Trek has a redesigned version of the Speed Concept 9 Series triathlon/time trial bike it first introduced at the 2009 Tour de France. The new bike has a smaller frontal profile, and the frame shape was tweaked after Trek engineers did real-world aerodynamics testing on Ironman courses.
The result? Trek claims the 2014 Speed Concept will save between 0.5-0.8 sec/km (0.9-1.3 sec/mile) compared to the current bike. The company has also shaved a supposed 437g off the frame.
Trek has also fine-tuned the bolt-on storage containers, which the company says actually improve the overall aerodynamics of the bike. Five sizes will be available, each with six stem options. Prices range from US$4,999/£4,500 for a frameset, through US$5,999/£5,000 for a Trek Speed Concept 9.5 or Speed Concept 9.5 WSD (Women's Specific Design), up to $11,549/£9,000 for the top-end Speed Concept 9.9 with Dura-Ace Di2 and Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 carbon clinchers. Custom Project One options are also available.
Back in 2009, Trek engineers created an effective but quite bulky mobile aerodynamics testing system to record wind speed and direction. Last year, Trek adopted a much more compact system made by Alphamantis. Taking measurements at the notoriously windy Kona Ironman course and the less gusty Arizona Ironman course, Trek found average yaw angles of 10.6 and 3.6, respectively, for riders averaging between 18mph and 25mph.
Armed with this data, Trek engineers went back to the CFD drawing board and reduced the bike's frontal area, stretched the fork out to a 6:1 ratio, and added the truncated Kamm foil shape to the seatstays, all the while optimizing for yaw angles of up to 12.5 degrees.
Trek also streamlined the cockpit, with a tuning fork-shape extension bar and the pad holders clamping to one of a few fixed points instead of separately and infinitely adjustable designs. Internal routing for mechanical and electrical systems makes for a design that looks clean to the eye and the wind, but also for a bit of wrestling in the initial build.
All routing is internal, from the integrated bar/stem to the frame
Trek expanded the storage containers to hold more stuff while still effectively improving the sail effect of the bike. The company claims that when using the containers behind the saddle, behind the seat tube and on top of the top tube, a rider could theoretically shave four minutes off a 112-mile bike ride.
"The great thing about our storage solutions is that, when you put them all on the bike, it actually makes you and the bike faster than if you use none at all," said Trek's Ben Coates.
Trek Speed Concept 9.5 WSD
Check back to BikeRadar soon for a more in-depth first look as we get our hands on the bike, and for a review after we get a few miles in on it.