Time Trial Vs Road Bike: What’s The Best Triathlon Bike For A Technical Course?

Time Trial Vs Road Bike: What’s The Best Triathlon Bike For A Technical Course?


– It’s time for TT vs. Road Bike. I’ve compared them on a climb and I’ve compared them on a descent with some interesting findings. So I suppose it just leaves me
to compare them on the flat. But hang on, I know what you’re thinking, there is no comparison. A TT bike is born and bred for the flat. It’s designed to go fast,
and I have to agree. But how about we throw in
some technical sections. I mean after all not all triathlon courses are pan flat out and back along a highway. Quite often have to
navigate technical sections. In some cases in the first
and last couple of kilometres is when you have to navigate in the town the event is held in. So what is the difference between these two bikes in those situations? Well today I’m going to be riding my Cervelo P5X time trial bike
and my Cervelo S5 road bike. Admittedly, one has rim brakes while the other has disc brakes, but they’re the same bikes I’ve ridden on the hill climb and the descent and I just like riding them. (bright music) Now before we get stuck
into the technical section, I’m still interested to
see the difference between the two bikes in a pan flat time trial. We’re all expecting the TT
bike to come out on top, but it’d be interesting
to see the difference and then that’ll give us a good benchmark when we’re going into
the technical comparison. So what I’m going to do is ride both bikes at 350 Watts over a three kilometre straight section behind me
here, as simple as that. See what the times are after. I’m gonna ride the road bike first. Okay, run one, let’s go. (bright music) Okay I should have checked out the wind direction before that. That was hard work. Now for run two on the TT bike. Lets go. (bright music) Okay that was hardly a huge surprise. So now lets move onto the bit
we’re all looking forward to. Well, I am at least. Behind me I have a three kilometre technical section of road. It’s got a bit of everything really. It’s got sharp 90 degree bends, it’s got sweeping fence,
it’s got bends into bends, it’s even got a slight incline. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t
leave many opportunities to use the aero bars on the TT bike. Which is kind of what I’m after. In addition to that, it’s
been raining pretty heavily. But that’s the kind of stuff you have to deal with on race day. So it’s perfect. Right, timed run number one, lets go. (bright music) Okay lets see how the
TT bike compares now. Run two, lets go. (bright music) Okay the moment of truth. We’ve come in from the rain
to check out the results. So here we go. The road bike, I went 4:51, which is a bit quicker than
I was expecting actually. Then on the TT bike I went 4:59. So a fraction slower,
even though I was able to get into the aero bars on
the TT bike for a brief moment, I did feel like I was
losing a lot more time on the corners particularly in the wet just because I’ve got so much more weight over the front end. I was worried about losing the front wheel and the traction there. Does it mean I’ll be switching to a road bike for non drafting races? Probably not. I mean that’s still a
relatively small amount of time and not all courses really are gonna have that much technical
sections during the race, only brief moments and I’d actually say any time lost in those technical sections is gonna be far outweighed
by the time gained on those straight flat
sections on a TT bike. So TT bike all the way for me. But hey you this isn’t the
most thorough investigation. This is just one example of a technical route on my doorstep. But it’s still thought provoking, and I’ll be honest this
is something I’ve wanted to try out for years so hopefully you found it as interesting as I have. If you’d like to see more videos like this from GTN you can click on
the globe and subscribe. And if you’d like to see our
other TT vs. road bike videos you can see the hill climb video up here and you can see the descending video here.