Giant Trinity Advanced SL2 – First ride review

Drag-defying aero ride

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £5,000.00 RRP

Our review

Super-sneaky, drag-defying tricks make this speed machine a stunning option for the experienced rider
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Giant’s Trinity Advanced SL is one of the new generation of ultra aero bikes that have been locked in battle against both drag and restrictive road-race regulations for more than a year now.


You’d think for £5,000 you’d be getting a properly bejewelled bike, so the fact the TASL 2 comes equipped like most £2,000 bikes shows just how much research and development cost the frame represents.

If you’re an experienced rider after the maximum possible straightline speed then it’s potentially worth it, but the braking and slow-speed handling definitely let it down in practical terms.

Ride & handling: Phenomenal power return for the experienced rider but not for the faint-hearted

While slow-speed manoeuvring is awkward, thanks to limited steering lock and a very wide turning circle, the Giant is phenomenally stiff between pedals and road. Press down, and the rigid base bars and rear end lever you forward with an undiluted surge that builds in crescendo as you click up through the gears and drop into the super-low tuck.

The extreme “head down, arse up”  position and cutting-edge aerodynamics means it carves through the air with minimal noise apart from the buzz of your helmet straps. While it feels weird looking down and seeing the stem turning right underneath you rather than slightly ahead, the high-speed handling is good too. There’s very precise placement and decent stability, even as wind strength rises from the side.

Where this thoroughbred gets terrifying though is when you try to slow down. The tortuous, frame-fouling cable routing combines with extremely short levers to give a horribly spongy feel and frighteningly feeble braking power. Hopefully this is something that Giant can improve, but our demo bike definitely left us feeling alarmed.

Frame: Wind-tunnel-bred beast with a super-stiff rear end

To get round UCI road time trial rules, the deep section under the direct-fit bars isn’t just a fairing – it’s actually the bottom half of the stem. Honest. The stem top plate then forms a totally flush surface with the tapering top tube. The sidepull brake is also tucked behind the fork legs for minimum drag, with cables transferred from inside the stem to inside the down tube, with short sections of Nokon-articulated cable segments.

The down tube is a dead straight blade leading down to the press-fit bottom bracket in the supersized Powercore BB area. Backwards-facing dropouts maximise security at the expense of the speed at which you can change a wheel, but lack of adjusters means the wheel position and frame clearance are fixed.

The rear brake also gets tucked out of the wind under the massive chainstays, while the aero seat tube curves up and back round the wheel, before heading up vertically. There’s even a rubber gaiter over the seatclamp area to smooth airflow and the seatclamp is adjustable for fore and aft offset too.


While the base bar position is fixed, the arm rests are adjustable for height via different riser inserts. Frame sizes are limited to small, medium and large options though, which means some riders will have a fudged fit rather than a finely tuned one.

Giant Trinity Advanced SL2
Giant trinity advanced sl2: giant trinity advanced sl2
Russell Burton

Product Specifications


Name Trinity Advanced SL2 (11)
Brand Giant

Available Colours Composite/ White/Red
Stem Advanced SL
Rear Tyre Michelin ProRace 3
Rims CM42
Saddle Arione Tri
Seat Angle 71
Seatpost Vector
Shifters Dura-Ace 20
Weight (lb) 21.34
Rear Hub Road
Brake Levers Giant
Spoke Type Sapim Aero
Chainstays (cm) 37.5
Seat Tube (cm) 58.5
Top Tube (cm) 60
Wheelbase (cm) 98.3
Rear Shock N/A
Rear Derailleur Ultegra
Available Sizes L (61cm) S (55.5cm) M (58.5cm) L (61cm)
Frame Material Carbon
Bottom Bracket Press fit
Brakes Speed Control
Cassette Ultegra
Chain Ultegra
Cranks Ultegra
Fork Carbon
Front Derailleur Ultegra
Pedals N/A
Front Hub Road
Front Tyre Michelin ProRace 3
Grips/Tape Gel Cork
Handlebar Advanced SL
Head Angle 73
Headset Type Integrated
Standover Height (cm) 75.2