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Old 01-06-11, 12:20 AM   #1
tetonrider
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one bike for road races & TTs...questions

hey, all:
i've not done any time trials before but am thinking of entering some stage races this year which have TT components. one of my strengths is is fatigue resistance and holding steady power, so i might (relative term, of course!) be suited to this.

that said, i'm not (yet) interested in having a dedicated TT rig...especially not having done any official TTs!

it's clear that one can enter a TT with a straight-up road setup (and i just might do that). to take the intermediate step, what's necessary? would it be as simple as using extension bars (+ pads?) on my regular bars?

my current bars (3t ergonova) allow for use of clip on extenders. i'm also riding a Di2-equipped bike....so that seems to be suited to easily adding SW-7971 satellite shifters for the extender bars.

what does one do with mechanical DA? seems pretty critical that if one is going to go with extenders, then shifters are a necessity.

in this situation, would one typically move the saddle forward (/and up)?

is the benefit over just riding in the drops substantial, or is this 1/2-way solution really just a waste of time?

thanks. apologies if these are basic questions. i did a bit of searching but did not find the results i was looking for.
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Old 01-06-11, 07:16 AM   #2
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Contrary to what some may tell you, it is possible to use a regular road bike with clip-on aerobars and be quite successful in TT's. While you won't be as fast as you can be with a dedicated TT bike, you can be fast enough. You just need to practice and train well.

As for shifting, I wouldn't worry too much about setting up satellite shifters. If you find that you need to shift gears, just take your arms out of the clip-on's and shift, then go back into the aero position. Granted, being on di2, you could do the shifter bit substantially easier than guys with mechanical systems, but you'll probably find it's not necessary.

BTW, you'll be required to take the aerobars off for any mass start events.
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Old 01-06-11, 08:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
i did a bit of searching but did not find the results i was looking for.
did your bit of searching include reading the sticky thread at the top of this forum?
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Old 01-06-11, 08:46 AM   #4
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IMO, the most important aspect of riding a successful TT is to train in the TT position in whatever rig you have. It took me a few months to adapt fully to clip on aerobars. And by that I mean close to the same power as in the drops. Here is an article by one of my racing club members who is a World champion TT and former director of our women's pro team. http://www.altovelo.org/training/timetrials.php There are other articles on that page and I suggest you also read the one on warm ups. Good luck.
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Old 01-06-11, 08:48 AM   #5
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Texas Cat 3 TT champion used his road bike with clip ons.
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Old 01-06-11, 09:09 AM   #6
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Texas Cat 3 TT champion used his road bike with clip ons.
I rest my case.

I got bronze in the Florida cat 3 state TT using my road bike, clip-ons, and a cheap wheel builder disc cover. It can be done.
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Old 01-06-11, 10:18 AM   #7
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I sold my TT bike... Would rather use my road bike with short clip ons than drag out the TT rig 2+ times a week just to get better.
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Old 01-06-11, 10:40 AM   #8
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I sold my TT bike... Would rather use my road bike with short clip ons than drag out the TT rig 2+ times a week just to get better.
True - went to a race last year and had the following in the suv:
2 - road bikes
1 - tt bike
5 - wheelsets
All my gear
My wife and daughter went in one car, my son and I in another
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Old 01-06-11, 10:42 AM   #9
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I sold my TT bike... Would rather use my road bike with short clip ons than drag out the TT rig 2+ times a week just to get better.
Having a tt saddle on a spare post makes switching back and forth easy and you don't risk messing with your road position. Just a wrap of electrical tape around each post to mark the heights
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Old 01-06-11, 10:42 AM   #10
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True - went to a race last year and had the following in the suv:
2 - road bikes
1 - tt bike
5 - wheelsets
All my gear
My wife and daughter went in one car, my son and I in another
Which race required so much crap? I'll mark it off my list.
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Old 01-06-11, 10:51 AM   #11
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For two stage races last year, my wife and I both raced and we carried...
  1. Two road bikes
  2. Two TT bikes
  3. Two trainers
  4. Six wheelsets
  5. Other cycling stuff
  6. Overnight stuff
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Old 01-06-11, 11:45 AM   #12
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Having a tt saddle on a spare post makes switching back and forth easy and you don't risk messing with your road position. Just a wrap of electrical tape around each post to mark the heights
this is exactly what i did last year and it worked fine for me in cat4. (6th at the State championship, 5th and 8th in my stage race TTs)

i bought a TT bike this year though. bottom line is if youre fast enough to get top 5 in a TT with clipons, youre fast enough to win it with a real TT bike. if you are the dude whos fast enough to win with clip ons, youre a lucky dude.

just gotta decide whether the investment of time and money into the discipline is worth it to you and your goals or not.

Last edited by badhat; 01-07-11 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 01-06-11, 05:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bernside View Post
Having a tt saddle on a spare post makes switching back and forth easy and you don't risk messing with your road position. Just a wrap of electrical tape around each post to mark the heights
thanks. i know the general idea is to rotate one's position around the bottom bracket. presumably this results in a higher and more forward position for the post and saddle. i use a setback post now...i'm thinking that might be harder to re-purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
Contrary to what some may tell you, it is possible to use a regular road bike with clip-on aerobars and be quite successful in TT's. While you won't be as fast as you can be with a dedicated TT bike, you can be fast enough. You just need to practice and train well.

As for shifting, I wouldn't worry too much about setting up satellite shifters. If you find that you need to shift gears, just take your arms out of the clip-on's and shift, then go back into the aero position. Granted, being on di2, you could do the shifter bit substantially easier than guys with mechanical systems, but you'll probably find it's not necessary.

BTW, you'll be required to take the aerobars off for any mass start events.
understood. the di2 satellite shifters -- if one can stomach the expense -- seem pretty easy. if one is clipping on the aerobars for a TT, it's basically just 2 more clicks for the shifter wires to connect to the di2 brifters. but that's good to know that the satellite shifters aren't a big deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
did your bit of searching include reading the sticky thread at the top of this forum?
i'm embarrassed to say i missed it. i know there are stickey'ed threads, and i'd never noticed the TT one. i apologize for wasting your time.

i did read that thread (thanks for calling my attention back to the stickeys) and there is a bunch of good info (of course). my di2 question would still stand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
IMO, the most important aspect of riding a successful TT is to train in the TT position in whatever rig you have. It took me a few months to adapt fully to clip on aerobars.
understood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhat View Post
this is exactly what i did last year and it worked fine for me in cat4.

i bought a TT bike this year though. bottom line is if youre fast enough to get top 5 in a TT with clipons, youre fast enough to win it with a real TT bike. if you are the dude whos fast enough to win with clip ons, youre a lucky dude.

just gotta decide whether the investment of time and money into the discipline is worth it to you and your goals or not.
thanks. sounds like with minimal expense i will be able to get into a better position and save some time, without going whole-hog into it. i can benefit from some improvements while deciding how much i want to dedicate myself to that pursuit.

thanks, all.
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Old 01-06-11, 05:48 PM   #14
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A lot has been written (check the TT thread) about the benefits of each piece of gear for TTing. Some claim actual wattage savings for each item although these will vary a huge amount from rider to rider and may be bogus to begin with.

First priority is to get the best position you can with clip ons and your road bike and train in that position. Feel free to post pictures and video of your position for expert advice from BF! After that you might consider an aero helmet, skin suit, shoe covers, deep dish front wheel, disk rear wheel (or disk cover). I'm sure I'm missing a few things.
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Old 01-06-11, 07:02 PM   #15
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you can get a decent TT bike for a grand. That's like 1/3 the price of your groupset? How much do those satellite shifters cost? (preliminary search says $340)

Are those ergonovas carbon? If so, clip-ons are going to scratch through the clearcoat.

I don't see the point of spending almost as much as it would cost to get a dedicated TT bike to retrofit your existing one. Then when you're done, the retrofitted setup still isn't as good as the budget TT rig would be. Also consider the amount of time spent switching back & forth between the 2 setups. Also understand that if you buy used and do your homework, you can sell it with minimal loss if you decide TTing isn't your thing.

I told myself when I bought an S2 years back that I'd use it as a TT bike to, but a year later I had an ebay special p3 aluminum and much faster TT times.

Last edited by brianappleby; 01-06-11 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 01-07-11, 02:02 AM   #16
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I would at least do 1 or 2 TTs on your road bike as it is to get an idea of what they are like. Some people hate them and you won't know if you are one of them until you try.
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Old 01-07-11, 10:28 AM   #17
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agreed Dean, but this business of buying an extra saddle/seatpost/electronic shifting buttons/clip-ons could also wait until the level of commitment is gauged. I suspect the result will be either a complete disdain for the discipline, or enough enthusiasm to want to go all-in. Maybe not P4/Plasma all in, but at least a proper TT frame and a plastic wheel cover...
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Old 01-07-11, 01:02 PM   #18
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not to shill for a bike co, but i just bought an 09 jamis trilogy. its thier entry level alu TT frame. they discontinued it in favor of only doing carbon TT bikes, so theyre getting rid of the old ones for a song. for not a whole lot more than a grand i got a really smokin aero frame with force and rival guts, hidden brakes (behind fork, under chainstay), really slick, aero tubing and seatpost, and a nice subtle finish.

its not super light, and the wheels are garbage, but if you have a jamis dealer nearby, its an option worth exploring.
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Old 01-08-11, 10:19 PM   #19
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this is exactly what i did last year and it worked fine for me in cat4. (6th at the State championship, 5th and 8th in my stage race TTs)

i bought a TT bike this year though. bottom line is if youre fast enough to get top 5 in a TT with clipons, youre fast enough to win it with a real TT bike. if you are the dude whos fast enough to win with clip ons, youre a lucky dude.

just gotta decide whether the investment of time and money into the discipline is worth it to you and your goals or not.
Depends how big the time gaps are. Last year at the Frostbite TT a cat 4 set one of the best times on the course that day(sandbagging).
25:21 for the winner of Cat 1.
26:48 for the winner of Cat 4, which would have got him third in cat 1.

But I know what you mean.

EDIT: Formatting got messed up.
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Old 01-08-11, 10:42 PM   #20
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Agreed that it's worth it to try aerobars on your road bike. I'd recommend getting one you'd use on a TT bike and use cheap bars so you don't scratch your good ones.

I put a T2/T2+ combo, TT900 levers/shifters, 0 Setback Seatpost with an Arione on my SuperSix. It was good enough for me to want to get a TT frame. It's a major pain to swap cables, stem and seatpost more than a couple times. GL
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Old 01-09-11, 02:02 AM   #21
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agreed Dean, but this business of buying an extra saddle/seatpost...
You can get a seatpost cheap and a Racer Ex approved TT saddle for <$50. That's cheaper than a lot of co-pays, which you might be laying out for the doctors visit to get the saddle sore lanced and an antibiotic shot. Some road saddles pretty brutal in the TT position.

Getting the saddle angle and fore/aft in a good spot is vital to avoiding soreness and to not screwing up your hips or knees. Set it up, mark the post height, and it's 2 minutes next time you want to practice or race.

Seriously, your taint is worth it.
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Old 01-09-11, 02:04 AM   #22
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not to shill for a bike co, but i just bought an 09 jamis trilogy
They have them online for $1600. Lot of nice features on that rig.
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Old 01-09-11, 05:12 PM   #23
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Seriously, your taint is worth it.
Just for the record, I agree that getting a saddle and position that doesn't terrorize your taint is of utmost importance. I just think that once you start spending money on that stuff, you might as well go all the way.
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Old 01-09-11, 05:25 PM   #24
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Just for the record, I agree that getting a saddle and position that doesn't terrorize your taint is of utmost importance. I just think that once you start spending money on that stuff, you might as well go all the way.
Why waste $50 when you can go all in for $10,000?

You remind me Michaell Scott playing poker in the Office.
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Old 01-10-11, 10:57 AM   #25
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you can get a decent TT bike for a grand. That's like 1/3 the price of your groupset? How much do those satellite shifters cost? (preliminary search says $340)
I got a used TT bike off slowtwitch for $650 (complete bike w/ Mavic/105 wheels), including shipping.
Mine is a Guru Cron'Alu, it fits, it works well... look for ones with color that isn't popular, or a brand that isn't as trendy
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