The speed you can achieve on your bike is determined by two factors: how much power you can produce and wind resistance. The faster you go, the more wind drag you need to overcome. Time trial-specific training addresses the power component, while aerodynamic gear helps reduce wind resistance. The table below is adapted from several I’ve seen on online. I’ve recalculated the time savings based on my fastest 40km TT speed to date.
INDOOR TRAINING GEAR
For the past several years, I used my first road bike, Klein Quantum Race, since it has over 50,000 miles on the frame, with a Vittoria Zaffiro Pro trainer tire on the rear wheel, exclusively as my indoor training bike, attached to the Kinetic by Kurt, a fluid resistance unit. However, since acquiring the Wahoo Fitness KICKR Power Trainer in January 2014 (see Breaking News #5), I’m able to use my new TT bike to train indoors. The KICKR replaces the rear wheel, eliminating the need for an indoor training tire. An essential piece of gear is an 18-inch pedestal fan. I use a Cool Breeze 18″ 3-Way Oscillating Pedestal Fan set to the highest speed. Since my indoor workouts last from 30 minutes to over an hour, I have my favorite music playing in the background. I use the live concert videos of my three favorite artists: Loreena McKennitt, Peter Gabriel, and Mark Knopfler. And, finally, I record all of my indoor training workouts with my Garmin Edge 510 bike computer.
WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?
I have an investment in aero gear (all of the above items) of just over $7,000 which has improved my race time by 5 minutes and 32 seconds, the difference between 1:04:00 (23 mph) and 1:09:32 (21.44 mph) in a 40km TT. This is a significant difference. How significant? Recently, the winner of the regional time trial championship, in my new age group, averaged 23.18 mph; the competitor who averaged 21.50 mph finished seventh.
UPDATE: I retired my 2005 Specialized Roubaix Elite road bike after the Sunday, June 11, 2017, ride. There was close to 50,000 miles on the frame and the powertrain had been replaced twice. It had a 9-speed cassette with a 53/39 chainring and had been a dependable bike on my weekend rides on the local bike trails, as well as a couple of fast centuries, over the years. It was replaced by a 2017 Specialized Roubaix Expert road bike with disc brakes, a 11-speed cassette, and a 52/36 mid-compact chainring. The new bike also has a 20mm vibration-dampening piston in the head tube, which will reduce the stress on my neck and shoulders.