Aero upgrade advice for TT bike

Much like many of you, due to the virus all of my races were canceled this year. However I was able to find a ‘socially distant’, time trial race which I completed last weekend. I dusted off my old (and I mean VERY old … see below) triathlon bike (which I hadn’t ridden in over 10 years) and did some light practice on it, and then gave it a go.

There aren’t a huge amount of TT’s in my area, but now that I have the bike in decent riding shape again, I could absolutely see myself doing a few as “B” or “C” races in a normal year.

With that being said…I’ve included a picture of my bike and helmet below. If I was going to invest in some upgrades - and understanding that I’m not going to buy a new TT bike - what would be the biggest bang for my buck in terms of aero gains? The first thing I’d upgrade is the saddle, but that’s for comfort.

(Also - I put proper road tires on for the race, please disregard the Gatorskins)

Beyond that…wheels? New aero bars? Groupset?

And as far as the helmet goes, would an aero road helmet be fine (I.e. and S-Works Evade II)? Or are aero road helmets only good for a road riding position, and would I want to get a dedicated TT helmet?

Thanks for any input, and please be kind when commenting on the 17 year old bike :neutral_face::metal:


In order of cheapest to most expensive

  1. Shaving your legs
  2. aero socks
  3. overshoes
  4. tight clothing / skin suit
  5. bike fit to dial in your aero position

The Specialized evade has been tested to be one of the fastest helmets out there without the expense of comfort.

Gp5k for tires is what I’d recommend too. Tubeless for the the fastest combo.

An aero Tt bar that puts your hand up high has been on the rise due to comfort reasons. Plus Personally I think it looks so much better than flat aero bars. Might be worth swapping the bars to get a more modern tt position. Not sure if it’s more aero.

If you’re willing to spend on a Groupset / wheelset you’re better off getting a brand new bike.

A lot of people come here for opinions on upgrades but if you’re already on trainerroad then imma be frank and say consider just spending more time on the tt bike rather Than on the internet browsing for stuff to buy

Hope it helps.


Good advice above on fit, clothing, shoe covers, etc. Wheels do help quite a bit, doesn’t really matter too much what brand as long as they’re deep. Can get some reasonably good secondhand deals at the moment as people switch to disc brakes. Could also get a disc cover for your rear wheel for ~$100, they test similar to a proper disc wheel.

If you have a power meter and a suitable local road you can do quite a bit of your own aero testing to compare position and equipment changes. Google Chung testing.

Oh, and definitely don’t match that lime green helmet to that red bike :wink:


I would opt for an aero helmet, I think you might save around 5-10 watts.

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I would do the following

  1. aero helmet (road or aero helmet) - the giro advantage 2 generally can be found at a great price
  2. deeper front wheel - something at least 50 mm deep
  3. disc cover for the rear -
  4. TT skinsuit - I would find a genaric (blackbibs or something) skinsuit

I would not buy a group set - save that money for a new bike


Aero helmet is a good first gear upgrade - - the aforementioned Giro Advantage 2 or similar Bell Javelin seem to do well on a broad range of riders and are pretty cheap.

It’s hard to recommend fit suggestions without seeing you on the bike. Are the pads on the aerobars the part that’s sticking up super high right now? Definitely looks like there’s lots of room to drop things at the front end either way which should help with positioning, but it’s always a balancing act between going low for aero and too low to not be able to generate enough power to make it a net benefit.


Any aero helmet…aero road or full TT lid…will be a substantial Origen this Iver that aero nightmare POC. That has to be one of the worst lids for a TT.

Good call on a new saddle…but not for comfort. A noiseless TT saddle will let you rotate your ships forward and get lower on the bike. And improving your position is the single most important aero improvement you can make.

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My mind drifts to things that can make your position more aero and/or get you into a position to generate more power. Without seeing you ride and fit the bike all this is just a stab in the dark…

  1. Depending on how you generate power and how you fit the bike a shorter crank can potentially help move your foot in a more favorable position leverage wise and it opens up your hip angle which helps two things: A) Can potentially allow your torso to become more parallel (flatter) and B) potentially helps your breathing ability by giving your diaphragm more room to expand.

  2. Depending again how you fit the bike getting long=getting narrow=aero. It would take some testing but, those elbow pads may be putting your shoulders in a position where you are unable to get long and narrow.

Just a couple things to think about. It just does no good to spend money on a helmet to maybe save a half a second per kilometer when you’re losing 10 seconds/km on some positional changes. my 2 cents.


But what if you’re browsing the Internet looking for aero upgrades WHILE doing a TR workout on your TT bike?

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Not mutually exclusive concepts…you can, and should, do both.


Hey, this is an interesting thread. I’d agree with the other suggesting not to put a huge investment into your frame because at some point you will likely replace the frame so anything you add should be able to be removed and added onto your next frame.

If you want to keep using this frame (no reason not to) there is heaps you could do to make this faster. I think in a prior thread the consensus was helmet, then wheels, then everything else.

If you are in no hurry on the new frame, and if it was me; I’d buy a faster helmet, and pickup a pair of second hand rim brake deep dish wheels - heaps of people are offloading rim brake wheels. Just remember that the wheels will not likely go on a new frame at some point in the future.

It is a great looking frame, love that traditional look and colour scheme! It would certainly look the business with some carbon TT wheels.

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