The year's biggest race is finally here! And here is our gallery of bike tech from the 2019 edition of the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We have noticed a few interesting trends throughout the past 12-18 months.
Most significantly, positions and equipment selection are improving across the board. Athletes are keeping their bikes cleaner, their bodies cleaner, and punching smaller and overall more aerodynamic holes through the wind. It's safe to say that you cannot be a world champion if you ride a lousy position, or with nine gels taped to your top tube. The competition is simply getting better, and you can't leave heaps of free speed on the table if you hope to come out on top.
In addition, we are seeing a lot of athletes running high hands, choosing 1x drivetrains, and exploring integrated extensions of the Speedbar variety. We detailed the solutions Frodo and Lange use earlier this week.
And finally, disc brakes. These are, in our (admittedly biased) opinion, a rather forced change, driven by industry mandate rather than consumer demand. Lots of strong riders and meticulous gear heads still run rim brakes, especially when they are good brakes. Bikes like the Trek Speed Concept, Canyon Speedmax, and of course our own TriRig Omni still offer excellent rim brake solutions which we believe are optimal for tri bikes. We had a close look at Matt Russell's rig which is as clean as they come, and still brilliantly functional.
See all of our 2019 Kona Coverage, and please read our usage policy if you have interest in any of these images. All use or reproduction requires the express written permission of TriRig LLC, all rights reserved.