skyblot wrote:The average road bike rider has no idea what a difference a fast recumbent can make. Compare say a current TT bike with aerobars, aero helmet etc, it's (bike and rider) CdA (coefficient of Drag x Area) is about 0.23 sq meters (from Cycling Power Lab). My M5 highracer with lights, standard alum rims round spokes etc is 0.182.
At 45kmh, I need 268 watts. The TT bike is 325 watts. If I could produce 325 watts I would get a speed of 48.5 kmh, or an advantage of 4.8 minutes over a 50km TT.
If recumbents were optional on TT races, no team would pass up an advantage that size. And a pro-tour rider on a fast bent would be something else again! The current fast bent riders are exceptional athletes, but not the same class as pro tour riders....
But as you say, money talks, and sadly I can't see anything changing.
I agree that if a bent was allowed in a TT, everyone would use them. They will use what is the best tool for the job. However most TTs that are televised are part of multi day stage races. Often there is also a team TT. I'm not sure how a team TT would workout with bents... probably not much quicker than individual TT. Also, does the technique and muscle recruitment a high level upright road bike rider uses directly transfer to a bent.... I am guessing not. So if a racer does most of their riding on a traditional upright bike, they would have to do specific training for a bent. They already do that now for their TT bikes, but I imagine the overlap is much closer so TT training is mostly about tuning aero and learning to be efficient in power whilst being aero with a tight hip angle. I imagine a bent would change the pedal technique quite a bit as you have a solid seat to push back against... perhaps more quads dominant pedalling?
I think everyone realises a bent is faster.... but many bent riders do not realise that bike racing authorities are trying to minimise the effect of technology discrepancies between competitors so that it is about athletes.... not the bikes, as this is what the spectators want to watch.