BikeP0RN: The Gun’s Gravity Defying Trigon

British Hill Climb Champion Gunnar Grönlund’s Trigon RQC28A is a bike that weighs under six kilos and has helped its rider to multiple wins and podiums in 2012

RST Cycle  Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Today (October 23), travelled to Ramsbottom in Lancashire to meet up with the British Hill Climb Champion Gunnar Grönlund to see how he was preparing for the 2012 British RTTC Hill Climb Championship on the ‘Rake’.

Gunnar from Sweden, in his first season of Hill Climbs in 2011, won the British title in Derbyshire on a long ‘draggy’ type of climb that took over 12 minutes to complete, a lot different to the short sharp climbs he’s been racing this season where an effort of a minute or two is all that’s needed to complete the distance. For the fastest riders anyway.

Gunnar in 2012 has proudly worn the strikingly designed (by RST) British champions jersey during the short hill climb season and intends to give it everything on Sunday to retain his title against some very strong opposition. We’ll have an interview with Gunnar shortly but let’s look at the bike he’ll be using from his sponsors at Cycle Division.

Pick up the bike and it seemingly weighs nothing! It is just so light compare to a ‘normal bike’ and when matched to a rider weight 58 or so kilos, you have a championship winning ‘package’. The bike is based around the Trigon RQC28A Special Edition frame.  The Cycle Division say on their website they have a very limited number of these available, with custom graphics, and despite those limited numbers, the price is still only £799.99.

Here are the specs for the frame:
– Full Carbon frame with Venus C8 Advanced Composite material.
-Lightest frame in the Trigon Range
-Integrated Carbon dropouts
-1 1/8″- 1.5″ headtube design for increased stiffness and better front end handling
-Semi Concealed brake cable routing under top tube
-Standard threaded BB
-850g frame weight for size 52cm (Gunnar rides a 49cm, 836gms)

The bike for the Hill Climb Championship will be slightly different to the one he used at Monsal and the BEC CC climbs in that he’ll have some Lightweight wheels in which he says are not just light but stiff as well so minimal power is lost through flexing.

Now many riders over the years will have opted for a fixed wheel for a hill climb to get the weight down but these geared bikes like Gunnar’s are so light, that a fixed wheel just isn’t necessary anymore, especially on a course like the Rake where the gradient varies. The ‘Rake’ can be divided into four sections so Gunnar will use a single chain ring at the front like he has all season and rely on the sprockets at the back to get the gear he wants.

A straight through 12 to 21 block may be used on Sunday unless Gunnar feels he needs a 23. The weather will also play a part as it was dry for the recce and slippery roads may need even lower gears despite using treaded tubulars on the Lightweight wheels.

Part of the reason for the recce today was to look at gearing for the race as Gunnar has not ridden this course before and so the 42 FSA chainring he has used in many events this year, may be swapped for a 39. Or, a different block on the back used. On the Rake today he had a 12 to 21 straight through block and the question he’ll be asking is ‘will I need a 23?’

While out with Gunnar, others riding the climb had 25s or 27’s which many will need to get up that final section when already well into oxygen debt.

The Rake is a brutal climb where the steepest section comes at the end and boy is it steep and The handrail along the wall is not there for nothing! The average gradient is said to be 1 in 8.8 for the whole climb but that final section is far steeper, in modern numbers, 23 or 24 percent perhaps, maybe steeper! No, I didn’t have any gadgets on me to measure it!

Note the chunky front end to aid stiffness… It’s a bike that has been tested by bike riders (former pros like Chris Walker) for pros and those who want a  pro bike. The colourful SRAM Red levers. Note the lack of handlebar tape… The computer may also go …

Determining the gearing can require a little guess work because on race day with a number on your back and the crowd shouting in your ear from a foot away, it can all feel very different to the training efforts so Gunnar will has a little thinking to do in the coming days after his half a dozen or so efforts today.

An example of how the gradient changes can be seen in that Gunnar expects to be using between three and four gears only for the climb, doing his best to keep the pedals turning quickly rather than grinding up as some will do.

The Vision Trimax Carbon 170mm cranks with single chain ring (44 or 39) fixed using aluminium bolts and a ceramic bottom bracket. Speed play Zero pedals and SRAM PC1091 chain

Saddle is Trigon VCS03 full carbon model mounted on a Trigon full carbon seat post SP138UL (Superlight: 165g)

Brakes optional for the hill climb except on the descent …

Intregrated Trigon bars/stem (above & below) which Gunnar says weigh a little more but are very stiff. These are now discontinued but newer, more aero ones can be seen here 

MORE INFORMATION - Cycle Division with Trigon Bikes and much more here


RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , , ,