How much faster is a TT bike compared to a road bike on a hilly circuit?

This question comes up periodically. I’ve always known the answer: it’s substantially quicker to ride a TT bike in almost all races, with the only exception being hill climbs.

Today i opted for my road bike with no aero equipment at all and pitched up at a rank bongo-fest near Marshfield. I did this for training purposes. Interestingly, it took the pressure off to ‘do a ride’. I found it much tougher on the road bike and lost oodles of time on any flat or downhill section, in fact, on anything other than a particularly steep wall. There weren’t any steep walls.

My maximum speed was 39mph, average was a shade under 23mph for the 22 mile circuit with 1500ft of climbing. Average heartrate was 168bpm, it says max was 210bpm but this is a damned lie.

I was around 4 or 5 minutes slower than i might have expected if i’d come in fancy dress. It’s a bit like turning up to drag race on a tractor. Perfect for tilling the fields, not much good at flat line speed. Nevertheless, either side of and including the race, i managed 61.5 miles at 20mph average speed. It’s all a desperate attempt at training and endurance ahead of a longer race at the end of the month.

Graham misjudged the finish. Dan laughed at him. Trotters looked away in disgust. 



7 thoughts on “How much faster is a TT bike compared to a road bike on a hilly circuit?

  1. matt March 16, 2014 / 9:16 pm

    You were level with me for the first 4.5 miles! You know you got me thinking it was a good idea to use the road bike. If its windy next week I might copy you

  2. Elliot March 16, 2014 / 9:24 pm

    Was that you on feeder road this morning about 8ish ?

    • traumfahrrad March 17, 2014 / 6:16 am

      Yep, I saw you and only realised at the last minute. Too fast…

      • Elliot March 17, 2014 / 6:34 pm

        Yeah, like wise, I see you are riding the pittards trophy in April, you should enjoy that

      • traumfahrrad March 17, 2014 / 7:35 pm

        i haven’t seen the startsheet? i heard also there is a new course with a hill?

  3. iainjh March 17, 2014 / 10:19 pm

    But how much faster would you have been with clip-on Tri bars instead of your pure road bike set-up?

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