Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Road bike vs. time trial bike experiment

I decided to do an experiment at the Tuesday Night Time Trials yesterday. This course has a lot of rollers, so I can never get into a nice rhythm, and I can't get out of the saddle on the bigger hills because my knees hit to arm pads (or else I have to splay my knees to avoid them, which isn't good either). So I decided to try it on my road bike and see how I'd do.

My times have been pretty consistent, so the road bike should be the only factor that would vary things. I felt strong on the road bike, and certainly stronger on the big hills, when I could get out of the saddle and ride hard while giving the hamstrings a break too. By the end, I felt faster than I did on the TT bike. But the numbers told another story. On the TT bike, each race would be about .5 mph faster than the last as I've been slowly improving over the season. But on the road bike, in spite of feeling stronger, I was .2 mph slower than the last race. My rank against all the other riders reflected that too, also cancelling out any other factors.

Lesson learned: stick to the TT bike, and figure out a way to get those pads out of the way! There's room to move them forward, so my arms will be supported further up, but I don't think that will be much of a problem.