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One of the only rim brake bikes left in the Tour de France peloton! Check out the Giant Trinity TT bike

The history behind this popular bike on the British time trial scene, plus a bit on the current Jayco Alula team edition that is one of only two bikes at the 2023 Tour de France featuring the humble rim brake

The adoption of disc brakes in the pro peloton took some time, and whilst it would appear that all WorldTour teams are now using disc brakes, Jayco Alula are in fact still using rim brakes on their Giant Trinity time trial bikes. Let's take a look at some of the history behind this bike, that remains a hugely popular choice on the British TT scene. 

Most new road bikes and time trial bikes now come with disc brakes only, but Giant is yet to release a new Giant Trinity TT bike with disc brakes. 

This means that despite Jayco Alula using Giant's Propel Advanced SL and TCR Advanced SL road bikes, both with disc brakes, they are still using rim brakes for time trials. 

2023 Dauphine Jayco Alula Luke Durbridge Giant Trinity - 1.jpeg

> 2023 Tour de France bikes — your definitive guide to what the top pro cycling teams are riding this year

The Giant Trinity was first introduced in the early 2000s as a dedicated time trial and triathlon bike, and was further developed by Simon Smart, Founder of Drag2Zero, in 2007. 

Smart was contacted by Lars Teutenberg, Technical Director of the T-Mobile team, who asked him to create a prototype TT bike purely for the team using his expertise from working in Formula 1. The Trinity had a wind-tunnel-tested shape, and was the first bike to have an integrated front end with internal cables and integrated brakes. 

It featured an aero nosecone headtube, which really stood out at the time. The Trinity went on to win six national TT titles in its debut weekend in June 2008.

Giant Trinity used for RRA 100 mile record main - credit Jonathan Shubert.JPG

Pic: Jonathan Shubert

Three years ago we interviewed Jonathan Shubert, who rode a (heavily tailwind-assisted) 100 miles in a ridiculous 2hrs 57mins for a new RRA record at the time.

Shubert used his Giant Trinity that was over ten years old, and he thought that the Giant Trinity frame was still one of the fastest frames out there. He claimed to have the lowest drag coefficient (CdA) ever recorded at the Boardman Performance Centre wind tunnel.  

It's no wonder then that the Trinity TT bike is such a long-standing model.  

2023 Dauphine Jayco Alula Luke Durbridge Giant Trinity - 2.jpeg

> What makes a Tour de France time trial bike so fast?

The Trinity TT bike can still be seen today in the WorldTour peloton ridden by Team Jayco Alula's riders, one of only two WorldTour teams using rim brakes at this year's Tour de France. The other one is Arkéa Samsic, who use the rim brake-equipped Bianchi Aquila for time trials (their road bikes are all disc brake). 

Taking a look at the spec of Luke Durbridge's TT bike, we can see that he uses Sync Ergonomics - 3d printed EVO PRO TI extensions - the same extensions used by Team UAE, which feature a three-piece modular design with a claimed weight of 300g per set of extensions. 

You can see the custom 3D-printed grips for his fingers, and the Di2 shifters are neatly tucked away.

2023 Dauphine Jayco Alula Luke Durbridge Giant Trinity - 6.jpeg

> Your complete guide to Shimano road bike groupsets

Jayco Alula's main equipment sponsor is Shimano, and they can be seen riding a Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. 

Electronic gear shifters on a TT bike can give a better UCI-compliant position, and are easier to change when you're in the red towards the end of a time trial. 

It's not uncommon to see non-sponsor wheels used, and despite Jayco Alula covering their wheels with wheel bags, their wheel sponsors are Giant's Cadex brand, using the Aero 4-spoke and Aero Disc WheelSystem.

These have hookless rims and an internal width of 22.4mm, which Cadex says is ideal for tyres between 25mm and 32mm wide.

2023 Dauphine Jayco Alula Luke Durbridge Giant Trinity - 5.jpeg

> Best road bike saddles

You can also see that the Di2 junction box is in an interesting place underneath his saddle. 

2023 Dauphine Jayco Alula Luke Durbridge Giant Trinity - 4.jpeg

Don't forget to check out our other Bikes at Bedtime before you hit the hay.

Have you made the switch to disc brakes on all your bikes? Let us know in the comments section below...

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

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14 comments

Avatar
Matthew Acton-Varian | 12 months ago
0 likes

Interesting to notice, that the rim brake bike ran by Yates was running the previous iteration Dura Ace 9100 11 speed (at least the crankset) If it is still running the whole groupo, it looks like the rim brake version for 12 speed 9200 doesn't have TT brake levers. 

And before you ask, yes, rim brake 9200 does exist, only as aftermarket, and the shifters are not very commonly available and not as a "complete groupset". Brake callipers are just rebadged from the previous iteration I believe.

Also there are no listed 12 speed TT controls on Shimano's website. 

Avatar
jpj84 | 12 months ago
0 likes

I'm pretty sure I recall a TTT earlier in the season, where all of the team were on discs, other than Simon, who was on rim brakes. Was this an experiment? Did I imagine it? 

Avatar
Steve K | 12 months ago
3 likes

Twins are often used for scientific experiments.  Simon (rim brake) beat Adam (disc) by 14 seconds, so definitive proof rim brakes are better? yes

Avatar
SecretSam replied to Steve K | 12 months ago
0 likes

Pog and Ving used discs

Avatar
check12 replied to SecretSam | 12 months ago
2 likes

Last time I checked they ( pog vin) weren't twins? 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Steve K | 12 months ago
2 likes

Despite appearances, especially when they have helmets and glasses on, the Yates brothers are apparently fraternal, rather than identical, twins, so the debate rumbles on…

Avatar
Steve K replied to Rendel Harris | 12 months ago
0 likes

That's interesting - I didn't realise that.  I still can't tell them apart (apart from their kits, obvs).

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Steve K | 12 months ago
0 likes

I was surprised when I read it too, it seems more obvious when you see them in mufti but I still wouldn't like to risk money betting on who was who if Adam was clean-shaven.

Avatar
Fignon's ghost | 12 months ago
1 like

No. No! Never will.

You can keep your mineral oil, perishing o rings, truing fork, piston popper etc....

I'll stick with my Allen key and... that's it!

Avatar
SecretSam replied to Fignon's ghost | 12 months ago
1 like

Keep those steel rims nice and shiny, too. And those 19mm tyres.

Avatar
check12 replied to SecretSam | 12 months ago
1 like

19mm on the front for max aero gainz

Avatar
Veganpotter replied to Fignon's ghost | 7 months ago
1 like

Happy to offer my allen keys, cables and housing to adjust my mechanical TRP Spyres💪

Avatar
mark1a | 12 months ago
2 likes

road.cc wrote:

Have you made the switch to disc brakes on all your bikes? Let us know in the comments section below...

I still have two rim brake bikes - a Hinault 753R LVC replica and a Brompton. The rest of the fleet are all disc. Without wishing to start a brakes debate (qv road.cc forum passim), I prefer discs. They just work, don't wear out the rims and are easy to live with. 
 

Avatar
check12 | 12 months ago
0 likes

just ridden to 5th - Simon Yates (Jayco–AlUla) + 2min 58sec to vin. 1:20 to pog. Grab those cheap her trispoke he'd rim brake wheels on eBay 

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