5 Tips for Racing a Time Trial

"In Part II, we touched on better bike position, specific equipment to improve speed and tricks to use during the effort that will save you time."

When racing a time trial (TT), it's the little details that can make or break your race. Even with your best effort, success and failure is separated by the thinnest of margins.

To get the most out of your performance, it's important to look at factors that can influence the end result of your race. While most cyclists spend time concentrating on their effort during the race, not enough attention is paid to getting a proper warm-up and key environmental factors, which can pay huge dividends if done correctly.

More: Racing Your First Time Trial

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of a proper warm-up and how to use environmental factors to your advantage, let's look at the recommended equipment for your time trial:

  1. A purpose-built bike for time trials (or 'tri-bike').
  2. Skin suit. This is a one piece, zip-up garment that should fit like a second skin. Can be either short sleeved or long sleeved.
  3. Aerodynamic helmet.
  4. Shoe covers.
  5. Heart rate monitor and cyclocomputer (wireless preferred).

More: Riding the Race of Truth: Training for a Time Trial

Optional equipment:

  1. Rear full disc wheel (or wheel cover) and deep rim profile front wheel.
  2. TT specific tires.

Pro Style Warm-up

If you've ever watched a professional bike race like the Tour de France on TV, the riders warm up on stationary trainers before the start of a TT. The riders are not warming up easy. They alternate high cadences and big gears to get the heart rate up close to threshold—near what it'll be during the race. The principal here is, the shorter the TT, the longer the warm-up needs to be.

More: 10 Common Time Trial Mistakes

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About the Author

Dan Dodson

Dan Dodson is a USAC Category 3 road racer and a USAC level 3 coach. Dan was the Category 3 2010 American Bicycle Association Time Trial State Champion and a two-time podium finisher at the Tour of Galena. For more information about Dan, visit him at EternalCat3.com

Dan Dodson is a USAC Category 3 road racer and a USAC level 3 coach. Dan was the Category 3 2010 American Bicycle Association Time Trial State Champion and a two-time podium finisher at the Tour of Galena. For more information about Dan, visit him at EternalCat3.com

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