Time Trial Bike Vs Road Bike: What’s The Best Triathlon Bike For Descending?
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Time Trial Bike Vs Road Bike: What’s The Best Triathlon Bike For Descending?

October 28, 2019

(intense music) – Let’s be honest, TT
bikes are aero machines. They’re designed for
going fast on the flat, but they’re not really
designed for descending. Now if you’ve had the
chance to descend on one, you’ll note just how different it feels from descending on a road bike. But unfortunately, for us triathletes, a lot of our races feature
climbs, descents, and flats all in one race. So what bike should you use, and how much time could you lose if you rode a TT bike on the descents? These are the questions we hear so often. So today I’m gonna test just that. I’m gonna be riding the Cervelo P5X, and the Cervelo S5, down
San Salvador in Majorca which is a five kilometre descent with a 7% gradient. And we’re gonna time the
lot and compare at the end. So to start off with,
I am gonna use the S5. Right then, descent number
one on the Cervelo S5. Here we go. Three, two, one. (intense music) Run number two, the P5X. Three, two, one. Let’s go. (intense music) So that’s the two runs complete, and we’ve got some very
interesting results for you. The first run on the road bike came in at six minutes and 50 seconds. And then the second run on the TT bike came in on six minutes and 44 seconds. Now I’ll be honest, that certainly isn’t what I was expecting. But it was very close up
until the final kilometre, and then the road straightened out and I was able to tuck in on the TT bike and really begin to pull away. San Salvador has around
20 or so switchbacks in quick succession, so the road bike really
felt at home on these. It was responsive, I
could throw it around, and it was easy to accelerate
out of the corners. In comparison, the TT bike
didn’t feel quite as agile, but it was clearly quicker
on the straight sections even between the switchbacks. Granted, it wasn’t the fairest test. The P5X had disc brakes, whilst the S5 had rim brakes. And the braking power of the disc brakes was really impressive,
especially on the tight bends. But this was a fun test, and
putting the times to one side this does show that the
TT bike can descend well contrary to popular belief. That said, you will need to hone your skills on a bike like this. Don’t just expect to jump
on and find it a breeze. I’ve spent countless hours on climbs and descents like this, on my Time Trial bike. Now, don’t forget you can subscribe to Global Triathlon Network
by clicking on the globe. And to see our nine essential
triathlon skills video, just click up here. And to see our How to
Descend on a TT Bike video, just click here.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. For correct results you should use the same wheels,and the same tires!You did wrong test!Even just tires can make big difference! https://youtu.be/KSZrCtVXUaw

  2. What was the wattage average? The results could be screwed up because of placebo. You may have thought the TT bike would be faster, so in turn, you would push harder. There also could've been problems with going to same distance. .01 miles could've made all the 6 seconds. Great video ideas, but you're going to need more evidence in them.

  3. I like the comments you made comparing/contrasting your ride experiences on the two bikes. The final time is important, but having those comments gives an interesting perspective. It would be great to add another presenter to these comparison tests to get a little bit more data and anecdotal perspective. Thank you for the interesting video!

  4. Average watts for each run? How can you compare if you don't state the power output? Also that looks like a pretty long straight section at the end…

  5. Would love to see GTN and GCN use D.C. Rainmakers analysis tool for these rides so we can visually see where the differences were on these tests

  6. Fascinating…i would of thought TT much slower on bends. Just goes to show! Mind you, what is price difference between two bikes?

  7. #askgtn I have flat feet. In stability running shoes my ankles are neutral when I heel strike, but I can't tell if they help when I'm running on the mid-foot or toe. I don't want to keep buying expensive and heavy stability shoes if they're not helping.

  8. May I suggest that when you do these kind of comparisons and tests that you do it properly. At the end of the video you are already saying why this is not a good test because of the disc brakes and the type of decent. I hope for higher quality and more informative content on this channel.

  9. Both bikes need same brakes, same wheeles/tyres' and similar weight for such a test to mean anything. Also, you need to do mulriple runs for each bike. Otherwise, its kind of pointless to make any conclusions.

  10. Just one run for each bike i not enough. Although I presume that you have ridden San Salvador a "few times" in the past, I would still expect you to be faster on the second run simply due to the insight into the course and line gained from the first run. You should have done multiple rides with each bike, switching the bike after each run to smooth the effect. And a "descending test" should not include the flat part at the end; that skews your result…

  11. Didn't use aerobars for the majority of the descent, didn't equate wattage and as he said, one bike had disk brakes. This test was a joke. A test should have ONE VARIABLE no matter what is being tested.

  12. I would like you guys to be using something that doesn't have blip shifters on the brakes. Something with a mechanical group set perhaps vs a road bike. I know I can't afford a $10,000+ tri bike like the p5x. This would be especially important on a climbing video as well.

  13. If i may make a note, on the straight section with the road bike you were on the hoods instead of the drops or even better on the hood with 90 degrees bent elbows, so no wonder you lost there some time.

  14. but with the climbs flats and descends i think it will depend on the race distance and other factor like wind directions…

  15. We are expecting a more serious and professional approach in your tests… Shame. Let's hope that next time you will be more scientific. Thanks.

  16. The test isn't fair in so many ways.
    Body, position, wheels, bike set up are all different. Many of the aero benefits could have been obtained on a road bike with the right set up. Also, the road bike came first so the rider would have more confidence on the second descent and there was no adjustment in terms of wattage. Finally it's a test with a single data point which has no significance from a scientific point of view.

  17. triathlon bikes aren't necessary because road bikes can reduce aerodynamic air resistance by using the few modifications and let the body down to handle bar,the road bike rider can still run fast.The road bike can reach 180km/h behind the truck the tri bike may unstable in that speed.i think 6'50s and 6'44s is showing that there's no different between two bikes.

  18. Ahh id buy a TT bike but those are so fucking expensive in my country that my whole half a year payment is the price of those bikes..

  19. Plss guyz sponsor me a ROADBIKE i want it plss 😭 I want to go other place using bike but i dont have plss sponsor me a roadbike 😭im begging

  20. Hi! Quick question.. you have a tri bike and a road bike.. how much time do you ride with each? Do you do alternates within the week or alternate monthly?

  21. Tribikes… While I am usually pretty careful I hit a mini painted hole in a downward descent (probably 9-11 percent grade) at modest speed and did a barbell roll and scraped most of the skunk of my left forearm two weeks ago. Plenty of steep parts in Phuket and downhill at over 15% on tt feels way less stable than on a road bike. If it’s a long five percent to flat road with plenty of visibility sure staying on the aerobars will get you much faster.

  22. At equal riding and power and geometry. Obviously a bit heavier would be a bit faster downhill. (…)

  23. can someone help me with this… i saw a lot of people converting cervelo s5 to TT bike. Is it really works for longer triathlon?

  24. You should do this test considering also the watt. Because some of the viewers (including me) want to know about the frame things. How can they climb with 250 watt how can they go faster with 250 watt etc.

  25. Hey guys
    I really like your channel and the information you provide. The only thing I think might be done better, are the comparison videos, like this one.
    Comparing a roadbike to a tt-bike is very interesting indeed, I myself notice the massive handling difference.
    But the bikes should be roughly the same in configuration -> the disc brakes must have made an absolutely massive difference. If I am hitting the brakes on my tt-bike, nearly "nothing" happens, compared to the roadbike.
    The video would have been that more informative.
    Thank you anyway! 🙂

  26. Hi sir i am an aspiring triathlete but cant afford bikes like u have.. i wish to work with you just to have it even the lowest price one.. 😁

  27. Lets grow a pair of balls have a race with 14 kg road bikes and see which one has the legs to actually push that bike with 30 km hr winds hitting you in the face lol. Our Crit Club has some races with alloys only weight set to 14 kg …. The races are hilarious and slow lmfao . No many want to take part with pencil legs it's the sprinters that show up.

  28. "Contrary to popular belief?" Then why do tour riders descend on a tt bike very slowly compared to on their typical road bikes?
    Btw where was the top tube super tuck?

  29. Well guys, you can't go fully scientific about these bikes, because this is not a controlled environment – to do these properly, they should be done in a wind tunnel, countless times excluding human factor and so on. This is just a fun bike video. Chill out 😛

  30. Testing two unobtainium bikes against each other. Might have been more useful for the average cyclist if you tested bikes we can afford.

  31. I sense some bias towards TT bikes here. I have both and have come to the opinion that TT bikes are fast if you’re not doing a lot of curves and climbing and descending. Otherwise I think better bet is the compromise between the two in an aero road bike with TT bars added on.

  32. the only problem with the p5x is that it looks too good.. there are about 2 people on this planet who have the wattage to look good on this bike.. everyone else will look like a tosser

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