Wednesday, March 10, 2010

biking, biking, biking: road bike vs time trial bike

I like days like today. Perfect weather = lotsa miles on the bike :)

Went up to time trial heaven and did 5 laps of the 8 mile-ish out and back. Wound up with almost 44 miles. The goal of today was to do 4 mile efforts at my half ironman wattage, which is in the high 170's.

Another goal for today was to see how doing that effort wound up whether I was on my time trial bike or my road bike.

My babies, all lined up

I did 2 laps on the road bike, and 3 on the time trial bike. The 4 miles out were done at an easy pace, then I hit my target wattage on the way home. The wattage felt good and I wasn't exurting myself. I was definately working harder during Timberman, hence my blow up on the run that day.

And the conclusion between a road bike and time trial bike? Drumroll please....

Yes, OF COURSE the time trial bike is more efficient at the same effort. I just wanted to see it for myself with my own data. Yes, I am a data junkie sometimes :)

Lap #1: Time Trial Bike
Lap#2: Road Bike
Lap #3: Road Bike
Lap #4: Time Trial Bike
Lap #5: Time Trial Bike
Some trends between the 5 runs: Besides pushing less watts and going faster on the time trial bike vs more watts and slower on the road bike, I noticed that my cadence was also higher on the time trial bike and the amount of torque was less. i.e. I was not putting as much strain my legs to pedal faster to go faster and using less energy all at the same time.

I also held an average of 92 RPM cadence on all 3 time trial runs. I am proud of that!

The course is mostly flat, with a few slow ups that will spike your wattage if you aren't fluid with your gearing choices.

Its really smoother than this...

I was really trying to maintain a constant wattage so I had to anticipate and change my gears. A few times I would spike or not change soon enough on the next down section, bottoming out my wattage. By my last run I had it figured out.

If you can't tell, I had a good day on the bike today!


  1. It sounds like you had a great day today! How cool that you were able to ride both of your bikes to see which was faster. That must have been really fun!

  2. Interesting, but data doesnt lie. I feel more comfortable on my roadie, but faster on my TT

  3. What a beautiful picture! I'm glad you got out to enjoy the weather. Interesting data outputs. Good to know what the deal is though.

  4. Woo hoo, my little blogger bro had a good biking day:) I love how you called them your babies:) You are kicking some butt...good job Jon!!

  5. Nice 44 miles on a weekeday! Oh, your seats too high ..j/k

  6. Ooh, I want to meet you at this time trial heaven and give it a try!!! So do we now have the same two bikes? I believe we do, just different paint colors. My P2C is silver and black, my S2 is black and red. We're such Cervelo snobs :)


Don't be shy! Leave me a comment!