A better TT position… how to get there?

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  • A better TT position… how to get there?
  • LS
    Member

    I just need to spend more time on the TT bike when training

    This is the best start. I used to ride TTs by just turning up and blasting round in a fairly extreme position but I’ve no doubt (from PM data) that more adaptation would’ve made me faster.
    Gradual changes of bars lower, saddle forward and higher, elbows narrower/wider etc are the way to go. Trial and error is the only way shot of a wind tunnel to find the sweetspot between aero and power output.

    Rotating your pelvis should get you a nice flat back.

    More to do with a trade off of aerodynamic position against power output. The lower you go the more you’re going to restrict your breathing and power. Being flexible certainly helps.

    If you have a power meter then try different positions doing 20 minute threshold intervals and see what your FTP is.

    Rotating your pelvis should get you a nice flat back.

    This. If you go lower at the front you will also need to bring you saddle forward. Had a retul fit done last year and they said the body shape between the road and TT position should be almost identical and to get to the TT position you just rotate forward. Effectively you drop the front and move the saddle forwards and up.

    ajc
    Member

    I found that as a very occasional tt’er a less extreme position worked much better than getting the bars and clip ons as low as possible as this just used different leg muscles to my normal road riding. If you have one, stick the bike on a turbo and take a picture of your position, it is then easy to see how any changes effect your profile or frontal area. Cheapest things to buy speed are skin suit, shoe covers and pointy hat. Then just pedal harder.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yeah we need pics.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    If I had a good pic I’m not sure I’d post it!

    Got the suit, shoe covers and pointy hat sorted.

    I get the rotating pelvis thing and I think I’ve done some of that. I think it’s bringing the torso down further i have problems with. From about half way on a 10 my cadence starts to drop and struggle to maintain a power/cadence that based on turbo bike work should be fine. Maybe it’s just the different muscle thing and I just need to train more on the TT bike.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Tri bars further forward, allowing yourchest to stretch out?

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    Copy this bloke:

    Seriously though, try bringing in your arms as close together as you can, whilst still feeling like you can control the bike. Drop the bars gradually, allowing time for you to adapt to the new position. You might want to move your saddle forward a bit, but most people end up too far forward IMO. Make sure your head is low at the front, no point in having a fancy aero helmet if the tail is 15cm off your back (pro triathletes, I’m looking at you…)

    Most important thing is to train in the aero posiiton.

    This is where I’m currently at and I’ve still got work to do, but I can’t get any lower on the front on this frame. Hoping to have something a bit tastier for next years season 🙂

    From about half way on a 10 my cadence starts to drop and struggle to maintain a power/cadence that based on turbo bike work should be fine. Maybe it’s just the different muscle thing and I just need to train more on the TT bike.

    Is this more mental than physical?

    One big thing that I did last winter was doing a lot of high resistance work. I’d do 20 minute thresholds at around 70 cadence at a high resistance setting on my rollers. Not sure of power output though as I don’t have a power meter but it hurt! This helped me go from mid pack results to winning races.

    Early season photo.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Right, here’s a pic from the other day…

    …be gentle! Sorry don’t have a side pic.

    There’s quite a bit of scope to go lower on the front. I suspect it’s just a case of going down a bit at a time. And getting my head out the way too!

    crikey
    Member

    I think that’s a pretty good position, just need to go lower to drop your head more inline with your back, and make sure you’re not compromising your ability to get the power down by having your arms too close in.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Started doing TTs this year. Done about half a dozen now but reckon my position is a bit rubbish and suspect there’s a good chunk of time to be had there with a bit of tweaking. Nowhere near a flat back and I think my breathing is compromised quite a bit already. Though just hit 40 and flexibility has never been that great!

    So question is what did you do to get yourself into a better position on the TT bike? How has it evolved? Where did you go for advice (books, club mates, pro fit, video yourself etc.)? Yoga, pilates? I suspect I just need to spend more time on the TT bike when training!

    And before anyone suggests it I really don’t have the time to dick about cutting out riders from magazines and analyse their measurements with protractors and rulers 🙂

    Thanks.

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    Drop your head and shrug your elbows forward

    trail_rat
    Member

    Personally i think your arms are too close.

    Lots of people who are un able end up doing this ln the falacy its more aero.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Forearms or upper arms? Head definitely needs to go down!

    Anyways, straying a little from the original question. I think I’ve got a fairly good idea of what’s good and what’s bad. Just wondering how people transitioned from bad to good, and probably more importantly determined what to change.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Fore arms, extensions too close.

    People always comment on how mines are too far apart at tt’s Usually the folk behind me mind you.

    For me i just eeked out my position over a season till it was flatter ( while at the same time doing so on my road and xc race bikes) but like you found that i couldnt breathe. So moved my extensions out to put my elbows inline with my shoulders and open the chest up , head goes down

    It does help that i have narrow shoulder so even a wide elbow stance has a narrow frontal area.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    I don’t really ride TT but I had a little shot on a mate’s bike recently


    yeah, honest by scaredypants, on Flickr

    (Mulletus – nice Tony Martin “basking shark” there !)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Have you been doing stretches?

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Stretches? 🙄

    Actually I could probably do with a good routine as I’m quite inflexible these days.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    … actually I think question should be, if you did do stretching to improve your position, how did you determine what to stretch and how to stretch it? Maybe I need professional help (Not wanting to open up the whole bike fit can of worms!)

    Edit: … funnily enough, when I finally got to see a physio who I thought was any good about an old injury I had, the first thing he said was to stop stretching!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Trekster – what he is saying is don’t do the wrong kinds of stretching.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    After a ride, I do something like this..

    .. but without my bent leg tucked in my groin – I just leave it out of the way. I put my palms on the floor and reach forwards. When I started, each time I did it I got an inch further forward.

    I do three reps of ten seconds on each side, with a rub and shake in between. The first time is stiff, the second and third I loosen up a lot more. I don’t think it’s a stretch in the traditional sense, just a good way of loosening up my back, glutes and hamstrings.

    However it seems to pay dividends on the road bike, I can get a pretty good tuck on the drops and stay there for ages with good power down.

    I have an average position


    MattBurden-1 by ilovemytinbred, on Flickr
    Something that has let me change frm a much worse position was an Adamo (or Sitero) saddle. As mentioned above it allows me to tilt my pelvis easily. I put out the same mediocre power in the TT posn now as on my road bike without any training in the TT position

    crikey
    Member

    Shoe covers needed young man!

    They’ll save as much as your rear disc wheel, but cost a lot less.

    http://cyclingtips.com.au/2010/04/biggest-bang-for-your-buck-in-time-trial-equipment/

    Shoe covers- very debatable whether they help. Few test well in the tunnel apparently

    crikey
    Member

    The following chart shows the aerodynamic savings according to what http://www.aerosportsresearch.com calculated for Velonews (I bascially copied the photo above and the chart chart below and added in the approximate costs for each equipment piece).

    From the article I quoted.

    Your feet are the fastest moving bit of the whole assembly, smoothing them out is a good thing.

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    Increasing your frontal area, however, is not. Some shoes are faster with some overshoes, some are not. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is by going into the tunnel. I wear them cos they match my team kit and make me more visible to cars.

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    I’m fairly sure a large chunk of that article is nonsense as well. A skinsuit saving you more time than aerobars? Maybe if you were wearing a suit of armour before.

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