Trying to help the boy

Discussion in 'Cyclocross (CX), Duathlon and Triathlon' started by PpPete, 14 Jun 2018.

  1. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Well, truth to tell he's no longer a boy, and his riding is in a whole different area to my audaxing.

    Essentially he's a swimmer who has taken up Triathlon.
    In his local (Scottish central belt) events he is regularly in top 5 out of the water, despite a rather ancient wetsuit. He's working on his running but it's never going to be really great. His worst leg (in terms of split position) is the bike where he's down around 20th or 30th position. That's still not bad, especially as he's regularly beating guys with pointy hats & multi-thousand pound machines, and he's on a second hand Carrera aluminium 'road bike' that cost about £120 on fleabay about 7 years ago, has rack & mudguard mounts.....

    But realistically - he's not going to improve a great deal without a dedicated TT bike. I'm pointing him at things like second hand PX Stealth which often come up for sale within his budget, and he's wondering how much time he might save with a machine like that over a 20km course. (usually slightly rolling where he is)

    Obviously no simple answer to that one - but I'm wondering if anyone has an idea of the watts that might be gained with a half-decent aero bike, over a very low-rent roadbike ?
     
  2. DCLane

    DCLane Found in the Yorkshire hills ...

    Time for this again ...

    ttchart.jpg

    Does he have aero bars on his road bike? They're the first start.

    This doesn't cover a dedicated TT bike but gives you an idea. Whether a TT bike or road bike with aero bars is quicker may depend on the course. It doesn't need to be an expensive TT bike either; mine was built for under £300

    TT2_light.jpg
     
    Last edited: 15 Jun 2018
    Stephenite and Slick like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Yes - I saw that in a thread in the TT board. Doesn't really answer the question, because the last line of the table talks about going from standard tubing TT frame to an Aero TT frame.
    I'm talking about going from something one step up from a BSO, to any kind of cheapish TT bike.

    Yes

    Quite so - but what is he going to gain in terms of seconds or watts or whatever, by moving to something like what you have from a rather tattier one of these:
    s-l1600.jpg
     
  4. DCLane

    DCLane Found in the Yorkshire hills ...

    @PpPete - I saved 5 minutes on a 10 mile TT switching over from road bike with aero bars/road helmet/jersey & shorts to my TT bike/helmet/skinsuit.

    My first suggestion is to flip the stem; he's riding very high.
     
  5. roadrash

    roadrash cycle chatterer

    @DCLane I think that photo isn't the bike being used , just to show the make of bike being used , as he said a tattier one of these
     
  6. OP
    OP
    PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    @roadrash is correct. The boy's one don't look half that clean.

    Now that is a worthwhile change...
    Bearing in mind this is Tri, not TT he ain't going to be in a skinsuit, but is about to buy an aero helmet, and hopefully a TT bike before too long.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2018
  7. Tin Pot

    Tin Pot Guru

    He won’t gain watts.

    At least, not to start with - he will lose watts - usually about 10W - and gain time, both on the bike and the run...if his position is correct and he trains well in it.

    I think you’ve got to be careful here in what is actually going to help the boy. Finding a trainer is likely to top the list, and if what I hear on podcasts is anything to go by, he’ll be interested in attitude to training and the engine - not the bike.

    If you’re not interested in finding a trainer, a second hand tri bike with a tri specialist fitting will give him some medium term gains. You’ll need to have him fitted and refit at least once a year as he learns and adapts to riding in aero.

    Good on you for supporting, and good luck to him.
     
    Ajax Bay likes this.
  8. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Location:
    The Red Enclave
    Blimey. I use a road bike with clip-ons and non-aero kit for TTs. So this means if I switched to a TT bike and skinsuit, I could go under 20 minutes for a 10!

    ;)
     
  9. OP
    OP
    PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Thanks
    He's certainly got the engine and the attitude. Competitive swimmer since the age of 7, He's also got the support network in terms of a tri club which holds regular training & coaching session.
    He hasn't got space for a tri/TT bike at present, but hopes to have before too long and if we spot a suitable bargain in the meantime we can always store it for him. (What's one extra bike in the garage when you already have .... ahem... more than 20)

    This is more about.... if a second-hand tri bike costing (£x that he can afford now) is going to move him up y places, or enable him to knock z seconds off... then he'll look more immediately. Or if he waits and spends £w, that's more likely to get him what he wants to achieve... Cost benefit analysis if you like. As a trainee actuary that sort of thing is bread & butter to him. Me, I'm just his go-to person for all things bike, whether maintenance or anything else.
     
  10. Tin Pot

    Tin Pot Guru

    Yeah I tried to do the same maths myself, but life isn’t that simple.

    Can he be faster on a tri bike? Absolutely.

    How much will depend on position, training and ability to stay in aero during the bike leg.

    Over 20km isn’t long, and depends on how fast he is now - could be seconds, could be minutes.

    Are you aware of the changing drafting rules? - I’m not, but I get the impression the shorter distances are becoming more drat legal.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Without aero bars 37 -38 minutes over courses which are more 'rolling' than flat.
    I reckon aerobars, once he gets used to them, ought to enable him to take at least a couple of minutes off.
    If a cheapish TT bike gets another couple after that he's probably moving up a good few places on non-draft events.
    I don't know if he's good enough at group riding to really make the most of strong swim leg on draft-legal events.
     
    Tin Pot likes this.
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