With a rapid turn of pace and stable handling, the Trinity from Italian brand Hersh impresses wonderfully, and at price that is a fraction of comparable Italian custom-made carbon fibre frames. It might lack the heritage and racing pedigree of those more established Italian brands, but don't let that be a reason to walk right past it if you're in the market for a high performance road bike.
Hersh got started in 2009 by opening a bicycle shop in Riva del Garda and offering their own range of road bikes. Hersh actually stands for History, Energy, Research and Development, Sport and High Level, the core values of the brand. So a young and ambitious company, and with a nice range of models: road.cc previously tested the Speed. This Trinity sits above that bike, with a frame that costs the same as the whole bike.
What you're getting though is a frame constructed from a combination of T800 and M46J carbon fibre using a tube-to-tube process, similar to that used by other top Italian brands. It's light, with a claimed 860g for a medium, and because of the construction technique, each frame can be customised just the way you want it.
There's something quite satisfying about the elegant simplicity of the round tubes that dominate this frame, especially compared to some of the more aesthetically challenging modern moulded frames, especially those shaped in a wind tunnel. It's a very nicely finished frame too. All cables are internally routed to maintain the clean lines.
We didn't go through the custom process but this frame fitted me quite well, albeit with a change of stem length. Hersh offer a choice of complete builds - a full Shimano Ultegra build, with Vision wheels and Deda parts, will set you back £3,700. A Dura-Ace model is £4,900.
I won't delve into the components too much, as this bike was purely built up to allow me to review the frameset. The bike I rode was kitted out with a mix of SRAM Red and Force, Stan's NoTubes Alpha 340 rims on spindly no-name hubs with Vredestein tyres, and Ritchey bars, stem and post. You want to guess the weight? Close. It's 6.65kg (14.66lb). This build would cost £4,700.
That low weight produced sprightly performance on my local hills, with 20% ascents tackled with aplomb. There's a high level of frame stiffness evident when tackling such steep roads, grunting out of the saddle with all your weight heaving on the handlebars, particularly around the bottom bracket where no flex was detectable.
It's a similar story from the tapered head tube and deep bladed forks. Steering was a shade faster than some similarly built bikes but easily manageable, and on the straight and narrow it's calm and relaxed as you like. It has great dynamic ability and easily comes alive on any excitingly laid road with a few curves, dips and crests in it.
It's agile and poised with well balanced handling that makes it easy to extract maximum speed. Though the frame features heartily oversized main tubes, there was no lack of smoothness when buzzing along unflattering road surfaces, with good control over undulating roads. In fact it was quite comfortable and composed. The front-end is a tad harder-feeling than the back, but not enough to cause any odd sensations on longer rides.
I've ridden some good bikes in my time reviewing for road.cc, and many a good Italian road bike has passed through my bike shed. While the Hersh undoubtedly lacks some of the fizz and allure of more storied bike brands, and in my opinion the paint job isn't the most satisfying, in no way did the Trinity lack the sort of performance I look for in a high-end road bike.
Genuinely fun and fast bike from young Italian brand at a fraction of the price of its rivals
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Make and model: Hersh Trinity frameset
Size tested: 55
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
The Trinity road bike frame features a Toray 800 carbon fibre with a tube to tube construction offering the ultimate high end construction.
The epitome of carbon road bike framesets. The beautifully crafted Trinity with its subtle detailing, feather weight construction and race worthy stiffness is the ultimate in bike building technology. The simple styled t800 tubing provides the rider with a solid platform for race stiffness and handling.
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
t800 tube to tube carbon fibre construction
860g weight (size m)
Optional integrated seat post
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Evidence of excellent build quality and attention to detail.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
T800 carbon fibre with a tube-to-tube construction, allowing a custom option on all frames.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
Provided a well balanced bike that was easy to ride at a range of speeds.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
Anyone buying a Trinity frame would go through the custom process.
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Impressively smooth and controlled on rough road surfaces.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Plenty of stiffness when grunting out of the saddle up steep climbs.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
Just felt really nice to ride, nice and sedate at slower speeds, balanced and poised at higher speeds. Ideal for racing but also longer distance rides and sportives.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes.
Would you consider buying the bike? Possibly.
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? At this price it's hard not to.
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.