Question: During a three-day period in October, I will be racing in a hillclimb, road race and time trial. I have two road bikes: a titanium Seven Axiom with Ksyrium wheels, and a steel LeMond Zurich with standard 32-spoke wheels. The latterweighs about 3.5 pounds more. Should I install clip-on aero bars on the Seven for training and the hillclimb? Or rig the LeMond for time trials so I can train on it all summer? And should I invest in a skinsuit? — Lee D.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: If I were you, I’d modify the LeMond for time trials and use it for training as well as the TT.
The extra weight may hurt a bit if the course is hilly, but the convenience of training on the bike for several months will compensate. So will the lower stress level during the three days of racing.
You won’t have to convert the Seven from a road bike to a TT bike between events. This way you can use the Seven for the hillclimb and road race. Then switch the Ksyriums to the LeMond and you’ll be ready to go for the time trial.
You will have trained enough on the LeMond to be adjusted to the TT position. You won’t have to worry about switching or installing any other components unless you want the LeMond’s cassette on the rear Ksyrium. If not, be sure the LeMond’s chain runs smoothly on the Seven’s cassette (or swap the chain along with the wheels).
A skinsuit can improve your TT time quite a bit (depending on the length of the race) compared to a normal road jersey. Short-sleeve skinsuits are preferable because they’re more comfortable when it’s hot. If it’s chilly, wear tight arm warmers.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.