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How much time will an expensive bike save?

dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
I have a basic road bike (Trek 1.2) with cheap clip on aero-bars. If I do c.1.15 over 40k on this, how much would the time improve if I had a proper tri-bike (and which one)? Can't seem to get clear guidance on this so any views welcome.

Many thanks,



  • andissandiss Posts: 82
    There is an old saying, a good bike never makes a good cyclist...

    Can see your point, have a roadbike 2001 without aerobars, have passed out lads with 5k TT bikes but also been passed out myself by lads on hybrids with race wheels...its all whats in your engine.
  • langers08langers08 Posts: 19
    Bit of an eternal question this one. With a standard road bike you can imitate a time trial position by using aerobars, raising the saddle slightly & also bringing it forward to make the angle of your leg more vertical so in effect you push down more on each pedal stroke. Your position on the bike is the most important so whatever you do get fitted properly. Next important would be an aero helmet and lastly bling wheels (deep section etc).
    As a guide, on my regular 26km loop I took 3 mins off when I got my time trial bike, which I got from Andy Morgan at Kinetic-One (www.kinetic-one.co.uk). I then managed to take off a further minute and a half by getting an aero helmet. This year with a disc wheel & deep section front wheel I have taken a further 40 secs off my PB. This is a bit unscientific but my bike times are usually in the top 5% of the races I do (mostly duathlons) since I had my TT bike whereas beforehand they were very much midfield.
    Put it this way - if you do time trials, none of the fast guys are on standard road bikes! My guess is that with your times you're looking at about a 7-10 minute saving over 40km.
  • gunforhiregunforhire Posts: 457
    andiss wrote:
    There is an old saying, a good bike never makes a good cyclist...
    Too true!
    I just went over 2 minutes slower on my flashy TT bike today (£2k+) than I did last year on my £200 eBay beater, on the same course. To say I'm in the huff is an understatement!
  • TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    It is indeed an ongoing debate, and the problem is there's so many variables.

    You can't compare times from races a year apart, as you've a full year's training/ no-training to factor in, plus weather, how you feel on the day, taper etc etc etc.

    I know from reguarly timing myself in training, that my time for training bike (entry level bike, clip ons, basic wheels, standard helmet) vs race bike (carbon composite frame (not TT), Trispoke wheels, ceramic bearings, aero helmet etc), that it can make a huge difference.

    I'll normally average around 31kph on my training bike. I haven't been out on my race bike this year yet (she only goes out when it's sunny & dry) but I'll normally average 37-38.
  • pataallenpataallen Posts: 94
    none! but you'll look the dogs bollox!
  • dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
    Having a flash bike but a poor time is worst of all possible worlds... If others are zooming past you on tri-bikes and you only have a basic road bike, you can always blame the equipment, but if it is the other way around....

    Thanks all for comments.
  • garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    I recently purchased some flashy deep rim carbon wheels for my bike......they don't make me a second faster, but when I was pushing my bike back to my car the other weekend, I heard a guy say to his wife,'i need a bike like that'.......priceless......
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    my mate has always kicked my ass in long rides....dropping me etc...

    so I got myself a 3k carbon tt bike.

    he still kicks my ass by just as much...

    but I look better!
  • JellybabyJellybaby Posts: 180
    It might not save you a lot of time on the bike leg (it will save a few mins) but you will save time on the run as a tri bike is supposed to put you in a position to run more comfortably off the bike compared with a roadie.
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    A new bike might make you quicker once - but then it's up to you.
    Spend money on the engine, IMO.
  • gunforhiregunforhire Posts: 457
    dhcm wrote:
    Having a flash bike but a poor time is worst of all possible worlds... If others are zooming past you on tri-bikes and you only have a basic road bike, you can always blame the equipment, but if it is the other way around.....
  • TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    But all the above depends on whether you're talking showiness (carbon bling bling) or functionality. Better components/ build = less friction (steady!).

    Whether that means more speed & less time, or simply less tired at the end through watts saved (= quicker run?) it's all good.

    Go on spend the money, you're helping the economy
  • Whether you think they do or not, your aero wheels ARE saving you time. If you're not going faster, it's not because of the wheels (unless you've got some REALLY bad tyres on them of course)

    Interesting article here comparing various bike set ups from standard road all the way up to full on aero bike with all the gizmos...

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/h ... aero-19273

    A TT bike won't make you any quicker if you adopt the same position on it as your road bike (well the aero tubes might make you a touch quicker, but only a small and difficult to measure amount). The set up on a TT bike is very different to a road bike and your body position needs to change to take advantage of the geometry of the bike. Set up well a TT bike will be more aero, more comfortable on the aero bars, powerful and also allow a better run off the bike.
  • dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
    Well, took the plunge and bought a TT bike in the getting rid of 2010 stock sales. Took out this morning for first ride, and at least 1mph+ quicker than fastest I ever managed on trek 1.2 for same effort (and that was when I was fitter). So nice bikes definately significantly faster for me. But it is off season and the positioning will take a little getting used to, so time will tell by how much.
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    Conehead wrote:
    The key thing is TT bikes look cool as fuck. That's all anyone needs to know.
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