We are in something of a golden age for triathlon bicycle design. After more than a decade of the UCI's bike design rules controlling the market, manufacturers are finally willing to toss out the UCI rulebook and create products specifically for triathletes. This began with bikes like the 2009 Trek Speed Concept and Cervelo P5, which are essentially UCI-legal bikes with some tri-specific add-ons. This allowed manufacturers to make a bike that their big-name Pro Tour riders could race and promote, while still developing superior aerodynamic versions for their triathletes. That remains the modus operandi for Trek and Cervelo. But more recently, we're seeing very big-name manufacturers chucking the UCI rules completely, even if the bikes will never see a stint in the Pro Tour. That includes Specialized and Felt, with the Shiv and IA, respectively. With multiple manufacturers exploring radical, tri-specific bike designs, the real winner is the consumer. And while both of the previous involve traditional double-diamond construction, there are other manufacturers playing with completely different bike designs. Today, we showcase a bike design as radical as they come: a new beam bike, simply called the V. Falco is one of two new beam bike makers, along with Dimond. Today we look at the Falco V, and we will later look in-depth at the Dimond.
The defining feature of a beam bike, the missing seat tube, is usually the first thing you notice about it. But in the case of the Falco V, the design cues are so radical that you'd be forgiven if your first impression was how angular and aggressive this thing looks. It's definitely not your run-of-the-mill frame, and although our instincts with tri bikes might be to balk at the radically-different, there's actually some very real thought that went into this bike, and I'm going to try to address all the obvious (and not so obvious) question the critical reader might have. I'm going to leave aside the love-it-or-hate-it design aesthetic, which is a choice for the reader. Personally, I'm slightly mixed, and I'll get into just why that is.
Hit the jump, and let's take a look at this very interesting bike.