Naughty or nice in 2013? That is the question. For a moment, let’s pretend it was the latter and as a result received quite the reward from Saint Nick himself, an endless amount of money in your secret bank account for your, ahem, troubles? The only catch however, is that you can only spend it on your dream Time Trial/Triathlon bike – quite the atrocity since you’ve been known to be quite charitable. After wishing yourself a well deserved Merry Christmas, proceeding to explain to your loved ones and favorite charity that unfortunately those “endless funds” are only good towards your dream aero-machine, you embark on your latest project.
Would you know right away which bike you’d get? I know I’d spend quite a bit of time going back and forth between a number of frames, wheels, and some components. About the only certainty would be that I’d choose Shimano Di2 as my group. In either case, I came up with a few bikes that have caught my attention.
1. Scott Plasma TT (Di2 Version)
Having gotten its debut at least 4 years ago at the Giro d’Italia under Columbia High Road, most would agree the Plasma 3 has been around for a few years. Nonetheless, it continues to perform well. Most recently with Orica GreenEdge in the pro peloton, and setting some of the fastest bike splits under triathletes Sebastian Kienle, Luke McKenzie, and Marino Vanhoenacker.
What I like: Aside from looking fast, it is fast. Though it has a proprietary fork and stem combo, the PRO Missile EVO aerobar provides a lot of adjustability. The non-integrated brakes make it easy to work on and travel with. Finally, I like the fact that it’s only Di2 compatible as it keeps cables neatly hidden.
What I don’t like: These are hard to come by, impossible almost. Also, even though the simplicity of using standard brakes is listed as a positive above, it’s a negative as well. It’s one of the more out-dated super bikes and most likely in line to be replaced soon.
2. English Cycles Time Trial Mk2
For anyone who ever thought a “super bike” could only be made out of carbon (or yet-to-be-determined composite) the English Time Trial Mk2 proves that’s not the case. This hand-crafted custom time trial bike was a winner at the 2013 NAHMBS ‘Best In Show’ and has all of the bells and whistles to justify being mentioned as anyone’s dream bike. If you want to get more detail on this particular bike (and see some of Rob’s other work) follow this link.
What I like: Everything
What I don’t like: Nothing
3. Dimond Bike
Beam bike aficionados rejoice! The only Non-UCI compliant bike on this list is TJ Tollakson’s Dimond bike. An engineer, and professional tinkerer of everything aerodynamics, TJ has done quite well as a triathlete and hopes to do the same as he continues to expand production of his Dimond frames. While you won’t see transition areas filled with Dimond bikes, you’ll be sure to see more of these from riders looking for a bike that offers great aerodynamics and great ride quality.
What I like: Even though this bike looks completely different than the others on the list, it seems to be quite “traditional” in term of how cables are routed and components mounted. It’s quite an improvement over the first version released only a year or so ago. According to the Dimond White Paper, this bike tested really well compared to some of the other leading super-bikes. These bikes are produced in smaller quantities than any of the major manufacturers which should make these fairly exclusive and keep QC above most others.
What I don’t like: Though I’ve not ridden a beam bike before, the consensus seems to be that they offer a more comfortable ride than that of a double triangle bike. However, the Dimond would also seem to be more susceptible to flexing when standing on the pedals therefore not being as efficient on transferring power in those instances.
4. Canyon Speedmax CF
This one is almost a bit too similar to the Scott Plasma above, but still deserves a spot on this list if for no other reason than how rare it is. At least in the US. For reasons unbeknownst to us (and to the company as well since depending on who you ask, you tend to get a different answer) Canyon has yet to start selling its products in the US. If, and that seems to be a big ‘If’, they decide to venture into North America, it likely won’t be before model-year 2016.
What I like: As with the Scott Plasma, Canyon have done a great job at fully integrating this bike so there’s nothing exposed. Unlike the Scott Plasma, this frame works with both mechanical and electronic groupos. These are rare, and whether or not it’s the best/fastest bike out there, the fact that they’re hard to come by makes it that much more of a “want”.
What I don’t like: There’s not a lot, but geometry seems to be a bit weird. Typically I’m puzzled by TT bikes that have a “forward” seatpost, it typically means that the geometry is that closer to a road bike than a TT/Tri bike. Though not the case in this particular picture, most now come with a seatpost that has quite a bit of forward “offset” to it.
5. Peogeot Concept
So perhaps this bike wouldn’t be atop my list, but it’s still quite intriguing. At first glance, it has a little bit of BMC, Shiv TT, and Litespeed Blade (Ti Concept) all blended into one fast looking bike. Will this bike ever be produced? I would highly doubt it, but we’ll at least keep an eye out for it just in case.
If there’s a bike that I absolutely missed, let me know in the comments. And of course, feel free to share your “list”.