All images courtesy TriRig
He’s been the unsung hero in the highly-marketed, hotly-contested triathlon accessories game, but there’s no question: Nick Salazar, and his brand—TriRig—makes really, really good stuff. It all began with the Omega inline aero brake, a product that cleaned up front ends of ugly brake cable, while (and this is a super nice feature) actually stopping. When a pro is seeking out your product, you’ve done well for yourself. A year ago, TriRig moved on to aerobars, again with clever engineering on top of clean aero presentation with the Alpha X aerobar.
This year, TriRig ups the ante. And forget accessories; TriRig goes after the biggest part of bike aerodynamics by designing their own bike: the new Omni.
Omni continues a renewed bent toward wholly-unconventional design, and as with the other, ditches the double-diamond and UCI constraints for a bike that was developed on CFD and tested at San Diego’s Low Speed Wind Tunnel.
At a distance, the Omni takes the same tack as the Ventum One… which took its inspiration from the old Lotus 110, which featured an absent downtube and seatstays. As Ventum achieved it, so too does TriRig.
That’s about as similar as they get. The Omni is a decidedly more swept design, particularly at the toptube as it dives down as it moves backward across the bike. It’s aestheticlly svelte (giving the bike a bit of a praying mantis look), but is primarily a functional design, TriRig founder Nick Salazar says.
“Looking at both CFD and in the tunnel, we always see wind moving horizontally across an object, but we all know wind can be moved vertically as well,” Salazar says. And indeed he’s correct; we see wind swirl down over the top of a helmet, or tuck into eddys behind a rider’s back and bum.
With that, he toyed with the design, and how well sweeping the top tube down might work. “We started mocking things, we tried several things,” he says. “I wanted to know, ‘are we competing?’”
They’re definitely taking some aero chances. Frontally, the Omni takes a wide stance, particularly with the fork, with the blades bowing out (increasing room for air to flow through between it and the spinning wheel’s spokes), similar to what we’ve seen with the recently updated Orbea Ordu, and previous to that, the Pinarello Bolide TT bike.
The frame is capable of taking tires up to 28mm in size….though Salazar says in the tunnel, a 25mm rear/23mm Continental GP 4000s front worked best.
In the category of splitting hairs, TriRig came up with a clever aero advance: aero skewers. In lieu of cinching levers we all know, TriRig uses a skewer that is aero-shaped to match up with the fork blades… and eliminates the lever. Instead, it cinches down via a 4mm allen key.
Who wants to fish a 4mm off the multitool in their bag? Not I. Not Salazar, either. So in a partnership with Silca, TriRig integrates a 4mm wrench that stashes away within the trailing edge of the non-driveside chainstay. Salazar puts it at 4 watts advantage “and they are real watts,” he says, but for us, it’s the stashed, easy-access full-size wrench that complete the feature and saves it from being a headache.
Lose your special aero skewers? Fret not; normal ones will work. Salazar said that based on the shape of the special skewers, however, that they are not backward-compatible to work on other bikes.
Per expectations, the bike is finished naturally with TriRig’s own Alpha X aerobar and Omega brakeset. Having tested these brakes, they’re excellent stoppers.
PRACTICALITY OVER AERO OVER PRACTICALITY
Self-proclaimed aero superiority has been a cornerstone for TriRig’s accessories, as it would be for any brand. But with the Omni, Salazar placed an equal emphasis on user interface. That is: how well does it disassemble and pack for travel? How easy is it to adjust the brakes?
“You can make a bike that’s super slick, but a nightmare to work on and travel with,” Salazar said. “We had to make it easy to use.”
For one, Omni goes with replaceable vertical dropouts for simplicity versus the headache of horizontal ones. For those that don’t want to (or can’t run) the TriRig Omega brake (or any other center post-mount brake), Omni also has Shimano direct-mount bosses.
The Omega brakes incorporate the same magnetic polycarbonate cover to both the front brake and the rear, which lives below the bottom bracket. You can adjust your set screws with the cover on via a small side port, or just pop it off, make your adjust and pop it back on.
And for down the road when you want to sell the bike, the fork’s steerer features a hirth joint. With variable lengths (upwards of 40mm of vertical adjust with 0, 10, 20 and 30mm options), you just plug in and install the topper of your fit choice. That means you don’t ever need to cut your fork.
For the mechanic in you (or your mechanic), cable routing has a plastic inner liner; just feed cable in one end, it pops out the other.
Finally, the unit can be used on a trainer; standard, direct-drive, no matter…. which can’t be said for a small handful of the other boutique-brand tri bikes on market.
The downtubeless design of course takes upwards of two bottles out of the storage equation. With that. TriRig focus on bottle placement in those other locations: between the aerobars and behind the saddle.
With BTA choices abound from zip ties to numerous aftermarket options, TriRig focus on the aft. With that, it developed the Beta rear bottle holder. The unit, which looks similar to what we’ve seen on Cervelo bikes, uses a horizontal rod that inserts within a hollow that runs the length of the seat post’s top. What’s unique with TriRig’s verson is that the rod can adjust fore/aft as the user chooses; just unbolt, slide to align with a new set of cinching ports in the thru-rail, and cinch down.
At the bent business end, the unit can hold one in-line bottle, or two side-by-side. As to those bottles, TriRig has them two: the full-wrap Kappa cage. Salazar said it’s come through with flying colors in bottle eject testing, and of note, it has an open front, so those using a BTA with a vertical straw can use it in that context without issue.
As for nutrition, the Omni has a 350ml rubber bento box that resides within a recessed cavity at the front of the tube. The unit, which can be pulled out and washed, has enough space to allow shift and brake cables to port cleanly into the frame in front of it.
The Omni also sports bosses in the aft for a Trek Speed Concept-style draft box. There’s bosses on the top tube for bolt-on bento placement or a bottle cage as well. There’s also a port above the bosses for a Shimano Di2 eTube wiring, and a smller M4 Di2 battery mount. If it can be attached, TriRig provides an in-line bolt point.
Oh, and for those intrigued by the carbon fiber Kappa bottle cage and Beta? Each will be available independently; the Kappa prices at $53, while the 72g Beta rear hydration bracket (compatible with Cervelo’s P2/P3/P5, the Scott Plasma 2/3/5, Fuji Norcom Straight, Ridley Dean Fast among others) will price at $69
Salazar says the fit is very much in line with what we’ve seen from Cervelo with the P3: balanced, with the capability of getting low in front, but not at the expense of handling.
Omni will be made available in three sizes: small (with a 490 stack and 375 reach), medium (525 stack/405 reach) and large (560 stack/435 reach), and balance remains constant between the three sizes. Still want to get more slammed, or more height in front? Omni is capable of loading the standard 1 1/8 stem (and aerobar for that matter) allowing you to adjust your fit as you (or your fitter or your aerobar sponsor) choose.
As with many new bikes, Omni finding optimization with new wide-stance wheels, and larger volume tires… this one finding optmization with 24mm tires.
Here’s the deets:
Omni Frameset: $4,990, which will include:
- Top tube storage box
- Aero-matched skewers, plus Silca 4mm wrench
- Alpha X aerobar, including the optional Tilt Kit
- 2x Omega X brakes, with custom Omni covers
- TriRig Beta Bottle Carrier
- 2x TriRig Kappa Cages
- FSA 1-1/8″ headset, PF30 bottom bracket, and all hardware
Omni Complete Build: $7,990. It’s a 1X! It will include:
- Omni Frameset, plus
- FLO 60/90 Wheelset, with Continental GP4000s II tires
- Dash Stage Saddle
- Quarq Prime Crankset (capable of upgrading with a Powermeter), 165mm, with X-Sync 1x Chainring in 48t
- SRAM Rival 1x Rear Derailleur
- SRAM Force 1170 chain
- SRAM Force 11-36t 11-speed Cassette
- SRAM R2C Carbon shifters
- Shimano Dura-Ace Carbon Aero Brake Levers
The stock color will be matte black with gold finish, but TriRig will be offering five to size decal overlays options in the expected basics: blue, pink, red, et cetera.
TriRig has operated direct-to-consumer since its inception, and the sale of the Omni will be no different. Beginning today, customers will be able to order direct at tririg.com. Salazar says bikes are currently in production, with the initial batch of orders being serviced to customers in late October, and complete bikes being delivered to customers in late November.
As with the entire TriRig line, the Omni covers its bases. Well-engineered and duly-tested aerodynamics will never be a sacrifice with the brand. But the same ethos rings true in terms of practicality. Where there’s potential for a problem—whether it’s travel considerations, compatability, mechanical access or adjustability—the Omni presents an elegantly-engineered a solution. Our favorite? That aero skewer and the hidden hex key. The aerodynamics of a skewer lever is fractional, but if can be eliminated via smart design, why wouldn’t you pursue that advantage? As the saying goes, “death by 1,000 paper cuts.” Even the most miniscule aero advances matter. All in all, it looks fast for a bike we’ve not yet seen. That said, we’re certainly looking forward to checking the Omni in Kona where it is slated to be on display, and putting in some time on the Omni once they start making landfall.