UNRIVALED: THE BIKES BEHIND KRISTIAN BLUMMENFELT’S HISTORIC YEAR
Posted by Eric Roque on
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2021
Kristian Blummenfelt had big goals at the start of this year. From the Tokyo Olympics to his first-ever full-distance Ironman race, the Giant-sponsored triathlete had targeted 2021 to be his breakout season.
Now, looking back on a historic season that included an Olympic gold medal, a win at the World Triathlon Championship, and a dominant victory in his first Ironman distance race, it’s clear to see that all the preparation and hard work has paid off for the 27-year-old Norwegian.
In addition to a focused training regime that saw Blummenfelt start the year on a high note with several momentum-building wins ahead of the Olympics, he also added two secret weapons to his arsenal this year: his Propel Advanced SL Disc for Olympic distance races; and his Trinity Advanced Pro for Ironman distance races.
Both bikes feature composite framesets handcrafted by Giant with custom graphics made specially for Blummenfelt. Both also rely on integrated aerodynamics, specifically Giant’s AeroSystem Shaping technology, which uses CFD analysis and dynamic wind-tunnel testing to optimize aero performance at all yaw angles.
Here’s a detailed look at the two machines that Blummenfelt used to make 2021 a year to remember.
PROPEL ADVANCED SL DISC
Blummenfelt’s choice for Olympic and sprint distance triathlons is the Propel Advanced SL Disc. This is the bike he used for the biggest race of his life at the Tokyo Olympics. Having already won several races on it heading into the Olympics—including the World Triathlon Championship Series opener in Yokohama and a World Triathlon Cup in Portugal—he arrived at the Olympics with supreme confidence.
The Propel Advanced SL Disc does double duty as a high-performance aero road machine. It’s designed to give solo racers every advantage against the wind, whether they’re sprinting, attacking off the front, or trying to win an Olympic triathlon. It’s engineered with Giant’s most premium frame material, Advanced SL composite. Its AeroSystem Shaping technology means that every tube shape and angle is optimized for minimal drag and designed to work as a system in real-world road conditions.
The Propel’s frame design is a result of extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics studies and dynamic wind-tunnel testing. The tubes feature a truncated ellipse shape, which, combined with CADEX wheels and Contact SLR Aero cockpit, minimize drag at various yaw angles for a measurable aero advantage.
For draft-legal racing, Blummenfelt typically chooses a CADEX Road WheelSystem combining an aero 65mm deep rear rim profile and the versatile 42 front wheel. His race bike is built up with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic drivetrain and disc brakes. The frame and fork are designed for disc-brake integration, delivering powerful stopping power and modulation for added control in all conditions and weather. Front and rear thru-axles help boost stiffness and improve overall handling.
The frameset on Blummenfelt’s Olympic gold medal bike features special graphics with inspiration from the shippo pattern, a common design in Japanese art and fashion. The overlapping circles and shapes of the design symbolize harmony and happiness, and the five colors combine to convey a sense of motion and speed in the pursuit of victory.
TRINITY ADVANCED PRO
After accomplishing everything he had set out to in shorter distance triathlons, Blummenfelt wasted no time setting his sights on something new. For the first time ever, he would try a full-distance triathlon. With only a few months to prepare, he began training with the Trinity Advanced Pro, a pure triathlon and TT machine that would require a different riding position to maximize aerodynamics and comfort over the full 112-mile distance.
Blummenfelt chose Cozumel, Mexico, to make his Ironman debut, part of a plan to ramp up and target more long-distance events in 2022 including the Ironman World Championships in Kona. He got off to a fast start at Ironman Cozumel, completing the 2.4-mile swim in second position, 2 seconds off the lead.
From there, Blummenfelt broke things wide open with a dominating ride on his new machine. Riding with a CADEX Aero WheelSystem and his Giant Rivet TT helmet, he blitzed the bike leg with a time of 4:02:40, by far the fastest split on the day. He went on to win the race in dominating fashion, beating second-place finisher Ruedi Wild of Switzerland by more than 15 minutes.
In fact, Blummenfelt had shocked the triathlon world by recording the fastest Ironman time ever (7:21:12). The Professional Triathletes Organization later removed that world record due to a down-current in the Cozumel swim, but there was no denying that Blummenfelt was completely dominant—and he looks poised to rewrite the record books in the Ironman arena.
Earlier this month, Blummenfelt closed out his season with another big win at CLASH Daytona, a middle-distance event held at the famed Daytona motorsports venue in Florida. With a 90-mile bike leg covering multiple laps on the motorway, he once again rode his Trinity Advanced Pro with a CADEX Aero WheelSystem.
Clearly, Blummenfelt is right at home on his new bike. Designed using dynamic wind-tunnel testing, the Trinity Advanced Pro delivers a proven aero advantage. Beyond its aero engineering, Blummenfelt’s Trinity Advanced Pro features tri-specific integrations including a built-in front hydration reservoir, a top tube storage box, and a water bottle that helps improve the bike’s aero performance on the road. It also offers a wide range of adjustability that allows athletes to refine the fit for comfort and efficiency over the 112-mile Ironman bike distance.
The custom graphics feature a blue-to-black fade meant to express motion, the flow of the rider through water, and slicing through wind on the road. Brush strokes on top of the main colors add to the effect, and the design carries over to the CADEX Aero WheelSystem. The wheels are also inscribed with Blummenfelt’s signature and word he lives by: “It hurts more to lose”
Now, with his dream season completed, the Olympic champion is already preparing for 2022.
One thing is certain, it’s going to be a wild ride.