The Trek Speed concept 7.5 is a TT bike. A time trial specific bike. But can also be used for triathlon. The differences are not in the bike itself. But in the way you may or may not set-up the bike. UCI regulations are very different from triathlon regulations. I will not bore you with the facts and figures from UCI's road book. But for instance, the "Draft Box" is not allowed in an UCI TT race. My current set-up as you see in the picture is specific for triathlon.
I bought this bike for my triathlon adventures next year and wanted to get more specific training for it. I choose the Trek in favor of other alternatives because of the fact it's very adjustable to your likings. Some bikes are very limited in their adjustments. Another valid oint for me was the attention to little details on this bike.
My advice is to always buy your bike at a store that can do a pro bike fit. Or start with a bike fit, so you know the measurements before you by the bike. A Retul, Specialized Body geometry, or Trek precision fit., It's all basically the same. They all offer a little more detailed fitting and precision than a basic fit. Most of the stores offer a precision fit with their bikes for a small fee, or even for free.
Why do I need a precision fit? Simple. You spend hours and hours of riding on this bike, and you don't want it to be more uncomfortable than it already is. This is the case for triathlon but also for TT purposes. It's not just about the comfort, but also about the amount of power you can put out whilst on the bike. The better the fit, the more efficient your pedaling will be. And in the end it's all about speed. I've had some experience with this on my road bike, using the Trek precision fit, and the gains were amazing. More comfort and way more power output,
Because I wanted a Trek Speed concept, I off course used Trek's precision fit. The store I contacted was Fietsen van den Hauwe in Belgium. The reason why I bought this bike in Belgium was that my size was not available in The Netherlands. When I first called them, they offered me a free fitting on this bike. So I accepted the offer and made an appointment. A couple day's later I arrived on a bitterly cold morning in a small town in Belgium. Entering the shop, my eyes immediately went to a stunning wooden bike on display.
I was welcomed and bot my coffee, we had a small talk and got started with the bases for the precision fit. After they took my measurements they started setting everything up with the basics, and we would start from there.
My clips were adjusted a little and I got on the bike. After about 5 minutes I got off the bike, and we made some adjustments. Saddle position, height off the bars, the offset of the bars, you name it, everything got sorted and everything got adjusted. Eventually, about 60 minutes later, we had a position I felt comfortable in. After another little adjustment on the extensions, I was happy, and so were they. Down below you'll see a small clip of me before and after the adjustments. The changes are small, but make a huge difference to the level of comfort and efficiency.
I bought the Trek Speed concept 7.5. Size medium. The drivetrain is Shimano Ultegra 11 speed, shifters are Dura Ace. Everything else is Bontrager. Brakes are Bontrager's own integrated brakes and levers. Full carbon bar and extensions. Saddle is a Bontrager Hilo with titanium rails. Wheels are the standard Bontrager Race lite TLR and there are Bontrager R4 tyres on them. It's not a very light bike, but with all the carbon on there it was never supposed to be. And it's not the main purpose of this bike.
What I like about this bike or any other TT or triathlon bike, is the fact that there are almost no compromises. Everything is made for aerodynamic benefits. This bike is made to go fast. And there are some clever touches, for instance the draft box, the box at the end of the bike made for storing inner tubes and a toolkit, is made specifically to fit this bike, and make it even more aero. The back brake is on the bottom bracket and is concealed by an aero cover. The front brake sits inside the fork. The cables run through the spacers, so there are no cables to see from the front. These are small details, but the details makes this bike so fast. Another small detail, take a look at the quick release made specially for this bike.
There is room for 3 bidon holders on the bike itself. on the seat tube, down tube, and on the top tube. There is the optional draft box, where there is room for 2 inner tubes, a multi tool, and 2 Co2 cartridges.
It takes some getting used to, the first time you get on a TT bike. The geometry is different, the bike is incredibly rigid, but most of all is the frontal seeding position. Normally you're well behind the front wheel, and now you're on top of it. Like I said, it takes so getting used to, but eventually u start to love it.
On a flat road it's easy to see what this bike is made for. Pure speed, and going in a straight line. But that said, it does go around corners quite good. It reacts differently but when you're used to it, it's great. But the biggest difference from a normal road bike, is the way this thing holds speed. This is off course to thank to the aerodynamics but it makes you feel stronger as well.
The feeling gets even stronger when using deep section wheels. My Scope R5C's make this bike even faster. And even in crosswinds, when you feel the big tubes in the wind, the bike and wheels help you maintain you're speed. And I feel very comfortable laying on the aero bars in heavy crosswinds.
I've done multiple 150k rides on the bike now, and it's very comfortable. My body is used to it now. Even the Hilo saddle suites me quite well. No saddle pain or numbness so far.
I do wanna say, that cobble stones and bad surface roads are not OK on this type of bike. When you're laying on the aero bars, it's fine, because of the soft cushioning, but with the hands on the flat bars, it's just unbearable. It feels like it's directly linked to you're spine.
The Shimano Ultegra is performing really well. Crisp shifts and very durable. The brakes are excellent too. Light to handle, yet very powerful.
As i've only done about 2000 kilometers on this bike, there is no real wear and tear yet. The bearings feel great, and like I said, the gears still feel crisp.
There was an issue with the draft box. On one of my first rides, the draft box decided to open up in a fast corner throwing an inner tube in between my wheel and the frame, making me have a terrible crash. The bike was undamaged and luckily I was fine as well. Apart from a broken helmet, and teared clothing. I've sent Trek an email about this and they responded immediately saying they would replace everything damaged. And they delivered. Within 4 days form the crash I got an new kit and helmet, and some other parts sent home with no charge.
That's what I call great customer service.
I would say YES! But it all depends on your budget. There are certainly cheaper alternatives, but in my opinion they offer less value for money. Like I said at the beginning, this bike can be adjusted in many ways and therefore it can be made to fit more that other alternatives.
But that brings me to my second big point, which is, whatever bike you choose to buy, please get a proper fitting done. It's a small investment for miles and miles of comfort.
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