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TT bike riding observations/questions

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TT bike riding observations/questions

Old 07-26-07, 06:56 AM
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TT bike riding observations/questions

I think I have the Cdale Slice TT position dialed in. Another 30 miles today, including an 8 mile early AM bike path (deserted) stretch @ an average speed of 23.2 mph. That was all the watts this weenie had. I noticed:

My HR was only getting up to around 150-155, but to be at LT I thought my HR should be more like 165+. My legs hurt too much to go that hard on the TT bike. Doesn't that mean my LT is more like 155? My max HR is about 185.

I'm hoping that with Zipps, an aero helmet and race day adrenaline that makes me a 24 mph guy.

We'll see. Getting more comfy on the bike. Position looks relatively text book in the store window reflections. I think it's OK.

I like the discipline of the TT, trying to ride the bike, be aero, etc. I can't imagine training on TT bikes and doing TT's wouldn't make you considerably fitter/faster for group rides. It's not easy.I really do appreciate all the extremely valuable help and input from many here, particularly UT dude and a few others, many thanks. And yes, UT, when I'm droping the hamer on the TT bike, I do notice I slide forward on the nose of that seat quite a bit. Replaced that brutal Fizik saddle with my old Specialized Alias 143 and it's fine now.
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Old 07-26-07, 06:58 AM
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As to the first issue, it sounds like you need to gain more flexibility. Can you describe the pain better?
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Old 07-26-07, 07:00 AM
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you legs are hurting prematurely becuase you don't have enough miles in your TT position. Youre using the muscles differently than on your road bike, so its kinda like starting over. Keep Training and you will be fine

The Zipps and helmet will get you an additional .5mph the last .3 will have to be you!
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Old 07-26-07, 07:02 AM
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Just curious, how much do you wobble while riding the tt bike? Seems like everyone I see on them in my area is all over the place. After doing a 1/2 mile test ride on mine the other day I could see why. I felt like Rasmusen in 2005.

Today is going to be my first real ride on it. Unfortunately it will be without a computer.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post

I'm hoping that with Zipps, an aero helmet and race day adrenaline that makes me a 24 mph guy.


Just don't go out too hard at the start. Pacing is critical as you don't want to be the "20 mph guy" at the finish!
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Old 07-26-07, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Doesn't that mean my LT is more like 155?
Yeah, your LTHR is different for different exercises. Your TT LTHR could be 155, while your climbing LTHR could be 165. As mentioned above, the muscle group is different, and as you develop it, your LTHR will rise.

+1 to the flexibility thing. I'm really amazed at what 2 days of casual stretching did for my TT form. I'm talking about 1 minute total of stretching each day.

Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
Just curious, how much do you wobble while riding the tt bike? Seems like everyone I see on them in my area is all over the place. After doing a 1/2 mile test ride on mine the other day I could see why. I felt like Rasmusen in 2005.
Yeah, your weight is further forward, which makes the handling more squirrelly. Also, your elbows are locked down, so you have one less degree of motion available to adjust your balance. You'll learn to relax and make gentle adjustments through the bars. It's kind of like landing the Space Shuttle (at the sim games in Houston) -- you just have to be patient with the handling and give it some time to respond.

The people you see all over the road just aren't learning it. You'll be smooth in no time.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
Just curious, how much do you wobble while riding the tt bike? Seems like everyone I see on them in my area is all over the place.


You get better the more you ride the bike. A lot of people don't train much on a TT bike and just slap on aero bars and deep wheels for race day. Without time in the aero position, any little breeze will blow them around.
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Old 07-26-07, 09:42 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post

+1 to the flexibility thing. I'm really amazed at what 2 days of casual stretching did for my TT form. I'm talking about 1 minute total of stretching each day.
+2 I started doing a bit of yoga in late spring, and shifted to doing more stretches at home, particularly after a ride and noticed a very rapid improvement in my position & comfort in the drops on my road bike. With your lower back problems, Pcad, I hesitate to give you specific advice on the stretches I do. Most of them look a lot like the pictures of Dano in the other thread, but with a lot less flexibility.
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Old 07-26-07, 10:10 AM
  #9  
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Regarding issue #1, you will get over it as others have said. I felt the same sorts of things early on with my TT rig. In fact during my first event (after only 3 weeks on the bike) my legs burnt so much at a lower HR that I couldn't even get close to what I used to TT at when I used the road bike. A few months later things were much better. The most aero position is not necessarily the most comfortable. Dede Barry (before she won the silver medal at the olympics) said she did a lot of wind tunnel testing to work on her position. The best position she said was not comfortable at all so she had to work to get used to it.

A lot of people will do exercises specifically for improving flexibility on the TT bike. PM if you'd like more details on a couple of on the bike exercises. A friend of mine who is a pro sent me some that he does, so I just try those and they help a lot

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Old 07-26-07, 01:05 PM
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[Just curious, how much do you wobble while riding the tt bike?

Most wobble comes from bad pedaling technique. People waddle down the road like a duck because their stroke is so out of balance and the body postion doesn't dampen it the way it does on a road bike. A truer spinning rider will be as staedy as a rock. Takes time, practice, concentration.
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Old 07-26-07, 03:11 PM
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I don't wobble when I ride bikes, motorized or human powered. I was astonished to see how bad M. Rasmussen was wobbling in the TT in the Tour. Amazing for a pro cyclist. I'm 100x smoother than that. Smootherino. Sma-ooooooothhhh.



But slow.
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Old 07-26-07, 03:16 PM
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Thanks for the feedback again. I concur with three points:

• Could be getting used to the TT bike position/different muscles.

•Could be more flexibiilty is needed. I will stretch.

•LT HR could conceviably be lower in a non-climbing seated TT bike scenario.

Could also be overtraining. I had two pretty hard days before today - I wasn't out to crush myself today, just to see if I could ride the TT bike smooth and fast. Mission accomplished, but it's not too surprising that my HR wasn't going up given intervals Tuesday and a pretty hard hill ride on Wed. which included busting my PR on the local hill I do reps on by 40 seconds on an 8 minute climb. I have gotten faster.

I will go so easy tomorrow that bongo will fall asleep awaiting my return. I have wired my bicycle to deliver electrical shocks if I shift into gears stiffer than a 39 x 17.
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Old 07-26-07, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
I can't imagine training on TT bikes and doing TT's wouldn't make you considerably fitter/faster for group rides. .


oh, contraire... good TT guys are STRONG. i mean, ******* strong. you've no peloton to cover yourself in... no pace line to cycle thru... nowhere to hide... no tactics to outwit the other guys...

in group rides, you could be the leading rider, pulling the whole line home.

it makes you strong, but certainly not race ready. for crits or road races, you need a sprint and you need brains. neither of which TTs provide.
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Old 07-26-07, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sleazy View Post
it makes you strong, but certainly not race ready. for crits or road races, you need a sprint and you need brains. neither of which TTs provide.
+1

But it does increase your capacity to suffer a lot if you do it right. And sometimes that is the difference.
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Old 07-26-07, 04:50 PM
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I'm already smart. I know WHEN to attack. That has never been my problem. Being slow and sucky - THAT's my problem. I've often thought that if I had the TT abilities of some of my pals, I'd be very successful @ mass start racing. I have a nose for tactics, but tactics without sufficient snot is useless. TT training will raise your snot quotient somewhat. Without question.

Any results I ever acheived were acheived because I wasn't stupid. It wasn't on sheer ability. Pcad has none of that. Trust me.

I agree with the comment about increasing your capacity to suffer. I took a solo flyer on a 15 man group of A riders on Saturday (fast Freds) and held them off by 30 secs. or so over the last 5 miles on the local Sat ride course (they did chase me). The TT training I've done so far helped, I was surely faster because of it. TT riding does change your mindset, it helps when you're out there alone in any situation.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
TT riding does change your mindset, it helps when you're out there alone in any situation.
Yes, it does, it helps in crits and RR's too because you can work more efficiently by yourself and hammer it, leaving everyone else in your dust. I'm a bit more suited to TT'ing, and it really does help everything else. In fact, all disciplines of racing I've done help everything else in major ways.
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Old 07-26-07, 08:09 PM
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While you're obviously outgunned when you're in front alone, there are several key advantages:

• There's no 'organization' issues like there might be for the chasing group. You simply go as hard as you can.

• You're going to pick the fastest line through any turns, no maneuvering with other riders necessary.

• By not relenting at the crest of hills (which is typical in a paceline chase) you can pick up a couple of mph over the chasers.

But essentially the same thing that lets you escape - hesitation on the part of the group - sometimes assists a solo effort. You see this all the time in races like the Tour de France. Most of the time it's a kamakaze move, but when they succeed (on any level of competitive cycling), the ability to put your head down and just GO is the biggest part of what makes it possible, combined with the inability or unwillingness of the chasers to organize or ride in concert.

And what is 'competitive cycling'? Anything from the Tour de France to a bunch of Freds duking it out for a telephone pole in NJ. If the guy next to you wants to beat you back to the shop, then congratulations dude, you're in a bicycle race : ). And if you disagree with that, you've just made it easier to measure your OCPosity.

Getting back to TT riding: when I raced, I never was interested. I figured I'd never win or place in a TT, and what was the point? I regret that now, because I'm sure it would have made me a much better bicycle racer in mass start events. There comes a point in most mass start events, fast group rides, etc., where solo riding ability is the key to either bridging up to the break, not getting shelled, or maybe getting away to launch a break. Like sprinting, it seems to me to be a key cycling skill to work on. So even if you suck at TT's, you will only improve at them if you work on that aspect of your cycling, and I think it would be very helpful to any racing cyclist. Not for nothing but once you get used to a TT bike the regular road bike seems much easier to ride, fast or slow. TT training will make you faster. How you use that power is up to you Superman. It is a great responsibility.

Don't blow it like Cypress : ).

Last edited by patentcad; 07-26-07 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 07-26-07, 11:51 PM
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Couldn't one just do TT efforts on their road bike, ie intervals at threshold, and realize the same benefits? Sorry if I'm sounding contrary.
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Old 07-27-07, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Yep View Post
Couldn't one just do TT efforts on their road bike, ie intervals at threshold, and realize the same benefits? Sorry if I'm sounding contrary.
On paper. In practice I don't think it's as effective as TT training on a TT bike. Those are just initial impressions. One thing a TT bike teaches you how to do is get up on the nose of your saddle to hammer - and you see pros in solo breaks doing that all the time. But those pros have lots of TT time in their training and racing. I really didn't have the feel for that before that the TT bike has given me, and it does help me go faster. Regardless, it can't hurt.
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Old 07-27-07, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
+1

But it does increase your capacity to suffer a lot if you do it right. And sometimes that is the difference.
"The best training I ever did for a time trial was to spend 30 minutes on the phone with my ex-wife. That was about the most painful thing I could ever do." - K. Duggin (I'm assuming you know him, if not, he's the guy responsible for the motorcycle pacing a few months back)
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Old 07-27-07, 08:24 AM
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Try varying your cadence. Try upping your cadence to around 100 and see what effect it has. And then, try mashing at around 70-80 and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Try varying your cadence. Try upping your cadence to around 100 and see what effect it has. And then, try mashing at around 70-80 and see if that makes a difference.
You do realize that the studies done on this show most riders do better (more watts @ given HR) @ 80 RPM than 100RPM. All conventional cycling widsom aside.

'Cycling wisdom' is a profound oxymoron. If you don't believe that, stick around the sport for a while. It will be revealed to you layer by ugly layer. BF is an EXCELLENT place to start of course.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:06 AM
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+1 to flexibility and strength training. I coach and I often tell people to ride a few times per week with their new TT set up for a month before they race. Subtle changes in your position can put stress on some muscles and take it off others. That would explain your HR problem.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
You do realize that the studies done on this show most riders do better (more watts @ given HR) @ 80 RPM than 100RPM. All conventional cycling widsom aside.
Yeah, lower cadence is known to be more efficient, but you end up sacrificing your muscles, then your watts and your HR both drop.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
You do realize that the studies done on this show most riders do better (more watts @ given HR) @ 80 RPM than 100RPM. All conventional cycling widsom aside.

'Cycling wisdom' is a profound oxymoron. If you don't believe that, stick around the sport for a while. It will be revealed to you layer by ugly layer. BF is an EXCELLENT place to start of course.
Excuse me for trying to help. You use all kinds of "scientific" measurements, HR, watts to try to gain speed, cadence is just another parameter. If you are really trying to approach it on a scientific level, then it make senst to experiment with cadence. Every rider has a different optimal cadence that produces the most wattage. All I am suggesting is that you find yours.
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