Getting into time trialling

Having worked with a coach for a little while now, both he and I are in agreement that I need a somewhat competitive goal to work towards. I last actually raced the best part of 20 years ago, and tbh the thought of crits or similar really doesn’t appeal any longer. Most fondos are heavily over subscribed in the UK at the moment, and the logistics of travelling long distances to ride for a day are not a great fit with family arrangements (and with the huge prices/zero availability of UK hotels currently, too)

So, especially given my strength these days seems to be 30 minute to 90 minute steady efforts, and that I could hopefully see good progress over the 25 mile distance on a 10 hour training week (which I can commit to fairly easily) I’m seriously thinking about trying tt-ing. I’m aware the season’s pretty much over for this year, but the thought process is to get in 5-6 months relatively ‘specialised’ training, dial in the bike, then give it a proper go next year.

There seem to be some perfectly serviceable entry-level second-hand bikes around for reasonable money, and the training side will be covered, but I’d be very grateful for any tips and advice for new tt-ers from anyone (especially in the UK).

Thanks in advance.


All general thoughts…

Getting longer can be more aero because it can get a rider more narrow.

Getting the head low is critical. You know you’re low when you feel the wind drag on your upper back.

Being an old alpine ski racer I always liked my hands near my face what is aero depends how the air flows around and through your arms/pits. You can get a used bike and maybe upgrade the cockpit to something more modern. Cockpits have come a long ways. If not a complete cockpit think about the arm rests. There are arm pads that come up much higher around your arms which really help you keep shoulder shrugged especially high power…narrower.

Roughly 90 degree angle for elbows and shoulders.

Setback similar to road bike all things equal. You only have one ftp. Should be able to adapt and generate power in your tt position as on the road bike.

Shorter cranks are not a gimmick. They can really help open up your hips.

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Worth a browse through this thread if you haven’t seen it before:

Lots of feedback and tips from other UK testers

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Everyone else can tell you how to TT and how to train for it - my big contribution is…go find your local routes and learn them well before race day :slight_smile: Eg Cycling Time Trials: Course Code: G10/42

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Almost forgot the most important thing. Use a strong front white light on strobe and a rear red one. Just about killed again today. Only time I’ve been hit or really cut off by a car was on the TT bike. They can’t see you as well and don’t expect the speeds IMO/E.


Noted - thank you

Loads of good kit available on eBay / clubs and timetriallingforum as people switch to discs or just upgrade. I’d get the bike sooner rather then later so you can get used to it.

I was nodding my head in agreement on everything until we got to this point…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In conjunction with your first point, going longer (and moving the elbows out from the shoulders) will help you get more aero and lower.

The 90* theory was developed largely by Dan Empfield and his fitting philosophy for tri’s….it is as much about comfort / sustainability as aero.

Move the elbows out, get narrow and low.

Agreed with all your other point, though!!

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Agreed. Roughly 90…roughly. Not knowing anything about recoveryride I thought that would be an easier starting point and keeping it brief.

Perhaps this is another good point to make, which is, IMO a TT fit is money well spent. They have always paid off for me. Finding a good fitter might be the hard part but, assuming they are competent I think it’s a good place to start.


Thanks for that. Fit is a good point. On paper, I’m very much a medium/54, but I currently ride a 52 (following a pro fit) which I’m very happy with. The guy I used has said he’s happy to cast his eye over the specs of anything I’m seriously contemplating but has suggested filtering by small/51/52 on eBay or similar. Bit of a shame as there’s a lovely Giant Trinity in M (at a very good price) which I was eye-ing up!

Fit not sizing. So once you have the 52, 54 etc…have someone get you in the ballpark with setback, saddle height, pad height/width, crank length, reach, extension length/angle, etc…