One of our most anticipated shoe releases here at TriBomb appears to finally be just weeks from being available to purchase. We've been hearing about this shoe and catching a brief glimpse or two of the design for quite some time now. The radical looking, all new S-Works Trivent is sure to have the attention of triathletes all over the globe.
We have been requesting, or more accurately, bugging the hell out of, the Specialized folks for samples of these shoes, and we now have 'em on hand.
The production version of this shoe represents several years of design and research to build the Specialized version of the ultimate tri-specific shoe. In this TriBomb First Look we'll walk you through some of the unique features this shoe offers.
The new Trivent was designed from the ground up with one thing in mind...triathlon. This shoe exhibits some serious real world features, and perhaps more than any shoe we've seen to date the Trivent simply screams triathlon. This is definitely not just a road shoe disguised as a tri-shoe with a couple of reverse open velcro straps. The design should make for ridiculously quick and easy transitions, and in our opinion, will be a very formidable option, especially in shorter distance events.
The London Bridge...well kinda
The most undeniably unique thing about the Trivent is the lack of a traditional heel (no the shoe isn't torn). Specialized calls this the drawbridge heel, this feature not only looks different, but it's also what makes the design so promising for use in triathlon. By rethinking this area of the shoe, the Specialized team has changed the game when it comes to the shoe's entry/exit process for when transition time comes around.
The drawbridge heel is connected to the shoe at the heel and is drawn tight with cables connected to a BOA dial.
We are already fans of the BOA system and its ability to make quick, precise adjustments on the fly. The Trivent has a single BOA dial to get the fit "dialed in". A few quick turns is all it takes get a snug fit with this closure system. When T2 rolls around, a quick pull up on the BOA dial releases the tension and allows you to easily remove your foot.
Out back, you'll find another important piece of the drawbridge system, the magnetic heel loop.
When engaged, the "button" on the heel loop fits into a cup on the back of the heel holding the drawbridge heel in the open position.
With the drawbridge heel in the open position you get a pretty wide open target for your feet to hit. If you can't get into this shoe leaving T1, you might want to consider a new sport.
Ready for Launch?
Another triathlon specific feature incorporated into the Trivent is the "Launch Clip".
This small plastic clip is designed to hold the shoe in place by clipping onto a rubber band, so it's not dragging the ground or flipped over when trying to enter the shoe out of T1.
We've all seen various iterations of this idea leaving transition, some good, some not so good. Specialized capitalized on this old school idea and just put it to work in the shoe for a much cleaner, more user friendly design.
Claimed weight of the Trivent is 280g (size 42). We'd say that is pretty much spot on, as our sample in a size 45 came in at 293g.
In our (very limited) testing to this point the Specialized team has done a good job addressing not only the concerns of a triathlete from a quick transition standpoint, but also putting it in a package that is comfortable and functional at the same time. Our first test ride right out of the box with these shoes was over 3 hours without issue.
The new Trivent has an open concept, as in an open tongue area and open mesh for maximum breathability.
The seam free sockliner greets bare feet with kindness.
Another important factor in a tri shoe is moisture management. The insoles of the Trivent are perforated to allow for water, sweat, and "other fluids" to pass through the shoe.
There's also a vent at the front of the shoe to allow air in and excess moisture out.
A little extra padding in a crucial, and often overlooked area in many shoes we've reviewed, is where the shoe comes across the top of the foot. A feature we have already come to appreciate with the new Trivent.
So...the upper is pretty cool, but what about applying power to the pedals? The Trivent uses the same unidirectional FACT 12.0 carbon found in the top of the line S-Works road shoe for a super stiff and lightweight base.
A replaceable heel pad is also a nice touch.
Be sure to check back for our full review and rating after we have had some time to put the Trivents through the paces.