I’m always being asked “how can I get faster on the bike?” and although training harder will increase your speed if done in a structured way there is another option which is a must for anybody wanting to go faster at Time Trials or Triathlons….
Time Trial bars come on TT bikes as standard but can be fitted to most road bikes. Starting from about £50 these make great value for money upgrades for your bike.
I always felt that having bars made me about 2miles per hour faster when I had them fitted to my road bike but without having a power meter it was hard for me to be sure. Not only do they make you lower they also bring you narrower making you more aerodynamic.
‘the rider accounts for around 80% of the drag while riding’
I decided to do an experiment today and ride the same 10mile TT course at a constant 250watts to see the difference. I was 2min and 9sec faster on the TT bars for the same power which works out at 1.7mph!
If you multiply that up in distance you can really see how it can save you a massive amount of time for no extra effort
Olympic Triathlon (24mile) – 5min 20sec faster
Half Iron distance triathlon (56mile) – 12min 26sec faster
100mile ride – 22min 12sec faster
Iron distance triathlon (112mile) – 24min 52 sec
As you can see there are big gains to be had although its not as easy as just fitting them on your bike as you will need to practise riding on the road as they will handle differently so make sure you are confident on them. It is also important to make sure they are fitted correctly or you will never be able to hold the position.