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Question for the strong TT riders

Old 11-25-08, 10:34 AM
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milliWatts
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Question for the strong TT riders

You know who you are - so please don't be shy. If you aren't a strong TTr yourself, but can answer on behalf of someone who is, please do so!


Were you naturally a powerful rider from the start?

Did you know early on that you had potential as a TTr or did you just realize greater-than-average returns from training?
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Old 11-25-08, 11:14 AM
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I'm definitely not as strong as Dr. O'Donnell, but I'd say that my TT is my strongest ability.

I would say that I originally thought I'd be a decent sprinter, and knew I'd never be a great climber. Before I really started racing, I'd do really well in the town line sprints on our lunchtime hammerfest rides. I found myself doing a lot of "training rides" at a high intensity for long periods of time, and enjoying it.

When I started racing this year, I showed up to the first club TT and beat all of the cat 4s and 5s with just my road bike, no aero equipment, aerobars or anything. That's when I started thinking I might be a decent TTer.

To confirm that theory, I rode off the front of quite a few club races this year, and ended up winning most of them by a decent margin. I still haven't done it on anything that really counts, but it's nice to think that some day I could.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:19 AM
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I suck at TTs. The best TT guys I know are big, strong, lots of leg muscle and ability to push big gears.
 
Old 11-25-08, 11:20 AM
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1. No.
2. Yes.

Years ago I used to be a decent distance runner (10 & 15k's, half-marathons, and marathons), but lousey short distance runner (<=5k). I've always had decent endurance.
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Old 11-25-08, 12:16 PM
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so are you asking "if i suck at TTs now, will i always suck?" ?

If that's the case, I'd like to know the answer too
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Old 11-25-08, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by milliWatts View Post
You know who you are - so please don't be shy. If you aren't a strong TTr yourself, but can answer on behalf of someone who is, please do so!


Were you naturally a powerful rider from the start?
Although I am by no means an uber-strong TT'er, I do consider TT'ing to be my best event...but not because I'm a "powerful rider" now, or ever. So no, I was not a powerful rider from the start.


Originally Posted by milliWatts View Post
Did you know early on that you had potential as a TTr or did you just realize greater-than-average returns from training?
No...early on, my results at TTing were pretty fair to poor. It wasn't until I realized that sometimes TTing isn't just about being uber-powerful, but it's more about getting the most speed out of the power you have, that things started to click. It's not just about watts...it's about watts/CdA

IMO, if you don't have the "big engine", going fast on a TT bike is ALL about paying attention to a whole host of details that seem insignificant when taken individually. This means making sure your position is good for YOU, taking care of your tire/tube selections, wheel selection, frame selection, helmet, etc.

In a way, it's the ability to combine the physical aspects with the "engineering aspects" (i.e. equipment evaluation and selection) that seems to be the appeal of TTing to me.

Just my 2 centavos...
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Old 11-25-08, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeIndustryGuy View Post
I suck at TTs. The best TT guys I know are big, strong, lots of leg muscle and ability to push big gears.
Although, in general that is true since larger guys tend to have much more power for not much more frontal area...I'd have to say that some of the best TT'ers I know aren't quite so big.

In fact, the guy I would consider the best amatuer TT'er in my community only weighs probably 150-155 lbs...but he seems to be one of these guys who's naturally "aerodynamically gifted" and has a Cat 1 engine to boot. It also doesn't hurt that his TT frame of choice is a P3C

Like I said in a post above, it's not so much about pure Watts (although a cottage of wattage can make up for a lot of sins in equipment selection and positioning), but it's really about Watts/CdA.
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Old 11-25-08, 12:44 PM
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My track background laid a good foundation for TT's. The ability to keep consistent power, and a moderately high cadence (in bigger gears) for an extended period of time can't be overemphasized. Luckily, I had those attributes from track before I started road racing, so TT's weren't a weakness. In fact, it's what I do best.

One way to improve your TT without doing TT specific work is to spend more time pulling in fast group rides (as long as they're cool with it).

Good luck!
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Old 11-25-08, 12:47 PM
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Historically I have sucked at TTs but last winter my main focus was to improve. Result was I placed top 10 in most TT events and even won a duathlon relay race (only cyclist to beat my time was the regional TT god).

This year I have purchased a TT (Cervelo P2c) bike. Lets see if my results improve..... Point of this post is to prove that one can get dramatically improve at TTs if they work at it.
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Old 11-25-08, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sfcrossrider View Post
The ability to keep ... a moderately high cadence ... in bigger gears for an extended period of time can't be overemphasized.
Um, thanks, I think.

"The ability to throw 3 touchdown passes in the 4th quarter to come from behind and win the Superbowl can't be overemphasized" - Joe Montana


Last edited by milliWatts; 11-25-08 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 11-25-08, 01:52 PM
  #11  
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I knew early on that I was a fast rider / big engine / whatever you call it back in the days before power meters. But I never was much good at TT'ing until I studied it as a discipline. The preparation and techniques and mental focus count for a lot.

Frankly, just having a big engine is not enough - you also have to have the ability, either innate or by practice, to suffer. I've been caught and passed by guys I know are weaker than me, but they had the ability to suffer more than I was.
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Old 11-25-08, 01:56 PM
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I'm not as good as some of the other guys around here, but my first time trial was I think my 5th race ever and I won it.
I guess I'm just pretty good at finding my limit early and keeping it there. Plus, I always hide my speed so I feel like I'm going too slow and push a litte harder where it counts.
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Old 11-25-08, 02:11 PM
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I suck less at TT's than other aspects of the sport because:

1) being bigger is not such a disadvantage in relatively flat TT's

2) my one athletic gift is an ability to suffer.
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Old 11-25-08, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by milliWatts View Post
Um, thanks, I think.

"The ability to throw 3 touchdown passes in the 4th quarter to come from behind and win the Superbowl can't be overemphasized" - Joe Montana

Well, now you know what it takes to be fast! What, did you think the answer was more expensive equipment, and less training. Get on a program and improve your sustained power. Yes, it's that simple!


If you're going to be a jerk when someone gives you honest advice...next time, I'll just mock you for being slow.

Last edited by sfcrossrider; 11-25-08 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 11-25-08, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sfcrossrider View Post

If you're going to be a jerk when someone gives you honest advice...next time, I'll just mock you for being slow.
Wasn't meaning to be, just sounded like your answer to how to be a good TT rider was "ride fast". Easy to say, of course...
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Old 11-25-08, 03:13 PM
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i started MTB racing back in the late 80's and made the transition to road racing as a training mechanism for MTB racing. i found that the torque applied and low cadence of MTB riding translated well to TT's and I did and still do quite well... gives me a good edge up on stage races :-)

anyhow i think a TT is a mindset.... you have to want to lock it into a monster gear and grind on a solid cadence until you are dead ... you have to keep trying to up the pressure and power ... keep trying to go faster ... make time where you can ... never soft pedal ... blah blah blah.

and like was said above ... you have to want and like to suffer ... suffer like a mofo ... because the more you suffer, the more you make the others suffer... so it is really not you that suffers but them :-)
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Old 11-25-08, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by milliWatts View Post
Wasn't meaning to be, just sounded like your answer to how to be a good TT rider was "ride fast". Easy to say, of course...
NP

I was hoping it sounded like "get your leg speed, and power up through training". Also, find what cadence that you produce your best sustained power at. Mine is at 125, my bros is at 90. When you know what numbers you can push at what RPM for how long... you'll be well on your way to kicking ass.
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Old 11-25-08, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by derrickhackman View Post
anyhow i think a TT is a mindset.... you have to want to lock it into a monster gear and grind on a solid cadence until you are dead ... you have to keep trying to up the pressure and power ... keep trying to go faster ... make time where you can ... never soft pedal ... blah blah blah.
Gosh, you make it sound like work...
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Old 11-25-08, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sfcrossrider View Post
NP

I was hoping it sounded like "get your leg speed, and power up through training". Also, find what cadence that you produce your best sustained power at. Mine is at 125, my bros is at 90. When you know what numbers you can push at what RPM for how long... you'll be well on your way to kicking ass.
Yeah. I have known a number of elite, and a few world-class, athletes over the years. My experience has been that most of them did not know/appreciate their genetic gifts. They all seemed to think anyone could be like them if they just worked hard. Made me want to smack them in the head.
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Old 11-25-08, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by milliWatts View Post
Yeah. I have known a number of elite, and a few world-class, athletes over the years. My experience has been that most of them did not know/appreciate their genetic gifts. They all seemed to think anyone could be like them if they just worked hard. Made me want to smack them in the head.
If you race long enough you will develop strengths that others consider "gifts". Use these to minimize losses in your weaker areas (my repeat power is *****), and to crush when the time is right.

With any luck the finish of your event will be tailored for your strengths, so you go home feeling like a champ, and not a chump.
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Old 11-25-08, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonKarter21 View Post
I'm not as good as some of the other guys around here, but my first time trial was I think my 5th race ever and I won it.
I guess I'm just pretty good at finding my limit early and keeping it there. Plus, I always hide my speed so I feel like I'm going too slow and push a litte harder where it counts.

Very nice. You have successfully passed waterrockets course in racing humility.

"Due to my limited training time this year, I have only been able to enter 9 races this year. Of those, I only won 3 and placed a mere top 10 in the rest. Here is a kick ass picture taken of on of my wins."
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Old 11-25-08, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wanders View Post
Very nice. You have successfully passed waterrockets course in racing humility.

"Due to my limited training time this year, I have only been able to enter 9 races this year. Of those, I only won 3 and placed a mere top 10 in the rest. Here is a kick ass picture taken of on of my wins."
Thanks. Did I mention it was a regional championship that I raced at by sheer luck?
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Old 11-25-08, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by milliWatts View Post
Were you naturally a powerful rider from the start?
Did you know early on that you had potential as a TTr or did you just realize greater-than-average returns from training?
1) Not really

2a) Yes

2b) Yes, though you'd probably want to define average.
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Old 11-25-08, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
1) Not really

2a) Yes

2b) Yes, though you'd probably want to define average.
If you weren't really powerful, in what regard did you see your early ability?
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Old 11-25-08, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
This year I have purchased a TT (Cervelo P2c) bike.
Great....a full off-season of training and a fast bike, that's all I needed to hear.
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