It is important to note that first and foremost, the Blue Triad is a performance oriented bike. I say that because, thanks to an incredible paint job and aerodynamic design, the bike looks incredible, which is what most people seem to get fixated on when they’re looking at it.
“Who cares what it looks like,” I kept saying to people. “It’s a rocket that handles like a road bike, but can also cruise when you’re on the drops. That’s what really matters.”
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being great looking and fast, which the Triad manages in exceptional style. It all starts with the lightweight, high modulus carbon fiber frame. As is the norm on high-end aero tri-bikes these days, everything is hidden from the wind thanks to internal cable routing and a hidden, chainstay mounted rear brake. Blue ensures that you have lots of aerodynamic fitting options, too – the dual position seat post allows for an effective seat angle of 76 to 80 degrees and there’s lots of options on the front end so you can find just the right position there, too.
For those who keep looking at the paint job and just zoned out while I talking about effective seat angles, let me quickly explain why you do care. Road bikes typically have a seat-tube angle of 73 or 74 degrees. Most tri bikes, which are designed around riding on the aero bars and for solo riding tend to have steeper seat tube angles of 78 degrees. If you’re the kind of rider who likes to do some pack riding on your tri bike, or find yourself on rides that include more technical climbing and cornering that might be more suited for a road bike, adjusting your bike so it has a shallower seat-tube angle might be of benefit.
And, back to my “who cares how it looks” comments the Blue Triad would be a perfect bike to set up, if you’re that kind of rider. In addition to the set up options, this is a bike that handles much like a road bike, but still works extremely well when you’re down in the aero position. Climbing is fantastic on this frame thanks to the beefed up bottom bracket that doesn’t move around at all as you push a hard gear, along with the Power Arc chainstays that manage to combine aerodynamics (they’re designed to create a windshadow over the cassette and rear derailleur) and performance all in one.
The Di2 components only enhance the all-around package. Di2 features shift buttons on the aero extensions and on the brake levers, which means you’re equally ready to shift when you’re in an aero position or sitting up in a group. We’ve raved enough about Di2 here in Triathlon Magazine Canada enough that we probably don’t have to go on about the accurate and speedy shifting the gruppo provides – suffice it to say that you really can’t go wrong on that front.
The Reynolds 81 clincher wheelset is another outstanding addition to the set up. Extremely stiff and aero, you’ll have a rough time not going fast. I did manage to get the bike into aero cruise mode a few times and loved the feeling of being low over the handlebars and knowing that all my energy was going into moving me forward.
So, is there anything not to like here? Thanks to the deep Reynolds wheelset, you’ll find yourself being moved around a bit with strong crosswinds. The ride is a bit stiffer than some other high-end bikes we’ve ridden, too. That, for me, is a plus, but some riders might look for a softer ride. It’s hard to say how much of that stiff feel comes from the wheelset or the frame. My feeling, though, is that this bike is going to appeal more to riders who, like me, tend to look for an all-round bike that provides lots of road-type performance while also allowing you to get down on the aero bars and power away.
There’s no doubt this bike is fast. Dirk Bockel rode a Triad to a third place finish in Kona this year and Heather Wurtele has been ripping up Ironman courses all year long on her Triad. Thanks to all the comments I got, I’m also confident that there’s no doubt this bike looks good, too. For me, though, this bike is a winner because it manages to do all that while also being a great bike for riding in a group or climbing through a hilly ride. Add it Blue’s special offer of an hour in the wind tunnel if you buy a Triad SL (frameset or complete build) so you can dial in your aero position and, to me, you have a quite a deal.