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Aero wheels or new bike?

Sam KennedySam Kennedy Posts: 32
edited May 2015 in Road buying advice
I currently have a Planet X Pro Carbon, I bought it with the intention of getting into road racing, but I've taken more to time trialling since then.

I've bought a set forward seatpost and I will be getting a new set of clip-on bars soon, and I'm going to see if I can get a decent TT position on that bike for now.

However I have money burning a hole in my pocket, and I'm extremely tempted in the near future to buy the Cosmic Carbone SLS wheelset, but at £750 + new cassette + new tyres I'll be looking at ~£850, which is almost half the price of the Planet-X exocet which comes with an aero wheelset.

So I guess my question is, should I just get set up with a TT position on my current road bike and be happy with it, go for the Mavic wheelset, or go for a whole new bike?


  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Save your cash and buy a dedicated bike, if you are into time trialling already can you really be bothered setting your bike up every week? The answer is probably no. If you wanted the Exocet 2, you're almost half way there and they do 0% finance.....
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I would go with a dedicated bike long before I'd spend money on deep section wheels. In fact there are lots of things I'd do before getting deep section wheels. Not that deep section wheels are a bad thing, it's just that they're very poor "bang for buck". If you haven't got an aero helmet speedsuit, shoecovers, aero frame and good tyres then i suspect all of them will make a bigger difference than a new set of deep section wheels. And all of these would be transferable to a new bike if you wanted to get one later.
    I converted my old bike for TT use a few months ago and have a forward seatpost, TT suitable saddle and tri-bars added. It's a good fit and comfortable to ride but I'm sure a purpose specific bike would improve on handling and aerodynamics (although the converted bike seems to handle okay). I really wouldn't like to use this as a road bike too - just too much hassle. It would mean having a separate seatpost and saddle that could be switched over, the stem would have to be changed since I use a 130mm with the forward TT position and a 100mm in road configuration. And I wouldn't want (or be appreciated/allowed) to keep the tri-bars installed when riding in groups so they'd need to come off. That's a significant amount of work between rides and is simply not practical. So if you also want to ride in road configuration, have two bikes.
    If I was you and didn't want a road bike, I'd sell the bike you have and buy a TT bike. If I wanted a road and TT bike, I'd skip the separate aero wheels, and either keep saving for a separate TT bike or get it now if you've got the money.
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    Get the Stealth. £500 cheaper than the Exocet. Great bike.
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    Just try to imagine if you will keep going with TTs. If you think you are, keep saving for a TT bike.

    Why not see how the season goes and see if your love for TT-ing continues for a bit longer. A TT bike will give you a more aero position (you are the most drag), shifters at the end of the extensions so you can hold the position, aero bar with no road shifters and drops hanging in the wind, aero frame, etc etc. All the aspects of a TT bike together will result in much more advantage than shoving 50mm wheels on a road bike, plus, on a TT bike you might wanna have a disc and a deeper section front wheel or trispoke.

    In the meantime, make sure the extensions for the road bike allow you to be as low as possible, some designs put your elbows higher than others (even when each type is set at their lowest) and hence you can't get as low with some. You can always get a TT helmet and skinsuit now as you'll be using these regardless.

    Also, if you have £850 you'd be able to buy a pretty good second hand TT bike complete with decent wheels anyway!
  • Sam KennedySam Kennedy Posts: 32
    Thank you for to feedback, really useful so far!

    I already have a TT helmet and a skinsuit, I'll be getting some overshoes on Saturday :)

    I've seen some great deals on second hand TT bikes on ebay, so I might go that route, the exocet II does look really nice though.

    My birthday is near the end of the TT season so I might treat myself!

    Other than ebay/gumtree where are some good places to look for secondhand TT bikes?
  • MiddleRingerMiddleRinger Posts: 678
    A well fitting TT bike with shallow wheels will be better than your road bike with deep sections. I'd see out this season while optimising your time trialling and then treat yourself to a proper TT bike once you have the cash later on! Having the levers on the extensions makes a big difference, not having to move out of the tuck to change gears.
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