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How Much Faster Is A Time Trial Bike Than A Road Bike? | GCN Tech Show Ep.89

How Much Faster Is A Time Trial Bike Than A Road Bike? | GCN Tech Show Ep.89


– Welcome to the GCN tech show. This week it’s me and all of my friends. In all seriousness we got
back from Friedrichshafen from Eurobike but John is currently
busy building a special bike for an upcoming video,
so stay tuned for that. This week on the show we look
at how much faster a TT bike is than a road bike. We also have the bike volt,
Europe grades, much more, and snacks of the week. (techno music) This week we’re looking at how
much faster a time trail bike set up is, than a road bike set up. And what got me thinking about
this was the Ironman 70.3 champs in Nice last weekend,
I know its a triathlon but bear with me. Now that race was won by
Norway’s Gustav Iden, who beat Alistair Brownlee from
Yorkshire, that’s where I’m from if you didn’t know, who came second. Now this was all the more
impressive because Iden rode the 90 kilometer bike leg on a
road bike, which compared to the rest of his competitors
who were all on time trail bikes. Some (mumbles) though, the bike
course in these wasn’t flat. It featured a massive climb
in the form of the category one cold of France, and
also a technical decent. This means that a more
aerodynamic but heavier, and arguably less maneuverable
time trail bikes advantages are lessened against the road bike. Also the road bike Iden was
using was a S-Works Venge, which is about as aerodynamic
as road bikes get. The likely hood is that
Iden would’ve won by an even bigger margin had he used a TT bike. He even said in a post race
interview that his choice of bike was down to the fact
that he currently didn’t have a time trail bike and he
reckoned that a time trail bike would have been faster on that course. Now that said the differences
between the two are intriguing and we often hear wattage
savings and drag savings quoted from wind tunnels and
by computer modeling, but I decided to do some real
life testing myself to see what the differences would be as this is far less frequently done. Now I too done currently
have a time trail bike. (sad music) But there is a course in
Wales that I’ve ridden a time trail bike on many time
in the past so I decided to go over with my road
bike and see what I could do as a comparison. Now for my time trail bike set
up that I’ve used in the past I used a Canyon speed max TT
bike with the triathlon water bottle fit to the front
not usually are legal but it is faster on the bike, and also a Zipp Sub-9 rear disk and
a Zipp 808 front wheel and onto those were continental GPTT tires. I also had a bell, gavel,
and helmet, and a skin suit. The course is 25 miles or 40
milometers, and using that set up my times ranged
from 51:45 to 49:00 minutes and it this variation was
likely down to weather conditions on that day so the
51:45 was a really slow crap day with loads of wind and
rain and it was really cold. Now my road set up that I
wanted to compare against was my Pinarello Dogma F12 and onto
that I have Vision Metron 40c wheels, so 40 millimeters
deep, two 500 millimeter water bottles, I was also using a
bell, a zero road helmet, and a skin suit I was also using continental
GP 5000 tubeless tires. Now I could’ve used deeper
wheels, I could’ve used the time trail helmet, and I
could’ve used well tri bars but I deliberately didn’t, I
didn’t want to because I wanted to use a set up that would be
the same as if I was competing in a road race as a comparison. Now I tried to be as aerodynamic
as possible on the road bike. I was riding in a arrow
position on the hoods with my elbows bend and when my arms
got a bit tired doing that I momentarily switched to
the drops to get a bit of a rest, and then back again. And using this set up I achieved
a time of 55:45 which was for roughly the same power is
what I had done on the TT bike so about 290 watts. In terms of conditions it
was a decent day, there wasn’t much wind, it was pretty still. It was quite cold around
12 degrees though and the air density was quite high
which slows you down a bit. Now the conditions were decent
so I would say based on my experience of riding that
on a time trail bike I think had I been on that time
trail set up it would’ve acquitted to a 50 something
sort of time and for the sake of argument I believe the
difference between the two for the same power
is about five minutes. Which feels like a lot, I
should point out though that that time saving acquits
specifically to me on that specific course on different
courses it would be different on a hillier slower course you
would expect the difference between a road bike and a time
trail bike to be less, but I still think its pretty
interesting, and the other thing that is really important
to point out is that using a full time trail bike doesn’t guarantee you savings like that. A few years prior to that I
used a different time trail set up that was nowhere near as optimized. One of my friends had lend me
his TT bike and I had a skin suit and a time trail helmet
and I decided to just rock up and have a go and the time I
achieved for roughly the same power again was 54:16 just
over a minute quicker than the road set up I used this time
and that goes to show that the biggest differences that you
can gain from a time trail bike and that kind of set up is
sorting out your position and your head position and
learning to get as aerodynamic as possible on that kind of bike. So if you ever wondered there you go, and I’m not for one moment suggesting
that you need to go and buy all the expensive fancy
time trail kit and all that to go five minutes quicker
personally I enjoy doing a time trail on a road bike as much
as I do on a time trail bike. I think you just get satisfaction
from pushing yourself as hard as you can go and you
just adjust the goal post. I mean if you went on a
recumbent you’d probably do it in 30 minutes so it doesn’t
really matter it’s just more about that self satisfaction. But let me know what you
think in the comment section. What’s your experience of
riding a sort of aero optimized set up and astounded set up? What’s the sort of
differences you encountered? (swishing sounds) Hot tech now and last week
myself and John were at Eurobike teched us to our eyeballs. There was loads of stuff and
we make quite a lot of videos. So if you want to see the
latest things make sure you check those out. One of the things we saw was
Zwift’s preview of the new Harrogate world championships
course the 14 kilometer finishing circuit. Now at the time of the tech
show going out that’s now available to ride so
that’s pretty exciting. I’m going to be having a go on that. Something we missed at Eurobike
that was launched there was a new Brompton Gravel bike. Yup, if you ever wanted a
Brompton that can go off road then the Brompton Explorer is for you. It features easier gear
rations than your standard Brompton (mumbles) but marathon
tires, a repairs pouch with spare spokes, brakes, amongst
other things, and a big 28 liter bag at the front for you sandwiches. I had to say though the
forest green color way does look really cool. The 20th human powered
speed challenge is currently taking place at battle mountain
Nevada in the United States. This is there teams from
around the world aim to break land speed cycling records
that are unassisted, that means no towing, no drafting, just
human power and lots of space aged tech. My friend Ken Buckley is
actually taking part so I got him to send some information
and some pictures about the bike that he’s piloting. It’s the University of Liverpool’s
velocipede is called the ARION5 and its a tricycle
styled three wheel recumbant with an aerodynamic fairing over the top. The fairing that covers the
bike is a full carbon fiber shell and this was designed
using CFD, computational fluid dynamics and molded by
the students at the University of Liverpool. Now the drag coefficient of
this particular velocipede is said to be incredibly low,
roughly at tenth of that of what you’d get for a world class
time trailist and their bike which is well mind-boggling. I means that you can go a lot
faster for the same amount of power, now in terms of
braking systems you’ve got disk brakes and rim brakes on
the bike which are necessary to slow it down if it goes
over 18 miles per hour which is roughly what the
target is and there is also a SRM power meter for power measurement. You may have noticed that
absolutely monster chain ring at the front of the front of the bike. That is a 92 tooth front
chain ring absolutely bonkers. The drive train is very
specialist for the demands of the event and its pair to Shimano
XTR components with some custom ratios and you may also
be thinking when the fairings on where are the windows? Well there aren’t any, get this
there’s a small camera that fits into the bike and
the pilots which is either Ken Buckley or Yasmin Tredell
in the womens event see by way of two five inch screens
fitted to the inside of the bike, it’s kind of like well
like a submarine or something. Ken tells me that in order
to try and brake the land speed record he’ll aim to do
400 watts for five minutes in the run followed by
one minute of 600 watts. Which sounds well pretty bonkers
to me but all the best to the team from the University
of Liverpool and all the other teams competing
in this brilliant event. I always wanted to go out
there and check it out, maybe maybe next year we’ll make it out. (swishing sound) (biting a snack) Snacks of the week now. (laughing) I can’t believe this actually
worked either, but we’ve been sent more snacks check this out. Now Stew Tomlinson from
Wilmslow and greater Manchester has send us some Loacker
chocolate waffers. He says, “These are relevant
as they were an in flight snack provided to him on his flight
back from the” and I quote, “superb GCN (mumbles) event
please share with anyone involved with GCN events and
John as a consolation for missing out, see you at the next one.” Well thanks Stew fortunately
John’s not here so guess I’ll just have to eat them all myself. Anyway submit your snacks
using the uploader tool below. Actually no don’t do that,
just put them in the post. ( drilling sounds) (money noise) It’s now time for screw
riding up grades buy upgrades where you submit pictures,
videos, animations, claim models, sketches, evidence of the
upgrades that you’ve made to your bike or equipment for
a chance to win the ultimate prize, a GCN CamelBak Eddy water battle. Now last week was Matt from
Leicestershire up against Ander from Victoria in Spain with his 96 Megamo. Matt’s bike was painted by
doctor bobby at color bird studios who we went to see,
and the winner was Matt’s Principia with 76 percent of the votes (cheering) Water bottle is in the post Matt. Now to submit yours you can
simple use the unloader tool below. Now this week we have Steven
from Calgary in Alberta, Canada with his Bianchi ocolote, check this out. Now Steven wanted an old road
bike but his budget wouldn’t allow for a shinny new 700c
Gravel bike with disc brakes, so he was inspired by Johns
garbage to gravel series and he set about building
one from an upside called old mountain bike frame. He acquired his Bianchi oscolote
frame and classified ads and then added a eight by
three Shimano drive chains and modern V brakes, reasonable
light weight 26 inch wheel set, drop bars, seven speed bar
inch shifters, which took a lot of encouragement to pay with
the eight speeds cassette and the cherry on top which
was a very unique three by race face crank set with gold accents. He also reconditioned the
headset and bolt and bracket and finished it off with some Gumwall tires. I mean look at that, that’s
what he started off with the old tired oscolote frame, there
is all his kit and all his nits that he’s put on it. Wowsers. I think that looks absolutely mega. That’s a really nice forest as well. That’s almost bike volt worthy,
you’ve put that there, but that you’ve done a cracking job with that. I have to say Steven’s bike
looks well rather splendid and the forest of Calgary also looked amazing. I’d quite like to visit. Now up against Steven this
week is Micah from Brighton in the UK with his old pointer
531 steel lugged frame. Which he bought as a commuter bike while studying for his masters degree. Now it says it was in the
sorry state with four coats of badly done paint, a broken
front shifter, mismatch wheels, and various other mechanical problems. Now he stripped the frame
with some dichloromethane. Which incidentally is my
favorite protic solvent although it is wrongly loathed by many
process chemists the world over but that’s another story
for GNC Tech after dark. Anyway, Micah resprayed the
frame with four coats of gold flake clear coat and a ton of
shram red ten speed group set. The wheels were build by a
local wheel builder DCR to mimic the old shamals but with
modern tech and since he’s on a student budget the rest of
the bike is parts he has lying around or he bought ultra cheap on Ebay. The total cost of this build
all right 570 pounds and it only weighs 7.1 kilos, that
is brilliant, so there it was before and then look at it now. Wowsers. Gold chain as well. Oh he’s not here. And oh a nice speed play
petals, nice physique zero-zero saddle on there as well
that’s like what I use. I really like that, that’s mega. He’s going to use it in the
Yorkshire world championships sport eve too, brilliant. That’s a mega bike and impressive
for the budget he did it on. Shows what can be achieved,
I’ll tell you what it’s a tough one this week I would like to
pick between either of them both are excellent submissions
but I don’t have to pick. It’s down to you guys, so you
can click on the survey up here and let us know what you
think is the best upgrade. (swishing sound) It’s time now for the bike
vault, where you submit pictures using the uploader down below
of your bikes and we judge them to be nice or super nice. None of this splendid malarkey
that happened last week. (scoffs) Anyway if they’re super nice
then John rings the bell. Johns lot here this week, which means that I will try and ring the bell. (bell sound) Okay lets get started. Right. First off we have Eric with
his 3T Strada pro and his location is Atlanta, Georgia
in the most Instagram spot. Look at that, that’s a
rather nice bike isn’t it. Look at that, wow that’s
a very nice paint job. He’s got a nice clock power meter. He hasn’t quite aligned
up his wheels though. Yeah I think I mean (mumbles)
it doesn’t look like he’s quite in the ten tooth
sprocket line they’re not quite (mumbles) nice. That’s a nice bike Eric,
nice 3T Strada Pro. Next Timothy, Timothy is in
Sussex county in New Jersey and he has his 94 Colnago Superissimo
frame and fork and his first (mumbles) oh look at that. That is a beautiful bike
although I have to say oh no look at those petals as well wow. Nice Vittoria Corsa timewheel
tires, modern tires but they look apart on that older
bike that really is good. He’s takes all his bottles
off, he’s got (mumbles) delta brakes on there. That is a very nice bike indeed
loving the red, loving the old groups, that looks really
nice as well with the quill stem, that a really nice
bike, but you’ve made a bit of an error by taking a picture
of it in the long grass. You clearly didn’t watch
Jurassic Park the Lost World there could be anything in the long grass. Velociraptors for example, its nice. Right, next. (bell sound) Daniel with his Cannondale
Topstone and Daniels’ in New York, USA at a place
called Penn Yan and lets have a look at Daniels’ bike. There it is, next to the waterfall. I know the Last of the Mohicans
was shot in North Carolina but that does remind me of
the waterfalls in Last of the Mohicans, that’s a very
nice stop you’ve picked. You’ve lined up the tires great
not quite in biggie smalls but I’ll let that go because
of the kind of weird gravel bike one bar thing going on. Your bar tape matches your
saddle, you’ve taken your water bottles out, you’ve picked a
great backdrop with some good depth of field there, you’ve
clearly watched the video on how to get in the bike vault. Oh no, oh no, I think we have a cheater. He appears to have done
some photoshop trickery. I don’t think that’s genuine
depth of field you got there, because he seems to have
erased his front shifter while smudging the background to
make it look like he’s got depths of field. Oh dear, oh dear, trickery
of this kind just can’t go unpunished, that’s a nice, right. Next we have Sammy with his
Cinelli Proxima from 2002. The location is the railway
museum park in Hyvinkaa Finland. I probably did not
pronounce that correctly. It’s got a nice yellow
(mumbles) group set on there. That is an absolute stunner,
you don’t see many of those. That is a beautiful Cinelli, really nice. I love the bar tape you’ve put
on there I’m guessing that’s not original but it just
matches the bike perfectly and its a little bit funky, it’s
really cool, you’ve lined your wheels really well with
almost in biggie smalls. You got bottles but they
match perfectly with the bike, Cinelli bottles liking that,
yes, crank in the three o’clock position and really good
genuine depth of field not fake depth of field done by
smudging it in photoshop. That is kind of a almost
a… oh wait no you’ve used a fire extinguisher to prop up the bike. What if there was a fire
in the railway museum? Clearly a massive breach of
health and safety putting other peoples’ lives at risk, this
won’t be tolerated in the bike vault, that’s a nice, right. Next up we have Nando with
his B-Twin ultra 700AF and his location is the decathlon Indonesia. Check out that, he’s got his
B-Twin 700AF (mumbles) and he’s put on some custom carbon wheels. That looks really smart
doesn’t it, really nice. I love what you’ve done, I
love the pink bar tape to match the pink bottle as
well, that looks wicked. And the little pink accent on
the seat post color as well little nice touch there, yeah. I mean the wheel aren’t
quite perfectly lined up but I think that one is a super
nice, super nice for that one nice clean background as well. (bell ringing) Well done. Now next we have Russell who
is at Hampton court Palace in the UK, lets have a look
at Russells’ submission. Wow. My goodness that
appears to be a K6 series red telephone box introduced
in 1936 to commemorate the silver Jubilee of king George the fifth. Of course the iconic red
phone box, widely regarded as a design classic, it was
designed by sir George Gilburt Scott, the K6 design again
by Scott was essentially a smaller more stream-line
version of the K2 intended to produce in larger numbers at
considerably cheaper cost, and to occupy less pavement space. The UK six was eight foot 3
inches tall and weighed about .69 of a ton compared to the
UK two which was 9 foot 3 inches and 1.27 tons so
considerably smaller and lighter elements of the design were
also stream-lined and simplified so the (mumbles) was removed
from the door and window surrounds, and also the
separate pediment and (mumbles) were merged into a single piece. The crown motif was perforated
in the UK two for ventilation was now an (mumbles) and a
separate ventilation slot was included on the UK six and the
new glazing pattern was also introduced into the door. Now that is an absolutely
superb phone box design. Absolute art super nice. (bell rings) More bike vault next week. That’s all for this week I
hope you enjoyed the show and hopefully John will return next week. Now if you’d like to support
the channel and you enjoy what we do than you can by subscribing
by clicking down below and also click the little bell icon
too and if you’d like to get one of there rather splendid
slash super nice hoodies like what I wearing well they’re
available in GCN shop. Bye.

10 comments on “How Much Faster Is A Time Trial Bike Than A Road Bike? | GCN Tech Show Ep.89

  1. That was probably the most brutal BV to date. And I liked it. Also Ollie surprisingly holding back on any accents at all….what the?! Not even in the Euro Bike videos too!?!

  2. Episode 89 might be the lamest GSN show do date. Very disappointing. A video on which is faster, and you never actually test anything.

    GCN, I thought you were better than this. If you don't have content for a week, wait.

  3. Pity those who submitted bike vault for this week, gotta be the most strict edition ever.

    Not sure which I prefer, this or Dan’s Hack/Bodge

  4. @GCN – I was always under the impression that bike photos should not be ‘biggie smalls’ but in fact to have the two chainlines to be parallel with each other – usually achieved by with the big ring and the 13/14t cogs. Thoughts? It makes for a more aesthetically pleasing photo, surely?

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