Teased at Ironman World Championships in Kona in October, the Culprit Legend triathlon super bike is now live on Kickstarter.
Designed to run either rim or disc brakes equally well on the same frame, it also promises to be the easiest tri bike to service and pack. That’s thanks to a clean design with easily accessible mounting points for all the usual parts that need to be maintained or decoupled for packing.
Even better, it does all this without any aerodynamic compromises. They claim Wind tunnel tests show it’s within 2 watts of drag of the Cervelo P5, even beating it at a few of the yaw angles they tested. And that’s with disc brakes and a standard (read: non-integrated) aero cockpit. But there is integration, using simple magnetic covers to hide a multitool compartment, Di2 wiring inside the stem and direct-mount front brake if so equipped…
Assuming you’ve already got your favorite super aero wheels, chances are you’ll opt for the rim brake fork to start. The frame itself is compatible with both, but the fork is either/or. The rim brake frameset comes with an as-yet-unannounced new TRP direct mount top pull brake caliper, chosen for its ability to fit inside the aero cover plate and because it easily disconnects for travel. The fairing pulls into place with magnets to hide it from the wind without any tools required to remove or replace it. That, plus easy to reach adjustments on the caliper itself, makes brake setup and fine tuning so easy even –wait for it– a triathlete could do it.
The video below is just a collection of quick shots, but toward the end it shows the magnetic fork and stem cover plates being removed.
The top of the stem comes off in the same manner, revealing the Di2 junction box and wiring. To pack the bike down for travel, you simply unhook the brake’s wedge and disconnect the main wire from the junction box, then unbolt the handlebar and lay it beside the headtube (preferably with some bubble wrap between them. Mechanical drivetrains should have enough slack in the lines coming out of the aero extensions to let the bar lay where it needs to be for packing with no adjustments. Other than the four bolts to remove the bar from the stem, there are no tools required.
Part of the secret is the use of “standard” aero bars and stem, which come with the frameset. They’re from a new brand that’ll launch soon developed in collaboration with Culprit. They’ve wind tunnel tested these against popular sets from Shimano PRO and Profile Design and they say theirs showed the least drag when installed on the bike. It’s also highly adjustable and will fit any BTA (between the arms) hydration system you choose (plus two bottles inside the front triangle). Our own experience with Culprit’s cockpit parts in the past has shown them to be both comfortable and reliable. But, the bike’s designed to be aero with any cockpit you (or your sponsors) like.
The rear rim brake sits under the BB and uses the same TRP caliper. In the unlikely event one of the brakes gets damaged, any direct mount (including Shimano’s latest) will work, they just won’t fit under the front fairing.
Disc brakes use the flat mount standard on both fork and chainstay, and it comes with parts to swap between standard vertical 130mm QR dropouts and Shimano E-Thru 12×142 thru axles.
CFD analysis and optimized tube shaping with a front brake cover do a lot to cheat the wind, but the biggest cheat comes from eliminating the seatstays. UCI rules don’t apply to triathlon bikes (thankfully), so designs can take full advantage, and some of the fastest tri bikes in history have made do without seatstays. Add in Culprit’s year’s of experience designing and producing carbon bikes for themselves and other brands and you get a bike with plenty of lateral stiffness even without a complete rear triangle.
The bottom bracket shell is sized for BB386, which accommodates cranks from SRAM, Shimano, Rotor and others either directly or with adapters.
There’s room for 700x28c tires front and rear.
Three years’ worth of R&D and testing has gone into this version of the Legend, and it shows. Now, they’re using Kickstarter to fund the production process, make the molds, etc.
Three sizes UPDATE: FIVE sizes will be offered initially, with additional the XXS coming if stretch goals are met. Options and specials for the campaign are:
|Carbon Culprit Ruler||$30||unlimited|
|The Early Bird Gets the Worm Legend Frameset||$2,095||10|
|The Early Bird Gets the Worm Legend Frameset with aerobar/stem||$2,550||10|
|The Early bird special Legend Frameset||$2,275||25|
|The earl bird special Legend frameset with aerobar/stem||$2,762||25|
|30 % off Legend Frameset||$2,447||25|
|30% off Legend frameset with aerobar/stem||$2,974||25|
|25 % off Legend Frameset||$2,621||unlimited|
|25% off Legend frameset with aerobar/stem||$3,185||unlimited|
Prices include shipping to almost anywhere in the world. All supporters committing to any frameset will get a custom triathlon short and jersey color matched to the frame, and backers will have a choice of seven frame colors:
They’ll also be able to get a custom color for $200 more, and complete build groups will be offered at “too low to advertise” pricing after the campaign closes. They’ll also offer backers special pricing on their standard road bikes in case you need a daily driver for training and group rides.
Check the Kickstarter campaign page for full details and lots of little videos showing off all the Legend’s features.