A time-trial is bike racing at its simplest – just you, the bike and the clock. But don’t confuse simple with easy.
There are no wheels to follow, no pack to hide in, and it hurts from the moment the starter shouts “Go!” to the moment you cross the line. So let’s look at how to get better at time trialling.
The TT offers a different kind of satisfaction to bunch racing. Nobody sits on your wheel then jumps out to beat you in the last 100m. Barring a mechanical or a sudden change in the wind, the best rider wins, but more than that it’s a pure test of your ability to ride a bike fast.
Finish your first time-trial and, when you’ve wiped the sweat from your eyes, most riders will have the same thought: “I want to go faster!” 1. Learn to hide from the wind
All the bling kit in the world won’t make you go faster if your body acts like a giant air brake.
“The rider makes up over 80 per cent of the frontal area,” says Chris Boardman, arguably Britain’s best ever TT rider, “and at any reasonable speed 90 per cent of the energy you produce goes into overcoming wind resistance.” Cut that resistance and you’ll go faster.
Keen riders can head for a wind tunnel for guidance, or you can put your TT or road bike on a turbo trainer or set of rollers in front of a full-length mirror to tweak your bike position […]