Trek 2014 Time Trial Bike Mixes Fashion and Function
For the time trial stages, Trek has the Speed Concept. The bike has been around for a good few years now, but had an update last year (for the 2014 model year) to reduce the weight by a claimed 437g. Trek reckon the aerodynamics and reduced frontal area have improved its performance across a range of yaw angles.
The Speed Concept heralded in Trek’s Kammtail Virtual Foil (KVF) tube profiles that see the trailing edge chopped off, tricking the air into acting as if it's still there. The tube shaping has been tweaked on the new frame, and they have added fillet’s between the main frame tubes to increase side surface area to reduce drag at higher yaw angles. This also stiffens the frame.
Trek have reduced the frontal area - down 30% they say - and taken material from the seat tube and down tube - all without any reduction in stiffness, according to Trek's men in lab coats. All cables are routed internally, and the battery for a Shimano Di2 groupset is housed inside the frame.
Parts and components
With Trek supplying the frames, Bontrager will supply the wheels, stems, handlebars, saddles and tyres. They’ll be using the tubular Aeolus 3.0 wheelset for a lot of the regular road stages, going to deeper or shallower section rims dependent on conditions, course profile and rider preferences.
We’ve seen a few new products coming out recently as a direct result of the team involvement - you get an awful lot of feedback from guys doing 30,000km of riding and racing every year, and to product developers that's invaluable. The pros can also be very fussy, and with personal sponsorship deals for saddles less common these days, this can lead to new saddle models being introduced. A case in point is the Serano saddle launched last December, first spotted on Andy Schleck early last year.
And we've seen the new helmet that will be ideal for the Spring Classics, the Bontrager Velocis AW. It's the same as the regular Velocis helmet, just with a new one-piece shell with the vents all blocked up to prevent rain and cold wind getting in. The helmet will only be available through the Trek Race Shop, the outlet for limited runs of equipment built specifically for the Trek Factory Racing team.
Shimano will continue to support the team, and will supply most of the team with its top flight Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed groupset. However, not all are happy to switch to electronic, and Cancellara prefers to remain on a mechanical Dura-Ace groupset.
Once again, German tyre manufacturer Schwalbe will supply the team with tyres. With the company heavily investing in tubeless tyres with the excellent Ultremo and more recent One (which it reckons is the fastest tyre it has ever produced) and Bontrager producing tubeless-ready rims, it’ll be interesting to see if any of the team ride tubeless throughout the season.
- David Arthur, Road.cc