I have been enjoying triathlons for a few years now and made the leap to a TT bike last year. I am 39 years old and have a healthy competitive streak. As a child/teen i was a club swimmer and have an FTP of around 240 and run 5k in under 21 mins. So i wont be bothering any elite triathletes, but im good enough to have fun and do ok in my age group at local events.
I love the numbers so i want to find some free speed on the bike through marginal gains. Here is plan to gain 50 watts though improved aerodynamics and rolling resistance.
My starting point setup is as follows:
Dolan Scala TT bike, 50mm Mavic cosmic wheels, semi-aero helmet, tri-suit, calf guards, GP4000 tyres, power meter, regular inner tubes, regular number belt, normal 105 chain with wet lube, 175 cranks, regular bottle/cage.
this makes approx 48 watts of savings. I have estimates the individual wattages as most of the 'claimed' test figures are a lot higher, but are based at 40-45kph. As my cycle legs in a triathlons have previously averaged around 35kph the aero benefits are considerably reduced.
So how much time will i save?? and how much faster will i go??
last season i did most of my sprint triathlons at dorney lake, pan flat but sometimes windy and measures 21.2km. i averaged around 200 watts for the bike leg.
using the bike calculator app. assuming light wind. a 21.2km bike leg would suggest a time of 36.41 and a average speed of 34.7kph. which is very close to by splits for both the 2018 season opener in May and seasons end events in September.
Using the same app increasing the watts by 48 would result in a time of 33.39 and an average speed of 37.9mph. (its seems quite an unrealistic figures)
I dont think i will be able to afford all the upgrades before May's Sprint Tri at dorney lake. but i hope to have them all by September.
What do you guys think? Is it all just media hype and are these claimed marginal gains just designed to empty our bank accounts?
Any other ideas on how to save a few Watts? i am pretty much doing all the training i can fit in with a busy family/work life. Other things i have considered are oversized jockey wheels and ceramic bottom bracket. But the cost/watt saved is quite high.
* shorter 165 cranks will in theroy help reduce my frontal area and enable me to adopt a lower more aero position
** The aeria profile design front mount bottle/stem will tidy up the cables and i will lose the regular bottle/cage.