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Budget TT Bike VS Road Bike w/ Clip-Ons?

ItsBenjiItsBenji Posts: 6
edited June 2017 in Road buying advice
I have just started racing and I need a time-trial bike for the upcoming season. I have done time trials on a road bike before but I have never used a TT bike. I don't want to go spending thousands of pounds on my first TT bike and decide that it's not for me. Therefore, I am sticking to a tight budget and I am mainly looking in the second hand market. I have come across a Focus Culebro Tria for around £500. I've done some research into the bike and it seems that it is quite heavy at 9.5kg due to it's aluminum frame. The bike is also 7 years old now so I'm thinking that it might not be able to compete against newer TT bikes. I am wondering whether I should purchase this bike or instead buy some clip-on aero bars and put them onto my Cannondale Super Six Evo road bike which is a lot lighter. What do you think would be the best option? Would the TT bike still be faster than using the Cannondale with clip-on bars despite it's heavier weight? Or would you consider spending more and getting a better TT bike? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,471
    Try and find a Moda Vivo they are under 8kg which for an aluminium bike is good. Put a decent group set on it and it will even lighter.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    What size do you need? I can kit you out with a nice TT bike for less than that.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Grill wrote:
    What size do you need? I can kit you out with a nice TT bike for less than that.

    I'm 6"2 so I would be looking at a 58-60cm frame.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    I have a large FM018 that would probably work. Do you know your pad stack and reach?
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Grill wrote:
    I have a large FM018 that would probably work. Do you know your pad stack and reach?

    I'd have to contact the bike shop from where I bought my road bike to find out my measurements. I'd need wheels, bars and a group set as well...
  • giropaulgiropaul Posts: 414
    As you have already started to ride time trials you must be in a CTT registered club ( assuming that you are in England or Wales) . Within that I'm sure that there will be a wealth of experience and advice, kit to buy or borrow as well very possibly.
  • SemantikSemantik Posts: 537
    giropaul wrote:
    As you have already started to ride time trials you must be in a CTT registered club ( assuming that you are in England or Wales) . Within that I'm sure that there will be a wealth of experience and advice, kit to buy or borrow as well very possibly.

    You don't have to be in a club to do time trials.
  • You can get a good set of aero bars for £50-£70, which bang for buck are hard to beat. If it was me i'd go down that route first and forget about a bike until I really knew whether it was what I wanted to do and if it was I could do it properly.
  • From my understanding weight has very little to do with the average TT unless it's a hilly route...aero is everything and even a slightly old one should put you in a significantly better aero position than a road bike with aero bars.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Semantik wrote:
    giropaul wrote:
    As you have already started to ride time trials you must be in a CTT registered club ( assuming that you are in England or Wales) . Within that I'm sure that there will be a wealth of experience and advice, kit to buy or borrow as well very possibly.

    You don't have to be in a club to do time trials.

    To do any Open events you do, not for club events.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • giropaulgiropaul Posts: 414
    Grill wrote:
    Semantik wrote:
    giropaul wrote:
    As you have already started to ride time trials you must be in a CTT registered club ( assuming that you are in England or Wales) . Within that I'm sure that there will be a wealth of experience and advice, kit to buy or borrow as well very possibly.

    You don't have to be in a club to do time trials.

    To do any Open events you do, not for club events.


    Club time trials are for members of that club and their guests. - CTT regulations

    Around here most " guests" are expected to join after a couple of rides, or be a member of another local club. Occasional visitors would be welcome, but someone turning up to ride week in and week out would be expected to join.
  • Vslowpace wrote:
    You can get a good set of aero bars for £50-£70, which bang for buck are hard to beat. If it was me i'd go down that route first and forget about a bike until I really knew whether it was what I wanted to do and if it was I could do it properly.

    All of this.

    I bought a Propel specifically to do both road and Ironman. Position might only be 75% of a true aero bike but the bike itself is fairly slippery.

    I say cruise ebay for a used TT helmet or used aero road helmet. Preferably an aero road helmet as you can use it dual duty. Like an Evade or something a couple years old now.

    For likely $200 you can have a TT ready bike: clip ons, used helmet, kit. You can get clip ons used from Ironman people all the time.

    Helmet, well fitting kit, and tt bars probably get you 90% of the way there. The last watts lie in a pile of money of a TT frame, wheelset, and custom bike fitting session.

    I say even then to buy a power meter before a TT bike and spending thousands on wheels. Then you can train up your power output and fine tune your TT strategy on power output. That $400 on a 4iiii or similar might gain you more watts than $1200 on wheels.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    TTing is about W/CdA over W/kg. A good position will drop a silly amount of time.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • SemantikSemantik Posts: 537
    giropaul wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    Semantik wrote:
    giropaul wrote:
    As you have already started to ride time trials you must be in a CTT registered club ( assuming that you are in England or Wales) . Within that I'm sure that there will be a wealth of experience and advice, kit to buy or borrow as well very possibly.

    You don't have to be in a club to do time trials.

    To do any Open events you do, not for club events.


    Club time trials are for members of that club and their guests. - CTT regulations

    Around here most " guests" are expected to join after a couple of rides, or be a member of another local club. Occasional visitors would be welcome, but someone turning up to ride week in and week out would be expected to join.

    There are club time trials several nights a week around here in the summer and about a quarter of all riders are unattached to a club. No-one cares a hoot whether they ever join a club.
  • If you've only just started doing TTs you may as well get a pair of clip ons and slam your stem to make sure you really want to stick with it.
    After that I'd go second hand for the TT bike- my preference is for the old school frames which won't have the same aero tube profiling but will be an awful lot lighter than the 'cheap' alloy TT frames that you see around which pretend to be like the newer carbon offerings. But then TT frames aren't often available so if you find one that fits, grab it!

    Aero bars on your road bike are a start, but if you can get into the right position on it then it'll be really uncomfortable for regular riding.

    As for club TTs, some allow you to ride without being a member of a club, but I think it's best to join one as many clubs I've belonged to wouldn't let non-affiliated riders race in case they broke insurance rules- unless the TT is specifically for beginners which have a special arrangement with CTT. Some clubs are also picky about who can ride their events, especially if they are popular. Three of the local clubs (including my own) have a league set up and only riders affiliated to one of the clubs can ride- the events are often oversubscribed on nice nights!
  • giropaulgiropaul Posts: 414
    I think that my principal point about being in a club is all the advice, support and probably the ability to buy/ borrow kit. The club run I go on with one of my second claim clubs is very TT orientated, with current and past National champions and record holders. They are all generous to newer riders with advice, loans of kit ( as well as being excellent company).
  • Clip-ons will make a big difference on your road bike. When you look at what provides the most advantage, that one comes out on top. Followed by things like aero helmet and skinsuit, since the biggest obstacle in the wind is you!

    Of course the bike will make a difference. But when you're getting down to the finer details on something that in most places is no more than a couple of inches wide...you're saving a second or two here and there. Aero wheels will give you some advantage on either bike.

    If you do a lot of hilly routes, definitely stick to the road bike.

    Don't get me wrong. Get a TT bike if you want to. Tools for the job and that. But some of the largest gains are to be had elsewhere, and when you add those onto the cost of a TT bike too.... Then you start looking at power meters and stuff...

    As a side note... If I recall correctly, the British National TT champ last year put his bike together for £1k. You don't have to go silly with money for results.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Clip-ons will make a big difference on your road bike. When you look at what provides the most advantage, that one comes out on top. Followed by things like aero helmet and skinsuit, since the biggest obstacle in the wind is you!

    Of course the bike will make a difference. But when you're getting down to the finer details on something that in most places is no more than a couple of inches wide...you're saving a second or two here and there. Aero wheels will give you some advantage on either bike.

    If you do a lot of hilly routes, definitely stick to the road bike.

    Don't get me wrong. Get a TT bike if you want to. Tools for the job and that. But some of the largest gains are to be had elsewhere, and when you add those onto the cost of a TT bike too.... Then you start looking at power meters and stuff...

    As a side note... If I recall correctly, the British National TT champ last year put his bike together for £1k. You don't have to go silly with money for results.

    If you're talking about Rich Bussell, he won the National 10 mile Champs in 2015 (and again in 2016 on a different bike), on a Trek TTX that cost less than 1k (British Champs is completely different as it's BC run as opposed to CTT). Of course he did have one of the best aerodynamicists out there sorting out the details...
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Sorry, yes, National 10 mile...
  • niblueniblue Posts: 1,387
    On of the mags did a test and if I recall correctly they found that a TT helmet and skinsuit had more of an impact that changing from a road bike to a TT bike.
  • mason5697mason5697 Posts: 63
    niblue wrote:
    On of the mags did a test and if I recall correctly they found that a TT helmet and skinsuit had more of an impact that changing from a road bike to a TT bike.

    Which mag?

    I'm currently contemplating changing from a propel with clip on bars, to a dedicated TT bike
  • niblueniblue Posts: 1,387
    It was probably Cycling Plus.

    As it happens I can comment more on this myself because I've just bought a (very) cheap 2nd hand TT bike so can now compare it to one of my road bikes which has clip ons. Despite being a good 1kg or so heavier there is no doubt the TT bike is noticeably faster and I'm already seeing lots of Strava segment PB's on it.
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    As has been mentioned many times, a TT bike puts the rider in a far more aerodynamic position than a road bike... even one with clip-on extensions. The rider has a much larger frontal area than a bicycle, so minimise that and you're cutting your CdA big time.

    The difference between a top of the range TT bike and an entry level one, if the position stays the same... not so much. Also weight on anything but a really sporting course has censored -all impact.
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