Thursday, August 30, 2012

Olympic Games time trial bike setups


This article originally published on BikeRadar

The London 2012 Olympic time trials have been run and won, with Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) bringing home the gold in the men's 44km event and Kristin Armstrong (United States) successfully defending her 2008 title in the women's 29km test.

Now, while the time trial is considered the purest test of a rider - it's just them against the clock - in addition to a good set of legs and lungs it actually requires a huge amount of time, money and expertise to get it right. By that we mean positioning on the bike, equipment choice and pacing to produce the fastest possible ride for the available power. It takes years of refinement to do it, and clearly some riders have a way to go if they want to finish closer to Wiggins and Armstrong. It's not just the engine.

In this gallery feature, BikeRadar's resident time trial nut Jeff Jones gives his armchair commentary on the setups used by the Olympic stars via the keen lens of Rob Wilmott.

Will we ever see the POC Tempor helmet again?


  • Wiggins was simply the best on the day

    Wiggins was simply the best on the day

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • David McCann of Ireland (the UK competition record holder over 25 miles with 45'54) rides a Trek Speed Concept, Scott helmet and Smart shoe covers. But he didn't have the legs in the TT and finished 27th, nearly five and a half minutes down on Wiggo

    David McCann of Ireland (the UK competition record holder over 25 miles with 45'54) rides a Trek Speed Concept, Scott helmet and Smart shoe covers. But he didn't have the legs in the TT and finished 27th, nearly five and a half minutes down on Wiggo

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Kristin Armstrong of USA uses a linked hand position, much like Wiggins. Both riders would have tested this in the tunnel

    Kristin Armstrong of USA uses a linked hand position, much like Wiggins. Both riders would have tested this in the tunnel

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Linda Villumsen of New Zealand has clearly spent a lot of time refining her position. She's also got all the aero gear (Scott Plasma bike and helmet (with taped up vent), aero gloves and shoe covers, a HED or Enve front and Pro rear disk) and used it to good effect, finishing fourth

    Linda Villumsen of New Zealand has clearly spent a lot of time refining her position. She's also got all the aero gear (Scott Plasma bike and helmet (with taped up vent), aero gloves and shoe covers, a HED or Enve front and Pro rear disk) and used it to good effect, finishing fourth

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Emma Pooley of GB with her UK Sport helmet, interestingly mounted Garmin 500 and chainring mounted the opposite way (you can tell by the chain catcher peg)

    Emma Pooley of GB with her UK Sport helmet, interestingly mounted Garmin 500 and chainring mounted the opposite way (you can tell by the chain catcher peg)

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Shara Gillow of Australia had a very aero looking setup - Scott bike and helmet, Smart Aero shoe covers and gloves and a team issue skinsuit. She was even brave enough to ride a front disc - fast if you can handle it but crosswinds can make it more trouble than its worth

    Shara Gillow of Australia had a very aero looking setup - Scott bike and helmet, Smart Aero shoe covers and gloves and a team issue skinsuit. She was even brave enough to ride a front disc - fast if you can handle it but crosswinds can make it more trouble than its worth

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Emilia Fahlin of Sweden. In general a slippery setup with her Specialized Shiv, HED wheels and Smart shoe covers. She's very low though, which can reduce power, and we're definitely not sure about that POC Tempor helmet.

    Emilia Fahlin of Sweden. In general a slippery setup with her Specialized Shiv, HED wheels and Smart shoe covers. She's very low though, which can reduce power, and we're definitely not sure about that POC Tempor helmet.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Kristin Armstrong of the USA. A wind tunnel refined position on her Felt DA with neat cabling up front, Catlike Chrono Plus helmet with mini visor, Zipp wheels and bars (no tape), Rotor Q Rings, mechanical SRAM Red shifting and a Pearl Izumi skinsuit with dimpled upper arms. Very aero, which is why she is so hard to beat against the clock

    Kristin Armstrong of the USA. A wind tunnel refined position on her Felt DA with neat cabling up front, Catlike Chrono Plus helmet with mini visor, Zipp wheels and bars (no tape), Rotor Q Rings, mechanical SRAM Red shifting and a Pearl Izumi skinsuit with dimpled upper arms. Very aero, which is why she is so hard to beat against the clock

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Judith Arndt of Germany has a tidy position on her Scott Plasma although her helmet's not sitting that flush here. She's riding HED wheels with Continental clinchers (likely Grand Prix TT) older Dura Ace cranks perhaps for a narrower Q Factor, a Bio Racer skinsuit with textured upper arms and her bottom jockey wheel is larger (possibly a Berner) for reduced drivetrain resistance. Silver medal for the reigning world champ.

    Judith Arndt of Germany has a tidy position on her Scott Plasma although her helmet's not sitting that flush here. She's riding HED wheels with Continental clinchers (likely Grand Prix TT) older Dura Ace cranks perhaps for a narrower Q Factor, a Bio Racer skinsuit with textured upper arms and her bottom jockey wheel is larger (possibly a Berner) for reduced drivetrain resistance. Silver medal for the reigning world champ.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Marianne Vos of the Netherlands gets low on her Giant Trinity Advanced SL, HED wheels, Rotor Q rings and Giro Selector helmet. It's a classic time trialist's position but we think she could do better. She's one of the strongest riders in the world but even if tired from the road race her 16th place, 3 minutes behind the winner, indicates that she hasn't got everything right in her TT setup.

    Marianne Vos of the Netherlands gets low on her Giant Trinity Advanced SL, HED wheels, Rotor Q rings and Giro Selector helmet. It's a classic time trialist's position but we think she could do better. She's one of the strongest riders in the world but even if tired from the road race her 16th place, 3 minutes behind the winner, indicates that she hasn't got everything right in her TT setup.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Emma Pooley of GB went for her usual setup: Cervelo P3, team issue skinsuit and helmet (not quite flush though), a mahoosive chainring, rear mounted Di2 battery and a shallow front wheel. She finished 6th, which was a little disappointing for her

    Emma Pooley of GB went for her usual setup: Cervelo P3, team issue skinsuit and helmet (not quite flush though), a mahoosive chainring, rear mounted Di2 battery and a shallow front wheel. She finished 6th, which was a little disappointing for her

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Emma Johansson of Sweden - a classic TT position aboard her Scott, which at least matches the colour of her POC Tempor helmet. 14th at 3'03 down - we think she could improve that.

    Emma Johansson of Sweden - a classic TT position aboard her Scott, which at least matches the colour of her POC Tempor helmet. 14th at 3'03 down - we think she could improve that.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Shara "two discs" Gillow of Australia from side on

    Shara "two discs" Gillow of Australia from side on

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Trixi Worrack of Germany rode with a Specialzed Shiv and McLaren helmet, HED clinchers and textured skinsuit. Her forearm position is probably on the limit of what the UCI consider to be "in the horizontal plane" and it's almost certain she's tested that in a wind tunnel. She finished a very respectable 9th.

    Trixi Worrack of Germany rode with a Specialzed Shiv and McLaren helmet, HED clinchers and textured skinsuit. Her forearm position is probably on the limit of what the UCI consider to be "in the horizontal plane" and it's almost certain she's tested that in a wind tunnel. She finished a very respectable 9th.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Audrey Cordon of France - aero bike and wheels ruined by bad hair and number placement

    Audrey Cordon of France - aero bike and wheels ruined by bad hair and number placement

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Janez Brajkovic of Slovenia has to be commended for his bright colour combo. He rode a Specialized Shiv + McLaren TT helmet with Corima wheels to 10th place

    Janez Brajkovic of Slovenia has to be commended for his bright colour combo. He rode a Specialized Shiv + McLaren TT helmet with Corima wheels to 10th place

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Jonathan Castroviejo of Spain on his Pinarello Graal with Campagnolo EPS TT kit and Catlike helmet. He finished 9th

    Jonathan Castroviejo of Spain on his Pinarello Graal with Campagnolo EPS TT kit and Catlike helmet. He finished 9th

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland on his custom painted Trek Speed Concept, Giro Selector helmet, Assos kit, and Bontrager Aeolus front wheel

    Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland on his custom painted Trek Speed Concept, Giro Selector helmet, Assos kit, and Bontrager Aeolus front wheel

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Winner Bradley Wiggins used O Symetric chainrings on his UK Sport Innovation bike. He can't get much further forward either

    Winner Bradley Wiggins used O Symetric chainrings on his UK Sport Innovation bike. He can't get much further forward either

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Tony Martin of Germany from side on. Uber aero.

    Tony Martin of Germany from side on. Uber aero.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland - style to the max

    Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland - style to the max

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • The winner Bradley Wiggins of GB - UK Sport Innovation bike with custom bar setup (as used on his Pinarello Graal at the Tour de France), taped over SRM power meter, adidas shoe covers and skinsuit, surprisingly conventional exposed Dura Ace brakes, Wiggo roundel on his UK Sport helmet and head badge, two energy gels up his shorts and a HED front wheel - all in all, very tidy

    The winner Bradley Wiggins of GB - UK Sport Innovation bike with custom bar setup (as used on his Pinarello Graal at the Tour de France), taped over SRM power meter, adidas shoe covers and skinsuit, surprisingly conventional exposed Dura Ace brakes, Wiggo roundel on his UK Sport helmet and head badge, two energy gels up his shorts and a HED front wheel - all in all, very tidy

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Tony Martin of Germany. A very aero position on his Specialized Shiv with McLaren helmet, extra grip tape on his bars, a taped on transponder, textured Bio Racer skinsuit and what looks like an older Zipp 808 front clincher. He didn't puncture this time and finished with the silver medal.

    Tony Martin of Germany. A very aero position on his Specialized Shiv with McLaren helmet, extra grip tape on his bars, a taped on transponder, textured Bio Racer skinsuit and what looks like an older Zipp 808 front clincher. He didn't puncture this time and finished with the silver medal.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Taylor Phinney of USA looks good for a big guy: narrow tuck, HED tri spoke and Corsair bars and Giro Selector helmet. His skinsuit doesn't look to be the same as Kristin Armstrong's as there's no textured upper arm.

    Taylor Phinney of USA looks good for a big guy: narrow tuck, HED tri spoke and Corsair bars and Giro Selector helmet. His skinsuit doesn't look to be the same as Kristin Armstrong's as there's no textured upper arm.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Marco Pinotti of Italy has a fantastic aero position on his BMC but we're a bit bemused as to why he didn't wear shoe covers. He was 5th, only 11sec behind Phinney too

    Marco Pinotti of Italy has a fantastic aero position on his BMC but we're a bit bemused as to why he didn't wear shoe covers. He was 5th, only 11sec behind Phinney too

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Chris Froome of GB doesn't ever look at ease on his bike but he makes up for it with pure power. Unlike Wiggins he stuck with his team issue Pinarello Graal, completing it with UK Sport Innovation helmet, skinsuit and shoe covers. Bronze medal.

    Chris Froome of GB doesn't ever look at ease on his bike but he makes up for it with pure power. Unlike Wiggins he stuck with his team issue Pinarello Graal, completing it with UK Sport Innovation helmet, skinsuit and shoe covers. Bronze medal.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Michael Rogers of Australia with his trademark wide arm position. He looks to be on a Cervelo P3 with Pro bars, Scott helmet and Smart shoe covers and a bolt instead of a front quick release. He finished a commendable 6th.

    Michael Rogers of Australia with his trademark wide arm position. He looks to be on a Cervelo P3 with Pro bars, Scott helmet and Smart shoe covers and a bolt instead of a front quick release. He finished a commendable 6th.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Gustav Larsson of Sweden, sporting a POC Tempor helmet instead of his usual BBB. A silver medallist in this event in Beijing, today 16th. Not a great debut for the helmet.

    Gustav Larsson of Sweden, sporting a POC Tempor helmet instead of his usual BBB. A silver medallist in this event in Beijing, today 16th. Not a great debut for the helmet.

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania (don't confuse with Spain). Although he's on a slippery Cervelo P5, his right brake lever looks a little wonky, helmet's loose and there's not a shoe cover to be seen. 21st at 4'32

    Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania (don't confuse with Spain). Although he's on a slippery Cervelo P5, his right brake lever looks a little wonky, helmet's loose and there's not a shoe cover to be seen. 21st at 4'32

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

  • Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa) sporting an aero cover on her Lazer Tardiz helmet - it didn't help her, as she finished last

    Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa) sporting an aero cover on her Lazer Tardiz helmet - it didn't help her, as she finished last

    Photo credit © Robin Wilmott

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time trial showdown will prove decisive in Vuelta





LEON, Spain (VN) – Perhaps it’s ironic that in the most mountainous Vuelta a España in a generation, with no less than 10 mountaintop finishes, that the lone individual time trial will play such a decisive role in the crowning the eventual winner.

The 39.4km race against the clock in the green hills of Galicia will not likely crown the eventual winner, not with six more summits to race, but it will surely change the tactical dynamic of the race as the Vuelta enters its most difficult and challenging terrain.

Standing front and center as the rider who has the most to gain in Wednesday’s TT is second-place man Chris Froome (Sky).

Easily the best time trialist of the four leading men hogging the GC standings, Froome’s overall chances hinge on knocking it out of the ballpark tomorrow.

If he’s the same Froome that won the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games and was only beaten by eventual Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins in July, Froome could take important gains that could carry him all the way to Madrid cloaked in the red leader’s jersey.

“I believe that I am better than my rivals in the time trial,” Froome said on Monday’s rest day. “I am satisfied with how the Vuelta’s gone so far with Sky. We came to win the Vuelta and, up to now, our objective remains intact.”

Froome will likely bounce into the leader’s jersey tomorrow. He is expected to be able to erase the 53-second difference to race leader Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) and be able to fend off Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), who hovers just seven seconds in arrears.

All that is assuming Froome is the same rider he was in July and early August. There have been more than a few indications that he doesn’t have the same zip in his legs that he did more than a month ago. He’s ceded time to Rodríguez in every decisive stage since Valdezcaray, slipping from just one second back to 53 ticks adrift.

Froome admits that the short, explosive uphill finales that have pocked the first week of racing are not to his liking, but that’s just the kind of climb he won on at the Tour de France at Belle Filles in the Vosges. The longer climbs in Asturias that loom this weekend are even steeper, so Froome is hoping to build a big lead and then hang on.

On a good day, Froome should be able to take out at least one-and-a-half minutes — about three seconds per kilometer — to Rodríguez and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), fourth at 1:07 back, but that’s no guarantee in Wednesday’s hilly course.

There’s a steep, third-category climb midway through the stage and the roads of Galicia are narrow, twisting and up-and-down all the way from start to finish. That should help Rodríguez and Valverde limit their losses.

Froome has clearly been measuring his efforts and waiting for Wednesday’s time trial to pounce.

If Froome has an exceptional ride, and takes two or even three minutes out of his GC rivals, he would clearly be in the driver’s seat. With a lead topping one minute or more, Froome could ride defensively in the mountains, mark the inevitable attacks from Contador and play for the finish-line time bonuses to defend his lead.

If the gap is smaller, then the Vuelta is still very much wide open.

Both Rodríguez and Valverde know they will cede time. How much remains to be seen.

Rodríguez has made great strides in the time trial, evidenced by his heroic ride on the final day of the Giro d’Italia when he ended up losing the pink jersey by just 16 seconds in a final-day showdown with Ryder Hesjedal.

“Purito” admits he will never be a specialist, but this Vuelta course presents his best chance to win a grand tour, and he’s going to go full-gas to keep his GC aspirations alive.

“The time trial is critical for Purito,” said Katusha sport director Valerio Piva. “If he can only lose two-to-three minutes, then everything is still possible. He is riding strong and he is picking up time bonuses. We have to see how he rides, but we are hopeful.”

Valverde, too, should be able to limit the bleeding on the sinuous course. Still steaming after losing 50 seconds when he crashed in echelons in stage 4, Valverde vows to fight all the way to Madrid in this Vuelta that wasn’t even on his race calendar until things went badly in the Tour.

With defending champion Juanjo Cobo out of the picture, Movistar is riding to support Valverde. Already a winner of two stages, Valverde is looking very strong, so a solid time trial ride shouldn’t come as a complete surprise.

Then there’s Contador, who is no slouch in the time trial. On a good day, Contador could even challenge Froome on a course like the one they will face tomorrow in Galicia.

Like Froome, no one knows which Contador will show up. Will it be the same “Pistolero” that took down Fabian Cancellara in the Annecy time trial at the 2009 Tour de France? Or is it the Contador that is still struggling to find his legs after coming off his clenbuterol ban?

Valverde even suggested that Contador is riding “nervously,” hinting that even Contador isn’t sure of where his form is.

Contador vows to attack no matter what happens in the time trial, but how much he will have to attack in Asturias will largely hinge on tomorrow’s outcome. If Contador stays close to Froome, or even tops him and takes the leader’s jersey, then the Spaniard will be able to carefully gauge his efforts and race more surgically.

If he’s down a minute or more to Froome, then Contador knows he will have to attack, and attack often.

“The tactics that I will adopt for the mountains will depend on what happens tomorrow in the time trial,” Contador said after Tuesday’s stage. “Tomorrow could be good for any one of us now at the top (of the GC). I am confident that I will go well and go for it in the hard stages still to come.”

If the first half of the Vuelta is any indication, the differences between the leading four by sunset Wednesday shouldn’t be so large that the life is sucked out of this race.

Monday, August 27, 2012

CA Senate Passes 3 Ft Law Bill





   SB 1464, as amended, Lowenthal. Vehicles: bicycles: passing distance.    (1) Under existing law, a driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction is required to pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle, subject to certain limitations and exceptions. A violation of this provision is an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding $100 for a first conviction, and up to a $250 fine for a 3rd and subsequent conviction occurring within one year of 2 or more prior infractions.
 The bill would prohibit, with specified exceptions, the driver of the motor vehicle that is overtaking or passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway from passing at a distance of less than 3 feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rock N Road Cyclery Free Diva clinic & more

MS TRAINING RIDES

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Here's the dates, times and starting locations:

August 25th @ 8am from the Irvine Rock N' Road store

6282 Irvine Blvd

Irvine 92620

949-733-2453

Ride leader/contact Ken Fitzpatrick

ken@rocknroadcyclery.net

Sept 1st @ 8am from the Laguna Niguel Rock N' Road

27281 La Paz Rd

Laguna Niguel 92677

949-360-8045

Rider leader/contact Robert Blain

robert@rocknroadcyclery.net

Sept 8th @8am from the Mission Viejo Rock N' Road

27825 Santa Margarita Pkwy

Mission Viejo 92692

949-859-5076

Ride leader/contact John Bain

john.bain@rocknroadcyclery.net

Sept 22nd @ 8am from the Anaheim Hills Rock N' Road

5701 Santa Ana Cyn Rd

Anaheim Hills 92807

714-998-2453

Ride leader/contact Ed Pineda

ed@rocknroadcyclery.net

Sept 29th @ 8am from the Mission Viejo Rock N' Road

27825 Santa Margarita Pkwy

Mission Viejo 92692

949-859-5076

Ride leader/contact Derek Smith

derek.smith@rocknroadcyclery.net

For more info on the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour click HERE

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FAQ: Team cars in time trials





Q.Nick,
I wanted to ask a question about team cars in time trials. Correct me if I’m wrong, but in road stages, a team has two cars on the road, that way if a rider gets into break, one can follow, while the other stays with the peloton. However in time trials, where the riders are going off at regular intervals, how do the teams follow each rider? I assume there are extra cars for the soigneurs to use so they can get to feed zones in road stages, but does each team really have nine cars for a grand tour? Also, how many mechanics are involved in a grand tour? Once again assuming there’s one in each car for the TT, it would be nine, but there never seem to be that many around when you see photos of team busses; there’s usually only two or three in shots.
— Jon

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tech Gallery: One-off v. team issue Olympic time trial gear

http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/gallery/tech-gallery-one-off-v-team-issue-olympic-time-trial-gear_232747

Mick Rogers, like Bradley Wiggins, was not aboard his Team Sky Pinarello. At first glance it appears to be a Cervélo P3, but the shape of the bottom bracket area and the vertical dropout lead us to believe otherwise (Cervélo uses a slotted rear fork end, not a dropout). Rogers is using a Lightweight disc and a HED Stinger 9 rim laced to a Dura-Ace front hub. He is also using FSA's Neo Pro aero crank and older Shimano SPD-SL pedals. One thing is for sure; the "AUS" on his shoulders are upside down. Photo: Graham Watson

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Olympic Men's Individual Time Trial photos

August 1, Olympic Men's Individual Time Trial: London 44km

Olympic Men's Individual Time Trial photos

For more great photos of this week's racing see Cycling News HD