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My First Time Trial

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
The team TT I have been training for fell through, not the event but my team, so I tried my hand at an individual TT yesterday, 10 miles on an out and back course at 5:30pm. A buddy of mine was looking at results from last month and guessed I could be top 5 or maybe top 3, I was a bit more skeptical.

Throughout the day I was really excited thinking first I would go under 25 min. then I thought that 'yeah maybe I can go top 5!' When I got to the start/finish location any thoughts of finishing place vanished, tons of people with dedicated TT bikes full aero gear littered the parking lot. Plenty of the wheelsets alone cost more than my bike, at least I know no one will think strangely of me wearing an aero helmet when I get one. I got signed in and put on my number then spun out of the lot to warm up. It was warm last night, maybe mid nineties going out I didn't notice the tail wind but when I turned back the headwind caught me off guard.

The turn out was 43 people, a record, last month it was 23. I was number 20. When I finally made it to the starting line my heart was pounding and while I waited one minute I forgot to reset the lap on my Garmin, d'oh! I think I had prepared mentally to suffer and the ride didn't disappoint me. I found a rythm and pace that I thought would last and just pushed. About 2.5-3 miles in I caught the young guy who had started in position 18 and just after that passed his father who started in position 19. At 4.5 miles I passed another guy, what his starting position is I am not sure. I was gaining confidence and in retrospect enjoying a nice tailwind until the cone where we turn around I felt clumsy and awkward making a simple U-turn and then had to push into a head wind. I knew I was half way home so I ramped up my effort, I train with an HRM and pushed a zone 4.5-5.0 on the way out, and a 5.2 and up on the way back. At mile nine I passed one more guy and ramped up what little I had left until during the last .5 mi I was gasping loudly and felt fire in my legs and lungs. I crossed the finish line at around 26 mph, into a wind, and I know I had less than 100 yards left at that level of effort. When everyone finished they announced the top five times, the fastest female, and raffled some prizes. To my shock I was 5th with a time of 23.26.

I cant wait for next month!
post #2 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Sweet. Well done! So what kind of bike were you riding? A road rig with aero bars? Just curious.
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 

Re: My First Time Trial

I have a kestrel talon with drop bars and clip on aero extensions.
post #4 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Nice effort, well done!
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 

Re: My First Time Trial

Thanks guys!
post #6 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Great result and a nice time too. A middling 23 is about 25.5mph over 10 miles. Very nice!!!
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 

Re: My First Time Trial

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post
Great result and a nice time too. A middling 23 is about 25.5mph over 10 miles. Very nice!!!
I was very happy with the result. I have zero experience though, that time is respectable?
post #8 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Quote:
Originally Posted by quenya View Post
... that time is respectable?
Nice job, that time is very respectable, especially for a first time TT without all the aero accessories. Very well done!

-Dave
post #9 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Great job, Quenya!
post #10 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

great story...awesome job keep it up
post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 

Re: My First Time Trial

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveryanwyoming View Post
Nice job, that time is very respectable, especially for a first time TT without all the aero accessories. Very well done!

-Dave
This got me wondering which aero gear gives the greatest return? Certainly I have a lot of work to do on the engine but my position on the bike is, I think, pretty good. I try to keep my head low and my back flat. My frame is an 'aero road bike' with a 2 position seat post I use the higher more forward position and raise the mast for rides with the aero bars. My wheels are Mavic Askiums with bladed spokes and they are heavy!

I'm considering TT helmet, skinsuit, shoe covers, and maybe way down the line light-ish deep-ish section rims and a rear wheel cover vs. Disc rear. Price is very much a concern so I'm interested in most bang for the buck.
post #12 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Quote:
Originally Posted by quenya View Post
This got me wondering which aero gear gives the greatest return?.. .
IIRC, the order of importance based on work by the folks at the MIT wind tunnel, Cervelo, Specialized, Cobb and others is something like:

- Rider position (this is the huge one and usually takes some work beyond just clipping on aero bars at whatever stem height and reach you happen to have on your road bike)
- Aero helmet
- Skinsuit
- Deep dish front wheel
- Deep dish or better yet full disc or covered rear wheel (my fastest 40K to date was set with a plastic wheel cover, I haven't put it together to beat that time with an actual disc yet, YMMV)

And somewhere in there would be aero booties, no gloves and a water bottle (perhaps empty) on the down tube (?, might be seat tube gotta check the MIT results) if you're riding a round tubed bike.

I might not have the order exactly right, but I do remember that the aero helmet is way up on the list and a much better bang for your buck than fancy wheels. But realistically the best place to spend effort is on your position, search the forums for Andy's 'neanderthal positioning' posts. Getting really agressive with a road bike usually means a deep drop or adjustable stem for time trial days and or clip on aero bars with very low pad to basebar height. Road bikes have relatively tall head tubes relative to dedicated TT bikes so you generally have to work hard to get lower your front end enough to reduce your frontal area.

-Dave
post #13 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Quote:
Originally Posted by quenya View Post
I was very happy with the result. I have zero experience though, that time is respectable?
A very respectable time.

You mentioned aero goodies...

The rider presents the biggest obsticle and not the bike - and thankfully, those bits are the cheapest - you have a set of tri bars already, work on refining the position and maybe spend a bit of time getting used to riding in it.

Aero helmet, skinsuit and shoe covers can be had for not a lot of money depending on how fancy you want to go. You could pick up the new Giro aero potty for just over $160, a lycra skinsuit for just under $100 (fancy stuff like Assoss or Pearl Izumi are closer to $300 - but still a very good return in investment when up against a carbon disk with powertap in it). Pearl Izumi do a TT specific glove - but it's just as fast riding without.

If you start to get serious about TT's then I'd opt for the frame before the wheels. You can always borrow, rent or buy wheels but adapting to a frame that puts you in a better TT position takes a bit of getting used too. While the aero shapes used on high end TT frames are cool and do save time, the big advantage is that you'll get lower with more comfort than you can on most road frames.

I'm sure there'll be a Cervelo P5 out soon, which means that the fashionable folk will be offloading P3's like they're covered in doggie doo... eBay is your friend. The earlier Cervelo P2 is hardly shabby and can be had for a steal.

Wheels. Disk covers are fairly cheap and should work with your PT but the front wheel is where the big time saving is at. If you can only afford to buy one really good TT wheel then get the front first...

... but nothing sounds as good as a carbon disk with Conti tubs on there pumped to 170psi. :love

I'm sure there's a horror story about wireless PT's not working with disk wheel covers :P
post #14 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Speaking of TT frames - Dave, with regards to USAC events, what's the scoop on allowed frames? Is there any UCI type restriction on things like saddle position, etc?
post #15 of 30

Re: My First Time Trial

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post
Speaking of TT frames - Dave, with regards to USAC events, what's the scoop on allowed frames? Is there any UCI type restriction on things like saddle position, etc?
Yeah, the UCI as usual makes things tougher but in the states that mostly applies to NRC events and nationals, local and even most state level events don't bother with strict UCI compliance. Here's some of the stuff that UCI limits:

- Saddle tip setback 5cm or more from the BB centerline. There's a 'morphological' exception you can take that allows the tip to go all the way to the BB centerline (but not in front of it) as long as a plumb bob from your knee is at or behind the pedal spindle in the 3 oclock pedal position (KOPS). You can get creative during the morph test by sliding back in the saddle to satisfy the KOPS requirement. The Adamo saddles with their short twin tips buys you a handful of extra cms because they're so short which is nice if you like the way they fit.

- Bar ends measured at shifter axles no more than 75cm in front of the BB centerline. Again there's a morph exception that allows up to 80cm of bar reach from BB centerline as long as the elbow angle is 120 degrees or less. Again you can get creative with saddle position during morph testing. As of 2010 you can take one morph exception or the other but not both.

- No wheel covers in strict UCI events but USAC rules explicitly allow wheel covers.

- You've gotta be able to slide a credit card between the rear wheel and the frame so no running the wheel up into the channel created by curved seat posts to effectively 'fare in' the rear wheel. There's got to be a small gap. Enforcement on this one has been somewhat random in recent years.

- All tubes, structural parts, aerobars, etc. have to have an aspect ratio of 3:1 or less. This basically obsoleted a ton of very good aerobar assemblies that are flatter and thinner than 3:1 so it pays to know which qualify and which don't if UCI compliance matters to you. Some aero bike frames also exceed the 3:1 limits so they're no good either.

- Bike must have a traditional double diamond form, compact is fine but no Y bikes or Softrides or the bikes missing seat tubes with the open middle section.

- Same size front and back wheels so no more funny bikes with the small front wheels.

I'm certain there's more stuff like the rules they introduced to eliminate Obree's original 'egg' position but those are the big ones.

Bottom line, I've never seen an official test any of this at state championships or weekend racing but if you want to race nationals and NRC events it's worth a read through the rulebook.

-Dave
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