Focus on: Integrated Brakes
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.
Focus on: Fit
Our collaboration with Mat Steinmetz from 51 Speedshop for the redesign of the E-119 cockpit resulted in a fitfirst 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.
Focus on: STORAGE
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 agegroupers. 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.