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Giant Trinity Advanced tri bike review

The Giant Trinity is well regarded among triathletes and time-trial riders, and our test version has plenty of tri-specific bells and whistles, such as integrated top-tube storage. But at less than £2,000 can it deliver? Jack Sexty puts it through its paces

Our rating 
3.9 out of 5 star rating 3.9
£1,899
Giant Trinity Advanced tri bike review

The Trinity Advanced is Giant’s most affordable triathlon/TT offering, yet the carbon frameset is largely the same as the Advanced Pro version as used by pro triathletes such as Aussie Sam Appleton. Numerous cost-cutting measures bring it down to an impressive sub-£2k price point, but there’s still plenty to shout about. Giant say the Trinity has undergone Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis and wind-tunnel testing, and everything from the frame through to the hidden brakes is engineered to perform as a system for optimal aerodynamics.

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Compared to the Advanced Pro, the Advanced has a slimmer fork that means some front-end integration is lost and the front brake cable is left exposed. The other cables disappear between the stem and the top-tube bento box for a largely clean appearance. A mix-and-match of Shimano components perform shifting duties, featuring a 105-level cassette and derailleurs with a non-series FC-RS510 compact chainset, and TT SL-BSR 1 shifters. The latter two don’t look as handsome as Shimano’s higher-tier offerings, but do the job and lower the Trinity Advanced’s asking price.

For an extra £1,100, the Advanced Pro 2 has an integrated power meter on a full Shimano Ultegra groupset among other upgrades, which for us represents even better value for money but will be financially out of reach for some. Perched atop the Trinity Composite seatpost is a quality ISM PS1.0 saddle, which is a comfortable addition on an entry-level tri bike.

Giant trinity advanced tri bike spec

TUBELESS BENEFITS

The frame dials in a relaxed geometry in tri-bike terms with a longer wheelbase for extra stability on descents (100.3cm on a medium), and head- and seat-tube angles of 73° and 77°, respectively. It’s stiff enough and transfers power efficiently, but an overall weight of 9.5kg does mean a weight penalty on climbs compared to similar tri bikes in its class – Canyon’s Speedmax CF 7.0 (£2,099) is 8.8kg, for example.

The Giant SR-2 training wheels paired with Gavia Course all-round tyres are a little sluggish and take some excitement out of the ride, though have the advantage of being tubeless-ready out of the box to bolster puncture protection. If you do upgrade your wheels to carbon, the wheels and tyres supplied are worth keeping for training rides and turbo sessions.

Hidden brake systems on tri bikes aren’t fun to adjust, which is a trade-off for the better aerodynamics. Considering the front brake cable is exposed on the Trinity Advanced anyway, it’s not a trade-off we think is worth it on this model. Yet the stopping power from Giant’s TBK88 brakes – paired with Tektro RX 4.1 levers – is adequate, and comparable to the performance offered by caliper rim brakes found on road bikes at the £1,000 price point.

The aerobars are set up with plenty of stack for a comfy position – you can adjust this to your dimensions, of course – although the extensions are short. This makes it easy to achieve a compact, upright position, but not if you want to maximise your reach with the bars supplied. Giant’s Contact base bar system means you get plenty of risers to adjust the stack of the extensions, so it’s simple to raise your arms higher or lower as preferred. There’s also plenty of horizontal adjustment, and the removable top-tube storage box is a useful addition that holds around five energy gel packets.

The Trinity Advanced is easy to live with and offers a decent, stable platform for a first tri bike. Although, if you can afford it, the Advanced Pro 2 is a better proposition that maximises the quality frameset.

Verdict: While we found the popular Giant Trinity at this spec level a little underwhelming, with the training wheels and budget front end taking some thrill out of the ride, it’s a fast frame that can be built into a real bullet with high-end components, so could be a good choice for someone who wants to upgrade later. 78%

More to spend?

Our version of the Trinity is the most affordable Giant offer, but if you want to go aero road instead, their Propel Advanced 2 starts at £1,749. If you want the Trinity with an integrated power meter and hydration system, the Advanced Pro 2 version is great value at £2,999.

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