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TT bikes in the tour make no sense

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TT bikes in the tour make no sense

Old 09-19-20, 05:27 AM
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TiHabanero
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TT bikes in the tour make no sense

Noticing the TT bikes the guys are using in the tour and I realized that almost all of them are using risers to get their body into a comfortable position when in the aero bars. Seems to me that they could have been given properly fitting bikes designed for the purpose of aero dynamics so as to not have to use the big risers. Must be something I am issing here.
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Old 09-19-20, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Must be something I am missing here.
Yes... the wind tunnel data the teams use.

Last edited by GlennR; 09-19-20 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 09-19-20, 01:36 PM
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In watching Stage 20 I noticed that some risers are very high as well.

Here's LeMond in a similar race situation - takes yellow jersey the day before Paris.


Last edited by Eric S.; 09-19-20 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 09-19-20, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
In watching Stage 20 I noticed that some risers are very high as well.

Here's LeMond in a similar race situation - takes yellow jersey the day before Paris.

You're wrong. On July 23, 1989, LeMond won the yellow jersey on the final day In Paris by 8 seconds. His victory was widely attributed to his aerodynamic gear.
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Old 09-19-20, 02:09 PM
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Note that I said "day before Paris".
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Old 09-19-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
Note that I said "day before Paris".
Yes. It was wrong then and it's still wrong.
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Old 09-19-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
Note that I said "day before Paris".
Highly unusually, that individual time trial took place on the last day of the race and finished in Paris.

About the OP's "tt bikes make no sense," wind tunnel tests combined with power data have shown that the previous ultra-low TT positions resulted in slower rides than could be achieved with less-extreme positions. Evidently, the use of small frames with TT bar risers results in the best all-around efficiency.

Last edited by Trakhak; 09-19-20 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 09-19-20, 04:47 PM
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I caught a quick video clip from scrutinering I one of the highlight reels; A UCI inspector using some sort of gauge to measure the height of the tips of the extensions to the arm rests, and the armrests to the top tube.
This tells me there’s some minimum to how low you can make the rider position. It would make sense that you’d make that height with thin-profile risers, rather than a stem/ headset stack, since the extensions and base bar area as low as possible and integrated in to the top of the headset, for better aerodynamics.
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Old 09-19-20, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
This tells me there’s some minimum to how low you can make the rider position.
The only UCI restriction on bar height is that they must be higher than the top of the front wheel. There is no upper limit. What you probably saw was them measuring the difference in height between the arm pads and the ends of the extensions. The ends of the extensions must be within 10 cm of the height of the arm rests up or down. The reason for the high risers is that it's been found that by separating the airflow around the arms and the bars, drag is reduced.
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Old 09-19-20, 05:51 PM
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What has puzzled me is why so many are constantly pushing themselves back on their saddle. It is like clock work. Isn’t that wasted energy?
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Old 09-19-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
The only UCI restriction on bar height is that they must be higher than the top of the front wheel. There is no upper limit. What you probably saw was them measuring the difference in height between the arm pads and the ends of the extensions. The ends of the extensions must be within 10 cm of the height of the arm rests up or down. The reason for the high risers is that it's been found that by separating the airflow around the arms and the bars, drag is reduced.
Totally makes sense. I claim no knowledge of UCI regs, but I know a thing or two about jigs and go/no-go gauges. That jives pretty well with what I saw.


In the clip, he’s measuring the extension/ arm rest height pretty closely, then sets the jig between the arm rest and the top tube, takes a quick look, then gives a thumbs-up to who I presume is a team mechanic, who grabs the bike and rolls it away.
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Old 09-19-20, 08:08 PM
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Old 09-19-20, 10:38 PM
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Many pros who are otherwise solid cyclists seem uncomfortable on TT bikes. It's a whole nuther discipline that only a few pros master.

Before the penultimate stage time trial, the Lanterne Rouge channel Oz dude predicted bike changes from TT to road bikes for the final climb would be the downfall of some riders. He nailed it.

Aside from the scandals that overshadowed his injury and sanctions-abbreviated career, Floyd Landis was a solid time trialist. There aren't many YouTube videos focusing exclusively on this but I've watched a few. Unless the rules prohibited his preferred position, he usually set the aero bars higher than many riders and seemed more comfortable with a natural cadence, while also being more aerodynamic. I suspect that without the hip injury and doping scandal Landis would have carved out a niche for himself as a great cyclist.

It's motivated me to try aero bars on one of my road bikes again. An old C1-C2 neck injury makes the conventional aero tuck very uncomfortable and impossible to hold for more than a minute or two at a time. But a higher position, angled aero bars, with fists in front of my face, might be workable. I hate aero bars but gotta admit that every time I've forced myself to use them there was an immediate improvement in speed and shorter times, even when I used the aero tuck poorly.
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Old 09-20-20, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
You're wrong. On July 23, 1989, LeMond won the yellow jersey on the final day In Paris by 8 seconds. His victory was widely attributed to his aerodynamic gear.
I'm not wrong. You have the wrong year. In 1990 LeMond took yellow the day before Paris.
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Old 09-20-20, 01:04 PM
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Except for stage 20 of this TdF, what stage and whom did you see using a TT bike? All I've noticed are what I'd call a standard race fit road frame with drop bars. Some more aero than others, but not what I'd call a TT bike and none with aerobars..... except for the TT stage.
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Old 09-20-20, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Except for stage 20 of this TdF, what stage and whom did you see using a TT bike? All I've noticed are what I'd call a standard race fit road frame with drop bars. Some more aero than others, but not what I'd call a TT bike and none with aerobars..... except for the TT stage.
Aero bars are banned for mass start races.
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