My TT fail today

So last year I started time-trailing locally on my road bike (Canyon Aeroad) and managed a few wins. The strength of competition wasn’t too high, however still, I was happy with my performance and enjoyed it. So this year took the plunge and got a 2nd hand TT bike.

Today I had my first race on my new(ish) Cervelo P5. I got into that all too familiar thing I do when I have too much time, I procrastinate and think I’ve more time that I actually do. I ended up almost missing my start, and started the race stressed. That being said, all was well, until about 15 minutes in I hit a double pot hole and my left side arm rest (Aerocoach, but not carbon) snapped. It broke straight off, and I got a real fright, almost came off the bike but managed to stay upright.

I continued for about another mile or so, trying to be ‘creative’ with some silly positions. However after my chaser behind me caught me up, I pulled to the side and quit. Looking back now, maybe I should have continued and toughed it out, however I was in a little shock and counted my blessings for not having fallen off at 40kpmh.

Just curious, what yall thank, should I have just ploughed on and said ‘feck-it’ ? For those who ride TT’s wondering what you think?

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Count your blessings you stayed upright. Then go get a replacement arm rest / new aero bars / cockpit and get back at it.

In all seriousness, I doubt I could have continued after a scare like that. No shame at all in stopping after such a significant mechanical.

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Good buddy of mine went over his bars last year in a TT…we still don’t know what happened and he has yet to fully recover.

Riding with broken equipment is never a smart choice.

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It comes down to your state of mind at the time. Some people can shrug off a mishap and continue, others get rattled by it.
It seems you made a smart choice by stopping. No one is paying you to do this and there are plenty of other opportunities enjoy in the future. I’d forget about it now and focus on enjoying your training.

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I would have ridden on but not raced on but don’t fester about it, it happened and there’s nothing you can do about it now but you can do something about the future. Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

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Absolutely the right thing to stop. That could have led to a much worse mishap. Only change I would have made was stop as soon at the part broke.

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This happens so often with those aerocoach arm rests. They’re downright dangerous.

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I had a similar problem many years ago (2001) in an Ironman when the armrest and extension broke off after hitting a bump. (In hindsight, it was a maintenance failure as the bolts were rusty after so much training and I didn’t check the setup even though this was the second IM in 6 weeks.) I didn’t fall, but like you, I tried to feign an aero position to not lose too much time as I was in the top 50 out of the water (52min), beating a bunch of pros and I was confident my run was going to be good (confident I would better my 3:31 IM run PR on the fast course). This happened about halfway through the first of three laps of the 112mi ride. I did not want to get up on the cow horns as the obvious loss of speed was mentally painful as people began passing me that shouldn’t. Unlike you, I kept at it, trying different aero positions, resting one arm on the existing pad while resting the other on it (as if there was a single bar), “crouching” on the cow horns, going one-armed with one arm in the still-there pad/extension and the other forearm “resting” on the handlebar (possibly the worst of all attempts)… all of which strained my back, exhausting me mentally, and I ended up pulling into the med tent at the start of the third laps to take the DNF. My back was hurting so much I knew I wouldn’t be able to run let alone run well, I could barely walk to the tent after dismounting. You chose the correct course of action: to stop. You were not there for experience but to race and place, if not win. The inability to stay aero, and there was no ability to stay aero without injury, and, by my example, I mean even when staying upright, your objective was toast as you were no longer competitive. You would have surely injured yourself, even if merely a temporary strain, and put pause to your training had you continued and for what reason, just to complete an event you knew you could complete? You did the right thing. Chalk it up to experience and be glad you didn’t crash.

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That’s interesting, its the first time I’ve heard this. Any recommendations other than them? I know there is alot out there.

Thanks all for the responses, after having slept on it overnight and woken up (injury free), I’m more than determined to get back training and buy some new (probably carbon) arm rests.

I think the biggest thing that got me this morning was waking up with my wife and thinking I’m truly blessed not to have ended up in hospital and brought unwanted worry or stress to her and my family. Training and competing (with myself) is important to me, however family and health are the most important things we have.

:smiley:

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I’ve never had issues with Revolver or Wattshop, and many people echo that

I had similar with my 3D printed preying mantis elbow cups @pegzyisdeed (it might have been exasperated by the cups only being secured by one bolt, I have had cheaper cups that were secured that way though). The difference was it was in a VO2 max workout (although I think it was only 330w minute overs) and not a race, thankfully my ski poles held good when it blasted off mid over and I stayed upright too. It was a how the F did I stay upright. I did continue on with the workout but on the base bar and not giving it full gas. I didn’t fancy a long walk home in cleats. Its been the same the few times I’ve had mechanicals on TTs. Liking the position I looked for something similar. The 3D printed ones were discontinued so I ended up with Revolver ones. At the same time I sourced a new clamp that would be more supportive of them. I couldn’t get anything bespoke so I ended up with some clip ons from Decathlon and stole the clamp of them. The holes do line up and they are much more supportive of the cups but the Decathlon holes are the larger diameter so I’m using nuts and bolts to secure them (which is a bit unsightly if you know where to look). I’ve only used them in one hour long race and about four training sessions (hour - to 2.5hour, tempo/ endurance) but the Revolver feel much better quality and their cups seem much more smooth to get in and out off which makes me feel safe about staying in them longer (if that makes sense).

You were lucky! (and unlucky!) You are right - helath and family are more important.

When that happens, best approach - ditch racing, stop, check bike over, and either walk back or sit up and ride gently to the finish safely using base bars. You won’t get a decent time, but so what. (You could always register a DNF). you need to be safe to ride bike given traffic etc. What is more important is that you are safe and can ride safely to race another day. (On for a PB, hit a small pothole 2 miles from end of a 100m on a DC at c27mph and front hub let go three spokes distorting front wheel. Fortunately bike did not throw me off. (I was lucky, and unlucky). Stopped, examined wheel, wound loose spokes around other spokes, backed off brakes and rode to finish very gingerly. )

I have heard of problems with the older Aerocoach extensions, but the newer one piece carbon ones seemed fine to me. I now have D2Z and they too seem fine. Depends what sort of (shape) extensions you have.

It is odd for something to fail like that. I suspect a stress riser (a nick or something). It is certainly worth looking at where the break occurred. If it was near the clamp, I wonder if there was a tightening of the clamp near a curve in the bars, or an over tightening of the clamp. I almost did that with one of mine and realise what I was doing and backed off.

I would give the P5 a thorough check over (or get LBS to do it). Just to make sure nothing else is likely to fail.

Take care.