Bike Time Improvements

Hi All,

Having completed my forst Sprint Tri it is obvious that I need to improve my 20k bike time more than anything else at this moment.

Can anyone suggest some workouts or bike training routines to assist me? Currently sitting at about 37 Minutes over 20k - looking to get under 35 initially then closer to 32.

 I have a entry level Specialized Allez bike with standard parts, however I dont have the budget to upgrade or improve the bike. Is it possible to achieve better speeds without upgrading?

Any suggestions welcome.

Comments

  • Do you have tribars ? If so - do you use them ? Thats the biggest improvement you can make for a small amount of money. After that I'd say making sure your tyres are good and pumped up sensibly.

    To get faster - you need to ride more and throw in some speed sessions - so much the same as running.

    Joining a bike club would help you.
  • lose weight so you improve the power to weight ratio

    ride lots with speed sessions

    do some time trials

    use EPO

    just a few for starters image
  • Do weeky club 10s
  • I don't have Tribars. Do they really make a big difference - if so Im willing to give them a go!

    I belong to a Tri club and do bike sessions, but Have not done speed sessions or Time trials.... can you suggest some workouts?

    EPO??? excuse my ignorance - what is EPO?

    Loving the Draft idea image 

  • I think EPO is a banned drug, so ignore that one! image

    Are you allowed to draft, I thought most tris are non-drafting?  Or maybe you were joking... image

  • I was joking about the drafting.

    Tribars are an easy 1 or 2 mph increase for the same effort. Well worth doing it.
  • ok looks like I will be on the hunt for a set of Tri bars for a reasonable price! If there is such a thing.

    The race I did last weekend (my only one) was non-drafting so Im used to that.

    Thanks guys - I appreciate the advice, if anyone does have any internal session plans I can steal then let me know. Thanks again.

  • cougie wrote (see)
     Tribars are an easy 1 or 2 mph increase for the same effort. Well worth doing it.
    Do you really think it is as much as that Cougie?  I still haven't taken the tri bike out on the road in anger and was despairing a bit about my road bike ave speeds in anticipation of a long day out in Regensburg.
  • Don't despair about your speeds now - it's completely different on race day. No junctions or traffic lights to get in the way - your speed will be much better. Trust me.

    A lot of energy on the bike is used to punch your way through the air. If you can reduce the amount of drag - it makes a big difference.

    I had tribars back in the 80s - they're easily 1 mph on a bog standard road bike and probably more. They can even be more comfy. My mates nodded off on his on the road. But he is dozy. image
  • That sounds like science so I buy it. Getting comfy may be a step too far.
  • You don't need to go super low. Just narrow is a good start.
  • Ok great I will probably need to visit a cycle store and find out what I need. As I have had a quick look but am confused about what I need, whats best for the money, if they would fit my bike etc etc etc!!!

    I only have a entry level specialized allez. so need something cost effective to put onto this

  • EPO - erythropoietin - it's a natural hormone that controls the production of red blood cells. so by injecting it you can increase the number of cells and hence the amount of O2 available for energy production.

    but - yes - it's banned for racing

    and I was joking image
  • +1 for aero bars

    by far the cheapest way to increase speed on bike - im comfortably a couple mph faster on my aero bars than on the drop bars - after persisting with them for 6 months or so now I even find them more comfortable now my back has got used to them

  • Brilliant - has anyone got any suggestions for my bike?

    Some are dirt  cheap but I dont want one thats sh*t! but then I dont want to spend the earth! Any suggestions .....

  • check out the Profile T2 Plus clip on bars, or the carbon Profile Strykes - those 2 are probably amongst the most popular out there but there are loads to choose from. I've used Strykes for years and they work - also very adjustable

  • I just got the Profile vipers, which are very good. check Ribble out, they do some really good prices on aero bars.
  • Great - Ill take a look - thanks guys
  • First thing is to check your handlebars to see if they are standard or oversize - this refers to the thick bit in the middle where the stem clamps on - as some tri bars fit standard and some oversize (some probably have a shim to fit either).

    As you are fitting them to a road bike you probably want some that are fairly short.    If you plan to keep them on your bike all the time and like riding on the tops (holding the middle of your handlebars rather than the hoods or the drops) then you might want to think about getting some with pads that flip up.

    Remember they only increase your speed if you set them up so your position is more aero - I also find that unless I have plenty of weight on them it compromises control of the bike - so you'll need to be willing to play about with things like stem height and saddle position, maybe even get a no setback seatpost, to get the best out of them.       

    If you are anywhere near Derby (well you never know) I've got a couple of pairs in the shed you are welcome to borrow for a few weeks to try out.

  • Ok - I have last years Specialized Allez - which I believe have oversized handlebars.

     I would look to keep them on there all of the time, and yes I usually prefer to ride on the drops.

    Unfortunately nowhere near derby but appreciate the offer.

    Currently watching these on ebay -

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250817002904&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150603523668&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

  • these

    and these

     did the links for you.      You don't need to spend as much as that first set are going to go for - haven't clicked on the second link yet - you should be able to get some for maybe £20 if buying second hand.    Think one set of mine was given me and the other set cost about a tenner off a club mate.

  • Wow - ok I was happy to spend £30 - £40

    Need to find a willing seller then! LOL thanks for doing the links.

  • Ribble have plenty of new ones in your price range.   Oversize bars will be ~31.8mm clamp.
  • If you buy tri-bars, make sure you practice on them. Strange feeling first of all, steering with your elbows. Also you need to get used to trying hard in that position. Before riding a 12hr I used to do 100m rides on the tri-bars, just to get used to the position. 

    Training wise 3 sessions which may help:

    1. Long rides of around 2 - 3 hours, preferably with some hills and stay in the saddle pushing a largish gear up the climbs to build strength.

    2. Find a club and do some evening 10m TTs. Getting good at time trialling requires practice. Even better would be to ride as a 2-up so you can learn from someone else.

    3. Find a flat, straight, quiet stretch of road measuring 1/2 mile. Twice per week ride 6 - 8 flat out 1/2m intervals (should take just over 1 min) then turn around and ride slowly back to the start. You will need a run up so you hit the start of each interval at required speed. Do this for 2 months before your target race.

  • Brilliant - Fantastic advice - thank you - I know just the road for number 3! image

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