first time trial advice

Home Forum Bike Forum first time trial advice

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • first time trial advice
  • Premier Icon mrblobby

    Just go ride it. Have fun, just go see what it’s all about.

    Edit: Though would recommend checking out the course and doing a decent warm up, and leave yourself plenty of time to get to the start. Just ride whatever you’ve got and set yourself a baseline for future efforts.


    get on the drops, If you’re feeling good, or your legs and lungs aren’t screaming at you to stop you’re not going hard enough.



    Start off steady, really steady, first cpl of minutes should feel relatively easy, then the pain slowly builds 🙂

    Do not charge off from the start, you’ll be breathing out your arse in two mins and your whole ride will suffer.
    No bottles needed for a ten
    Whatever’s comfortable but aero, maybe borrow clip ons

    Premier Icon mboy

    Don’t go out too hard… Can’t stress this enough! No use doing the first 2 miles at 25mph to blow yourself up and be down to 15mph by the end!

    Shaving adds no aero benefit. Roadies like to think it does, but studies have been done into it and it proves no benefit.

    Stay on the drops as much as possible

    Grimace. Lots!

    Then once you cross the line, realise that Time Trialling really is for mugs wierdo’s and vow never to do another one again! And no, I’m not bitter… Just really didn’t enjoy it even though I did everything I should (aside from shave or turn up on a TT bike), found it the most boring and generally pointless 30 minutes of my life! And then when I realised just how much money some of the guys there were spending on wheels and the like, to shave maybe 10 seconds over a 10 mile course (no prize money involved or anything, only local club trials), I decided it’s definitely not for me.


    mrblobby – Member
    Just go ride it. Have fun, just go see what it’s all about.

    yes, thanks, I think that’s gonna have to be pretty much the plan.

    I have a heart rate monitor (well I should get it back from Polar in time) and hope to use that to stop me exploding totally! I will warm up too.

    Should I ride the 6 hilly miles to the start or drive do you think?


    I’d ride there, good warm up

    Premier Icon mrblobby

    Just take it easy and riding there should be ok. Bit of a warning that your HR will lag behind effort quite a bit, so really let your HR build up slowly.

    Also a warning that it can be quite addictive! This has been my first year of doing them and I’ve had to purchase a TT frame, wheels, loads of parts, skin suit, helmet and probably loads of other stuff too.


    good warm up essential, ride there

    heart rate lags effort so don’t hit it too hard at the start

    focus on round pedalling


    a first go at a 10 mile road TT
    so what’s important, what’s not?
    too late for more training to have effect
    do I do anything to the bike – e.g. remove bottles, cages etc?
    should I ride on the drops or tuck in (I dont have aero bars)
    should I shave?


    Roadies like to think it does

    no, we really don’t


    Ride there steadily. Don’t be phased if you get passed, concentrate on riding your own ride.
    Don’t go out crazy as said, build up and then come back hard. By the last mile you should be feeling close to utterly knackered. As you cross the line you will be.
    I started off having a little gel flask of water in my jersey pocket but stopped after I found I was stitching with it.
    If you can ride comfortably on the drops then do.
    Try and stick with one gear. You’ll probably surprise yourself that you can push a harder gear than you think.
    My biggest aid was the average speed readout. I knew where I had to be above for certain times. Didn’t bother with HRM. Cadence was useful to begin with, and for convincing myself to push a harder gear.
    Other than that, enjoy it and ride for yourself.
    Oh and make sure you have something to eat like a banana when you finish!
    Good luck.


    found it the most boring and generally pointless 30 minutes of my life!

    I can imagine! Wow, 30 minutes to ride 10 miles?? That’s not even zone 3 pace!

    When I did TTs on a regular road bike, I found it useful to hold the bars at the tops, right next to the stem and drop your wrists right down so your shoulders are as close to the bars as you can comfortably ride.

    You get the same low position as riding on the drops but with the advantage of narrowing your frontal area.

    And definitely +1 for riding there, and keep riding right up to your start time, then go full gas* as you’ll be warmed up and lungs working.

    *Zone 5, well above threshold, you should be looking at 90-95% of max HR for a 10. It’s gonna hurt like hell, but if you’re not close to death when you cross the line, you’ve not dug deep enough.

    Premier Icon aracer

    I always ride better when I’ve ridden to the start – up to 10 miles for the most distant course.

    found it the most boring and generally pointless 30 minutes of my life

    Clearly that’s because you were going too slow 😉 Just to throw your comment about what people spend back, it’s amazing what people spend on forks and the like just to go a little bit faster when they’re not even competing. Given you’re local to me though, I’m curious which event/course did you do?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    I think it was greg lemond, to paraphrase…..

    When you leave the start line, spin your legs up to max cadence and then change to a harder gear. Spin that up and change up again. Keep repeating until you either run out of gears or run out of legs. Then keep it like that until the finish.

    “And that’ll get you a good place in the time trial?”

    “No, but it should mean you don’t come last”

    Premier Icon notmyrealname

    Best TT advice I ever heard was to have a strawberry yoghurt before the race. That way when you puke it doesn’t taste so bad 😯

    I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with this thread – I thought it was a query about a first time attempt at trials


    notmyrealname – Member
    Best TT advice I ever heard was to have a strawberry yoghurt before the race. That way when you puke it doesn’t taste so bad

    love it 😆

    actually having a bit of a nightmare just now – the new wheel I ordered to replace one I broke last Saturday just turned up, but isn’t dished properly (aargh) so it doesn’t sit in the middle of the frame – factory built wheels eh! – that’ll teach me to try to save money. Supplier has agreed to replace in time for next Saturday’s TT.

    Just to repeat one more time- do not go off to fast in the first few minutes. Once you get around half way you will probably think you are going as hard as you can, but often you can push a bit harder in the third quarter than you think. The pain at the half way stage is often a bit unsettling to a beginner and can dent your confidence. Try any go a little harder than you think you can manage. Then in the last couple of miles you can always find a bit more as long as you did not start too hard.

    Go slightly harder up the hills too, not too much just a bit.

    I ride to the start most of the time as long as it is 40 miles or less.


    Most important thing is to warm up. Also, don’t get too carried away and forget the usual rules of the road at junctions, roundabouts, etc.
    I did my first TT two years ago and have done ten altogether. I really enjoy them but I don’t bother with tri bars or aero kit. I ride on the drops, try to keep a smooth pedalling action, don’t start too slow, but remember to keep something in the tank so you can push really hard in the last mile.

    Premier Icon aracer

    Go slightly harder up the hills too, not too much just a bit.

    Better advice is probably to try not to go too much harder up the hills, and keep pushing on the downs, given that surely everybody does push a bit harder on the ups (and it’s wise not to overdo it)? Most important of all though is to push hard over the top of hills to get yourself back up to speed as fast as possible – all to easy to back off at the top.

    Of course the advice could be summed up as: start fast, push a bit harder in the middle and sprint the end, push hard up all the climbs and don’t ease off on the downhills.


    ta for the advice all. It’s an out and back course and looks like it will be out into, and back with the wind. How to factor that in. Say the wind is ~10mph

    Premier Icon molgrips

    You will get kudos for not having aero kit, you’ll effectively be racing the other people who don’t. On the ones I did the highest placed normal road bike rider got a mention. It was always the same guy, he was usually 2nd or 3rd beating lots of people in full gear, and basically just comes along for a bit of fun.

    He’s ridiculously fast.

    How to factor that in

    Don’t look at your speedo. Time trialling is about maintaining the highest possible output for the duration. The actual speed is irrelevant, it’ll depend on the course and conditions, which are the same for everyone.

    Your threshold will be whatever it is, 330W say regardless of wind or gradient, but 330W feels really very easy indeed at the start line when you’re full of adrenaline and ATP, and very difficult at the end when you’re fooked. This becomes clear if you ride witha power meter. After about 10 mins or so your HR should have found its level so you can ride on that, just keep it at the same level. But by that point you’ll know by feel when you go over your threshold because it’ll be unsustainable.

    Premier Icon aracer

    It’s an out and back course and looks like it will be out into, and back with the wind.

    Far, far better that way round, though as above do make sure to save something for the way back – in such conditions races are won and lost on the higher speed downwind bit.


    guaranteed a pb on your first tt, what ever time you get congratulations, thats yours for that course can try week after week to better it now !


    Some interesting advice plenty of it contradicting other peoples.

    Mine just to add imbalance:

    Don’t go out too hard, you should build to maximum effort. By that I mean start at 95% and build to 100% if you sprint for the line you went out too easy but you don’t want to start to slow down.

    Go harder on the hard bits. read somewhere that there is more to gain on pushing up the hills than speeding down the descents.

    Stay off the drops I find this more aero (not me) which is kind of on the hoods with arms flat.

    Head up shoulders down try and stay relaxed constantly think about keeping as aero as possible.

    Pedal, never stop.

    Enjoy it, learn from it, go back and do better.

    Got down to 23:02 this year on a standard road bike for a ten. Knocked 26s off my PB. Target for next year is to fins 3 sec to get a 22 and branch out to more courses.


    Don’t take any silly risks, when I look back at how I used to ride when I was younger just to knock a few seconds off it makes me wince.

    Better to lose 10 seconds and ride again next week than to never ride again.

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

The topic ‘first time trial advice’ is closed to new replies.