Handsling A1R0evo for Draft Legal Triathlon

Draft Legal Triathlon is a different beast to the non-draft version that most of us are used to. It requires a different approach to the cycle section with regard to tactics and equipment. Simon Davis gives us a tour around his Handsling A1R0evo that he has been using this season.

Simon in action aboard his Handsling A1R0evo
Simon in action aboard his Handsling A1R0evo

A brief introduction

My name is Simon Davis and I’m a British Elite Triathlete. I race regularly in the British Super Series, French Grand Prix and international Duathlon Championships. This year I have had the pleasure of racing on the A1R0evo and would like to share with you why I believe it makes the perfect choice for any triathlete.

The Handsling A1R0evo
The Handsling A1R0evo

For those who may be new to Triathlon or are used to the non-drafting format of racing, draft legal bike legs are more similar to a crit race than a time-trial. Athletes ride in tight packs on technical courses, often trying to break away from the group to get an advantage before the run. As a result, many of the characteristics that have helped the Das-Handsling race team achieve so much success are also relevant to myself.

Geometry and Handling

Firstly, this bike is hands down a race machine. The geometry allows you to get low at the front end and the wide variety of handlebar options help you achieve the perfect aero position. Personally, I run 38cm wide bars with a 12cm stem. This along with a slight turn in of the hoods, allows me to decrease my frontal area and therefore reduce drag. The last of greater importance now that clip-on tri bars are banned. For me, achieving an efficient and aerodynamic position is crucial in order to perform well on the bike. Additionally the energy saved from improved aerodynamics allows me to feel fresher for the run later on. 

Simon (number 130) in a draft legal race shows how aggressively the A1R0evo can be ridden

The fork angle and short wheelbase help the bike feel planted but nimble in corners. The frame is also stiff in all the right places, helping you get back up to speed quickly. Much of this is thanks to clever placement of material and the tube shaping that the Handsling engineers have used. I feel it is important to point out that Handsling have full control over the design of their bikes. This is not an off the shelf mould that any manufacturer can use. Instead it is designed and owned by Handsling themselves.

A compliant ride saves energy

One of my favourite aspects of the A1R0evo is the tapered seat tube above the seat stays. This narrowing, not seen on many bikes, helps create a more compliant ride whilst maintaining good power transfer. This is aided be the slender top tube and seat stays. Compliance and comfort are often forgotten about when choosing a race bike, but even in short course triathlon it is an important factor. Anything that helps you feel more comfortable on the bike will aid in reducing fatigue for the run leg.

Paint Job

Just some of the colour options available

The colour-way of your bike is a very personal choice and Handsling allow this with fifteen different options to choose from and the option for a custom paint job. I chose a legion red (sadly no longer available), and one thing I particularly like is how the colour extends across the entire front portion of the bike. This means that when I am running through transition it is easier to make out where my bike is, leading to faster transition times. Although I would fully understand if you chose the less obvious oil slick paint job as well!

A1R0evo finishing Kit

The Handsling bike builder allows you to customise your bike

Finally, Handsling excels at being flexible in their bike builds, building every bike to the desires of the rider. This could be gear ratios, crank length or wheel choice, you can use their bike builder page to choose your exact build. This is great as often you have to change out components on a bike after purchase to get it exactly how you like it. In my case the biggest decision was what group-set and wheels. In the end choosing the SRAM Force AXS group set and the CERO RC50 wheels. However, since then Handsling have now partnered with Parcour offering a great range of wheels that are, importantly, UCI legal.

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