Tick tock: More new time trial bikes are on the way

While severe worldwide shortages in bike components and accessories signify new street bike proclamations have not been as frequent as normal this year, it seems time trial bike development has continued at pace. Both Canyon, Cannondale( still unannounced) recently debuted new TT rigs. Now it seems Trek and Factor have done the same.


The Trek Speed Concept is one of the most successful time trial bikes on the market, but it has gazed a little long in the tooth of late. As such, it comes as no surprise that Trek has moved to update its day test machine. It should also come as no surprise the new bike features disc brakes, as Trek’s top-end street range is now wholly disc-brake-only.

Trek has made other noticeable updates to the brand-new motorcycle. Starting with the front end, it seems Trek has done away with its mono bar cockpit setup and to come to a more traditional twin riser set up under the elbow pads.

As seen at the Dauphine, the new front end features a more traditional twin riser extension setup and smooth-flowing stem-into-top tube design. The brain tube width is as you’d expect with a standard internal steerer tubing designing.

These twin risers are attached to what looks like a newly designed integrated handlebar and stem, which flows nearly seamlessly into the top tube as per many modern TT bikes.

Trek has trenched the nose cone style fork and psyche tubing setup, favouring a dropped manager tube that helps integrate that brand-new branch into the top tubing. This setup develops a smoother, fully integrated setup offering less frontal region to the wind.

Trek has paired this integrated front end with a much bigger top tube and a down tube featuring a cutout to hug that front wheel. It all seems to have been designed to improve the airflow over the bicycle.

The new Trek features a cleaner front end, deeper top tube, and plummeted seat stands.

Moving to the rear of the frame and perhaps the most notable design element is the brand-new fell seatstays. In keeping with new road and TT bikes, the seatstays attach to the seat tube much lower than on the old-fashioned Speed Concept.

More interestingly, though, the stays likewise feature a lengthy horizontal section extending back and around the rear wheel before plunging to the rear hub. It’s a intend which, it has to be said, looks very similar to that of the Specialized Shiv TT.

The seatstays on the outgoing Speed Concept affixed far higher on the seat tube and appeared to flow into a compensation triangle at the seat tube/ top tube interface. Trek has stay with this compensation triangle, and although it’s hard to tell for certain, it seems to have even grown a bit.

If it has grown this could be thanks to the recent relaxation of frame designing regulations by the UCI. Trek may also be reclining on these new regulations with its much more profound top tube/ chief tube interface.

However, it has to be said Trek certainly hasn’t gone overboard with the freedoms the new regulations offer. The brand-new Speed Concept appears relatively tamed compared to what is possible, given the UCI’s updated governs let the option to go as narrow as 10 mm in tube thicknes and match that width to an 8: 1 characteristic rate( e.g. 80 mm depth, 10 mm thicknes ). That doesn’t mean the brand-new bicycle is lacking any accelerate though. Trek might well have found a designing that proves to be just as fast without the added weight large tubes would surely delivering.

In a somewhat strange move that I am sure Trek will explain when the bicycle is officially announced, the brand-new rig gets a slight name change, lowering all the vowels from the word “Concept” to create “Speed CNCPT”. Trek has also decked the motorcycles out with the time stamp 00:00: 00. Let’s hope that’s not the time saved by switching to the new bike.


One brand which does seem to have taken all the benefits of the new regulations is Factor. In the stage 21 period experiment at the Giro d’Italia, Matthias Brandle of Israel Start-Up Nation finished in 16 th statu aboard a blacked-out, as-yet-unannounced time trial bike, presumably an updated Slick TT from crew sponsor Factor.

This new Factor is perhaps the most interesting bike since the Lotus Hope GB racetrack bike was announced in 2019. The brand-new Factor appears to be the first bike to genuinely utilise all the freedom the brand-new UCI regulations offer.

This new design freedom is most visible in the ultra-narrow tubing seemingly used throughout the frame and the deep and highly wide-sitting forks and seatstays.

Let’s take a look at the front end of the new bike first. While modern TT bikes are often fully integrated and narrow, I have yet to see anything with a psyche tube( or head tube-covering nose cone in such cases) as thin as the new Factor. The nose cone/ external steerer-style fork which covers the brain tube seemingly targets that brand-new 10 mm minimum thicknes regulation before aiming for the complete opposite impact, flaring out to an ultra-wide stance at the priorities in the forking legs.

The front end of the brand-new Factor TT bicycle is a brand-new take on what is possible for road time trial bike design.The ultra-narrow external steerer forking is paired to an ultra-wide fork.The mono-riser setup remains, although attached here to a Wattshop base to match the Anemoi expansions. Brandle finished his Giro with a brand-new bicycle day.

This nose cone-style fork has the effect of extending the depth of the head tube, while staying within the UCI regulations, while the wider-stance fork legs are said to create a smoother airflow between the wheel and forking. This combining adds up to create a look rarely seen in road time experiments.

The forks likewise seem notably wider than on most other period experiment bikes- again a designing alternative shaped possible by the loosened UCI regulations- which should result in a more aerodynamic setup.

Brandle was using Wattshop Anemoi aero extensions, but presumably the final version of the brand-new motorcycle will feature a brand-new cockpit design from Factor. It would seem to be though the brand-new frame maintains the mono riser setup from the current Slick, so expect to see that style remain.

Moving back through the frame Factor seems to have done away with the twin-vane split down tube on the current Slick, in favour of a truncated style aero shape, but it is difficult to tell for sure.

The new bicycle aspects a raised underside bracket region, a design already integrated into the current Slick but seemingly further filled in here. The rear of the brain tube is also constricted and profiled in, presumably for improved “aeroness”.

One thing we can see is a larger and developed bottom bracket area. “Thats one” field frame designers often target for improved aerodynamics, especially on triathlon bikes where regulations are not as strict on how enlarged this area can be.

In keeping with the rest of the motorcycle, Factor has opted for a instead deep bench tube and seatpost, again for improved airflow.

More interesting, though, are the rear seatstays. As we have come to expect, the brand-new remains are plummeted low on the seat tube, even if not quite as low-spirited as the brand-new Trek above.

What’s interesting about the brand-new remains is how they extend out of the seat tube. While again not extending as far back horizontally as the stays on the brand-new Speed CNCPT, they form a Formula One rear wing-esque shelf behind the seat stay before declining to the rear hub. Without information from Factor on this new design, it isn’t easy to theorize what this layout achieves, but perhaps it manipulates the airflow to help reduce drag in the wake of the equestrian or around the rear wheel.

The Factor unsurprisingly also features disc brakes, as Factor is another brand moving alone to disc-only road bikes.

The rear of the brand-new bicycle is also extremely narrow … everywhere except where it is extremely wide.The seatstays shape a shelf-like shape behind the seat tube.Another view of that seatstay and seat tube area.The sheer width of both forks and seatstays is clear to see.

We didn’t spot any riders in Wednesday’s Dauphine time trial aboard the brand-new motorcycle, but presumably, the Tour and Olympics riders will all be aboard the new machine later this month and in July.

While dedicating equipment and resources to TT bikes during the course of its world deficit might seem strange, it is quite likely this development work started long before the impact of the dearths hit home. The raft of brand-new TT rigs this year is also likely due to the upcoming Olympics, a Tour de France with two lengthy hour experiments, the natural timing of design updates, and with that, the opportunity to introduce disc brake into TT rigs.

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