Now that I have a PowerTap, I know I have a “Time Trialist’s” power profile. I have used this to my advantage with two of my top placings this season coming from breakaways.
You may think I race a lot of time trials since I should be good at them, but I haven’t. In fact, I have only done a single prologue TT with clip on aero bars about five years ago. I don’t have any fancy equipment, but I have decided to have a go a the Cat 3 State TT Championships in two and a half weeks.
From what I’ve read about equipment I probably don’t have a chance to win without fancier stuff, but I am going to give it my best shot. First I bought some clip on aero bars on craigslist for $45 (Profile Designs T2+). Then I put them on my bike to see how they felt + snapped a quick photo of my position.
Unfortunately, the pads sit pretty high above the handlebar, and I saw I wasn’t nearly as low as I was in the sphinx position on my standard setup. I bought a Ritchey 30 degree stem using my gift card I won at the Sunshine Hill Climb for $37 out of pocket and installed it upside-down for a ~15 degree drop.
I have read varying accounts of looking fast versus being fast, but since I don’t have a wind tunnel, it is all I have to work with. I do appear to be close to some PROs, but not others. If I make any major changes to my position I’ll keep you posted, but I’m not sure if I can as the bars are about as low as I can get them, and my knees are close to my chest since I use 175mm cranks. I tried moving the saddle further forward, but on my first shakedown ride I found the increased recruitment of the quads caused A LOT of pain. (I think I use a lot of hamstrings usually).
For the race I’ll wear shoe covers, borrow an aero front wheel (hopefully) and I’ll be getting a skinsuit and an aero helmet so I can look like a proper spaceman.