We review the Giant Trinity Ironman triathlon bike

Triathlon Bikes - Giant Trinity

Giant Trinity
Price: £1,499.99
giantbicycles.com/uk

Frame and Fork

The short, rounded head tube plus a deep, thin down tube and similarly shaped seat tube with half-depth wheelhugger cutout and deep aero seatpost create a very wind slippery front end. Chunky chainstays, very flat triangular seatstays and horizontal wheel slots for tuning tyre clearance keep it fast at the back, while cables are cleanly routed inside the mainframe. It’s not that heavy for an aero bike, and while the carbon-legged aero fork is weighty, it’s still a very purposeful performance chassis.

The Equipment

Giant has certainly ticked all the equipment boxes for a serious attack on the clock too. The carbon extensions of the Contact tri-bars are low and long, and tip shifters help maintain aerodynamics on flatter, longer courses. While 42mm alloy rims add weight, they give the wheelset a tangible aerodynamic and momentum-retaining edge that’s more obvious at higher speeds.

The deep-armed, 53/42T-toothed FSA chainset is heavy but rock solid under power and means you’re in no danger of running out of gear ratios either. The Shimano Ultegra/105 transmission is par for the price, the Tektro brakes are OK and the broad nosed Giant tri saddle helps make longer stints in a tuck less taxing on your tackle.

The Ride

As soon as you climb onto the Trinity it’s very obvious this is a genuinely performance focused bike with no tall head tube or high-rise tri-bar concession to bad backs or ample age-grouper bellies. The very long, slightly kinked extensions are mounted underneath the wing bar and the pads very close to the top of the wing bar too. That means even with all the spacers left in to keep the front end the same height as the other bikes, body position is much lower and more aggressive in feel. If you’ve got the flexibility to get down there and still pedal efficiently then you can obviously drop the spacers and get even flatter.

The forward set seating geometry is spot on too, reducing the amount of shuffling around dramatically even when we were on the rivet trying to stay aero over shallow rises into the wind or winding a gear up to max on extended interval sessions. That said the broad-nosed tri saddle does take a bit of adjusting to find an unobtrusive angle if you’re used to something less boxy between your legs.

You definitely don’t have to worry about power delivery though, as the big FSA cranks and chunky stays feed all your hard-earned effort straight through to the rear wheel. There’s very little loss in twist between bars and back end when you’re out of the saddle either, and the lack of yaw helps keep the bike straighter and more efficient on the road when you’re chewing a big gear round. The tip shifters and lower bars mean it’s definitely more suited to Holland than the Himalayas. The heavier deep section alloy wheels take a bit longer to accelerate than standard rims too. Once you’ve got on top of the gear and speeds are into the high teens and beyond the effort is obviously worth it. The extra momentum from their weight gives you an easy speed sustain on rolling terrain and the cleaner aerodynamics are obvious against the other bikes when speeds are high or headwinds strong.

The slipperiness of the whole bike and riding position in terms of aero drag is also noticeable on freewheeling descent tests. The real surprise is that all this speed doesn’t come at the expense of crippling discomfort. Yes it’s definitely the firmest feeling bike here through the saddle and the pedals, and you’ll know all about any rough sections you can’t avoid. You’ll still be running not staggering after an Olympic-course bike leg though and it’s not out of the question for a fit, focused rider looking for a real speed advantage at Ironman. A lot of this is due to the impressive comfort levels of the shapely carbon front fork, which lets you stack tucked and trim through bad Tarmac trauma without disturbing your rhythm.

Despite the deep section wheels being more prone to getting grabbed by gusts, the handling is assured and confident too. After a few minutes even novice aero bike riders were nonchalantly staying in full tuck on swirling cross wind descents, while experienced riders were happy carving flatout kerb to kerb apex lines on quiet country roads. Aero wheels, low cockpit and top quality frame make it a high-velocity bargain too.

Pros
+ Blisteringly quick, low drag, high power transfer aero frame
+ Low- cockpit and aero wheels, plus TT chainset make it race ready

Cons
– High weight and tall gears make it best suited to flatter courses
– Superb power delivery and accuracy costs luxurious rear end comfort