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Time-Trialing on a Budget

Old 02-13-07, 09:24 AM
  #1  
bdcheung
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Time-Trialing on a Budget

Ok, I'm on a budget and can only afford either aerobars or a TT helmet right now. Which should I get first?
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Old 02-13-07, 09:30 AM
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Probably aerobars, even though someone will cite the MIT study about helmets.
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Old 02-13-07, 09:32 AM
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aerobars
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Old 02-13-07, 09:38 AM
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Next question: how do I pick the right aerobars? There are dozens of shapes, sizes, and lengths out there.
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Old 02-13-07, 09:40 AM
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Definitely the bars. What you might find, however, is that you can't get very aerodynamic without also flipping or switching your stem.

--Steve
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Old 02-13-07, 09:42 AM
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all3sports is local to atlanta so I went in and they sorta helped me out picking out the right ones. Maybe a good LBS or tri shop could help ya?
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Old 02-13-07, 09:44 AM
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I figure that getting fitted for aerobars is almost as intense as getting fitted for a bike, as I want to get a good aero position. From my fiddling around and resting my forearms on my bars near the stem, I find that I'm perfectly comfortable with elbows very close in and hands flat, which leads me to believe that this type of bar would be best:
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Old 02-13-07, 09:59 AM
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I want a set of s-bend aerobars so bad, the hand position is so much more comfy than the double bend kind (profile carbon strike). I think that the T2 is a good way to go, otherwise you can go for any other manufacturer, but they are usually more pricey than the profile bars. Make sure to get plenty of saddle time in on the bars before you race on them since they handle differently.
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Old 02-13-07, 09:59 AM
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that's what I use, except my bend inwards a little so that my hands are basically touching
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Old 02-13-07, 10:09 AM
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Becoming an expert on aero-positions is as easy as 1-2-3.....

1) Lock your door
2) Go check out www.slowtwitch.com
3) Do forum searches and read articles on the website.

Emerge 5 years later a world expert on the subject.

There, you can chit chat with some of the top triathlon and TT athletes in the world, as well as the makers of Zipp, Hed, QR, Litespeed, Cervelo, et al.

Seriously though, it is a really good resource. Take a look at their positions and you can pretty well mimick the tried and true aero positions from there. Also, if you have a power meter and a HR monitor, doing time trials on a 1/4 mile running track is a good way to judge actual effectiveness of your setup.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
Ok, I'm on a budget and can only afford either aerobars or a TT helmet right now. Which should I get first?
How to get a good TT rig on a budget:
Cash in your frequent flyer points to go visit DrWJO, offer to buy him a beer (or two or three)...
then bonk him over the head and steal his ride.

$5000+ rig for less than $20.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
How to get a good TT rig on a budget:
Cash in your frequent flyer points to go visit DrWJO, offer to buy him a beer (or two or three)...
then bonk him over the head and steal his ride.

$5000+ rig for less than $20.

Or wait until tri season and go to a triathlon. Dont bring a bike. After the swim, just dont be the last one out of the water. Look for a bike on a rack that fits, jump on the mofo and just find a convenient spot to deviate from the course when there are no other competitors around. Ride it on home!

Tip: Do this at a tri at least 3 states away.
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Old 02-13-07, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jamiewilson3
Seriously though, it is a really good resource. Take a look at their positions and you can pretty well mimick the tried and true aero positions from there. Also, if you have a power meter and a HR monitor, doing time trials on a 1/4 mile running track is a good way to judge actual effectiveness of your setup.
I've looked through there and have decided on paying a visit to my LBS to spend some time (not too much - they're just clipon bars) getting the right bars and the right fit. I've got a powermeter, so we'll be able to see when my Power/HR ratio falls too much.
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Old 02-13-07, 01:58 PM
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http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5255

I'll be using those in our TTTs this spring. Borrowing a 3/4/5 spoke front wheel and buying an aero helmet as well.
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Old 02-13-07, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
I've got a powermeter, so we'll be able to see when my Power/HR ratio falls too much.
You might want to search slowtwitch.com and the wattage list on google groups to see why using a powermeter to evaluate position is pointless. Beyond that, I can't think of any benefit to trying to control the wattage/HR ratio. The object of a time trial is to cover the distance in the minimum time. As far as I know, there is no correlation between heart rate and finish time. All that matters in the W/HR ratio is the numerator. W/CdA is another matter, but it has been shown that because of the long adaptation period to a new position, it is important to measure over an extended period of time before drawing any conclusions.
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Old 02-13-07, 02:18 PM
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As someone alluded to above, clip on aerobars on a road bike that fits you well to start, can end up being too stretched out, and you want a shorter stem. To get around this problem Oval Slam bars (and some others ) are designed to be set up on a road bike without the need to go to a shorter stem. I used to use those when I used clip ons and they worked pretty well.
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Old 02-13-07, 02:26 PM
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I really like the Profile Design T2 clip-ons. They can be brought forward or stretched out, pivoted up or down, and they work with both 25mm and 31mm handlebars.

--Steve
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Old 02-13-07, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
As someone alluded to above, clip on aerobars on a road bike that fits you well to start, can end up being too stretched out, and you want a shorter stem. To get around this problem Oval Slam bars (and some others ) are designed to be set up on a road bike without the need to go to a shorter stem. I used to use those when I used clip ons and they worked pretty well.
The bars I image-linked to above have full adjustability, so I can shorten them, lengthen them, pronate them and/or supinate them. Full adjustability is definitely something I insist upon.

Another question:
Since I can't afford an aero helmet, is there anything I can do to improve the aerodynamics of my current helmet (2006 Giro Atmos)?
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Old 02-13-07, 02:46 PM
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Packing tape over the vent holes.

Seriously.
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Old 02-13-07, 02:49 PM
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Tape over the vents. Also done for really cold races or in the rain, sometimes.
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Old 02-13-07, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by zimbo
I really like the Profile Design T2 clip-ons. They can be brought forward or stretched out, pivoted up or down, and they work with both 25mm and 31mm handlebars.

--Steve
Another nice thing about the Profile range is that their armrest/clip-on assembly takes the same diameter tubing as the Oval products, so if you can try different bends without spending a ridiculous amount of money (you can find the Oval extensions for $40-$50/pair in aluminum).
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Old 02-13-07, 03:46 PM
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wrap a piece of newspaper into the shape of a cone for your helmet if you want to be aero so bad. that would be sweet.
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Old 02-13-07, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by stea1thviper
wrap a piece of newspaper into the shape of a cone for your helmet if you want to be aero so bad. that would be sweet.
I know that's gotta be the silliest post ever, but I laughed like crazy
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Old 02-13-07, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cslone
Probably aerobars, even though someone will cite the MIT study about helmets.
+1 I would get aerobars. I would go with price as the determining factor, although I swear I had a pair that you could mount the tubes under yoru bars instead of over or in front, which seems to help get them lower a tad.

Other budget time trial things I have actually seen (for humor, unless you think it's a good idea):
Putting a 650c or 24" front wheel on and rely on the rear brake to stop you after the time trial.
Going one step further and getting a secondhand 650c or 24" front fork and wheel.
Using mylar (model airplane covering) to make the regular rear wheel a "disk wheel"
Taping the air vents on a ragular helmet
Rubbing vaseline all over your newly shaven arms and legs (hey, I saw someone actually doing it)
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Old 02-13-07, 05:37 PM
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You can make your own S-bend-alikes if you want, you can pick up the 2-way clamps that most profile aerobars use and chop a MTB riser bar in half, the dimensions work and voila. Not wholy pretty but they do what they're supposed to.

Got a pair lying around here somewhere if you want a pic.
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