Road bike for time trials


Apologies if this has been covered, I’ve searched but missed it apparently?

I have a road bike CAAD12 that I will be using for racing this season. I will be mixing crits with TTs.

Ideally I would also grab a TT bike but that won’t fly with the boss so I’m here.

I want to improve on my last seasons results by getting a better position, with clip on TT bars. However the position isn’t ideal and I’m struggling to be tolerable comfort wise and put down power.

I’ve seen around that TT bikes generally have a different saddle position which is further forward. Would getting a zero offset seatpost with another saddle to swap on for TTs?

Or would this not actually help position wise?

First TT of the season last week, pb for this year with using TT clip ons so I’m hopeful for a decent result!

Many thanks for the help!!

This post has some related discussion that is worth a read:

  • Any setup that allows a more forward saddle position might help with setup. It depends on your current setup and limitations you are finding, but the typical TT bike has a very forward saddle in conjunction with a long and low front end. This is aimed at body position with aero as the focus.

So the “good” news is that with a CAAD12, you have a round seatpost, which means you can use a Redshift Dual Position Seatpost, which will allow you to move your saddle further forward for TT’s and then back again for road use.

You could then also get an adjustable angle stem, which would allow you to get lower in the front once you shift your saddle forward.

I’d also recommend a snub-nosed saddle such as the Specialized Power saddle, which will allow you to rotate your hips and assume a lower position. The good news is that it is also awesome for road use.

With a little thought, you can get a really good position on a road bike for TT’s, but there will be trade-offs. Handling will be a little twitchier and you’ll probably have a longer-than-desired stem for TT’s (see previous point about twitchiness). But you can definitely make it work…back in the day, I used a Cervelo S2 road frame for my tri bike for a few years. Even set it up with a TT base bar using inline cable adjusters to facilitate quick swap between uses. I’d put this position up against almost anyone’s on a dedicated TT bike.


Thanks both for the replies!

I was hoping that it might be as simple as swapping out the seatpost / saddle and clipping on the TT extensions for TTs.

I think I’m after a balance of ‘better than nothing’ but not tooooo much work to change between events.

I will keep an eye out for a one of those redshift seat posts, however they are pretty £££ for a seatpost. But maybe that’s me being cheap.

In the mean time I’ll try a more forward seatpost and see how that works.

Front end is pretty low, so have had to add risers to the TT bars to get a flat back/ not be tooo broken after an effort. I’ve found my back goes if I’m too low and putting out power.

Once again thanks for your time and insight!!

  • That is a very possible and practical. Just takes some effort up front to get the associated parts and then determine the TT setup adjustments. Once you have that, the post/saddle swap and extension install can be very quick.

  • Makes perfect sense to me and can be done well, even with the RedShift post. I have one of those and love it, but if you are just doing an A/B swap between modes, a simple post is perfectly fine.

Unfortunately, CAAD 12 seat post is 25.4mm, whereas Redshift is 27.2mm.

(CAAD 10 would be compatible)


Ooof…who the hell specs that size post-1984?

OP’s best bet then will be a zero offset post, I guess…or turning around an offset post, assuming he can get the saddle nose down enough.

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C’dale seemed intent on mounting those noodles for quite some time (might still be on some very recent and current models too, IIRC). I suspect it was part weight weenie, but maybe more about “adding compliance” to their reputably stiff frames :wink:

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I do TT’s on a road bike. Not at the pointy end of winning races so competitiveness is vs my previous times as opposed to racing others…appreciate that doesn’t answer the question but they are still enjoyable and pursuit of a perfect aero TT bike can end up like the arms race

Defo! That’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of years.
However thanks to TR my Ftp increases over the past year. Should put me fairly competitively into the top half of local TTs I would hope.
Also I missed out on the club awards this past year by a closable margin.

This was then reinforced by switching to clip on bars shaving a min and 15s off my pb on a course with quite a big hill.

So don’t want to/ cannot afford to go full arms race but you know like a limited arms race? :stuck_out_tongue:

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I suspect the biggest gains are going to come from being able to hold an effective aero position rather than tinkering with saddle adjustments.

Aero bars, skinsuit, helmet. Then worry about power…

Those two things are inextricably intertwined……you can’t achieve an effective aero position on a road bike w/o adjusting the saddle position.