2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

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DaveQB
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2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby DaveQB » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:42 pm

As this crosses both Road and TT I am putting this topic here, but please move if need be.

I am curious what the general consensus is on this aerodynamic topic.

So you have 2 riders of equal ability, same bikes on a mostly flat course on road bikes with regular road gear working together.
Then take one of them and put them on a TT bike with the TT setup on the same course, but only on their own, which is believed to be the fastest?

Basically, is drafting or TT bike and aerobars clearly more efficient?
Or is it not clear and generally equally matched?
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby march83 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:12 pm

I don't think that the aero benefits of being on a TT bike is going to outweigh the fact that 2 cyclists will be working 50% of the time and resting 50% of the time and therefore can go much harder when they are working. I think the pair of riders will be faster.

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby silentC » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:21 pm

+1
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby rodneycc » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:38 pm

2 riders easily. Power from 2 sets of legs vs one will no doubt be faster.

Edit: If it was a specific TT course of 5km-8kms - then it might be closer. TT's are typically pretty short.
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby DaveQB » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:12 pm

Thanks guys.

I don't think 2 riders would be doing 50% each as the saving is approx 30% from a rider in front, so the rider behind still needs to put in 70% of the effort as the rider in front to keep up, right?
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby silentC » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:22 pm

Yeah but my armchair opinion is that the two guys are each doing 50% of the hard effort at the front, whereas the TT guy is doing all of it. If you are a reasonably fit cyclist then maintaining your effort at 70% is probably something you can do all day.
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:25 pm

2 riders easily.

If you've ever ridden track you know how much ground you can cover even taking turns at half or whole laps.

Even on a short TT, single guy has no chance.
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:41 pm

With the 2 riders tests have stated that the second rider is doing 68% effort so for the sake of this discussion lets say 70% and that means that the average saving is 15%.

Does a TT bike + its position save more or less than 15%, I would say less and therefor the 2 riders on the road bikes would beat the TT rider of equal ability.

There would be some variation depending on the terrain and wind conditions so I'll qualify the above answer as "ignoring extremities"

At Calga, where they do ITT's in Sydney, the time difference between my road bike with clips, skinsuit and aero helmet were only marginally behind (say 2%) my times on the TT bike which also included a 90mm front and a disk rear.
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby DaveQB » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:43 pm

Interesting stuff. Thanks for the discussion guys.
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby g-boaf » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:13 pm

2 riders will easily deal with one rider.

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby MichaelB » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:07 am

Damn :o

I thought this was a topic of where two roadies squared off against a triathlete and duking it out, but was disappointed :cry:

Seems a sensible question, but have no idea, as I think TT bikes are silly :lol:

Carry on !!

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:39 am

MichaelB wrote:Damn :o

I thought this was a topic of where two roadies squared off against a triathlete and duking it out, but was disappointed :cry:

Seems a sensible question, but have no idea, as I think TT bikes are silly :lol:

Carry on !!
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby Sparx » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:42 am

Depends if the TT rider is Tony 'Der Panzerwagen' Martin - then my money is on him! 175km ITT and he was shelling riders from the Peloton!!

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby DaveQB » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:51 am

mikesbytes wrote:
MichaelB wrote:Damn :o

I thought this was a topic of where two roadies squared off against a triathlete and duking it out, but was disappointed :cry:

Seems a sensible question, but have no idea, as I think TT bikes are silly :lol:

Carry on !!
Your N+1 journey is not complete :wink:


+1 to your N+1 comment!
:)

MichaelB we can turn this topic into that topic if you like :D
And TT bikes are NOT silly :evil:
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby g-boaf » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:12 am

Sparx wrote:Depends if the TT rider is Tony 'Der Panzerwagen' Martin - then my money is on him! 175km ITT and he was shelling riders from the Peloton!!


However, we are talking about 3 equal riders.

And having two riders working together, you save a lot of energy versus one rider on their own. The TT bike might be a benefit, but it's not enough of a benefit to outrun a pair of equally good riders.

MichaelB wrote:Seems a sensible question, but have no idea, as I think TT bikes are silly :lol:


They aren't silly, just different. They are pretty fast too - even despite being quite heavy. :)

You know you want an S-Works Shiv TT or a Cervelo P5. Maybe the Cannondale Slice, that's quite a neat TT bike too.

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby MichaelB » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:20 pm

Interesting the comments were defending the TT bikes but not the fact about roadies ganging up on a triathlete.

Meh, I'm a n=1 roadie for a treason, and it'll stay that way for quite a while methinks. Not even remotely interested in TT'ing, just like poking fun !!

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby biker jk » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:47 pm

My money is on the two road cyclists, especially if the TT cyclist looks like this.

Image

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:11 pm

biker jk wrote:My money is on the two road cyclists, especially if the TT cyclist looks like this.

Image


Ha ha, they have done that as a joke 8)
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby warthog1 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:42 pm

Back when I used to race we had a number of circuits where we raced tt's and occasionally also road races.
The circuit records were held by the tt riders.
I was pretty keen on tt's and occasionally went out on bunch rides on the tt and sat off the back.
Even when the bunch was cranking at different points it wasn't that challenging to keep up and I was no gun.

I think you'd need more than 2 riders to even things up.
As others have said you don't get enough cover behind one rider to get a complete rest and are only saving a percentage when you are not at the front.
To achieve the same speed as the tt guy when you are at the front will mean a huge expenditure of energy that won't be compensated by the short, incomplete rest behind.
Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed remember. At 45+ km/h that is a big drag advantage to the tt guy.
The 2 roadies won't even come close IMO.

I'd like to hear Alex Simmon's, no doubt analytical, thoughts on the matter.

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby DaveQB » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:47 pm

Oh we have a counter opinion. Just when I thought the thread was dead (and derailed with funny photos) it's back on. Cool
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby kb » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:00 pm

warthog1 wrote:As others have said you don't get enough cover behind one rider to get a complete rest and are only saving a percentage when you are not at the front.

I believe the front rider gets an advantage too, in reduced turbulence but it only counts for a couple of percent.
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby NASHIE » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:17 pm

World records for 4k time trail....4:10 individual and 3:50 4 man team. Take away TT gear for the 4 man team and 2 riders and it would be a very very close race.

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:21 pm

DaveQB wrote:Oh we have a counter opinion. Just when I thought the thread was dead (and derailed with funny photos) it's back on. Cool


There's a lot of variables so it is enviable that we wouldn't all come to the same conclusion. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a youtube video on the topic

The prime source of wind resistance is your torso, so if your torso is in a better position on the TT bike the improvement is more dramatic than if your torso position in the same on both the road and TT bikes.
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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:16 pm

I don't think it's a clear cut as some are suggesting. The aero differences between road and TT set ups can be sizeable.

For example, a 5% improvement in speed from road to TT bike at threshold power is not all that wild (certainly for me it's not), and for the pair on the road bikes that requires the rider in front to be putting out ~15% more power than the TT rider.

So if we assume the TT rider maintains 100% threshold power, then the road pair need to alternate between ~115% of threshold power when on the front to match the TT rider's speed and ~ 85% of threshold power when drafting, which is somewhat harder than averaging 100% of threshold in a quasi steady state, because the physiological cost or strain is not linear with power. Indeed there are some that couldn't manage that sort of power variability for long enough.

I'd say that if the speed differential at threshold power between the set ups is less than ~4%, then the roadies will take it, at 4-5% it's line ball, but if the aero differential results in >5% speed difference between the sets ups at threshold power, then the roadies will have a hard time beating the TT rider's time on course.

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Re: 2 road cyclist vs 1 TT cyclist

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:22 pm

Calvin27 wrote:2 riders easily.

If you've ever ridden track you know how much ground you can cover even taking turns at half or whole laps.

Even on a short TT, single guy has no chance.

Not quite. The track equivalent would be 2 riders on mass start track bikes v one rider using a much faster pursuit bike set up.
My aero difference between each set up was ~ 18%, and so my solo pursuit self would be faster than me and my clone on mass start track bikes.

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