TT Bike with box section wheels or Aero Bike with aero wheels?

So I have a stage race coming up this weekend and currently do not own a TT bike. For this race there’s a 9 mile out and back flat TT. I own a Canyon Aeroad disc with Enve 5.6 wheels and my teammate is kind enough to let me borrow his Cervelo P2 with aluminum wheels.

My question is, which might be faster? I’ve been fitted for my Canyon so I’m very comfortable getting low and my concern is that my position on the TT bike won’t be anywhere near as comfortable and could cost me maybe 30W in sustainable power. Since the total duration is about 20 minutes, the apples to apples comparison between bikes is say 1-2 mph faster which can be over a minute. But with an aero road bike and perhaps less aero TT bike, would the position and potential loss of power equal out?

Put clip ons the canyon, that is the biggest gain

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I wish I could but it has the H11 bars and there are no clip ons available for that bar shape

I would just use your Aeroad. Borrowing a TT bike that isn’t properly fit will be brutal in a TT. Same thing with clip-ons.

I have switched TT bikes a couple of days before a race and my performace suffered. I have also used clip-ons (back when that was all we had) with only 1 or 2 practice rides before a race and it was a horrible race experience.

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Ah gotcha. Practice your invisible aero bars position and/or angle the hoods way in to get narrow

The TT bike with alu wheels will have lower drag than your 5.6’s.

But the drop in power from an unfamiliar position will make this slower. If you had a few weeks to adapt to the new position, then it might be a different matter, but for this weekend, thank your teammate for his offer, but politely decline.

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+1

The TT bike would be significantly faster, if you’ve trained and raced on one before. Sounds like too much of a risk at this stage though.

Are they box section or modern aluminum, because modern aluminum can be just as, if not more, aero than a set of Zipp 303s as tested by some in wind tunnels. In any case, it’s very likely to have more gains in the more aero TT setup. I would say it all depends on what you can achieve before the weekend. Can you play around to fit yourself to a TT bike? What’s your experience with riding in a TT position? The conservative thing here is to not use the TT bike because there’s a lot of risk involved. The go for broke side of me wants to see you in the TT bike. :rofl:

TLDR; If it’s an important race, use the Canyon Aeroad. If it’s for shits and giggles, use the TT bike and you’ll probably learn so much in a short period.

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Aeroad is the safe option. Known quantity, and 20 minutes is short enough to hold a pretty aggressive aero drop bar position. Plus if there are any technical sections then you’ll be quicker through them on a road bike you’re familiar with than on a TT bike.

If you have time to take the TT bike out a couple of times before the race then it might be worth evaluating it. Do some 5-10 minute threshold intervals to check if you can generate your normal power, dial in your position, etc. If you can put out similar power in a TT position then it will most likely be faster. Especially if you can borrow or hire some race wheels (if you have a friend who will lend you a P2, you must also have a friend who can lend you some deep carbon wheels?!).

If you can’t give the TT bike a proper run out, then I wouldn’t risk using it on race day. Has the potential to be a really bad day.

Thanks everyone. This will be my first time ever riding a TT bike, but I will have the opportunity to try it out tonight before our weekly crit. My concerns are the same as everyone’s here and this is my A race so I don’t want to play with the risk of crashing out on the first stage. The course is pretty simple and flat so I’ll give the P2 a go tonight and if I don’t feel comfortable or unable to hold threshold for 5 minutes I’ll have to decline and throw some grippy tape on my Canyon haha

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