I will preface this review by saying that any bike that helps me knock off over an hour from my previous half ironman total time is probably going get a good wrap!
I’d been out of the sport for about 10 years, getting back into it again in 2012. After a consistent year of training, and a desire to do more half ironman racing after completing my come-back race at Shepparton 2012, I felt I could justify a new bike.
Yes, there was nothing wrong with on old bike as my husband half-heartedly tried to convince me, and yes I had managed to ride some pretty decent times on my old bike in years gone by, but it was . . . well, old. Vintage. Circa 1999. It also had a somewhat unique custom paint job. Fun at the time, but pretty daggy 10 years later. When people starting describing my bike as ‘interesting’ I knew it was time to upgrade.
So, in December 2012, I organised my Christmas present, placing an order for a Giant Trinity Composite 1 W. With a shipment due in January, I didn’t have the opportunity to test ride one before ordering, so trusted the advice from the point of purchase as well as information on the Giant website.
I initially considered the Giant Trinity Composite 1 W, based on price. At RRP $2,999, it represents excellent value for a very decent time trial bike. Being a women’s specific bike was also a selling point. To accommodate the specific geometry needs of the female rider, it features a shorter toptube and slightly taller headtube.
The frame is Giant Composite Technology, with an advanced-Grade Composite, Alloy Steerer fork. It has Shimano Ultegra componentry with Dura-Ace handlebar-end shifters and Shimano R501 wheelset.
The bike comes completely setup ready to race, equipped with Giant Connect SL base handlebars with Connect SL composite clip-ons. It comes in sizes XS, S, M, L. I’m 165cm tall and have the XS.
The bike looks the part – fast and aerodynamic. Most of the cabling is hidden away in the frame, making it look sleeker.
I loved the fit from the moment I first took it for a short ride when I got it home. I’m used to a time trial bike, so the setup wasn’t completely different to what I’ve been riding on in the past. I felt slightly more compact, marginally lower at the font, but immediately felt more comfortable and in my head, faster!
My first test ride on it was for about 2.5 hours, most of which was in the aero position. I was immediately struck at how quiet it sounded when pedalling, and how smooth the gear changes were. I didn’t experience any stiffness in my back or shoulders during or after that first ride. I initially considered changing the saddle that comes standard with the bike, but I’ve found it to be comfortable.
I raced on it at Geelong 70.3 two weeks after picking it up, swapping the wheels that the bike came with a set of racing wheels. I rode 20 minutes faster than what I had ridden at Shepparton 12 weeks earlier. Different course, better preparation , but I’m giving some credit to the new bike for at least part of that improvement. I felt comfortable in the aero position throughout the ride, although my lower back did tighten up a momentarily at the 80km mark. I ran really well off the bike too, and I think the comfort of the bike had a positive impact on my run. I’ve tweaked my aero bar position a little since, and now feel that I have a very comfortable setup. A few weeks later I had an ever better ride at Portarlington long course.
For race performance the Trinity Composite 1 W gets a huge tick from me. “Lightweight, stiff, incredibly aerodynamic and comfortable” is how the promotional material describes the Giant Trinity Composite 1 W and it doesn’t disappoint.
Negatives really are minor. The bottle cage on the down-tube is quite low (although it needs to be to allow a 750ml bidon to fit), so I did feel that I was reaching lower than what I’m used to when taking a drink.
Whilst I’m certainly not suggesting ‘girlie’ colours, I think it would be nice to see a bit more colour differentiation from some of the other Trinity bikes in the range to make it stand out more as a women’s specific bike.
Overall I am very pleased with my new Trinity Composite 1 W, and am looking forward to racing on it again this season.
Purchased from CBD Cycles.