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Thursday, June 01, 2006

against the clock

now ... i am NOT a top-shelf time trial junkie. I mean, if the course is just right ~ maybe i'll nab a top 20 at an NRC event. But, you'll never see me breaking course records or threatening for a stars'n'bars jersey in the race of truth.

That said ... you know i've got an opinion, or three on the subject.

- - -

In the heirarchy of TT necessities, i rank it as follows:

  1. comfortable position on the aero bars ... as narrow as you can get, then as low.

    comfort first, narrow second, low third.

    ... and it's an evolution of position. the more you practice and adapt, the more aero you will become.

  2. wheels ... I'm a huge fan of the 16 spoke set-up, myself. The Rolf wheels are still the best all-arounder wheels I've come across. But, for full-monty TT's? I use the HED trispoke front, disk rear. They are the best bang for buck true TT-wheels out there, in my opinion.

    clinchers. all the time, every time ... clinchers. Unless you drip cash out of your butt.

  3. skinnysuit ... silly, I know ~ but the thing makes a difference.

  4. helmet ... even sillier. just try and not get photographed with it on.

- - -

Bigger necessity = pacing

Realism. Realism in pacing is what allows folks to time trial to the best of their abilities. I've started, watched, cheered at, timed, and photographed more time trials than anyone should (well ... anyone who doesn't want the term 'bike-nerd' tattooed on their forehead). And, I can tell you that the biggest error I see riders commit in TTs is starting out their first few minutes too fast.

I cringe when I see someone sprint off the line. Just cringe.

It's like when I watch riders attack 8 minutes into a crit, fully sprinting, breath bursting out of their lungs like they been sucker punched ... do they think they can maintain that effort for 30, 40, 50 more minutes? Of course they can't ... but, excitement and vigor take grip over good sense, and there they go ~ right back to the pack and at the back, if not out the back.

Yes, TimeTrials are a painful, brutal experience. But, before you can get to that level of suffering ... you've got to learn how to suffer at all the levels before that. It's a progression of pain. It's a learned skill. It's crawling before walking, walking before running, running before flying.

blah, blah, blah ... i gotta get back to work.


X Bunny said...

fun fun fun!

shawndoggy said...

Learned skill indeed. Totally.

Re the wheels, tho... the 808/Hed Jet 90 super deep spoked wheel is actually more aero till you get smoking crosswinds. Hed's website even says so.

And you forgot shoe covers, aero water bottles, cut down brake levers....

Oh and tires with the least rolling resistance, and the skin cheating skinsuits, and ....

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

bike geek(s)

shawndoggy said...

We are talking about time trials aren't we? TT geeks are the true nerds of the bike geek kingdom.

PAB said...

bike nerds!

Nome Agusta said...

Thanks for the tips, I'll give them a go this weekend. Especially the one about a full on sprint out of the gate.

P.S. Back from Iowa and I just posted some pics and a report about Snake Alley. If you have never been there, you would really dig that course, I think.

P.P.S. There were a couple of VBs out there. I was going to take a couple pics for you but got a bit busy with racing and warming up. Not to mention melting in the heat and humidity.

Kirkpatrick MacMillan said...

Right on the money w,r.t TT priorities.

A power meter is really helpful for pacing for those of us who still can't manage our adrenalin after 15 years of racing,

Oh by the way, shameless race plug. Come race our crit...

I'll give you a SN beer if you win OV,,, but only if you win. Ok, maybe one for PAB too.

Hick said...

Olaf, beautiful postage.

As a promoter of a geeky time trial series and lover of the game you layed out what I have never been able to pen correctly.

I'm another who will not be wearing a Captian America super suit for my ability in the TT but I sure love do them.

And yes I totally understand how geeky I am.


Hick said...

Oh yeah

10 pedal strokes then sit down and relax, every time.


Kevin said...

Water bottles? We don't need no stinking water bottles!

Mental note. Pick up shoe covers on Saturday...

Hick said...


I'll loan you some sexy red shoe covers, SHould go nice with the blue and orange......ack!

And no water bottles fo sho.


Anonymous said...

Some interesting data re TT aerodynamics:

Sez bottles on the frame are more aero than no bottles, 'specially in x-winds.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

gawdamn geeks ... the lot of

Anonymous said...

Geekdom: don't fight it, WALLOW in it!!!

Johnny Sprocket said...

These are all great suggestions. However, I'm married with two kids and four bikes in the garage already. There is no way Shebosswoman is going to allow a TT bike in there. So here's my TT order of things:
1) Find out when McPatty launches.
2) Arrange for a bike swap at the finish line.
3) Raise seat way up.
4) Hit the throttle.

Cost analysis--free (well one 12 pack of Coors Light).

Gianni said...

Fair the back wheel however you can, effectively extending the depth.
Damn, I can't believe I'm posting about wheel aerodynamics on a Friday night...

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