Blue is about to debut its first aluminium triathlon bike – a ‘budget’ model priced under the $2k dollar mark. But how does it stand up against the competition? Aaron Hersh takes a look at it.
The Triad AL is built with the same conservative geometry as Blue’s carbon models. The Triad AL’s stack values are tall and its reach to the headtube is short. This fit style is not for everyone, but riders needing a conservative aerobar position (read: everyone with a tall stack of headset spacers) will benefit tremendously from the conservative-fitting geometry rather than resorting to a pile of spacers in order to find a comfortable position.
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Blue strove to preserve the “lineage” of the carbon Triad models by building the Triad AL with shapes similar to the carbon bikes, says product manager Chance Regina. The most distinctive similarities are in the rear triangle. The chain stays hug tightly to the rear wheel before flaring at the rear hub and the seatstays create a small rear triangle by joining the seat tube about halfway between the bottom bracket and the seatpost clamp. At the front of the bike, the headtube is cylindrical and the downtube has a rounded airfoil profile. All the welds have been cleaned and smoothed to remove the bulging ripples found at the tube junctions of many aluminum bikes.
The housing for both derailleurs route through the downtube and pop out just above the crank. The rear brake cable routes externally down the center of the downtube until it meets the rear brake under the bottom bracket.
The Triad AL is spec’d with Shimano Tiagra derailleurs, Microshift shifters and an FSA crank. This drivetrain spec is lower level than some other aluminum tri bikes in the $1,800 ballpark.
The Profile Design T2+ aerobars provide a ton of fit adjustability and their aggressive S-bend extensions are best suited for riders that like to feel tension through their wrists while riding in aero.