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The Most Exciting Triathlon Technology Of 2012

  • By Paul Moore
  • Published December 27, 2011

Every triathlete loves new kit, and 2012 promises to offer it in abundance! Triathlete Europe tech editor Aaron Hersh took a break from the Christmas festivities to take a look at what is coming in 2012, and explain why he’s excited about it.

Specialized Shiv
Specialized overhauls its timed race bike to create a machine specifically for triathletes.

The original Specialized Shiv was created as a time trial bike and triathletes rigged it up to meet their purposes using add-ons and spacers. The all-new 2012 Shiv is designed specifically for triathletes. Its fit dimensions match the needs of many more triathletes and it offers a wide range of adjustment that allow the bike to match the rider’s fit preferences without using a mountain of awkward spacers. In addition to the tri-specific fit, the 2012 Shiv hides an internal bladder to reduce the need for external hydration products that can add drag to a bike.

TYR Freak Of Nature
It’s a $1,200 wetsuit. Freak of Nature is made entirely of Yamamoto’s very flexible #40 rubber, uses aerated materials in specific locations to increase buoyancy and has the same paneling and fit as their current high-end suit, the Cat. 5. With a price tag nearly double most high-end suits, is Freak of Nature worth the cost?

We take an initial look at the TYR Freak of Nature here.

Cervélo P5
Cervélo is launching the P5, its next pro-level triathlon bike, on Jan. 18, 2012. The details are still sketchy, but Cervélo has alluded to two substantial differences between the P5 and its predecessors, the P3 and P4.

Cervélo says the P5 will be built with, “an easier-to-live-with geometry and position” than the P4. The Canadian company has historically built their top-shelf bikes with geometry designed for extremely aggressive positions. The P1 and P2, their lower-priced tri bikes, have geometry schemes designed for more upright riding styles than the P3 and P4. The dramatic differences in geometry between the more aerodynamic models and the cheaper versions implied that Cervélo’s fastest bikes were designed for the fastest athletes, the ones capable of riding aggressive positions.

SRAM Red
We don’t know everything about the all-new SRAM Red. What we do know is that the details will be released in February of 2012. SRAM did send out these sneak peek shots of the groupset to the media. Check back to Triathlete.com as we learn more about the brand-new SRAM Red.

Check out our Sneak Peek at the SRAM Red here

Felt DA4
The Felt DA debuted this year and we were blown away by its ride quality and performance, but it’s currently only available as a frameset for $4,999 or a complete bike for $12,499. Not exactly an affordable price. For 2012, Felt is making the DA available to many more riders in two ways: By increasing the range of fit adjustability and offering a complete line of more affordable bikes, stretching as low as $3,999 for the Felt DA4 (pictured). Although that price is still a big number, the DA brings ultra-high performance and ride quality to a near-mid price point that is dramatically lower than the cheapest model of the integrated front-end, pro-level tri frames from other brands.

Bontrager Aeolus D3 Wheels
After building their Aeolus aero wheels with shallow rims covered by deep fairings to create aero wheels using rim shapes borrowed from HED Cycling, Bontrager’s aero wheels are taking a massive leap forward in 2012.

Gone are the fairings. Gone are the borrowed rim shapes. Gone are the older construction methods. They have been replaced by structural carbon rims, single-piece carbon clinchers and ultra-wide rim shapes that key off the aerodynamically-validated design trend set in motion by Zipp and HED laced to hubs built in collaboration with DT Swiss based on their 180 and 240 hub platforms. These wheels are serious hardware.

Bontrager is using this new rim design philosophy to completely overhaul their wheel line for 2012. In the coming months, they are releasing the Aeolus 3 tubular, Aeolus 5 tubular, Aeolus 5 carbon clincher, Aeolus 7 and Aeolus 9 tubular wheels based on this technology. These wheels are constructed with rims 35mm, 50mm, 70mm and 90mm in depth respectively and priced at $2,300 for tubular wheel, $2,700 for clinchers. Clincher models for the 3, 7 and 9 depths to follow.

Profile Design Sync
The innovative bottle-lock system allows the runner to reinsert the bottle onto the belt without holding the holster open or carefully aiming the bottle into the opening. And it seems to hold the bottle securely, but we will have to test it to be sure.

BMC TM01
BMC’s new tri bike has an integrated aerobar attachment system using independent pieces that bolt together to create a stem with a wide range of fit adjustment. In addition to this unique modular system, the TM01’s frame sizing comes with a twist. Instead of offering bikes with similar fit characteristics scaled for riders of different heights, BMC is producing three frame sizes with moderately aggressive fit specs and a fourth that is designed for a more upright riding style. This fourth bike, Size M-S, has the same stack value and size M-L, but the reach value is over 4cm shorter.

Keo Power and Garmin Vector Pedal Power Meters
After a couple years of speculation, pedal-based power meters are finally ready for the road. Look and Polar have teamed up to create Keo Power and Garmin purchased tech start-up Metrigear to produce Vector, their pedal power meter. Measuring power through the pedal creates two potential benefits. First, they can be swapped between bikes or wheels can be swapped on a single bike. Second, they have the potential to measure the power that is wasted to create a cycling efficiency score that is more useful than current efficiency measures.

Castelli Body Paint Tri Kit
Of the cycling apparel companies producing niche, super high-end clothing, Castelli is the first to jump into triathlon clothing. The Body Paint Tri Kit has a tight fit and a few intriguing features, including a smooth and seamless leg opening that we’re excited to experience.

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Paul Moore

Paul Moore

Paul Moore is the Online Editor for Triathlete Europe. When not glued to a computer he can be found writing books - most recently Ultra Performance: The Psychology of Endurance Sports and The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges. Both are available on Amazon. Paul has also written Ultimate Triathlon: A complete training guide for long-distance triathletes which is also available on Amazon.