Friday, April 30, 2010

Time Trial Machine

Denis Menchov of team Rabobank, the winner of last year's Giro, rode on the last stage to the Colosseum in Rome and to victory on one of these.
These are bikes built just for speed--don't even think about going to the market or installing a basket on one of them. There are no practical considerations, there is no concession to comfort, and not only there are no cut corners, but this bike is made to go on a straight line--fast. If your role model for a weekend ride is Fabian Cancellara, then this is the bike for you.
I should add that this bike is not made to ride in a group but only in front of one.

The frame is a Giant Trinity Advanced SL, stripped of all graphics down to the carbon weave and clear coated. I guess you could call it understated.
Pros can reach a speed in the neighborhood of 60 miles per hour on one of these machines, and everything on this bike is designed to accommodate the power that such speeds require: this is one stiff, stiff frame. Just take a look at the massive head tube, or the size of the chain stays. No effort goes wasted.

As a machine built for speed--not for sudden attacks, subtle strategies, or leisurely rides along country lanes--the Giant frame designers and engineers (I imagine the former wearing jeans and the latter white lab coats) spent a considerable amount of time in a wind tunnel, making sure that every area of the frame is as aerodynamic as possible. Apparently they set standards other manufacturers are still catching up to, such as taking the brakes from their usual location, and hiding them behind the fork in the front:

and tucked away behind the bottom bracket in the rear:

If the frame looks massive from the side, from the front or back it looks like a knife ready to cut through the air:

Here you are: imagine yourself in a wedge-shaped position, elbows tucked in, body contained in a frictionless skin suit, eyes focused six feet ahead, barely a whisper from the air hitting the frame, mind racing with the clock. All of your attention is focused on producing speed, smoothly, increasingly, consistently.
Nice thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment