Tell me I'm an idiot (re: TT position only, please)

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by thefutureofamerica

Hi all,

I'm a road racer who rarely does time trials. I have a previous road bike that I've set up with a set of TT bars that I've used for a few time trials in the past, but haven't worked much on positioning. I didn't take pics with my helmet on, but the tail sat right down against my back in this position comfortably. My only target event so far is a 9-mile pancake-flat TT that's part of an omnium this Saturday.


And here's a short video:

TIA for any advice.

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by Craigagogo

Lower your bar or arm pads to get a flatter back. From the position you show you could present less frontal area.

Can't tell from the pics but its usually more aero to move you forearms as close together as possible.

Both modifications take practice so that your muscles adapt to the constrained position.

Saddle height looks pretty good from the youtubes, perhaps saddle slightly back a little. Your patella looks a little forward of the pedal axel at 180 degree.

All the usual advice applies too, form fitting skin suit, disc rear low spoke count front, aero booties and the most important: concentration the whole time you are TTing. This is a must to get the best time possible. Good luck too :thumbup:
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by emorydptt

As craig stated, a little difficult to see and agreed with his point. However, when I work with clients on fits, there is the ideal aerodynamic position, and there a functional position. There's no since in getting you ideal and low if you cannot maintain that position.
An experience bike fitter goes a long way.
Good luck and let us know how it works out.
Last edited by emorydptt on Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by WMW

thefutureofamerica wrote:TIA for any advice.

Get lower... -35 stem I guess.

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by c50jim

Your position isn't the most aero but as emory said, it's important how comfortable you are. Look at pictures of triathlons and see all those people riding around on the bars, not the extensions because someone put them in a position they couldn't maintain. When I used to do tirs and TTs, my objective was to be aero the whole way except for a bit at the start and turnaround. If you're comfortable there and can stay in that position, try it. If you think you could be a bit lower, move down gradually. Also, you might find your performance in TTs improves if you practice riding on the road in that position. I used to do one workout a week on my TT bike all summer (race coming up or not) working on position and power in that position.

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by mrfish

Isn't the key point "This Sunday". Unless this is a training ride where you don't mind stopping to fiddle with the saddle, I would not recommend changing something which works for something which is unproven, then perhaps injuring yourself as you ride for 9 miles full gas ignoring pain.

Anyway, if you want to fit yourself, getting your torso horizontal, arms narrow and head tucked in nicely are key. You also need to pedal, so probably that means bringing your saddle forward and up from a road position, so that your hip-torso angle and extension are not hugely different to riding the road bike. This position will feel weird, but if you ride it 2-3x per week you will soon find yourself able to get good power out.

By all means read slowtwitch for lots of thoughts, but I would not only look at triathletes if you want to see great non-UCI time trial positions. Firstly their body morphology tends to be different to people who just cycle, then they also have to run. On Tririg you will see that lots of triathlon pros seem to have an "equipment doesn't matter much" attitude (look for velcro straps, zip ties and random bits of tape - yuk). They also ride more conservative positions than you can use for a 10 mile time trial. Instead I would look at the top amateurs winning UK time trials if you don't have to conform to any rules, and track pursuit cyclists if you do. Both are happy to adopt extreme positions to go faster over short distances.

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