TT/Pursuit position critique

I pride myself on riding a bit of everything. My primary background is XC mtb from BITD, then a load of cyclocross, more recently the focus has been on road and track - competitively I mostly do track. For all that variety I have done very little TTing! Next weekend I am doing an (old school 6 event) omnium so have a 3km pursuit and 750m TT in there. I have done this before just riding the drops - but this year I’m keen to put in a better time for the pursuit especially so have been working on my aerobar position. This is where I have got to so far - would be grateful for any thoughts or tips!

Hi @sssam I do mainly TTing and some track pursuit. There is not much I can deduce but three ideas from my observation of your picture and my limited experience.

  1. You look pretty aero for the track (assuming that your head position works for your helmet, and you can get the power down)
  2. Can you actually see up the road for TTing? (but as you are mainly talking pursuit and track and only need to follow the black line, this may not matter.)
  3. It look as if your hands are holding each bar. (with a gap inbetween). I found that cupping my hands over one another is actually quicker (I could see my speed increasing on a fast flat TT when I did it). I also find it a bit more relaxing. TR Jonathan says he found the same doing Aero testing on the track in one of the podcasts. Give it a try some time.

And I assume you have a better skinsuit.

I hope that, from an ingnorant and very limited perspective, helps.

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Thanks for the thoughts Phil! Yes, this is pretty much purely for the track, though I am thinking it would be beneficial to do a few local 10s once summer rolls around. I think I can see OK, as I can angle my head back from what you can see in the pic. I have a Kask Bambino helmet and NoPinz skinsuit - so significantly more aero than the old t-shirt :slight_smile: should probably have done the pic with those on! Yes, hands have a little width between them. However with the bars I have there is no rotational adjustment of the arm rests, and my elbows are about as close together as can be before getting really uncomfortable!

I have no input, but there is already a bike fitting thread that might have info for you.

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Sounds fine. My arms are apart, as are my elbows, and my bars (4" between them) but I cup my hands over the ends of the bars, one hand on top if the other. I think it acts to smooth the air over the front piece… I don’t need rotational adjustment to do that.

A lot of the really fast guys are using a relatively high hand position. I was at Derby velodrome the other week and one of the team who broke the Kilo sea level records was there. Have a look at their bikes and set-ups https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzNB3-laoyY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D64_M_JU2G0

This is the first thing that occurred to me. If you do TT on the road, then you may need to raise your bars up if that’s the highest you can hold your head for any length of time.

@sssam can you post a photo from the same angle, but with your right thigh at the highest position it reaches in the pedal stroke? May be easiest to take a video and screen grab. That will help show whether your position might be hindering your ability to get power out.

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@sssam don’t forget to shrug. And keep the knees in. That’s all I’ve got. Wish I looked that good!

Had another look this morning and a thought occurs to me. It looks like to achieve a low position at the front, you’re not bending enough from the waist but folding your back in the middle. Which could - potentially - be restricting your ability to breathe and put power out.

I would try doing a 5 minute threshold interval in that position, noting your heart rate and RPE. Then raise the bars 1cm and maybe drop the saddle 0.5-1cm to create a slightly more comfortable position. Do the same 5 minute interval again and note heart rate and RPE. Is the new position easier to hold threshold at?

You never know until you test, but I’m just worried from the shape of your body that getting that low may end up being counter-productive if it limits your ability to get power out.

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Thanks for the feedback @martinheadon - I’ll gìve that a go. You are right that I am not as flexible in the hips as I’d like to be, though I’m working on it… Will do some testing by bringing the front end up, loathe to change saddle height though.