Project Evo II Avanti Chrono Evo II - Our Fastest Bike. Ever.
Home
Time Trial Tips

Position

It can’t have escaped your attention that time-trial bikes offer eccentric aesthetics when compared to the conventional road bike.

Why? Wind drag. Wind drag increases exponentially with speed meaning the faster you go, the more resistance you have to beat.

As time-trial riders tend to crank out a rapid pace, it’s crucial to make yourself as aerodynamic as possible.

If you have a specific time-trial frame or even if you’re adapting your conventional road bike, make sure you grab the tools of the time-trial arsenal which is a decent, and adjustable, set of aero bars.

Get yourself into a position that’s low (but not too low so as not to be able to ride comfortably) to reduce your frontal area.

This could involve some trial and error so go out and train on your set-up and evaluate how you feel afterwards.

From there you can make adjustments and hone your final position on the bike.

Gear

There is a lot of gear out there to choose from so, where do you start?

If you intend on racing in UCI sanctioned events your bike will need to be UCI certified. Not all are, so ask to see validation. As it happens, the Avanti Chrono Evo II is fully UCI approved and race ready.

It goes without saying that your most important purchase is the frameset. After all, this is what all the gear is bolted to, so a sound base is essential. What to look for: a short head tube. This will allow you to get nice and low on the front of the bike.

Body gear. Investing in an aero helmet will greatly reduce the turbulent effects of wind coming round your head by guiding it along and down your back.

Slipping into a skin suit will save you valuable time by, once more, allowing the air you’re trying to cut through to slip along and past your body.

As far as bike gear is concerned, after aero bars the next most important purchase must be a decent set of aero wheels. Some nice deep section rims will help no end in your insatiable quest to cheat the wind.

There is always one more purchase that can be made but unless you have unlimited funds, it is these identified choices that will provide you with the most dramatic savings. Other, cheaper, options are to add slim overshoes and even aero water bottles.

Fitness

It goes without saying that all the best equipment in the world isn’t going to get you on top of the podium. You have to be race-ready and we’re sure you wouldn’t want it any other way.

‘Spin it to win it’. It’s not just something people say to sound clever. There really is science behind it.

A steady and upbeat cadence is a strong factor in delivering optimum power with minimum fatigue. Practice on your static trainer by pedalling at a higher cadence than you’re used to. Intersperse this with recovery sessions and short, intense, bouts of maximum cadence delivery.

Training yourself to tolerate the inevitable production of lactic acid that occurs in an anaerobic state will make you a far better time trial rider. One way is, once you’ve warmed up, ride flat out for one minute and then ease into five minutes recovery (around 45-55% of max heart rate). Repeat five times. Warm down.

Another prerequisite for decent time-trialling is strength. If you feel you’re short of power then some off-season weight training will benefit you.

When it comes to riding, however, try and stay seated on your bigger climbs and do so in a bigger gear than normal. This may seem counter-productive with regards to your cadence training but if you concentrate hard on those sessions as well and really think about your cadence during regular riding and racing you will maintain the higher cadence you’re looking for, but with added power.

Riding in a time-trial position requires practice. The body can memorise body shape and become accustomed. So ride your time trial bike and perform your training tasks on it. Come race day you won’t shock your body.

Stretch. Cyclists can develop notoriously short muscles due to the limited range in which they’re activated.

Stretching pre and post ride will not only keep you limber but also help prevent injury off the bike.

Nutrition

Your body can only burn what you put in.

We’re all familiar with the concept of carbo-loading but this can be mistaken as an opportunity to wolf down the largest bowl of pasta available. However, your body can only store so much carbohydrate; the rest is potentially turned to fat.

Do consume a carbohydrate rich meal the night before a race but remember that around 175-225g will suffice. Avoid slathering the meal in excessive sauce and avoid ones that are high in fat. Eat fresh whenever possible.

Come race day, eat a carbohydrate-rich breakfast: wholemeal toast, jam, low-fat cereals and fruit are ideal.

What to drink? Choose an energy drink’s ‘pre-ride’ option which will provide you with all the essentials. Closer to the race you can start consuming some caffeine and make sure you keep taking on fluids during your warm-up.

For any race shorter than one hour you don’t need to bother with any water on the bike as the time it takes, plus the potential interruption to your concentration outweigh the benefits from taking the drink.

Do make sure you have a recovery drink at the end to replace lost fluid, vitamins and minerals.

Practice

Understanding what your body is capable of and what it isn’t is essential in achieving your best time on the course.

There is no substitute for experience when it comes to understanding what you’re capable of so until that time when you know your body inside out do a dry-run of the distance you’ll be racing at race pace and record it on your speedometer.

Come the end of your mock race, assess whether or not you finished feeling relatively fresh and that you could have gone harder or if your pace was dropping towards the end.

Use this information to alter your speed and effort over the distance the next time you do a dry-run and assess again. This way you will find your optimum effort for that distance.

The Final Essentials

Some key tips for final preparation.

Warm up. Many riders fear doing a proper warm up in the mis-belief they’ll expend precious energy pre-race. The benefits of a decent warm up far outweigh any small loss of energy there may be.

A proper warm up should be between 20 and 40 minutes long and contain some sprint bursts, not quite at maximum effort, to prepare your body for the upcoming sustained effort.

Prepare yourself mentally. Stay calm and control your adrenalin. You don’t want to wear yourself out before you start.

Remember to stick to the pace that will give you the fastest time as determined in your dummy-runs. Visualise yourself doing well.

Lastly, either pre-ride or drive the course a few days before so as to identify tricky sections, any pot-holes that could catch you out and any tight corners.

If you are unable to get to the venue use Google Maps / Streetview or your chosen equivalent to get an idea.

Lastly: good luck!