UL­TI­MATE BIKES

We test three dis­tinc­tively dif­fer­ent dream ma­chines de­signed to blow your bike PB to pieces

Triathlon Plus - - Ultimate Bikes - Words Guy Kesteven Pho­tos Mick Kirk­man

THE IN­CREAS­ING pop­u­lar­ity of triathlon has made it more worth­while than ever for man­u­fac­tur­ers to in­vest in pur­pose built multi-sport bikes. That cer­tainly doesn’t mean they’re all cookie cut­ter de­signs fo­cused on the same bal­ance of per­for­mance prin­ci­ples though.

The first and most vis­ually rad­i­cal breed is the fully loaded, hy­per aero ma­chines. On these wind tun­nel honed ma­chines not just the bike but the wheels and rider are fac­tored into the over­all, min­i­mal drag de­sign. Ev­ery­thing you need to carry to hit your run fu­elled and fresh is built into the aero sculpt­ing too, of­ten ac­tu­ally re­duc­ing over­all drag com­pared to naked bikes.

The sec­ond seg­ment is a new breed of bikes where de­sign­ers have taken a step back from solely wind tun­nel de­rived de­vel­op­ment. While they’re still wind ef­fi­cient, aero­dy­namic gains aren’t achieved at the ex­pense of friendly han­dling and a for­giv­ing ride qual­ity that’ll get you to T2 fast, but most im­por­tantly men­tally and phys­i­cally fresh.

Fi­nally there’s the bleed­ing edge in­no­va­tors who live by their own set of rules and test re­sults rather than fol­low­ing the herd. Done right, it doesn’t just make these rigs easy to find in the tran­si­tion rack, it also gives you a real edge on the road.

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