The E-119 Tri+ gains discs – but that’s just the beginning.
That this bike is aero goes without saying – so we turned our focus to the aero challenge of rider position. Fit-first design, with a cockpit developed with fitters from 51 Speedshop means full-system aero integration: bike and rider, plus all carry-ons.
Simply slapping disc brakes on the E-119 Tri+ was never an option. We immediately looked for ways to use the addition of discs to achieve both aero and performance gains, and integrating the disc calipers within the frame was the solution we identified. This integration was an idea we pioneered in 2016 with our FWD concept bike, shown at Eurobike that year. At that point it was a design project more than a functional one, but the feedback we received was so positive that we decided to pursue it for a production model. The E-119 Tri+ gave us the perfect opportunity.
The key challenge was heat dissipation alongside adjustability, ease of maintenance, manufacturability, weight, and precise tolerances – no small task. Throughout several design iterations, we were able to evaluate the structural tolerances using FEA, and heat dissipation using CFD. In our prototyping phase, we used our in-house 3D printer and in-house manufacturing lab to produce iterations for testing and further design refinement. After early prototypes confirmed success for all structural and ISO tests, we turned to the issue of heat dissipation. In early simulations, the oil temperature reached a level where we could see a loss of breaking power. Our next set of iterations used the design of the caliper itself and fairings to channel the air through the caliper to improve cooling, which resulted in improved braking performance. As a result, the final design of the hidden caliper allowed us to offset a portion of the aero penalty that came from adding rotors. Alongside the lower SS/ST connection, revised fork profile, removal of quick releases, and added fairing in the TT/ST junction, the result is no aero penalty at all over the previous-generation E-119 Tri+, itself an aero benchmark with its hidden rim brakes.
Our collaboration with Mat Steinmetz from 51 Speedshop for the redesign of the E-119 cockpit resulted in a fit-first approach to provide maximum versatility and adjustability – and a focus on aero optimization of the rider’s position. Quite simply, the most aerodynamic frame possible won’t help if the rider cannot maintain the aero profile for a long race, such as a full Ironman. While our new bar can achieve a +5cm more upright position, the basebar can be flipped for a highly aggressive setup. To help maintain that position, we also worked on improving the ergonomic design of the aerobars. We were able to leverage the lessons learned from the development of the extensions of the new Electron Pro, designed for Australia’s National Team, and applied the same principals of comfort and speed. Beyond optimal position, we also considered triathletes’ travel needs. User-friendly disassembly, packing and reassembly was essential in the design. The monocolumn system is extremely easy to adjust and easy to travel with. A sleek, streamlined look was achieved with completely hidden electronic shifting cables (both Di2 and AXS), and the integration of the usually-protruding brake fluid reservoir into the basebar – also allowing us to achieve aero gains. And we’ve done away with bar tape, having designed custom grips that fit tightly on the bar, and also closely integrate Di2 or AXS Blips for electronic shifting.
Our major focus with the new E-119 was to respond to rider feedback gathered over the course of almost four years, with top pros and age-groupers. Storage came up again and again during those consultations, specifically a better way to carry a flat or survival kit. Like all upgrades on the E-119, we wanted to perfectly address user needs but also achieve a new performance benchmark. We knew we wanted to integrate storage into the frame, but needed to find a place which provided easy access with no structural or performance penalty. The BB solution showed the best results in terms of weight position, usability, and accessibility. To fit the kit, we had to slightly increase the DT width, which brought a small drag penalty but nothing close to strapping an external kit on the toptube, for example. Importantly, the weight and placement of the kit couldn’t affect ride quality, and had to be imperceptible to the rider. The BB positioning tested best for this benchmark, especially when out of the saddle. The integrated kit features a sleek zippered pouch with elastic cords to hold tools securely in place while riding, and is easily accessible when needed through a panel on the BB.
INTEGRATED DISC BRAKES
The first tri bike on the market with fully concealed disc calipers, integrated into the frame. As always, we look for integration without headaches: precision engineered for adjustability, ease of maintenance, and heat dissipation – all at zero drag increase over the hidden caliper brakes of the E-119 Tri+.
Achieving and maintaining aero position for an Ironman course is a major challenge. We worked with fitter Mat Steinmetz from 51 Speedshop to develop a completely new cockpit that allows for a wide fit window, while prioritising ease of travel and maintenance. Custom grips with electronic shifter integration (no more bar tape!), a flippable basebar that gives you either aggressive or more relaxed positions (0 or +5cm) and added stiffness of the bayonnet fork mean immediate response for ultimate speed and confidence.
The E-119 Tri + Disc features a survival kit positioned low on the frame to merge accessibility, usability, and weight positioning so that you won’t feel it when out of the saddle. Along with an updated top tube box with increased capacity for nutrition, you’re packed and ready.
We took what we learned through rigorous development of our new Electron Pro track bike and stripped away the UCI limits. Lowering the SS/ST connection, revising the fork and handlebar profiles, removing quick releases, and redesigning the TT/ST junction are among the things that allowed us to optimise aero results. Early wind tunnel tests with our 3D-printed prototype fork showed no aero penalty as compared to the rim-brake E-119.