good looking Stylo Race stem.
The Avid brakes get a larger rotor upgrade on the front too, which always suggests designers know what they’re doing. Alex rims are good quality kit and the Shimano hubs will run for ages if you learn how to look after the self-serviceable bearings.