Time Trial Bike – Blue Triad SP

My big goal for the season so far was the Colorado State Time Trial Championship.  Although the race was two weeks ago, I finally got time to take some photos and do a profile my bike.  I couldn’t be happier with it!  I rode a 51:17 40k (29.1 mph / 46.8 kph) and finished 5th place.

Blue Competition Cycles – 2012 Triad SP

Frame:

The frame is the lowest tier carbon frame available from Blue, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fast.  It has the same tube shapes and aerodynamics of the top of the line model, with the exception of the non-UCI legal fork.  It is about a pound heavier than the SL, but half the price.  For me, the choice was easy to make.  Most time trials are quite flat and weight makes minimal difference.

The 2012 frame is the second iteration of the Triad, and there are some key refinements: The cable routing is smoother, the down tube is deeper, the head tube is deeper, and it comes with an adjustable seatpost (rather than the old seat mast).  Other features include a rear brake positioned out of the wind beneath the bottom bracket, and full internal cable routing.

Build Notes:

Modern time trial bikes need a lot of attention to detail, and even some ingenuity to build.

The internal cable routing was my first hurdle.  The rear shifter and brake both use full length housing.  The major benefit is that the system is fully sealed and housed from end to end.  The frame is sleeved, so the housing is simply run through the frame, which is very easy.  I did have some trouble finding housing long enough, as I needed 6.5 feet of shift housing and most pre-cut housing comes in 5 feet.  You’ll have to find a shop with bulk housing, or buy a , which comes with 6.5 feet of housing.

The rear brake is included with the bike, but I found I had to swap the pad carriers for proper orientation.  I also made sure to double check the tightness of the front derailleur braze-on and rear derailleur hangar bolts.  Looking for a low position, I was very happy to see a short dustcap included with the headset.

Parts Spec:

With weight being less of an issue on my TT bike, I wasn’t too concerned about top of the line components, either.  I scavenged everything off my old TT bike and have quite a hodgepodge of parts.  It turns out the shifters in friction mode (non indexed) work very well and tolerate the parts mix flawlessly.

MacGuyver’ing:

I made a few modifications for proper fit and aerodynamics.

I got a Specialized Virtue aero bottle, and made a new set of mounting holes, so the bottle fits flush with the frame.  I had to hand-countersink the holes so the screw heads didn’t interfere with the bottle.

I removed the 12.5mm risers (smallest available) from my Vision Carbon Pro aerobars to further lower my front end.  The armrests won’t sit flush on the bars on their own, so I added washers instead of the risers (including a pair of repurposed nuts that come on new tubes).  I also flipped the armrest pads around so I would have more knee clearance.

Lastly, I cut the lower half off my Cane Creek 200TT brake levers.  They were very long, comfortable four finger brakes, but extended quite a distance into the wind.  They work fine at half length as a two finger brake.  I even touched them up with black paint for a polished look.  A simple, woven mount for my Garmin 500 using the standard bands completes the package.

Performance:

So far I’ve been thrilled with the bike.  It is stable, smooth, and comfortable.  It is actually more comfortable over poor pavement than my AC1 SL.  I’ve even taken it into the mountains on steep climbs and high speed descents without complaint.

Photos:

About Russell

I have been racing bicycles for a decade. This blog will chronicle my efforts as a Category 1 road racer lining up with the pros.
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