The new slate of bikes for this testing is as follows: the Cervelo P5, the Cervelo P5-X, the Ventum One, the Premier Tactical, the Diamondback Andean, and a well-configured (but old) Felt B series (which is my own).
The medium remains the A2 Wind Tunnel in North Carolina -- now set for the full day of April 18, 2017 (next Tuesday, as of this draft). The funding for the testing is both crowd-sourced and privately raised. While I have shepherded project management over the logistics, we have obtained equipment provision/support from Dan Kennison (dkennison) of Premier; Jimmy Seear (JimmySeear) of Ventum; and Dave Luscan (Findin' Freestyle) of All3Sports Atlanta. Presiding over the protocol are Brian Stover (desert dude); Heath Dotson (ex-cyclist); and Geoff (from the A2 tunnel).
Support from manufacturers notwithstanding, this project is by athletes and for athletes. For most of us, the most fundamental question remains: which triathlon bike is fastest?
Beyond that, the ancillary questions are many: How much do these bikes differ from best to worse? Are the differences so small as to be wiped out by individualism? Dollar for dollar, are these aero gains worth our money? Should we choose a mold-breaking, UCI illegal frameset design or a traditional, time-tested double diamond -- and is there any evidence to pick one or the other, from a speed perspective? Do we want rim brakes or disc brakes, and what are the aerodynamic trade offs? Weighing performance and price value, do we buy from a direct-to-consumer provider (Premier) or should we go with a traditional retail distribution product (Cervelo)?
I hope to lend credence to these questions in the output, which will be a detailed report. This project may be the first of its kind in many ways, given the independent nature, breadth, and relevance of the testing to triathletes, especially those who are considering the purchase of a new, modern superbike; who are contemplating the pros and cons of disc brakes; and/or who are considering a Cervelo, say, from a local bike shop versus a value-loaded option from Premier (or Ventum).
To paraphrase/plagiarize Dan, we bear witness to a pivotal moment in triathlon bike design and technology. The first was in 1989, when triathlon-specific geometry was introduced. The second was in 2005, when Cervelo debuted the P3C, a product that became the best-selling platform/model in triathlon -- and may still be. And the third is now, with manufacturers divided over frame designs/structures, braking systems, and retail distribution models.
This is an exciting time, and I hope this will be an insightful and informative exercise for the community. Please use this thread to ask questions, give feedback, and engage with stakeholders.
Update: Cervelo P5-X participation confirmed