Hey Time Trial and Triathlon Fans,
I am right now in the process of improving upon every little aspect of my time trialing, in order to challenge for state championships (Northern Germany region, not super competitive) next season. I‘ll make a bigger post about that, once a few things have happened and I have results to report. I have calculated, that I‘ll have to be „50 Watts faster“ to have a shot at it. I will expand upon this in another post.
Regarding this post:
One of the biggest savings is of course the position, and the helmet, which hits the air first, and also manipulates the airflow over your back.
I have good connections to LBS and therefore have access to several of the state of the art TT helmets, and currently try to find helmet and position, that looks/feels fast.
I will of course do real world testing, but not before I found a good basis.
The biggest conundrum I am facing here is, that the helmets either fit the shape of my shoulders very well (which is supposed to shelter the shoulders and reduce drag), OR touch to my back (potentially helping with keeping air attached and reducing Cd). I have yet to find a helmet that does both. I have looked into pro cyclists, and many seem to have a similar issue, which leaves me puzzled as to what position really is desirable. I know I could take it to a wind tunnel, but those results are often not comparable to real world results and also, most of them are closed due to COVID. Additionally, I still need to be able to hold and produce power in that position, so the analysis of the rider while producing power on the turbo, is probably as good as it gets for now.
Here are some findings with popular helmets in pro tour cycling:
Exhibit A is the world champ himself, who has the helmet touch to his back when looking forward. When he looks down, the helmet doesn’t touch anywhere, but mimics the shape of his shoulders a lot better.
Comparing that with Egan Bernal using the same helmet, albeit being the much worse time trialist than Ganna, his position actually looks faster in terms of frontal area and keeping air attached.
Rohan Dennis uses the very similar Kask Mistral, and his position looks more upright, with a bigger gap between helmet and shoulders.
Another helmet that has been used in the pro tour is the S-Works TT. The helmet looked great to me on paper, because the more voluminous tail, looked like it could be snug to the neck…
For Remco, it actually looks pretty good, while it doesn’t look good at all for Ala.
However, when they start tucking their heads in, the tail sticks up in the air and looks like creating a lot of drag:
Either way, I have now tried both, the Mistral and the S-Works, and I can‘t manage to get anywhere comfortable with the S-Works.
After testing out the two over a 90 minute session, the clear winner here looks to be the Kask (for me that is). I was pedaling for several minutes at threshold, to make it somewhat realistic being able to hold the position.
Next, I will test the Met Drone, Giro Aerohead and Kask Bambino Pro EVO.
I will post the pictures to this thread.
The best position (!) to my eye (!) I have found, with a helmet matching a great TT position is actually Justin Rossi, who I guess we all know from „The Chase“.
His position with the Giro Selector (now discontinued) is awesome. It keeps the line with his back very straight to keep air attached, yet shelters his shoulders almost perfectly.
Why am I making a posting this and not keep it private?
I guess, I am not the only one who is faced with this situation and hope to have others give their input, give my advice on what to tweak and of course, post images and questions of their own. Very interested in what you guys have to say on this topic.