Aerodynamics – Hints for a better Time Trial

Written By Evelyn

Time Trial Starts

Be sure that you are in the “right” gear to start off…not too hard, b/c you want to start off fast. While they are holding your bike, you will be able to clip in the pedals. Put your dominant (or lead) foot at about 2:00 (for R foot) or 10:00 (for L foot) on the chain ring for the best downward pressure to start off. Be in the drops of the handle bars and go standing up, thrusting your hips in towards the stem with stiff arms. Then, when you hit speed, gently sit down and hammer!Also, you can never be too warmed-up for a TT. You must take a lot of time to warm up and you must get your heart rate up prior to the event, so you should go hard after the initial warm-up.

Give yourself plenty of time before your start. AND don’t MISS your start time!!! Be sure to check in with the start officials & see what # is up (#’s will usually go off in sequential order).

Minimize your frontal area

  1. Lower your torso position as horizontal as possible
  2. Pedal with knees close to the top tube
  3. Put the aerobar pads as close together as possible

Modify your riding position and form

  1. With a horizontal torso, elbows and hands should be the width of your legs, so your legs can draft from your lowered frontal area.
  2. Lower your head as much as possible while still being able to watch the road ahead (do not TILT your head down!). This will decrease wind drag.
  3. Move your body forward over the bottom bracket. This allows you to use more of your quads and glutes.
  4. Keep your elbows under your shoulders as much as possible. This will help support your upper body, and will keep your legs in an arm-drafting position (your knees can rub your elbows!)

Bike Adjustments:

  • Short head tube and seat tube angle (for special TT bike)
  • Lower handlebars
  • Shorten stem length (to keep knees & elbows close)
  • Lower seat and move it forward. Can tip seat nose down for comfort.

Riding GOAL:

Ride 5-8 beats above Lactate Threshold