The Omni Has Arrived

I havenít ridden it nor even seen it in person, but the images are enough that the TriRig Omni needs to be taken seriously.

Itís a Lotus-inspired tri bike that has all the modern details and features youíd expect to see from a bike designed by someone who has an ear close to triathlonís tracks.

Like TriRigís aerobars the Omni is long and skinny. Keeping things narrow was always a priority according to TriRigís Nick Salazar. And, by the way, the Omni obviously uses the TriRig Alpha X bar along with TriRigís brakes.

Specifically it was the Lotus model 108 from which the Omni draws its inspiration. That bike, though a generation old, remains a touchstone for bike designers. But donít take from the look of the bike that this was a high-yaw design. The surface area may suggest that, but although high yaw has been in vogue for several years itís become clearer than yaws between the 10s are whatís important, and the Omni is built with this in mind.

Salazar explained to Slowtwitch that he took a full-sized 3D print to the wind tunnel and compared it to a tricked out Cervelo. He claims the Omni was 5 watts faster and that was enough, he said, to go forward. The design imperative was to move the clean air from the head tube to the rear wheel with as few trailing edges as possible.

The Omni is made in 3 sizes, M, then a S and L, and these sizes are slightly farther apart from each other in scale than a typical size run from Cervelo, Felt and like companies.

This bike has a stack/reach of 525mm/405mm in size M, with 600mm of front center and a 79į seat tube angle (on a Ritchie fore/aft adjustable seat post topper). This is analogous to about a 54cm bike in a Felt or a Cervelo (or a M in a Speed Concept), and the sizes up and down have a stack/reach of 560mm/435mm and 490mm/375mm.

Omega brakes are hidden behind an integrated fairing that snaps into and under the Alpha aerobar. All the brake's adjustability remains. The fairing attaches magnetically; it just pulls off. The rear brake is the same, by the way: a magnetic snap-on cover under the BB. The bike can be ridden without the front fairing but Salazar maintains the bike is faster when the brake and cover are added. The fork is all TriRigís.

There are 3 holes for brake mounting on the fork, for Shimano Direct Mount users, but the bike is meant for a traditional brake mount and Tririg is a traditional mount.

On the steer column topper is a hirth joint and this changes the length of the fork. Woo! The only time Iíve seen a hirth joint in a bike is in the Campagnolo bottom bracket and crankset on my everyday road bike. This means there is no need for cutting the steerer. You can make the steer tube longer or shorter. Itís the first time a hirth joint has been used in this way. There should be a patent pending on this Iím led to believe. This eliminates the need for expander plug, giving up a few grams with hirth joint hardware, but gaining a few back because no expander plug is needed.

A liner runs through the whole bike, something like 12mm or 13mm in diameter, so that you can run whatever youíd like in there, cables or wires. This is what I mean when I write that itís got the modern details and features that are a triathleteís reasonable expectations these days. This includes and Integrated storage box that sits inside the top tube.

There are aero matched skewers and these were not on the bike during its wind tunnel testing. The Allen wrench sits inside, clicks in, the non-drive chain stay. Behind the seat post is spacing for water bottle or a Shimano Di2 battery.

The build is a 1x and there is no derailleur hanger for this build but a hanger is provided for those who prefer a 2x. Hereís what you get with the frame and hereís what it costs, complete bike below it:

Omni Frameset: $4,990, includes:
Frame/fork/seatpost
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
Pressfit 30 BB standard

Omni, Complete Build: $7,990:
Omni Frameset, plus:
FLO 60/90 Wheelset, with Continental GP4000s II tires
Dash Stage Saddle
Quarq Prime Crankset, 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

Now, letís get to some tougher questions. TriRig is known as a company that is great at hitting the sweet spot of the marketís needs, in terms of stems, aerobars, brakes. But it has had some recall issues. TriRig is not known as a company that gets it right the first time all the time. I brought this up to Nick Salazar because itís never a good day when youíre steer column breaks.

ďTotally fair question,Ē was his reply. He lists his primary line of defense as the factory making the Alpha X, which is different than they used for their first factory. Salazar believes the factory theyíre now using has its own failsafe checks and that he believes this may be the safest frame manufacturing company to use. ďThe owners will not sell to its client without prior testing. It took The Alpha X a long time to come out because of testing.Ē

Salazar says this factory tests to 120 percent or more than ISO standards. He stands behind the Omni as, ďbombproof; you can put this bike in a trainer, BB torsion and stiffness pass with flying colors.Ē

The Omni checks all the boxes. From the above and from the pics itís easy to see all the positives; all the reasons to buy. What are the negatives? The first hurdle is price. Yes, bikes do sell for $8000 or, at least, they have that as a price tag. But in reality the sweet spot for bikes is $1,500 to $6,500 and, really, below $5000. TriRig has made a living out of selling $1000 aerobars, however, so customers donít expect a TriRig bike to compete price wise with a QR PR3 or a Cervelo P2.

Next is the fact that this is a brand new, very expensive bike sold by a company that is making its first bike. Who is willing to be an early adopter? You go first! No, you! There will be intrepid souls whoíll step forward. Just, itís a little like going to see a 3-hour movie from a first-time feature film director.

Finally, itís a consumer-direct product. "So what?" you say. Youíre spoiled because of Canyonís success. Before Canyon you couldnít give a consumer-direct bike away in the U.S. In fact, we still donít know for certain, because Canyon is only just now coming to this country.

All those hurdles and unknowns having been acknowledged, TriRig has done as much as it could to give the Omni the horsepower to succeed. Itís a pretty bike.