Ready to set light to the time trial scene, Giant’s Trinity Alliance Zero looks the part, with its huge aero-shaped tubes and swathes of carbon fibre. Underneath the paint it’s not quite all it seems though, as Giant have unified carbon and aluminium into a seamless frameset.
But why would you want to create frame that’s half carbon and half aluminium? There are several companies building frames in this way, and Giant claims there are several significant benefits over an all-aluminium frame. A lighter frame (up to half a pound over an all-aluminium frame) can be made, with the carbon increasing the stiffness while also allowing the designers to build in some compliance. A closer look is required to spot the joins between the two materials, it’s that smooth.
The Giant range contains three time trial bikes, with two adopting the Alliance approach and the top model getting a full-carbon frameset – you’ll need to be superfast to justify that one. For £2000, the Zero represents decent value with a solid spec for the asking price. Wheels are low rim profile Mavic Cosmic Elites with brand new Michelin Pro Race 3 tyres and componentry a mix of Shimano Dura Ace and Ultegra, with Dura Ace 20-speed bar-end shifters. Tektro brake levers slot into the Vision Basebar Aerodynamic handle bar system, with a Vision stem holding it in place.
Shortly after rolling the Giant out of the huge box it arrived in, RCUK headed to a local 10-mile time trial organised by the Kingston Phoenix cycling club. Wind and lashings of rain weren’t ideal conditions for the Giant’s first ride (or even for my first ever time trial, come to think of it), but once my heart rate had settled into a vaguely comfortable zone, my body stretched out in a nice aero position, I was impressed. It feels incredibly stable and planted at speed, holds the line easily and it just wants to go faster and faster – if only my legs could produce the power to do it real justice. So, first impressions are good. A couple more time trials and a bit of fettling with the position, and there’ll be a full and in-depth report.