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Old 11-28-07, 06:45 PM   #1
LT Intolerant
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TT Bike Sightline Question

I'm curious as to others experience. How far can you see down the road on your TT bike? I've been trying to dial in my aero position over the past few weeks andiIn my "best" position I can see about 30-40 yards down the road wt. straining my neck or artificially arching/flattening my back. This is nothing compared to my road bike (obviously).

I ask this question because when I'm out training (read foaming at the mouth) it's kind of disconcerting to think that I might be need to make an emergency stop/maneuver if a car pulls a bonehead move. Just curious but do you feel the same sense of peril when riding your favorite TT machine?

thx

gene r
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Old 11-28-07, 08:04 PM   #2
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Are you limited by the front of your helmet, or some forehead structure? If not, what's your saddle-to-bar drop, and your height?

You should look up with your eyes, not your head, if you're not already.

I can see as far as I need to, and I have probably an A- or B+ position.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:23 PM   #3
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Are you limited by the front of your helmet, or some forehead structure? If not, what's your saddle-to-bar drop, and your height?

You should look up with your eyes, not your head, if you're not already.

I can see as far as I need to, and I have probably an A- or B+ position.
I'm 5'9" and my saddle to bar drop is about 4.5", a fairly moderate drop (road bike is 3"). My helmet doesn't seem to be a limiting factor, and my cro-magnon like forehead isn't too big an issue either.

I do look up using my eyes but also crane my neck to get greater visibility down the road. That said it seems as though my line of sight is far less than I'd want it to be.

On a scale of 1-10 I'd rate it a 5, whereas my road bike is a 9, given that I rarely ride the drops, and mostly ride the hoods.

gene r
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Old 11-28-07, 08:39 PM   #4
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Probably time to have a friend take a profile shot in your aero bars, near leg fully extended. Post the photo, brace yourself for the goofball remarks, and others will help
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Old 11-28-07, 09:13 PM   #5
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Probably time to have a friend take a profile shot in your aero bars, near leg fully extended. Post the photo, brace yourself for the goofball remarks, and others will help
I was afraid someone would say that.

Not sure my fragile male ego could handle it!

I'll give it some thought.

gene r
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Old 11-28-07, 09:21 PM   #6
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My field of vision is definitely more limited than the road bike; more than once I've been riding hard and been surprised by road trash that I didn't see until almost too late. If I'm going through intersections or places that I feel need extra care, I get up onto the base bars where I can reach the brakes and see a bit better.

At least I haven't crashed into a parked car yet. Some dude confessed to that on Slowtwitch this week but I can't find the thread to post a link.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:26 PM   #7
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I was afraid someone would say that.

Not sure my fragile male ego could handle it!

I'll give it some thought.

gene r
lol, if you're not comfortable sending them straight to me in a PM, send them to blonduathlongrl to send to me
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Old 11-28-07, 09:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LT Intolerant View Post
I'm curious as to others experience. How far can you see down the road on your TT bike? I've been trying to dial in my aero position over the past few weeks andiIn my "best" position I can see about 30-40 yards down the road wt. straining my neck or artificially arching/flattening my back. This is nothing compared to my road bike (obviously).

I ask this question because when I'm out training (read foaming at the mouth) it's kind of disconcerting to think that I might be need to make an emergency stop/maneuver if a car pulls a bonehead move. Just curious but do you feel the same sense of peril when riding your favorite TT machine?

thx

gene r
Must be nice. When I am training I let my head up so that I can see, but in a TT? I am lucky to see 10 yeards down the road (Limited by helmet rim and straining eyeballs).
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Old 11-28-07, 10:12 PM   #9
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OK, I now feel better. I thought maybe I needed to take a yoga class (ugh) or find a more remote course to train on. I definitely hear you on the road trash thing Kendall. I almost biffed on a plastic coke bottle today.

Dr WJO'D, your position is freakin' world class, and I'm not even close, but its comforting to know that you are experiencing the same thing. I put myself in a less aero position so I could get 30 yards of up the road vision. I figured it was better to be slower than to be road kill!

I'll shoot some photos and post 'em. Thanks all.

gene r
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Old 11-29-07, 07:51 AM   #10
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Seeing during TT's is overrated. If I'm out training on my TT bike I'll usually just keep my head up so that I can see better. During a race though I keep my head as low as possible for aerodynamics, only peeking up every now and then to take a look at what's ahead. You should be pre-riding the course before a TT anyway, so you know when the turns, climbs, and turnaround are coming up. I can see maybe 20-30 feet in front of me during a TT, and towards the end it's usually blurry because I'm cross-eyed from pushing so hard!
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Old 11-29-07, 09:12 AM   #11
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Seeing during TT's is overrated. If I'm out training on my TT bike I'll usually just keep my head up so that I can see better. During a race though I keep my head as low as possible for aerodynamics, only peeking up every now and then to take a look at what's ahead. You should be pre-riding the course before a TT anyway, so you know when the turns, climbs, and turnaround are coming up. I can see maybe 20-30 feet in front of me during a TT, and towards the end it's usually blurry because I'm cross-eyed from pushing so hard!
Seeing road is for wussy!
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Old 11-29-07, 09:21 AM   #12
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Seeing during TT's is overrated. If I'm out training on my TT bike I'll usually just keep my head up so that I can see better. During a race though I keep my head as low as possible for aerodynamics, only peeking up every now and then to take a look at what's ahead. You should be pre-riding the course before a TT anyway, so you know when the turns, climbs, and turnaround are coming up. I can see maybe 20-30 feet in front of me during a TT, and towards the end it's usually blurry because I'm cross-eyed from pushing so hard!
Agree with all your points but the other thing that's over-rated is crashing or getting taken out by a car.

We have a once-a-month TT series and the road we use, which I know intimately becuase it is also my training route, is unfortunately open to fast moving (45 mph speed limit) traffic and at times littered with trash. As much as I'd like to put my head down and go b$lls out it just isn't safe to do so.

Before you say go find another practice route this is one of the better places (e.g., wide shoulder with rolling terrain) in the area to practice TTing.

gene r
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Old 11-29-07, 10:48 AM   #13
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Agree with all your points but the other thing that's over-rated is crashing or getting taken out by a car.

We have a once-a-month TT series and the road we use, which I know intimately becuase it is also my training route, is unfortunately open to fast moving (45 mph speed limit) traffic and at times littered with trash. As much as I'd like to put my head down and go b$lls out it just isn't safe to do so.

Before you say go find another practice route this is one of the better places (e.g., wide shoulder with rolling terrain) in the area to practice TTing.

gene r
Well if it's an open road, then definitely keep your head up a bit more! In your practice TT series, if you hold the same "head up slightly more" position each month then you'll still be able to track improvements. The only time I suggest going with the limited-view position is if it's a closed course or if you really know the roads well, or if you're really gunning for the win and you're willing to take chances. That's part of a time trial as well (the 2006 Nationals course comes to mind)!
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Old 11-29-07, 11:22 AM   #14
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When you put your head down in a TT, doesn't the tail of your aero helmet stick up in the air (making you look like a triathlete)?
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Old 11-29-07, 12:13 PM   #15
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You don't need to see...

Case in point:





Just look through the tops of your eyes, you don't need more than 10-20 meters of vision.
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