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TT bike position...

When looking at photographs of people on time trial bikes, their saddles seem higher than their handlebars.

I currently ride a road bike with tri bar extensions on the handlebars. My saddle is approx. the same height as my handlebars.

What is the optimal position for time trialling?

Is it correct that the saddle is approx. the same height as the handlebars for normal road cycling?

Should the handlebars be dropped (if possible, I'm not sure there is anywhere for them to go on my road bike frame) for time trial riding?

I can't exactly up the saddle, because my legs haven't grown!

Thanks for your comments in advance



  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    My old favourite (well one of them)
    http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/ ... kefit.html

    And have a look here:
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... ATOR_INTRO

    Lot to read but stick with it.
  • LexLex Posts: 65
    Dan - get a bike fit done mate. Best £120 I ever spent.
  • Daniel ADaniel A Posts: 6
    Cheers guys!

    Lex - I'm thinking of getting a bike fit, however since I've only got a road bike and there is no scope fo r lowering of the handlebars, I just wanted to get an idea whether the optimal TT position is with the saddle higher than the handlebars.

    If it is, then I guess it is a question of whether I can afford a TT frame.
  • LexLex Posts: 65

    Hello mate. Without knowing your dimensions (easy now!) its difficult to give advice - and besides everything is subjective. Ideally you want to be coming down onto your bars to get as low as possible - otherwise you resemble a parachute.

    I did last season on a road bike with clips ons and have since bought a TT bike. To get the best out of the TT bike I spent the money on a bike fit and it was well worth - I was so wide of the mark with regards to set up mate. Since then I've rethought my road bike set up as well. There are a lot of adjustments they can make to get you set up better and will give you better advice than me or most can give you via this forum (no disrepect to anyone on here) because they can see you on your bike.
  • Daniel ADaniel A Posts: 6
    That made me chuckle Conehead!

    One final question then... places to get bike fits and approx. prices.

    I'm based in the West Midlands so everywhere is just as easy (or difficult) to get to. I'd rather go for someone's personal recommendation than just search the web without any idea!
  • LexLex Posts: 65

    CH will im sure give you some good recommendations for West Mids! Im London based but got the Specialized BG Fitting service which is available at other cycle shops at a cost of £120. 2 hours - they look at saddle height, stem length and height, saddle position, cleats the lot.
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    As previously stated there should be a drop between saddle and bars. If your saddle is at the same height and your legs are (almost) fully extended whilst at the bottom of your peddle stroke it could be assumed that your frame is too large.

    Theres alot to said for a good bike fitting session, you may find they unlock a few extra watts you never knew you had!!

    Its all good saying "go as low at the front as you can" and "make sure your backs flat", "put your saddle as far forward as you can" etc..... but if the bike dosnt fit you to begin with you're just pissing in the wind really.

    If you're brave enough, post a couple of pics with you on the bike (aero position). One with peddles at "3 o'clock" one at the bottom of peddle stroke and one at the very top of stroke. Its by no means gonna provide you with the definitive solution but there enough folk on here who could point you in the right direction.
  • Daniel ADaniel A Posts: 6
    Stay tuned! I might be able to drum up a few pics within the next few days or the weekend.
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    Hi Dan
    You say you can't change the saddle and bar height on your bike as it is, but if you have a look near the headset (where the handlebars fasten on) you may find some spacers - these are hollow tubes that can be removed or moved to allow you to change the height of your bars. If you have any, and if they're below your stem, you will be able to lower your handlebars a bit as follows:
    1. Loosen the hex nuts holding your stem on. Don't worry about doing this, but try to feel how tight they are as you do. There are likely to be two on the side of the stem and one on top of the tube rising out of the forks.
    2. Lift the stem and handlebars off the top of the steerer tube
    3. Lift the spacers off the top of the steerer tube
    4. Put the stem back onto the steerer tube
    5. Put the spacers back onto the steerer tube
    6. tighten your nuts

    Now your bike will look slightly strange, but the bars will be lower
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    Here's a picture blatantly stolen from http://www.oldfartcycling.org - the spacers are the colourful stripy bits.[attachment=0:3jz3cqky]garyv_stripes.jpg[/attachment:3jz3cqky]
  • ga02clrga02clr Posts: 11
    Hi Dan.

    If your West Midlands based get yourself to Red Kite Cycles in Shirley.

    Friendly shop that's well stocked and the vast majoirty of the staff race bikes in one form or anouther (mountain, road, cross and tri).

    Hope that helps.

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