TT Bike on Raceday?

Folks, your input please…

I've been offered the use of a mate’s Giant Trinity Alliance (with Planet X rims) for Outlaw.

For the last two years of tri I've been on a sizable Cannondale R1000 road bike with aero bars and have never before ridden a TT (nor used tubs) and will be able to get maybe three to four hours practice in before race day.

Is it worth the gamble in order to save maybe 10-12 minutes on the bike?



  • In a word NO

    If you had a puncture, would you know how to change a tub? Do you have a spare tub to carry, pre taped or glued?

    Over 112 miles you might save 15 minutes, but would your quads or back seize up as they won't be used to the aggresive positioning. So you run the marathon an hour slower than expected.

    Personally don't think it's worth the risk, but others may disagree AND at the end of the day it's your choice. I would have been tempted though by the offer as well.

  • I'd say it depends on whether it matters more to you to finish the race...... or save 10-12 minutes, Robbie.

    Similar conversation in our house.... could lend my wife my 60mm aero wheels which will give her a bit extra speed, but she's never used them before, they're a bitch to change if there's a puncture, and she'll have no time to practice before race day.

    For what it's worth.... no mate. I don't think it's worth it.

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    it's a tempting offer I have to say, but if you're not used to long distance on a TT bike, as Holgs says, it's going to hurt as well.   not sure if over an IM distance that it's worth the extra pain vs a known comfort factor.

    but I'd certainly give it a test ride to see how you get on and then decide

    my missus was given the offer of a Cervelo P2 to race on but after a comparative ride between that and her current (tri fettled) road bike with deep rims, stuck with hers as she was 2kph quicker on it over the same route and under similar weather conditions.  comfort and the deep rims made a difference for her.

  • A little blast for an hour or two on a TT bike is a bit different to 112 miles on it. 

    I'd go with the bike you've ridden in training. 


    Although I may not stick to my own advice. image



  • With the bad weather i have hardly used my TT bike in fact 80% of my training has been on my heavy as hell steel crosser with mudguards still gonna go for my TT bike (on a lot less agressive set up than normal) but the ignore what i do cos i am an idjut
  • cougie wrote (see)

    I'd go with the bike you've ridden in training. 




    so your doing it on your fixie then?


  • I want to save the time but would clearly be adopting the same stupid "it'll never happen to me" mentality to punctures and malfunctions (mechanical or human) as I do with smoking.

    I've not yet quit smoking but being in the position as non-addict, I also wouldn't start.

    Hard Place.

  • (but thanks for making mud a little clearer)

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    I'd use the wheels - not the bike.    Wheels don't really take any getting used to - riding an unfamiliar TT bike for 112 miles is a bit different.   

  • Well they may make a difference if they're tubs Pops ? Fixing wise ?

    TSA - I looked into doing it on fixed but theres rules against it ! Pah. Spoilsports. 

  • Really? a guy did Lanza on a fixie.

    (He did have working brakes though )

  • You can do it single speed but there is a rule against fixed wheel. Not sure why really - its sill but it's not dangerous.
  • Outlaw would be great on a fixed not to sure about IM Wales though image
  • I switched to a TT 6 Weeks before my ironman and I felt that was cutting it fine in terms of time taken to get used to it. I spent quite a while tinkering with the set_up which it doesn't sound like you'll have time to do? also, is it carbon rims? If so, the brakes take some getting used to - they're not as effective (well my planet x ones aren't) so depending on how technical the outlaw course is and how good your bike handling skills are, you could be taking a bit of a risk....

    Having said that, I enjoyed the bike leg more on a TT and it was def faster....

    I'd weigh up how much I'd invested already and how gutted I'd be if I had to pull out for technical reasons versus how badly I wanted to save 12 mins....
  • LPR, good advice, thanks.  I would be shifting to some Planet X carbon rims so as well as the need to learn how to deal with changing tub (how far can you ride on a 'filled' tub?), the breaking is something else I'd need to master.  Although Outlaw course isn't too technical.

    I am visiting local bike shop tomorrow, seeking advice from trusted source, and showing them the two bikes.  I'd be shifting from 64cm road bike frame to 56cm TT frame.  The potentially cramped geometry could spell the end before the beginning!


  • How tall are you ? Thats a huge difference in frame sizes.

    The TT bike is only faster because it puts you in an aero position. I doubt you'll be able to magically assume an aero position after months of riding a normal bike. 

    And even if you could - can you run off the bike after being like that ? 

    I'd not even bother taking the bikes to the shop. Ride the bike you're used to. 

    The flasher Tri bike would be faster IF you could ride it properly, and IF you can run off it. But the risk is that you cant ride it properly - you could easily be slower, or crash and then not finish at all. 


  • Robbie - i dont know a great deal, however my advice would be - DONT DO IT, i honestly dont think you need it.

    We did the Recce earlier in the month and from what i saw i think a 6 hour bike could easily be on the cards on the bike youve been riding and trainng on over the last 6 months


  • I’m 6ft 4 and a bit.  The 64cm Cannondale was always a little on the large size (I had to muck around a fair bit with seat and reduce length of headset).

    To be fair, all signs are pointing to "don’t bloody do it you idiot", and I am pleased the message wasn’t more ambiguous.

    Would have liked to go sub six on the bike as run is going to take best part of five hours regardless.


  • I rode Regensberg last year on my TT and that was after switching to my TT for almost all rides from about 2 to 3 months out. I could still barely stand getting off the bike in Regensberg after 6.5 hours. I loosened out after a couple of kms but I was very used to the TT position. It sounds like you aren't and I think the hugely different geometry along with the more aggressive position would be too much of a risk to me.

  • Couple of years back I was watching bike racing on TV, and Magnus "Big Maggy"  Bäckstedt was sharing commentary, and they were talking about TT bikes and the different position.

    Maggy said that when ever he knew he had an important TT coming up, he used to set the TT bike up and leave it ready in his garage, go out and do his planned training session on the road bike, and when he got home jump straight on the TT bike and blast an "out and back" for an hour just to keep the feel of being areo.

    It's something I have tried to do since I bought a TT bike, and after a winter of road bike, and MTB, boy does the TT feel strange ! But I can get back into being aero after a couple of rides...

    Sadly the only comparison between Big Maggy and me is the big part !!!

  • Its good to try something new on raceday..... keeps the interest level up. image however i normally feel i am pushing the boar out with a new pair of tri shorts, or trying gels in a bottle.

    However a new bike..... !!! I like your style.

    Why not try some new trainers at the same time, maybe newtons, or vibrams?

    On the other hand I took my tt bike on a 6 day training camp, with its first proper ride being on day 1 of the camp. I got away with it, but it could have gone badly wrong.
  • OC, my "try something new on raceday" will include a hangover and 20 a day smoking habit (strangely picked up since IMFL last November).  I am particularly looking forward to seeing the official photos which will then be submitted to 220 with accompanying narrative that flies in the face of their monthly advice.


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