2014 version of Trek Speed Concept 9 sheds weight, becomes more aero after Ironman testing

Trek Speed Concept 9.9 2014

The new Trek Speed Concept 9.9

This article was originally published on Bikeradar. Click here to view the full photo gallery.
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 availalbe, each with six stem options. Prices range from US$4,999/£4,500 for a frameset, through US$5,999/£5,000 for a 9.5 or 9.5 WSD (Women’s Specific Design), up to $11,549/£9,000 for the top-end 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 Ironman Arizona 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 Speed Concept 9.5 WSD

Trek Speed Concept 9.5 WSD

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.

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-Comparison

The 2014 Trek Speed Concept vs the 2013 version, with mannequin on board in the San Diego low speed wind tunnel. The 2014 bike is significantly better between 0 to 10 degrees yaw. Note: a 50g drag saving is roughly equal to 0.5sec/km at 30mph