With this in mind I was wondering if i should consider spending a small bit of money and get a second hand proper TT bar setup and fitting rather than just using the clip ons. Im not going to be troubling the podium by any means but im past just aiming to finish the races. If im likely to do maybe 7-8 races next summer, Is it worth spending a small bit for a faster bike time? Will my frame geometry permit a TT setup?
As an aside, I have an older Giant Defy which i use most days for commuting and would happily continue to use that for sportives/group rides. I dont think I am committed enough or flush enough to buy a dedicated TT bike, so this to me seems like a logical compromise.
If anyone has done this before or has any comments id be grateful.
I've been asking myself this question for a while, so will be interesting to hear the responses.
I think the way that you are doing it is the way to go,provided that you are happy with the other bike for sportives. I tried the clip on aerobars and found them a waste of time. Without the other changes to my position I was even slower than without them.
I was chatting to Chris recently about this and he seems to have a good setup worked out whereby he has a dedicated seatpost/saddle combo in addition to the aerobars that he can switch in and out fairly easy to give him a good position, so this is the option that I am currently considering.I think there are seatposts that change the angle of your seat tube slightly, pushing you further forward, which you need if you want to avoid the 'superman' pose on the bike.
I have never cycled a TT bike before and could never see myself justifying buying one, so take everything I've said with a pinch of salt!
So to answer my own question I bit the bullet and paid for a bike fitting with Aidan Hammond.
His advice was to me was to race just using my road bike with clip ons, and drop the bars by 2cm and slide seat forward at existing saddle height. He didn't buy the ideas of fitting an aero cockpit to a road bike, and that id be better off saving for a second hand tt bike. His general opinion that I could make time savings by replacing wheels, wearing tighter clothing, aero helmet etc, and that if i was still searching for those extra few seconds then at that point I would be committed enough to consider a TT frame.
I found the fitting very useful, he did a set of range of motion tests (he's also a physical therapist) and identified muscles to strengthen/stretch and gave me a couple of exercises to achieve this. He also identified that I have one leg a good bit shorter than the other (i broke my shin 11 years ago) which is probably causing the saddle soreness which I get on one side only so he fitted a 'shim' spacer under my right cleat to artificially lengthen my leg.
The fitting was an iterative process which involved cycling on my current set up on a turbo trainer wearing sensors at different body points and filming. The sensors were then tracked on a computer to allow angles to be plotted and then adjustments made to the bike to ensure you cycle in an optimum/comfortable position with appropriate body angles for your type of cycling. Lasers are used to ensure your cycle stroke is tidy and efficient.
I was pretty impressed, but then anything with a laser is going to impress me! The proof will be in the pudding post-next long cycle which i will hopefully undertake sometime after next weekend. If anyone is interested I'll edit this post and add any thoughts I have on my new riding position.
I paid 120 plus another 30 to get my commuter road bike set up too. I think he does club days for 80pp if you have 8 people.
Thanks for the update. Would be very interested to see how you find the bike after the fitting process. Did he reckon that getting decent wheels would give a significant time saving? The idea of fitting a spacer under your cleats to adjust for leg length is something I would never have considered, great idea.
His words were "New wheels are the best upgrade you can give yourself". He suggested that there was more to be gained for someone at my level (aiming at finishing races not winning them, limited bike funds) from investing in new wheels and using my road bike in a TT position than investing in an outright TT frame.
I don't race enough to warrant investing in a TT bike (no matter how pretty they look) so if I'm looking to shave . time/reduce drag/effort then there the less cost prohibitive methods are more suitable for me (tighter clothes, aero helmet) there was a link to a good article a while back on stickybottle a while ago about wind tunnel tests and clothing fit worth checking out: road.cc/content/news/120790-video-how-much-aero-difference-does-cycle-clothing-make
Different Strokes for Different Folks and all that though - He might tell someone looking to podium in their age group something else entirely however.
Last Edit: Oct 23, 2014 13:04:31 GMT by rkane: added link