We review the Trigon RQC-29 road bike

Trigon RQC-29

Trigon RQC-29
£3,849
trigon-cycles.com

Trigon is a Taiwanese carbon fibre specialist which, until a few years ago, only made frames and parts for other top brands (including Shimano Pro and Pinarello). Then the staff realised that they could use their expertise to produce a range under their own name. A UK distributor came on board a year ago and the brand is gaining a foothold, led by the race-focused RQC-29.

FRAME AND FORK

The RQC-29 uses Trigon’s advanced proprietary technology, including Venus C8 carbon fibre, a super-high-modulus blend claimed to give an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. The full monocoque frame is cured using a high-pressure compaction method, dubbed ‘Hipact’, with a solid inner mould that produces denser material than conventional air-bladders.

Our frame weighed 1,190g; Trigon claims 1,100g for a 52cm frame without paint. The oversized tubes suggest that the extra mass may not be gluttonous. The top tube and down tube are described as ‘trapezoidal’ and the head tube tapers from 1.125in to 1.5in. The 400g fork uses the same spec carbon fibre as the frame. Its legs are straight from the crown to the integrated dropouts and trapezoidal in cross-section for rigidity. The cable routing is all external, although the rear brake cable is concealed in a channel under the top tube for aesthetic purposes.

THE KIT

Most of the build kit is also made by Trigon, starting with the 58mm-deep, full-carbon clincher wheels, which are the obvious bonus on the spec sheet. You can also choose 38mm rims or tubular versions of either. The very light monocoque, single-bolt carbon seatpost is Trigon’s, too, as is the dramatic one-piece carbon bar/stem combo. Obviously the latter can’t be adjusted, but you can choose from three bar widths and five stem lengths. A complete SRAM Red groupset is fitted, with a 53/39T crankset and an 11-25T cassette.

Trigon does make its own saddles but they’re somewhat quirky so it was a smart choice on its part to fit a premium-brand saddle instead. The Prologo Nago Evo Nack matches the bike perfectly and this is even the super-light carbon-railed version. Colour-matched Jagwire cables and two good carbon fibre bottle cages finish the bike off to a high standard.

THE RIDE

The RQC-29 is a joy to ride hard and it deserves a name that better reflects its character – Piledriver perhaps, or Typhoon. If you prefer to attack every ride rather than cruise, you’d still love the Trigon if it was called Cuthbert because it’s a beast! The extra weight in the frame seems to have been used to good effect – the huge tubes and junctions make it extremely stiff under load. There’s a real spark to the acceleration when you dig in. The front end is similarly flex-free, so when you’re out of the saddle and pulling on the bars, there’s no sensation that you’re twisting the bike in the middle, only that you’re driving the bike forwards even harder.

Sprinting may not have much place in triathlon but the same qualities also mean that the RQC-29 could handle big riders well and that when you’re hauling yourself up a steep climb all your energy is being used to fight gravity. The deep-section carbon clinchers are stiff and light, and they definitely give the Trigon a boost when it comes to acceleration and climbing. The rim depth gives a real aero benefit too. Don’t expect them to be as fast as Zipp 404s just because they’re 58mm, or as stable in crosswinds – the profile isn’t that advanced – but they definitely carry speed better than basic aluminium rims.

With so much rigidity in the front end of the frame and the fork, tackling descents and corners at speed is big fun and never less than confident. The braking is strong too. The Trigon takes a bit of the sting out of poor road surfaces but it can’t absorb them like the comfiest bikes in its class. You sense that nothing was going to stand in the way of the RQC-29 being the stiffest, meanest and most aggressive race bike possible. If that sounds like the sort of bike you want, then you won’t care about a few bumps either. The cockpit manages to be both vibration-damping and stiff, and the wing-shape tops give a large area to rest your palms. Various bends are available to order. If you’re hung up on brand image, you’ll have to pay a lot more for something this good.

Pros
+ Stiff, rewarding frame feels better and better the harder you ride it
+ No corners cut in the spec, full carbon clinchers save on upgrades

Cons
– Does the bare minimum to smooth out the road for you
– Colour scheme is starting to look outdated