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Reviews Trek Equinox TTX 9.9

Trek Equinox TTX 9.9

Trek need no introduction whatsoever. Having Lance Armstrong on the books hasn’t just been great for PR, though – it’s also boosted the company’s ability to make quality bikes. And even though Armstrong hung up his tri gear in 1990, all the wind-tunnel testing and development that goes into his own bikes has undoubtedly had a beneficial knock-on effect throughout the entire production range.

The build

Out of the box, this bike just oozes style. The sleek hydro-formed black carbon frame flows beautifully from the pointed head tube, which blends
down into the fork crown without any fuss thanks to the integrated Cane Creek headset.

The deep and chunky top and down tubes narrow towards the equally deep and very aero seat tube, while red cables disappear into the carbon frame keeping everything neat. Trek’s colour combo of red, white and black continues throughout the frame, with contour-following flashes that boost the frame’s unique good looks and race image.

The impressive build quality and components on the TTX 9.9 come from Bontrager, Trek’s component arm. Being non-carbon, the Aero Race Light wheels are a bit of a let-down, but compared to Bontrager’s carbon offerings you’re saving about 820g and a grand in cash.

Bontrager adequately cover the braking with their smooth carbon aero levers hard-wired to Speed Limits that generate enough stopping power to out-brake a Porsche 911. The Bontrager aerobars are adaptable and will transform into shape to suit even the most indecisive of us, while the seatpost is similarly easy to adjust using only a 4mm Allen key. The SRAM Force gearing is super-smooth and reliable, with lashings of carbon fibre to give it a quality look and feel.

The ride

The Equinox has a feel for speed: the ride feels natural, with a familiar feeling that screams ‘comfort’. Although the bike is generous in length, with a 55cm top tube the riding position is relaxed. On the move, this almost casual head angle fills you with masses of confidence – an appreciated trait when playing around with kit. The clip-on aerobars kick up to meet your hands, while the bullhorns are wide enough to allow your lungs to work properly, but narrow enough to keep a good profile.

The combination of the Race Lite wheelset and OCLV frame allows for a smooth ride on every surface, limiting vibrations to the cockpit area and the seat, which is smoothed off with a neoprene Bontrager TT saddle that limits stings before reaching your soft parts. The power transition is positive in and out of the saddle, and the SRAM Force groupset generates a solid carbon echo through the frame as it hits each definitive ring of the compact block.

At high speeds the 9.9 rails like a freight train, even on a gusty day. Yet it’s also agile at slow speeds with the confidence-boosting ride allowing you to stay aero for longer. All in all, it’s clear Lance’s influence is paying off!

Frame OCLV black carbon
Forks Bontrager Race XXX Lite TT carbon
Groupset SRAM Force
Wheels Bontrager Race Lite Aero; Bontrager Race X Lite tyres
Cockpit Bontrager Race X Lite Aero carbon bars; Bontrager Race X Lite stem
Seating Bontrager Race Lite TTX post; Bontrager Race Lite saddle
Weight 8.41kg (18.54lb) without pedals
Sizes S, M, L

Contact Trek UK
01908 282626

Contact : Trek UK 01908 282626 www.trekbikes.com

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.