The original Speed Concept was the reason I started working with Trek way back in 2009. The bike had just come out and it was revolutionary. The influential Dan Empfield wrote this article stating it was an amazing bike but that Trek would struggle to sell it via the traditional Trek dealer base as it required a level of fitting competence not normally seen.

I approached Trek saying that I was one of the few fitters in Europe to have 'Advanced Fitter' accreditation and wanted to sell this model, and this model only. The Trek rep came down to see me in my tiny basement in Hoxton Square and despite the fact that Bespoke was in breach of every requirement to be a Trek dealer (lots of stock bikes, full range of road and MTBs etc) they agreed to supply us. We were thus probably the smallest Trek account in the UK at the time. I am very proud to say that in terms of the high end carbon road, we are now one of the biggest Trek dealers in the UK.

When I announced we were doing Trek a lot of original Bespoke customers were non-plussed. Bespoke was Parlee and custom. Trek was mainstream and Evans/Cycle Surgery. But I disagreed - it was the same sort of prejudice road racers had on the nascent Sportive rider scene. Or the shared bemusement both had when confronted by a Triathlete !

But at the end of the day, a good bike is a good bike. And I have always admired Trek. They are a classic Mid-Western company. They are far more conservative than the brasher (West Coast) Specialized. But the Trek R&D is second to none.

The Generation One Speed Concept was the first Tri/TT bike that looked clean when it was ready to ride. Many TT bikes look great freshly built, but as soon as the rider needs to put nutrition, fluids and a pump/tubes it looks like a dogs dinner and is about as aero as one.
The Speed Concept took integration to the next level.

The Generation Two was launched in 2014/5. That's reasonably 'old' but there are no plans to update it until they can find a way to make it quicker….

A pig to build?

The Gen 1 Speed Concept was a bit of a pig to build, and pack for trips. It's estimated that the Gen 2 takes half the time to do. This is hugely valuable for consumers who want to travel with their bike to international events.

Our mechanics have built so many of these now that they know all the tricks. Even accounting for this they tell me they are relatively easy bikes to build. For instance a Madone road bike is more time consuming…

Brakes - out of the wind but do their job

One of the benefits of Trek's cautious outlook is that they don't take silly risks. They don't have crazy aero brakes that don't work. Think of the lawsuits ......
Even though these are super trick, the Speed Concept brakes are easy to adjust and they work.
I have managed to lock out the rear wheel when going round a bling corner only to face a stalled car. Heart in mouth moments, but the brakes stopped me on a dime.


Having an aero frame that has all the aero tricks, and that is adjustable enough to get the rider in an aero position will result in one thing only. PBs.
Its just a ridiculously easy bike to ride very quickly.

UCI illegal (and proudly so)

The UCI have strict (and antiqueted) rules on aspect ratios and and banning of fairings. So Trek have to build a different version for Pro Tour riders. However the rest of us can choose a model that is much more aero than that. So the UCI bike has a fork with a 3:1 aspect ratio, but the non UCI one gets a 6:1 fork. The bike also comes with a 'Speed fin' which is a fairing that shields the rear brake. It's all very trick.

The best front end in the market?

There is a reason that our bike fitters love this bike - it has a wonderfully adaptable front end; you can raise the pad height a staggering amount from its lowest to highest position. Pads can be moved up and down, in and out and the whole thing rests on a rocker so you can angle the pads and extensions up for the 'praying mantis' position. You also have a choice of extension shapes. There is a clear correlation between high hands and low head; the idea is to get the head out of the wind as much as possible. Given 80% of drag is caused by the rider at 40km/h this front end adjustability is a huge boon.

In summary

I genuinely adore this bike. Ironman distance triathlon is a painful sport. If you are an adult onset swimmer like I am then the swim sucks. It feels very unnatural being in water and you are constantly reminded that others are going much quicker than you are with far less expended effort. They glide whilst you flail....

The run is less technical, but much sorer. A 2hr run does much, much more damage to my legs than the most mountainous of European sportives. I have DOMS for days. Its gets so bad after a marathon that I have been known to walk down stairs backwards.

So why do I persevere? Simply put because for 180km I get to smash a bike course, and that exhilarating feeling of travelling at 40+kmh with your head four feet from the ground is addictive. I have this very strange mantra which I repeat again and again to myself and it's "liquid power". A ridiculous phrase, I know, but it makes sense to me. When you are on it, it's the ability to push a big gear at high cadence and travel very quickly with minimal effort. You look at Fabian Cancellera or Brad Wiggins ride a TT bike and its a thing of beauty.

When it all clicks it's an amazing feeling. It feels very easy, your body is perfectly still and your breathing is light. Just your legs are working as you ride through the field (and being a slow swimmer means there are many people to catch).

When I am on the Speed Concept I feel pretty much untouchable. It's an amazing bike. If Trek ever find a way to make it faster I will be first in the queue for the Gen 3. But for now I am very content indeed !

You can see some of our amazing Trek Speed Concept build here.