Aero wheels or TT bike?

rossco90
rossco90 Posts: 16
edited April 2013 in Road general
Hi guys,

I am a triathlete. I have about £1000 (maybe 1200 at a push) to spend on some new equipment and I was wondering what would give me more of an advantage, buying a TT bike or some aero wheels for my road bike (bearing in mind that I already have clip on TT bars)?

Either way, can anyone suggest equipment that might be good for this money?

Ta,

Ross

Comments

  • NITR8s
    NITR8s Posts: 688
    I would go for a TT bike, a decent set of Aero wheels are going to cost you at least £500 (planet x) for £1000 you can get an entry level TT bike. Benefit of this is you dont have to keep changing the wheels/cassette over for training miles.
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Depends on what distance racing you do & terrain.

    If you have a road bike & your fast enough to see the benefit of aero wheels & have a good position on the bike then it might be a cheaper option for you. If you race short distance or hilly courses you might not see that much of a benefit of moving from your current bike to an entry level/mid level TT bike which would be heavier and probably have some poorer kit (manufactures cut corners somewhere).

    However if your doing more longer distances & also like doing TT's on their own (always good cheap practice for the bike leg) then would be a sensible way to go.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • dawebbo
    dawebbo Posts: 456
    TT bike beyond a doubt + TT helmet.
  • If you've not had one yet and your bike is worthy of it, you'll gain more time, and power from a £150 retul bike fit than you'll get by buying a TT bike. Alternatively, Make sure if you do go down the TT bike route, that you save some £££ for a proper fit. I can't recommend Garth Kruger at Vankru Cycling highly enough for a fit - http://www.vankru.com/#/retul-bike-fitting/4544144291
    Storck Scenario C1.1 | Ridley Damocles ISP

    "The race is long, but in the end it's only with yourself"

    http://www.twitter.com/TwitRides
  • NeXXus
    NeXXus Posts: 854
    No point in a TT bike if you're only racing sprints or Oly distance. 1/2 IM onwards then a TT bike will come into it's own.

    Then you also have to consider event rules ie: drafting and non-drafting
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • meesterbond
    meesterbond Posts: 1,240
    You'll still get an advantage over sprints and Olympic distance from a TT bike - maybe more so as you'll be able to get into a more aggressive position. Unless the OP is going pro then I'd imagine all his races will be non-draft.

    If I were you (and assuming you're about 5'10-6') I'd have a look at the classifieds and you'll notice you can pick up an excellent Canyon TT bike, with aero wheels and top notch components for only a fraction over your budget... (yes it is mine).
  • lawrences
    lawrences Posts: 1,011
    The wheels will still be there when you can eventually afford a TT bike though. So you could buy some good wheels and then save for a TT bike that will do them justice. That's my plan anyway I'm in the same situation as you except I don't do triathlons.

    just to check you have a pointy helmet already right?
  • NeXXus
    NeXXus Posts: 854
    You'll still get an advantage over sprints and Olympic distance from a TT bike - maybe more so as you'll be able to get into a more aggressive position.
    That you'll inevitably have to leave to cover your brakes due to noobs on shopping bikes and rusty MTB's. And of course, course dependent - navigate marker cones - corners and other things that TT bikes aren't good at.
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Depends what race, how often and how fussed you are?

    Personally dropping 1k to save a hypothetical couple of seconds isn't for me but there is something about triathlon that makes people want to buy loads of weird and over hyped marketing stuff that makes little real world difference.*

    The best value from money will come from a bike fit, skin suit and pointy sperm hat. Look at those first... buy wheels because they look good.

    *sat here in my calf guards
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    iPete wrote:
    Depends what race, how often and how fussed you are?

    Personally dropping 1k to save a hypothetical couple of seconds isn't for me but there is something about triathlon that makes people want to buy loads of weird and over hyped marketing stuff that makes little real world difference.*

    The best value from money will come from a bike fit, skin suit and pointy sperm hat. Look at those first... buy wheels because they look good.

    *sat here in my calf guards

    Probably not enough time in a Tri to get out of swim and into a skin suit :wink:

    I would go for the TT bike myself, position is everything and if you are racing non draft then you'll get the benefit even if you are doing sprint tri's .The TT bike will allow you to get a set up that opens up your hip and make it easier to move into the running phase. I bought a 2nd hand Orbea Ora for £650 on Ebay which has a seat position especially for Tri's. Check this out when/if you come to buy a TT bike as it will be important for you.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Skinsuit - Pointy Hat - Shoe Covers - Aero gloves - Proper TT fit

    After you do those things you can take a look at either a TT bike. As for wheels, rear disc is the way forward and you probably want around 50mm in front as it's decent in most conditions.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • gpreeves
    gpreeves Posts: 454
    Cycling Tips had an interesting article regarding this topic:

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

    I found it most interesting that (in their test at least) an aero-tubing TT frame only saves 17secs/40km over a standard TT frame. Just a shame they don't tell you how much time a standard TT frame would save over a normal road frame with aerobars.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    It would actually save a lot more, but this is due to the fact that you can optimize your position on a TT bike which is nigh on impossible on a road bike. You should also keep in mind that those numbers are at zero yaw which is not indicative of actual riding.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • lawrences wrote:
    The wheels will still be there when you can eventually afford a TT bike though. So you could buy some good wheels and then save for a TT bike that will do them justice. That's my plan anyway I'm in the same situation as you except I don't do triathlons.

    just to check you have a pointy helmet already right?

    This is the first correct answer I found regarding OPs question. Also the reason for a pointy helmet is the same reason this plane is pointy:

    sr71_blackbird_leaking_fuel_cell19.jpg

    As with all things tho, its the engines that count most so work those legs!
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    markos1963 wrote:
    iPete wrote:
    Depends what race, how often and how fussed you are?

    Personally dropping 1k to save a hypothetical couple of seconds isn't for me but there is something about triathlon that makes people want to buy loads of weird and over hyped marketing stuff that makes little real world difference.*

    The best value from money will come from a bike fit, skin suit and pointy sperm hat. Look at those first... buy wheels because they look good.

    *sat here in my calf guards

    Probably not enough time in a Tri to get out of swim and into a skin suit :wink:

    I would go for the TT bike myself, position is everything and if you are racing non draft then you'll get the benefit even if you are doing sprint tri's .The TT bike will allow you to get a set up that opens up your hip and make it easier to move into the running phase. I bought a 2nd hand Orbea Ora for £650 on Ebay which has a seat position especially for Tri's. Check this out when/if you come to buy a TT bike as it will be important for you.

    Dunno, pretty sure my Ironman T1 was about 12 minutes :lol:
  • Mettan
    Mettan Posts: 2,103
    rossco90 wrote:
    Either way, can anyone suggest equipment that might be good for this money?

    Ta,

    Ross

    It's easier to get a better position on a TT frame, although you can get an ok-ish position with a fast-forward seat-post and clip-ons on your roadie - either way, consider getting some 50 tubs (or clinchers) front and rear, and a Rear disc cover for your rear wheel - aero-wise, you will feel the difference when using a covered rear wheel as opposed to a standard shallow rim.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,551
    if you've already got tt bars and *if* the bike allows a decent position

    in terms of watts saved per quid best value is probably...

    perfecting position
    pointy helmet and slick clothing
    tyres with low crr and latex tubes
    wheels
    bike
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • rossco90
    rossco90 Posts: 16
    Cheers for this guys, this is very helpful. :)
  • tgotb
    tgotb Posts: 4,714
    2nd hand pointy hat, 2nd hand TT bike, 2nd hand disc wheel, skinsuit, and maybe spend what's left on a bike fit...
    Pannier, 120rpm.