Buyer’s Guide Preview: $14,000+ dream bikes
A look at some of the more expensive bikes in our 2021 buyer's guidePhoto by: Kevin Mackinnon
The Triathlon Magazine Canada annual March issue Buyer’s Guide will be hitting the newsstand over the next few days, which includes lots of exciting multisport gear for training and racing . Today we preview some of the top-end bikes included in this year’s issue.
Remember the days when $5,000 seemed a lot for a bike? There are more than a few of us who have spent considerably less on a car than some of these speedsters cost. Never before have we seen so many bikes top the $14,000 price bracket as we have this year.
Do you need a bike this expensive to compete? Not at all. You’ll enjoy many of the same benefits seen on these flagship models in lower-priced versions. For those who want to pull out all the stops, though, we offer a series of dream rides you’ll be able to covet at a bike store near you sometime in 2021.
Argon 18 E-119 Tri+ Disc
The Quebec-based company has added discs to its speedy E-119 Tri+ frame, but has done so in an interesting way – the brake calipers are integrated into the frame to provide the maximum aero advantage. The integration continues with a hidden toolkit in the bottom bracket, an integrated bento box on the top tube, along with a redesigned cockpit that comes from the company’s collaboration with aero guru Mat Steinmetz from 51 Speedshop. All of which is said to give the E-119 Tri+ Disc a 10-watt speed advantage over the previous version. Coming this spring, the new E-119 will be available as a frameset ($6,800), or specced with SRAM’s Force ($9,900) or Red (pictured) eTap groupsets.
We don’t see a lot of Cube tri bikes in North America, but that could change with the company’s latest high-profile signing – in January Lucy Charles-Barclay announced she’d be riding the Aerium this year. An extremely aero frame designed in collaboration with SwissSide is coupled with DT Swiss ARC 1100 80 mm carbon wheels and SRAM’s Red AXS wireless 12-speed gruppo. While much of the industry now features disc wheels on its flagship bikes, the Aerium features Magura RT Aero rim-brakes.
Following in the footsteps of Cervelo’s P5X, which set the stage for many of the triathlon bikes we’ve seen come to the market over the last four or five years, the PX-Series pairs the innovations to that original bike we saw in the P3X with some high-end components. The heart of the PX design has always been the ability to carry three, round water bottles and the rest of your nutrition needs without any aerodynamic disadvantage. A stiffer, more responsive frame coupled with a drop in weight of 254 g makes the PX-Series feel and ride much lighter than the original P5X. Add that to SRAM’s Red eTap electronic shifting and Zipp’s 404/ 808 Firecrest wheelset and you have one very speedy bike.
Related: Can’t miss triathlon bikes for 2021
Scott Plasma Premium
The bike Sebastian Kienle was so hoping to rip apart the Ironman World Championship bike course on last year will have to wait for its Kona debut, but we did get to see Kienle and Alistair Brownlee on the new bike in Daytona last December (pictured above). The bike looks very different to the original Plasma, with a big gap between the front wheel and downtube, which is said to dramatically reduce drag, especially in windy conditions. A new integrated hydration system that has a straw that winds up through the cockpit, along with a gel storage bottle and an aerodynamic storage box for a spare tube and CO2 cartridge help with the aero features, too. Add to that considerably more front-end adjustment options and you have all the ingredients necessary to make an already fast bike even faster.
Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc
The recent addition of Paula Findlay to Specialized’s impressive group of sponsored athletes means we might see some even faster times from the woman who graced our January cover. That monstrous Hydration Fuelcell remains a mainstay on the Shiv Disc bikes, not only providing lots of hydration, but also helping with aerodynamics. The FACT carbon frame also includes an integrated nutrition system and the cockpit is adjustable in every direction to ensure you can dial in the perfect fit. As is appropriate for one of the most expensive bikes in our guide, you get Shimano Dura Ace Di2 components and hydraulic brakes along with Roval Rapide CLX 51/ 60 mm deep wheels.