Trigon TTQC-29 £5500

Fast and lightweight time trial bike

BikeRadar score 3/5

Trigon might not have the catchiest model names but they’ve been turning out eyecatching, lightweight carbon bikes in complete or chassis-only packages for years.

Their aero flagship doesn't quite live up to the fantastic Trigon promise though. "Light as a feather, fast as a stallion” might be true, but we wish they’d broken in the horse a bit more before turning it loose.

Ride & handling: Lively on climbs and out of corners

While the frame isn’t short of some sizeable section tubes, it’s where they’re put and how they’re arranged that creates the overall character of the Trigon. As you’d hope for a £5,000-plus superbike, it’s no slouch when it comes to getting moving. Even with deep section wheels it sparks up nicely when you flex your muscles on the flat or up climbs. In fact despite the skinny-looking chainstays and conventional bottom bracket, it feels inspiringly solid between crank and back wheel, and the actual bar and extensions are impressively stiff too. Add low frame weight and healthily slim bike BMI and forays on to our hillier test routes were relished rather than regretted.

While the contact points themselves are firmly responsive, overall comfort levels are perfectly reasonable too. Slightly reduced buzz and road-related fatigue compared to its peers were certainly appreciated on longer, back-road sorties, and we felt fresher running bricks off the back of the Trigon.

While the ride feel might be relaxing in comfort terms, it’s less soothing in terms of handling though. While the ends of the frame are stiff in isolation there’s a definite sense they’re not tied together well through the mid section. Twist from the ti-bolted stem and sideways flex of the forks and wheels is definitely noticeable too. Brace pedals against bars out of the saddle or slam it hard into a corner and there’s a real sense of front-to-back and top-tobottom twist. It’s not just a simple single flex-andstraighten distortion, but a shimmering sustained wobble that takes a while to die down after the initial twang.

Quick steering up front detracts from the inherent stability of the long wheelbase and the squidgy, uncommunicative braking from the internal cable harness doesn’t help either. There’s also a bounce and porpoising sensation in the frame and wheels that builds up in certain cadence/ road surface conditions, and which amplifies into a ‘butterfly kick’ style pulse unless you deliberately ‘break step’ to stop it. Add gusting potential from the deep wheels and fat fin sections on the frame and you’re soon in disturbingly unpredictable territory as speeds increase. Even our experienced testers felt they backed off early in big ring – small cog descending blitzes as they ran out of confidence before they ran out of cadence.

Frame: Overall frame weight is low

There are so many technologies such as nano carbon listed on the Trigon website, it’s easy to lose track of what’s actually in this frame. The stickers say there’s definitely some FDC (err, Flex Directional Fusion), Hipact high-pressure tube moulding and Obllix tube profiling included though.

The barrel head tube isn’t tapered though, and the front mounted brake doesn’t add any aero advantage. The massive crank arms hide a conventional rather than press-fit bottom bracket too, but at least the base of the seat tube broadens to bolster it from above. The massive flared triangular fin above the wheelhugger cut-out appears to feed air on to the conventionally mounted rear brake rather than over it. The two-piece seat collar is also pretty bulky, but it does the job fine. The thickset seat post gets a reversible thumbwheel adjusted top clamp to give conventional TT or Tri saddle positions on top of the relatively neutral 76-degree seat angle.

Like the fork, the seatstays get an extended ‘batwing’ trailing edge alongside the spoked section of the wheeltapered though, and the front mounted brake doesn’t add any aero advantage. The massive crank arms hide a conventional rather than press-fit bottom bracket too, but at least the base of the seat tube broadens to bolster it from above. The massive flared triangular fin above the wheelhugger cut-out appears to feed air on to the conventionally mounted rear brake rather than over it. The two-piece seat collar is also pretty bulky, but it does the job fine. The thickset seat post gets a reversible thumbwheel adjusted top clamp to give conventional TT or Tri saddle positions on top of the relatively neutral 76-degree seat angle. Like the fork, the seatstays get an extended ‘batwing’ trailing edge alongside the spoked section of the wheel. The horizontally slotted alloy dropouts get small inset screw adjusters to give correct wheel clearance. The multi-section chainstays are very skinny in comparison to the rest of the frame however, and cable routing is external from the bottom bracket backwards. Typically for Trigon, overall frame weight is low for an aero bike, even on our large sample.

Equipment: Own-brand kit isn’t inspirational 

The Trigon is available as a complete off-the-peg bike, mixing house-brand kit with a top level FSA SRAM transmission. In terms of the Trigon kit the CWT 85 tubular wheels are reasonably priced at £899 and skinny hubs and bladed spokes on the slab-sided deep-section wheels help them carve through headwinds. You’ll know you’re wearing them when the wind switches to the side though, and they’re not the stiffest through corners either. The steeply dropped short-reach base bars also take some getting used to, but they keep hands low and the angled extensions end up perfectly comfortable too.

This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus

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