Just did my first TT today

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Dave Pace, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    So I just did my first TT today with my cycling club.
    http://www.buffalobicycling.com/course-map.php?id=6

    I really did not mind it except for the fact that we had High wind warnings for today, and since this was an out and back TT the whole way back I had a 20+ mph wind in the face. ugg. But on the positive side my result was 42:40. Not to shabby for a 258lbs guy on a 9 speed specialized allez road bike I think.
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Nice job. That's a very respectable time for your first 20K TT in challenging conditions and on a road bike. Keep doing them, dial in your best pacing and your times will get even better.

    -Dave
     
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  3. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    Thank you. I was not sure how good that was. I got worried when I saw all these guys show up on fully decked out TT bike.
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the arms race can make it tough on those doing their first time trials. But if you focus on your own game and see what you can do to improve your own average speeds over time the game can continue to be a lot of fun and very motivating in terms of future training.

    FWIW, a lot of the local time trials have begun offering an 'Eddy' (after Eddy Meckx) or Retro category for folks racing each other on traditional road bikes without all the aero goodies. That helps but those also tend to be open categories so you'll get some top riders riding smoking fast times on their road bikes often as their second race of the day after racing on their TT bike. Another good reason to just focus on your own game and your own progress over time.

    Great job,
    -Dave
     
  5. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    Will do. And thank you for all the info.
     
  6. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Nice work DP!!!
     
  7. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    TYVM
     
  8. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    And the results were just posted for the TT. I was the biggest guy there, and the only 1 on a road bike everyone else was on a TT bike. But guess what. I was not the slowest!

    http://www.buffalobicycling.com/training-event.php?id=237

    Now I feel better about my effort and can't wait till next time. Next time I will whip some of them and my legs in the process.
     
  9. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    So here is my quandary at this point. Should I just go ahead and replace the 2300 group set that I currently have on this bike with the 6700 ultra-gear group set? or should I replace the stock Alex s480 rims and hub with something better? Thoughts?
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. IMO, changing your bike's Shimano components will have negligible impact at this point in time compared with fitting a pair of TT handlebars on your bike + appropriate bar end shifters.

    • MY observation is that the difference in Shimano front derailleurs is mostly in the quality of the clamp -- a steel "band" on the least expensive & a nicely anodized, cast aluminum clamp on the more expensive front derailleurs ... the difference in the front derailleur's cage design is often minimal or non-existent
    [*] the difference on the rear derailleurs is a little greater, but there is heavy trickle-down so that most of the less expensive Shimano rear derailleurs are almost as good as the most expensive Shimano rear derailleurs...
    • beyond the pulley wheels on the more expensive Shimano rear derailleurs having bearings instead of bushings (and, I'm not sure there is a true advantage if they are not properly maintained)
    • most of the difference is in materials & therefore weight
    • only the least expensive Shimano rear derailleurs which are found on Department Store bikes will be worth changing sooner-rather-than-later, but if those are properly maintaned & adjusted they are probably just fine (except for their boat-anchor weight) for the intended riders

    After the TT bars, the rider's clothing can apparently make a difference ...

    • ditto on the helmet

    More aerodynamic wheels can make a difference, but are not advised for windy days.

    • if the hubs on your wheels have LOOSE BEARINGS, then learn how to service them AND re-grease them with something like SLICK HONEY or even transmission oil for races ... be sure that you lock the cones properly so that they don't tighten-and-bind!!
    • if you choose to use a lighter weight grease, then re-grease OFTEN (before every race/ride)
    [*] the quality of the cartridge bearings CAN make a difference, too ...

    FYI. DT/Swiss hubs have exceptionally smooth bearings ...

    • unfortunately, DT/Swiss hubs should not be serviced by your LBS unless you are sure of the quality of bearings they are using (i.e., they should probably be sent back to DT's service center for service)
    • you can fit better cartridge bearings than the ones which are in a plebeian cartridge bearing hub when it came from the factory
     
  11. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    Sorry I was not clear. I was not looking specifically for TT. I was looking more towards the actual Road riding and racing side. The TT for me right now are just to give my self a goal to beat next time my club does their TT's. I'm just wondering for right now with regular road racing and also with my 60+ mile charity run coming up if new rims or new hubs would be better, or would going from a 9 speed to a 10 speed would be better.

    Heck to be honest, I have never even touched the bigger rings on my current casset nor have I ever used the small ring on my crank.
     
  12. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Nice job! Not sure if you are already up to speed on the importance of a good warmup before a short race or TT but it can sometimes make a big difference. I've found I've always logged better times at my local TT when riding the 10miles out to the course as opposed to getting a lift from someone even when I do warm up when there.

    I know what you were going through dealing with that headwind though. I did a TT sometime ago where a portion of the course had me down at 14-15mph, in the small ring! Demoralizing to say the least.

    Btw regarding the component upgrade, if you find you are running out of gears or have a hard time finding "sweet spots" in your current gearing (w/larger jumps between gears) the upgrade would be well worth it. Functionally speaking anyway. That doesn't sound like it's the case. Nothing wrong with upgrading just because though.
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    If you are not using the larger Cogs on your Cassette or the inner Chainring(s), then you may benefit from a Cassette with a closer-ratio (i.e., smaller large Cogs), but you probably won't benefit from having a 10th cog ...

    • on the other hand, some people can't have enough gearing combinations!

    BTW. If you EVER notice some balky shifting when the drivetrain is under load (e.g., hesitant shifting while going up hill), then you will benefit from changing to CAMPAGNOLO shifters ...

    • Campagnolo shifters are compatible with many Shimano drivetrains
    • the net cost of switching to Campagnolo shifters will be close to zero if you DIY ...

    In theory (because I still have not tested it on the road ...), the alternative to Campagnolo shifters for balky downshifting would be simply to use a Shimano RAPID RISE MTB rear derailleur ...

    • here is a "Rapid Rise" XT rear derailleur which I chose to modify for use with a Road Cassette by swapping the cage with the cage from an Ultegra rear derailleur ... of course, you CAN use a long cage rear derailleur with a close-ratio Cassette ...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Upgrading your ride can be fun but realistically upgrading drive train components has more to do with convenience and the psychological benefits that come along with crisp quiet shifting and not actual performance benefits measurable in term of faster rides or less fatigue or anything of that sort. It's a bit like upgrading from a solid car that has tinny sounding doors to a a car where everything was built really nicely and the doors have a solid feel as you open and close them. Nice upgrade but if the less expensive car runs well it's not likely to make much of a difference in your daily driving. OK a bit lame analogy as that more expensive car probably actually drives a lot better and might be faster but the point is drive train components on a bike have a lot more impact in the intangibles and don't really make the bike faster.

    Now upgrades that matter start with good tires and tubes and then go to wheel upgrades, particularly deeper more aero wheels. Other 'upgrades' worth considering include a really good professional bike fit, not from your average shop sales employees but the kind you pay for special and someone takes an hour or two to dial in things like cleat placement and shimming, handlebar setup, saddle fore/aft position and tilt, etc. That can have a huge payoff for many riders.

    Wheel upgrades usually take a chunk of cash before they're worth doing. IOW, going from stock wheels to a $200 aftermarket wheelset is usually a lateral step but jumping up to something a little higher end can be very nice. Tires on the other hand can be a very inexpensive way (relatively) to improve your ride.

    Moving from most stock road bike tires to something like a set of Continental GP4000s tires or a set of Michelin Pro Race 3s or 4s or Schwalbe Ultremos can be noticeably faster and smoother on your first ride but if you make a jump like that to racing tires be sure to carry a good patch kit and know how to use it. They're not paper thin or super fragile but you do increase your chances of flatting on light and fast rubber, if your local roads are real junk you might go with something slightly more robust. Personally my day to day tires on my nice bike are a set of GP4000s clinchers and they ride great and wear pretty well. On race days I run Vittoria Corsa CXs over latex tubes and love the ride but they do wear faster. On my rain and winter weather bike I run the Continental 4 Season tires which are a bit more bullet proof but still a nice riding tire, in winters past I've run heavier tires like Gatorskins and Armadillos which bring some additional peace of mind but have a very dead ride.

    Definitely many small changes that you can make but unless you're really frustrated by clunky shifts and missed shifts or unreliable big ring to small ring shifting I wouldn't focus on the equipment group as much as the contact points between either your body or the road so that comes down to things like handlebars and tape, saddles, pedals shoes and cleats or tires and then wheels.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  15. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Charity rides are not races. No one cares how long it takes you.

    It is always beneficial to have spare cassettes and wheels around. You can swap cassettes to get the gears you need for the event at hand. Spare wheels are always nice for the times you go out to ride and find you have a flat. Just swap the wheels. Fix the flat later.

    Being fit is the most important part about racing. Work on that. After you get fit, you can worry about bike issues.
     
  16. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    well the main reason for changing out is the shift/break leavers. When I was in the drops I could not change to a higher gear when i could use it with out getting out of the drops due to the way that the 2300's are designed. It has a thumb switch to go up a gear and is only able to be reached comfortably when you have your hands on top of the hoods.


    [​IMG]


    I was looking at going with the 6700 ultra-gear group set due to it is all on the lever and that would be easier when in the drops and on the hood. Plus it would give me that 1 extra gear. Not only that but when i am in my highest gear on the rear. the chain always rubs on the Front Derailleur. I have had the bike shop check it out and they see it happening, but if they change the front derailleur it would not shift correctly should I ever want to use the small chain ring on the crank for some hill.

    I agree that being fit takes priority. I may not look like the best in shape guy out there with my weight, but i can keep up with them when it comes down to ti and I will be trying some of the races with my club. i may not win but it is really the only way I can better myself and have fun doing it IMO.

    is it possible to do just the rear derailleur, cog and shifter with the ultra gear if I wanted to and leave the front alone or is that a no no?
     
  17. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    Yep, we were actually talking about that a day or 2 before the TT and also someone pointed this out.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/reasons-not-to-stretch/?src=me&ref=general

    So what we did was a few of the guys and me just rode nice and lite 4 miles out and back just to get a nice warm up prior to going off. The rest just used their trainers. I did not bring mine but I felt that the ride was better than the trainer.
     
  18. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, upgrading because you don't like the ergonomics of a group can make sense and you'll likely get a bit cleaner shifting as part of the deal. If you stay with Shimano you should really only need to upgrade the brake/shifter assemblies and yeah, in general there's no need to upgrade the front derailleur even if you upgrade the rear.

    BTW, before changing shifters I'd investigate alternative handlebar drop styles. A lot of folks struggle to access their shifters from many of the 'ergo' bar designs with pronounced sloped flat sections in the drops. A conventional curved or progressive curved drop usually makes it easier to access the controls from deep in the hooks. My personal favorite in recent years is the current trend towards 'compact' or shallow drop bars with around 128mm of drop and somewhere around 75 to 85 mm of reach. These allow a pretty low brake hoods position without a crazy deep drops position and make it easy to access the controls while deep in the drops.

    Maybe it's just the shifter design you have, I've never ridden the 2300 group but I know that Campy's top end brifters have thumb levers and if set up correctly on a good set of handlebars with an appropriate drop shape folks have no problem running the thumb lever when they're in the drops. So it might be your shifter design, but I'd check out handlebar shapes first. Of course as folks said above if you've got the cash there's nothing wrong with upgrades just for the sake of aesthetics. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy a faster smoother riding bike even for charity rides, it's supposed to be fun after all.

    BTW, if you do want to see substantially faster time trial times then your single best investment is a pair of clip on aero bars to clamp onto your road bike drop bars. That with a decent TT fitting to get a comfortable position is the single best improvement you can make in speed for your current fitness and it's not that expensive and easy to bolt on just for race and TT training days.

    Good luck,
    -Dave


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave Pace .

    well the main reason for changing out is the shift/break leavers. When I was in the drops I could not change to a higher gear when i could use it with out getting out of the drops due to the way that the 2300's are designed. It has a thumb switch to go up a gear and is only able to be reached comfortably when you have your hands on top of the hoods.


    [​IMG]


    I was looking at going with the 6700 ultra-gear group set due to it is all on the lever and that would be easier when in the drops and on the hood. Plus it would give me that 1 extra gear. Not only that but when i am in my highest gear on the rear. the chain always rubs on the Front Derailleur. I have had the bike shop check it out and they see it happening, but if they change the front derailleur it would not shift correctly should I ever want to use the small chain ring on the crank for some hill.

    I agree that being fit takes priority. I may not look like the best in shape guy out there with my weight, but i can keep up with them when it comes down to ti and I will be trying some of the races with my club. i may not win but it is really the only way I can better myself and have fun doing it IMO.

    is it possible to do just the rear derailleur, cog and shifter with the ultra gear if I wanted to and leave the front alone or is that a no no?
     
  19. mark174ace

    mark174ace New Member

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    Well done Dave! You averaged over 17mph with half the course blowing a 20 mph wind in your face. That is a great effort as far as I am concerned. My basic average speed was 17-18 mph last year (I was a rookie with flat pedals lol), but for this season I bought some C.B. Candy 3's and shoes so I hope to increase that average up to 20mph. I logged 1,700 miles last season and this season I plan on at least 2,500. I also plan on losing 25lbs.

    It is 70 degrees today in Boston and I cannot go for my first ride of the season because I had some minor surgery last Friday. I should be ready to go next week. Thanks for listening to me bitch and complain, but someone needed to hear it lol!!!!
     
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  20. Dave Pace

    Dave Pace Member

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    TY Mark. Get better man so you can go enjoys the rides again.
     
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