Same power in your TT position as in your Road position. This is how

I wanted to post something about the things I found while optimizing my TT position for a while now but the last episode of the TR podcast was even more motivation to do so.

@Nate_Pearson mentioned the thing about doing TT’s on his road bike and the more comfortable position.

We all have that point where we feel the loss of power if we get lower near the handlebars and if your bike is setup right then you should have just as much power in the drops as on the hoods or the tops.
What I did with my TT position was just mimic my body angles in the drops and copied them to my TT bike but with the saddle as far forward a is allowed, so 5cm behind the BB, to start out with. I didn’t even have to raise my pads up although this might be needed if you try this. All I had to do was to push myself up and back with my chest and shoulder muscles and arch my back. And lo and behold I had the same power as my road bike.

Now for the aerodynamics.
I am less the .01 Cda less aerodynamic. Swiss Side(1) have a vide up that every centimeter lower is on average 2.5 watts at 35 Km/h that is equal to 6.1 watts at 45 Km/h.
But lowering you’re your pads can result in a massive power drop that are way more then the aero gains as I know from experience and I guess you might as well.

My old stats
TT FTP: ±295 on a good day
Cda: .2297
FTP/Cda: 1284

My stats are now
FTP: ±340 dependent on the day
Cda: .2368
FTP/Cda: 1436

I hear you think “it worked for this guy but why would it work for me?”. And that is fare, but I found that basically all well-known time trialists do so as well.
After looking at the positions of Tony martin, Tom dumoulin, Remco Evenepoel and Rohan Dennis, I found a big similarity between their road bike position and their tt position. Their hip angles are only 1-2 degrees off from your road positions and that is why they have such big power. I believe now that you should not lose a bit of power to be more aero and if so make sure it’s worth it.
I would also like to say that every one is different and things might work for you just fine as they are.
When you go try this please test your aerodynamics first. Do this with a field test and using the Chung methode on a smal loop. Just going of what the internet told me I got this aero whole and testing is what got me out of it. Testing is key in this, power and aerodynamics must be balanced. Do not just go for aero. Set your bike up on the trainer and film your self riding at a 90° angle and use Motionysis(2) to measure your road bike angles and then do the same for your TT bike. The simplest angle to use is Femur to the top of the neck as seen in the Tony Martin TT picture below. This will get you in the ball park and fine tune from there.

Don’t know how to film your self. Go to a dollar store or in Europe the Action and get a tripod with a phone holder for like 5 euros and use that.

Tony Martin road
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Tony Martin TT

Remco Evenepoel road
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Remco Evenepoel TT

Rohan Dennis road


Rohan Dennis TT

Tom Dumoulin road
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Tom Dumoulin TT

Notes
1 Swiss Side video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmNfhgB19js

2 Motionysis: https://www.motionysis.com/video/

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Love the tips! I’ve worked that way myself in a similar process, but morphologically, I just can’t match the road hip angle with a reasonable TT fit with my current constraints (bike and body, both). I have long arms, which doesn’t help a lot. I’m maybe only down 15-20w now, but saving WELL over that with a position.

I think another thing to note is that the hip angle measure from hip to shoulder is often not the effective hip angle. That turns out interesting to measure in some cases and is probably best done by feel if you’re experienced. I don’t know how to describe this as well as I want, but if you look at Dumoulin in particular, his hip angle is open because he’s very arched right above the hip, with the pelvis sort of rocked backwards. That’s effectively a more open hip angle, but there are definitely some morphology limits for some people to doing that as well as many top time trialists.

Ganna is another good example:

I think the significant arch/bend right at the top of the hip is one thing that allows power production when down so low.

Ganna’s position today is significantly different than the image above…mostly due to the 3D printed aerobars, he is actually a bit higher (not the riser height) and less stretched out (see forearm angle).

One point not mentioned above is hip rotation…you can keep similar hip angles to your road position if you properly rotate your hips. It is not about keeping similar contact points from your road bike and just moving the saddle forward, it is about hip rotation.

One point not mentioned above is hip rotation

That’s the main point of the comment before yours (back arch directly above the hips).