Introducing the fastest bike Trek has ever made

Trek says its all-new Speed Concept is both the fastest bike its ever made and the complete triathlon package. Here's why they think it's a winner

Trek Speed Concept ridden by Holly Lawrence

After seven years of development Trek’s new Speed Concept triathlon bike is finally here, and it comes with some big claims.

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“This is the fastest bike we’ve ever tested, of any brand,” says the brand’s Director of Road Bikes Jordan Roessingh. How fast is it? Well, Trek says it’s an impressive 16 watts faster (at 45kph) around Kona than the last iteration, which represents a saving of six minutes.

We’ll take a look at that in more detail shortly, but first let’s hear what else Roessingh had to say about the new bike. “[The Speed Concept] is a complete triathlon package for half-Iron and full-Ironman distances.

“[We’re] not just looking at aerodynamics, but fit, comfort and all the storage solutions that the riders need to make sure it’s a fully encapsulated product for the rider for those long-distance races, to make them go as fast as possible and save as much energy as possible for the run leg at the end of the race.”

So how exactly can the new Speed Concept make you faster? And what makes it a ‘complete triathlon solution’?

1. Improved aerodynamics save you serious time

Trek Speed Concept SLR 7 BTA bottle
Credit: Trek

In designing the new Speed Concept, the team at Trek looked at the whole system (the rider and the bike), rather than the bike on its own. Throughout the process, they paid close attention to the topology of the airflow around the rider and used that as a basis for the designs. That’s because they know that most of the drag reduction comes from the rider, not from the bike.

The result was aerodynamic improvements across the whole design. John Davis, the brand’s aerodynamicist, said: “Every little part of the bike has been touched. We saw really marginal gains on each of these [elements] in CFD (computational fluid dynamics), but then you go into the wind tunnel and you’re able to see these gains in the wind tunnel, too. Then you can combine them all for a final product that really has a big improvement.”

The result of these small changes is that headline time saving of six minutes at 45kph. Of course, that speed is out of reach for most of us, so you’re probably wondering what gains are on offer for age-groupers.

“The slower you go, the more absolute time savings you get over the course, because you have more time for that aerodynamic advantage to build up”, explained Davis.

“If you decrease the power down to 210 watts and run that simulation again, the time savings actually go up to about seven minutes.”

How are these savings made? A range of ways. The cockpit has been completely redesigned. There are now two towers on the aero extensions as opposed to one, while the whole set of components have been tweaked and streamlined. This has allowed Trek’s engineers to manipulate the airflow in such a way that it reduces the drag on the rider. 

Other work undertaken on the bike includes a redesigned frame, with drag-reducing Kammtail Virtual Foil tube shapes designed to cut through the air and ultra-light OCLV 800 carbon said to help achieve these aerodynamic tweaks without compromising on weight.

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2. The switch from rim brakes to discs pays dividends

Trek Speed Concept disc brakes
Credit: Trek

Remember those magical six minutes of savings we mentioned? As it turns out, two of them come from reduced rolling resistance, which was made possible because of the switch from rim brakes to disc brakes.

Though heavier, Trek says disc brakes offer better modulation and improved braking in mixed conditions. But most importantly in this case, they also gave the brand more scope to tweak the frame design, use Bontrager’s Aeolus RSL wheels with 75mm deep rims and alter the rim shapes. All of this contributes to those time savings.

At this point it’s also worth noting that, despite the added weight of the disc brakes, the new Speed Concept is just as light as the previous version.

Dive into the detail

3. You can fuel on the fly

Trek Speed Concept SLR 7 bento box
Credit: Trek

Everyone knows that the rider generates the majority of drag when riding, so getting in and maintaining the most aerodynamic position is key to shaving vital minutes and seconds off your finishing time.

Any time spent out of that position will not do you any favours, which is why Trek’s new Speed Concept delivers a ‘complete triathlon solution’. As part of that, there are a number of key storage solutions, which not only help you stay in an aerodynamic position, but also make you faster just by being on the bike. How much faster? Well, one whole minute over a course like Kona.

The components include a between-the-arms (BTA) bottle that holds 700ml of fluid, can be used while on the aero extensions and can be refilled while on the go using a bidon. This means less time stopping to hydrate or restock on fluids, while the shape of the bottle itself is also said to smooth turbulent air.

An integrated bento box ensures you can carry up to eight standard gels and comes with two removable dividers, while the whole thing can be taken out and stuck in a dishwasher.

Trek Speed Concept SLR 7 down tube bottle
Credit: Trek

A down tube bottle offers an additional 750ml of fluid storage, is optimised aerodynamically and can be used to fill up the BTA bottle while on the move. Beneath the bottle cage, you’ll also find a hidden flat kit, which is designed to hold an inner tube, CO2 inflator head and a tyre lever.

Between all of these solutions, and the option of adding an additional cage and bottle onto the BTA unit, Trek believes the Speed Concept has the ability to carry all of your fuelling and hydration needs over a long-distance event.

It’s also worth noting that, with the exception of the BTA bottle, all of these components come as standard with every model of the bike.

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4. A wide fit window ensures optimum positioning

Trek Speed Concept cockpit
Credit: Trek

Achieving the optimum fit for yourself is key to making the most of a bike’s aerodynamic design and ensuring that you can perform at your best. With this in mind, Trek put a lot of time and effort into ensuring a wide fit window and ample customisation.

The brand recommends using its online fit calculator in order to achieve the best fit, as it allows you to convert pad X/Y positions into the components you’ll need to get it right.

There’s also customisation throughout the cockpit, with most positional adjustments to be achievable with just two Allen keys. This includes a wide range of adjustment to stack, reach and the position and angle of the aero extensions.

Frequent flyers will also be glad to hear that once you’ve dialled in your perfect fit, you won’t need to do so again after jetting off to your next race. That’s because the whole cockpit is said to be easy to remove and reassemble as one, preserving your precious adjustments and saving you time and stress in the lead up to race day.

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5. Increased comfort helps you go harder on the bike and run

Trek Speed Concept IsoSpeed
Credit: Trek

For the first time ever, Trek’s triathlon bike comes with IsoSpeed built into the frame. It’s a system that the brand employs across its range of bikes. The theory behind it is that by decoupling the seat tube from the top tube, it allows the latter to flex with the forces of the road.

Unlike the other bikes using the system, the Speed Concept’s IsoSpeed utilises a forward pivot optimised for a triathlete’s weight bias. According to Trek this, along with the elastomer included under the pivot, results in 30-40% more compliance.

The idea is that this will leave you feeling fresher in the later stages of the bike and throughout the run so you can push harder and faster.

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Trek Speed Concept in photos

Trek Speed Concept SLR specs, prices and availability

The Speed Concept is available exclusively from Trek and can be customised through the brand’s Project One, giving you the opportunity to customise your bike so that the fit, paint and parts are exactly as desired. Take a look at the available models below.

Speed Concept SLR 9 eTap

  • Price: £12,100
  • Groupset: SRAM Red eTap AXS, with SRAM Red AXS power meter
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51
  • Brakes: SRAM Red eTap AXS hydraulic disc

Speed Concept SLR 9

  • Price: £12,100
  • Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9200
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9200
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51

Speed Concept SLR 7 eTap

  • Price: £9,250
  • Groupset: SRAM Force eTap AXS, with SRAM Force AXS power meter
  • Brakes: SRAM Force eTap AXS hydraulic disc
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51

 Speed Concept SLR 7

  • Price: £8,850
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8150
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8150
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51

Speed Concept SLR 6 eTap

  • Price: £8,100
  • Groupset: SRAM Rival eTap AXS, with SRAM Rival AXS power meter
  • Brakes: SRAM Rival eTap AXS
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51

Speed Concept SLR frameset

  • Price: £5,150
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Take a closer look at the Trek Speed Concept SLR now.