Last minute TT advice

term1te Posts: 1,462
The next event in my local clubs championship is a short TT, 5.3 km dropping 90 m. It’s a relatively quiet road, with a 1.5m wide cycle path painted on the side, no curb and just as clean as the main carriageway (its Switzerland). So potentially very fast. I didn’t think I could make it, so have made no specific preparation, and don’t have much TT kit. My plans have changed, and I’m now free for next Tuesday. So what can I do in four days to minimise my time?

I’ve got clip on aero bars, but that’s it. I’m not going to buy an aero helmet or skin suit over the weekend, so are there any tricks I can employ that use only things found laying around the house?

I’ve put the road miles in, heading towards 8,500 km for the year so far, but only a few with the aero bars. I’m also a bit of a lightweight, so gravity isn’t going to help me much either.

What would you do?


  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Get on the aerobars - you don't say if it's straight or bendy (the path - not the bars) - so you may want to practice high speed turns on the bars - as well as putting effort in whislt using them.
    You may want to pop that saddle up and forward too - just for the TT ...
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    5.3km? i d ride my normal road bike if your not 100% happy on tri bars, you could end up going slower on the tri bar set up.
  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    Cling film over your helmet and shoes and borrow the missus' jersey (stuffing some Maltesers up the sleeves). Given how light you are, filling the frame with lead shot might help.

    Alternatively, just go along, do your best, and really enjoy it. You can then beat your time at the next event :wink:
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,999
    Reduce number of front facing helmet vents.
    Shave off beard.
    Shave arms and legs, or wear tight base layers.
    Shoe covers.
    All equipment, including water bottle (not that you will have one for a short TT) in your rear jersey pocket.
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • term1te
    term1te Posts: 1,462
    Thanks for the youtube link, some no doubt good tips there. Interestingly, the ad that came on first was for a high speed motor and gear box, that appears to be the correct size to fit in a seat tube, how convenient is that. Made in Switzerland too, unfortunately, 11 days for delivery...
  • topcattim
    topcattim Posts: 766
    Shave your legs. Will probably save you about 8 seconds. :wink:
    Concentrate on keeping your elbows in.
  • pilot_pete
    pilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    topcattim wrote:
    Shave your legs. Will probably save you about 8 seconds. :wink:
    Concentrate on keeping your elbows in.

    Unless the OP can get used to the TT position in such a short time I would suggest keeping his elbows in is likely to slow him down initially. Chances are that his TT position is not correct (just putting on tri bars) and it takes a few rides to get comfortable and to start to adapt to a TT position. Unless he is very lucky, he is likely to go slower until he adapts and gets comfortable (ish) and certainly going full on aggressive with elbows close together can feel very unstable for the first few rides. I remember trying that when I bought a TT bike and the combination of elbows tight together, a Zipp 808 on the front and rear Zipp disc felt distinctly dangerous. Adjusting the elbow pads further apart helped and I got faster and faster as I adapted.

    I would suggest just riding your road bike as fast as you can for such a short TT with so little time to prep. If you plan to ride more you can sort your position and adapt over a realistic time frame and start to see the gains.

    Have fun.

  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    if you have not ridden in the TT position much you probably would be quicker on your normal road postion in the drops. turning at speed on a TT machine is acquired skill. I never learnt it this is why I still use a road bike, that and I crashed badly.

    If you are going to do TT's on extensions then get used to them before your race on them. yes you will be slower at first but apparantly you get faster. i never did I just got more scared than I do on an MTB riding a trail with nice steep drop down one side.

    Also on a road bike you go round bend quicker than on a TT machine up hill quicker too. -wheel building and other stuff.