Trek launch the new TTX 9.9 SSL for 2008 having shaved an extra 300g off last years frameset. The TTX 9.9 SSL uses Trek's highest grade, high modulus OCLV Carbon Red with a full SRAM Red groupset to match. Trek's other TTX bikes, the 9.0, 9.5 and 9.9, are all made using the lower grade Carbon Black and White.
Keen to prove the TTX as the fastest bike Trek tested it against its rivals to back up their claims. The "rider on" windtunnel tests look interesting, with the new TTX showing less drag than a Cervelo P3C and Scott Plasma. Although those figure didn't seam to stop Cancellara winning the Tour De France Prologue or retaining his World TT Championship in 2007. If any manufacturer wants to get back to us on Trek's claims feel free, we'd love a good debate.
Now we've opened the flood gates of debate there are a couple of key features that make the TTX an interesting Time machine. At the all important front a wider bladed fork blade allows air pulled along by the tyre, rim and spoke to pass more freely through the fork. This is most noticeable at the wider crown and the dropouts where the blades sit behind the hub end of the spokes. The smooth lines of the fork's crown are also designed to flow into the profile of the downtube. The lower downtube has also been placed in such a way as to minimize the gap between the front wheel. Cable routing is directed behind the stem and into the frame to complete the clean, aero flow at the front.
That 300g weight reduction comes from using hi modulus OCLV Red and some fine tuning and machining of the frames forged parts. In particular the seat tube cap, rear dropouts, bottom bracket insert, headset cups and front derailleur mount have all been drilled out and slimmed down. The new XXX Lite TT fork is also lighter than last year's model.
The top end TTX 9.9 SSL will retail in for $8249.9/£4200 and comes with a full SRAM Red groupset and Bontrager Aeolus Wheels. If you haven't got that sort of money to spend on a wind beater then the TTX 9.0 sits at the base of the range, comes equipped with Shimano 105 components and retails for $3079.99
If you're interested in a bit of further reading and the dynamics of time trialing the check out these links: