Tech talk

Triathlon Plus - - The Bike Test -

Frame ma­te­rial

Car­bon tends to be lighter, but it won’t suf­fer bumps and crashes as read­ily as metal. Two of our bikes are alu­minium, the other car­bon. None are tooth-rat­tlingly harsh to ride, but there are no­tice­able dif­fer­ences in weight.

Ca­ble rout­ing

Rout­ing of the brake and gear ca­bles dif­fers very much be­tween bikes. Ex­ter­nal ca­bling can be eas­ier to main­tain, but also more sus­cep­ti­ble to dam­age if you do hap­pen to top­ple off. In­ter­nal ca­bles look neater and won’t get too grimy.

Brakes

All three of our bikes run disc brakes. This method of stop­ping gen­er­ally of­fers more pre­cise mod­u­la­tion and less chance of lock­ing up ei­ther wheel on rough, wet or loose ter­rain.

Chain­sets

The norm is a big ring in the high-40s and a smaller chain­ring in the low 30s – this gives enough top-end speed for flat, dry paths, and a small enough gear to tackle more tech­ni­cal, up­hill sec­tions of trail. How­ever, road com­pact set-ups (50/34) are also com­mon.

Tyres

The three bikes we tested are wear­ing tyres that vary be­tween 30-40mm, and fea­ture dif­fer­ent tread pat­terns. Run­ning this wide rub­ber with con­sid­er­ably less pres­sure than you would on the road helps with trac­tion off-road.

Ped­als

We’d rec­om­mend treaded moun­tain bike shoes and ped­als for oc­ca­sions when you’re forced to dis­mount.

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