TT V Road bike - The definitive answers

Yeah, my wife made me get rid of the box before the builders started on the extension, because we needed to clear the garage out. Then 6 months later I needed it! Got a Whyte box from the LBS and shoe-horned it into that (Canyon bike box is wider). UPS shipment is easy; I dropped it at an access point for convenience, rather than arrange a collection. You Landaaners without cars probably need to arrange collections right? :wink:

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I basically checked difference and it was 2k more give or take for 100g of weight, and apparently it’s stiffer but unnoticeable for most people. Also it had dura ace and similar but better wheels. Unfortunately I don’t ride for moviestar so made a calculated choice. Still way more bike than I need.

I love the paint finish, but man is it fragile!

This. Basically ride what you can achieve a good position on and run off. For most of us there are bigger gains to be made and money isn’t an excuse for performance as a well fitted roadie with clip ons isn’t going to hold you back much.

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I’ve got this model. Only changes are R8000 rear mech and PX Arione saddle; couldn’t get on with that Fizik it came with. I’ve recently got a couple of top 10s on gravel segments, it’s very capable; although could have done with a bit more traction than the 28mm S2 contis! I reckon if I put my commuter’s 32mm Strada USH on them, it would be a weapon on dry gravel.

Great post thanks. Clearly the difference between hoods and clip on bars cannot be ignored.
My question is, unless your pushing serious watts and after an extra 1% ( or less ), surly road bars with clip ons is the way to go for an amateur. More familiar handling/gear changing when descending or climbing, and 95% of the aero benefit when on the flat. :man_shrugging:

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The missing link though is how you run after it. The geometry of tri bikes is designed to make the aero position more comfortable. The aero might be similar but if ypu walk like John Wayne after 6 hours on a roadie with clip ons it ain’t much use.

Or maybe I’ve just convinced myself of that after spending £7+k on a tri bike


Yeah got that :+1:
I should explain myself better… Tri geometry bike, road bars, aero clip ons.
I did Castle Howard last year on a road bike ( I’m new to this ) at the first hill, everyone on TT bikes virtually stopped, struggling to change down gears as they where on the bottom bars due to the climb. I get this is an experience thing, but the road / Tri bar mix solves this problem for the less experienced like me.

Peasants without DI2 and double shifters. :wink:

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I ummed and ahhed for ages. I read recently someone was winning TT races in the UK on an aero bike.

I ended up buying a S-Works Venge recently as it is “basically” as fast as a TT bike, but I can also use it when cycling around home and annual trip to the mountains… Specialized do tests saying it is as aero as an older Shiv, but that is a bit misleading, because of course it depends on the riders position and you can get a more aggressive position on a TT bike by getting the aerobars lower.

Didnt have to get the S-Works but fell in love with it and wanted the SRAM AXS just because of the range of gear from compact to normal.

Dont have space for another bike and also I am still such a crap runner, it seems pointless for me to get a TT bike. However if my running improves…

I also read somewhere that you use different muscles on a TT bike meaning that it is easier to run off the bike, but again, unless I am getting super fast running times, saving 5% is not going to make any difference.

I assume double shifters are Di2 and not mechanical?

Yeah if you have di2 you can have shifters on the horns and on the aero bars so can shift from both positions.

In road bikes you can also have other buttons. Cav had one on the drops for sprinting and Frome has one on the bars for climbing.

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Thanks for the reply. That’s a beautiful bike you have. :heart_eyes:
I get that an aero bike can easily match a TT bike in a wind tunnel. But I’m kinda looking at a hybrid, which ticks both boxes. TT frame for geometry and aeroness ( word? ), road bars for handling and familiarity and clip ons to get an aero TT position. :man_shrugging:
I’ve also read about TT position saving legs for the run, but I’ve heard arguments fir and against. Some say it does, some say it doesn’t. :joy:

So I’ve still not watched the video, but just fast forwarded to the bit with the numbers. They’re saying a 3w difference between TT bike and “optimised” road bike with clip-ons, correct?

I have to be honest, I just don’t see how this is possible. Unless all the independent data showing, for example, that a tririg omega X front brake can save 2w, how on earth can a massive basebar, plus drops, with STI shifters, not cause more drag than a sleek aero basebar with TT brake levers only?

That just logically makes no sense to me. The location of a front brake is the leading edge of the wind, in the same way the base bar is, so they’re both similar in that regard. Yet whereas the wind the brake is interacting with would be caught up in a whole load of mess around the rest of the frame, plus the cyclist, I can’t see how wind being negatively affected by a basebar, which largely otherwise would be undisturbed air, cannot be even more impactful.

I appreciate this was all done in the tunnel, and the people running the tests likely know a hell of a lot more than me, but the results just don’t intuitively seem to equate to other things wind tunnel testing has shown. Maybe I’m missing something.

Do we know for example that the “optimised” road bike position had the rider in 100% the same position in all respects of spatial geometry as the TT bike? If not, that could be a serious contributing factor to erroneous data.


With most road frames, you cannot get in the same position as a TT bike… Road bikes arent long enough. If I dropped my handlebars, my knees would be hitting them when I was out of the saddle…

However, it is also worth pointing out that many riders could not hold a super aggressive position for a long time

Thanks and the wife did not divorce me. Cannot get a water bottle to fit on the attached aero bar though…


That looks awesome - loving those tan walls!

Thanks for that insight. For me, the takeaway point is that getting the body in the right position is the key. The rest is for better athletes than me ( for the time being :joy: ) but I do love physics so could easily get absorbed by aero data!!

The problem with these tests is they usually spend too little time in the wind tunnel to get proper data.

They say well fitting road bike, are we assuming they dont then also have a well fitting tt bike. Ultimately TT bikes are faster, otherwise all the pros in both Tri and Professional cycling wouldn’t be using them.

The myth that aero only benefits the pointy end is bollocks. If you are slower, you are out there longer and so any aero benefits add up to a bigger overall reduction.

If you are a beginner then yes a road bike and clip ons will give you more options and a better all round package.


JP Ballard (CEO of Swiss Side) did the same test (15:30 in podcast link), he reported 22w difference @ 35kph (15 mins on an IM distance) - sounds like similar protocol to test in Bordman wind tunnel, although he did admit that his road bike was not the most aero. JP is former head of engineering at Sauber F1 and his head of R&D is his former head of Aerodynamics at Sauber.

What the test does not show is the attach rate of disrupted air. In a wind tunnel the air is undisturbed, so attached all the time, however, in the real world, the bike is rocking from side to side, airflow is turbulent, the design of a TT bike helps the air to reattach as fast as possible, especially over the rear wheel. This is one of the major issues with a wind tunnel

Also in order to make the test work in the wind tunnel, they had to change the position quite considerably, bringing the saddle forward, I assume changing saddle height etc. I am not sure how well the bike now rides on the bar tops or drops, probably not brilliantly, so you would want to revert position if you are not going to use the clip ons. In addition, as you ride on the front of the saddle in a TT position, you would probably need a TT specific saddle to maintain the position, clearly a TT saddle is not ideal in “road” configuration

If you can fully replicate a TT position (as per video) then running off the bike will be the same as running off any TT bike, so don’t see that as an issue.