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Member Question: HIM Time Savings - Road vs Tri Bike
What kind of time difference would one expect in changing from a road bike with aerobars to a tri bike with aerobars over a HIM distance if using the same wheelset?
Member Question from rc63413
What kind of time difference would one expect in changing from a road bike with aerobars to a tri bike with aerobars over a HIM distance if using the same wheelset? Please rank in order the time savings for tri bike (over road bike), aero bars, aero wheels (full disc in back and something like a Zipp 404 up front), versus aero helmet.
While the position of your body on the bike will impact performance more than anything, there are potential time improvements in the areas you listed. Actual time savings will vary depending on course profile, wind conditions, and body type of rider.
Of the equipment you mentioned, aero wheels will offer the greatest time savings. The very best aerodynamic wheelset can save up to two minutes per hour compared to a traditional 32-spoke wheelset. In a HIM bike leg this can reduce your bike split by three to six minutes depending on wind and course conditions.
The best aero-tubed tri-bike can save you up to one minute per hour compared to a typical round-tubed road bike. Over the course of a HIM bike leg, this can add up to one to three minutes reduction in your bike split. Keep in mind that all aero-tubed bikes are not created equal from an aerodynamic sense, and there are many out there that aren’t any more aero than a round-tubed road bike.
Aero helmet benefits tend to be individual and depend on the shape of the aerodynamic helmet. Time savings range from 15-60 seconds per hour compared to a vented road helmet, so over the course of a HIM bike leg this can be anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes of typical time savings.
Aerobars themselves won’t have significant aerodynamic differences between one another. You can expect to save about one minute in a HIM bike leg when upgrading from an entry level aerobar to the most aerodynamic models.
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