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  1. #1
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    Reputation: scottzj's Avatar
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    TT racing Eddy Merckx vs Aero

    Well I have officially done my first TT race. However, I did not get my TT bike in time, so I raced the Eddie Merckx Class (no aero). I placed first in this class and was super stoked. According to the time sheet, I actually beat quite a few racers that were in the normal TT class with Aero gear and bikes.
    My question is, since I have never ridden a TT bike before, what type of time difference should I immediately see? I just got a very low mileage cervelo P3 yesterday for my birthday and awaiting my Renn wheels to get in. Then I need to get my trainer to give me a pro fit on it. I dont have a TT race coming up anytime real soon, and have a crit and RR this weekend. According to my team mates they are saying Time in the saddle is best for these bikes as they are a different world.

    Thanks

    Oh here is my new P3

  2. #2
    Converted Runner
    Reputation: aengbretson's Avatar
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    Nice bike!

    Yes TT bikes are a different animal - they handle differently due to the position and resulting weight distribution. It is also that position which requires saddle time since your muscles will be working slightly differently - LOTS more glutes and hamstrings involved! Furthermore take a look at how nearly all of the elite TTists ride VERY forward on their saddle. Having the nose of the saddle hammering your taint can take some getting used to.

    As far as time benefits, the aero position alone is worth at least two minutes over a 40km course (according to John Cobb). Then factor in the bike (another 90 seconds), wheels (60-90 seconds, more if you have a disc), helmet (at least 30 seconds), and skin suit/aero booties/aero gloves (45 seconds) and you've got something like 6-7 minutes saved! Keep in mind these are estimates and all time savings are with respect to a rider riding in the drops on a round-tubed road bike with high spoke count box section rims and road cycling apparel. YMMV

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Wookiebiker's Avatar
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    Generally speaking you should see around 1.5 - 2.5 mph increase in average speed when changing to a TT bike while using a skinsuit, aero wheels, aero helmet, etc. The variation in speed comes mostly from your position since it can be difficult to find the best combination of aerodynamics/loss of power.

    As for the handling of the bikes...the reality is there isn't much difference between a road bike and a TT bike. The difference comes from riding in the aero bars...which makes it feel different, but if you ride the bike once a week...you will get used to it and it won't be a big deal. If you spent most of the time on the "horns" of the bar it would handle very similar to your road bike.

    The only main differences are longer wheelbase, slightly slacker HTA (though not always), shorter chainstays and a steeper STA (though sometimes not by much).
    Bikes:
    • 2012 CAAD10 (4)
    • 2013 Jamis Nova Race (winter training bike)
    • 1998 Marin East Peak - MTB
    • 2012 Argon 18 E-118


  4. #4
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    Reputation: nightfend's Avatar
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    Wookie is right. You'll see about a 2mph difference. If you were very aero on your road bike, and already were using an aero helmet/skinsuit/deep carbon wheels, then maybe less.

    Best bang for buck once you have your TT bike is the skinsuit, aerohelmet, and disc wheel (you can get disc wheel covers for as little as $60).

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input. Being 6'3 on a road bike I wasnt as aero as I would have liked, but times were pretty impressive, according to the racers. I have already purchased the Rudy Wingspan II (since we are sponsored by them), have a nice 575 Renn disc coming with another set of deeper dish wheels (using the front but have the rear just incase). I also already have the shoe covers, I just need to order the skin team suit.....I didnt order one yet as I didnt know if I was racing TT or not....but apparently is a strong point for me ha.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzj View Post
    Thanks for the input. Being 6'3 on a road bike I wasnt as aero as I would have liked, but times were pretty impressive, according to the racers. I have already purchased the Rudy Wingspan II (since we are sponsored by them), have a nice 575 Renn disc coming with another set of deeper dish wheels (using the front but have the rear just incase). I also already have the shoe covers, I just need to order the skin team suit.....I didnt order one yet as I didnt know if I was racing TT or not....but apparently is a strong point for me ha.
    For a skinsuit I picked up a Voler for 99.95 from their website...I'll use it until my new team skinsuit comes in since I have several ITT's between now and then. It fits well and has a pocket should I ever decide to use it for other races as a base layer. Pretty cheap and nice overall for a skinsuit.

    I also have a 575 RENN disc that I've used for several years now...works great for 1/3 the cost of a ZIPP wheel.

    Not sure about the Rudy though...there are likely better helmets out there.

    As for being big...one of the best ITT riders I know is 6'4 and around 210 when in race shape. He's a former D1 Tight End and is the only guy I personally know that could put out over 400 watts for an hour (I think his record was 409). Big guys tend to put out good power...hence making them good ITT racers
    Bikes:
    • 2012 CAAD10 (4)
    • 2013 Jamis Nova Race (winter training bike)
    • 1998 Marin East Peak - MTB
    • 2012 Argon 18 E-118


  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    on my road bike w/ normal helmet, but w/ a skinsuit, vs a tt bike w/ tt helmet, the difference was just about exactly 6mins w/ very similar fitness and conditions. wheels on the tt bike were tri spoke rear, and about a 45mm front spoked wheel.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

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