• Bikes
    • and Equipment

The equipment you’ll need for your Time Trial


All you need to ride a time trial is a roadworthy bike. That includes mountain bikes and tourers but not recumbents. If you’re 18 or under you have to wear a helmet. If the bug bites, you might decide to get a specialist time trial bike. To begin with, a decent £500 starter bike will be more than adequate. It could be used for training or day rides if you later upgrade to a better model for racing.

Ways to improve your aerodynamics

Assuming your bike is at least half decent, with road tyres, the biggest effect on your speed (apart from your fitness!) is not the machine but your position on it. You make up the overwhelming bulk of the air resistance, which is what mostly stops you going faster. So don’t wear baggy clothing, and make sure your handlebars are as low as they can comfortably go whilst keeping your head up!

Fitting clip-on tri-bars

To get more aero still, fit clip-on tri-bars. More expensive bars offer greater adjustability, lower armrest cups and better aerodynamics. To get a good fit on your tri-bars, you may need to get a different stem.

Narrower tyres

Upgrading your tyres is another way to go faster. Many starter bikes come with 25mm training tyres; they won’t roll as well as decent 23mm (or narrower) race tyres.

Heart rate monitors

Perhaps the biggest improvement will come from using a heart rate monitor because it will tell you how hard you’re trying. Budget models are available for under £30. Mount the HRM to your handlebar or tri-bar where you can see it. Many time triallists like to use a bike computer instead of or as well as an HRM.

Find out more

Find out about preparing for a time trial or your time trial event.

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