TT Head Unit setup / pacing / check points

Ok, long subject. The big boss rejected my desire to get a FTP test done and a TT, and really leaves me with no option but not to slack too much in the TT (Course).

Now I really, really suck at pacing. Last week I did some recon, and using 3 second power as my guiding light did not work out (perhaps it was also the fact that it was windy as crap, and the temperature was at or below 0C (32F)). Still 26 minutes seems not too shabby.

So I am curious as to how others setup their head units for such a TT. Got a Wahoo, so I thought about something along TIME || SPEED | 5s POWER || HR | Lap W/kg. Idea is to have a set of check points along the course, where I could look at the current time, vs. what I had done before (and/or what BestBikeSplit suggests). Speed/Power really to see whether I am lost dreaming again and dropping, or whether I am actually doing something. HR to check for “am I going to black out soon” … and W/kg to stroke the ego. Not sure this makes sense, so I’d love to hear about from you all what works and what doesn’t.

Check points. Thought I put some time markers along the course. At each turnaround, at the start of the 2 short climbs, and perhaps one somewhere in the middle of the longer flat stretches. Times would go on a sticker onto the top tube. Color coded perhaps … So would increasing the number of markers make more sence, or is this already too many (this is 6). Or where would you put the check points to track progress. Could track along strava segments, but then again this would be too distracting.

Yes, I am an engineer and this needs to planned down to the last detail :wink: If there are good suggestion for an aero bar (cheapish one), that would be great, too. My wife balked at the idea of getting quickly a TT bike :grinning:

Any other tips and tricks, all suggestions are welcome.


I always used to race with the bare essentials. Just 3" average power, distance, and total or lap average (depending on how hilly the course was or if I was going to pace in parts using BBS, like you suggest).

IMO, there’s not really any need for anything else, it is just a distraction. Time, speed, HR, w/kg mean nothing to me in a race - power is the only thing that really matters in a TT.


Second this. Focus on what you can control and that is pretty much just power. Of course, an effective pacing strategy will take into account periods where power might fluctuate, but it you are behind target or slower, but power is on point, not much you can do.

1 Like

Quick followup. You were right. Tried the time split thingy. Did not work for me, so switch back to just looking at power and be done.

TT Bars and TT Helmet for the next interation of this 7 event series. Got beating by folks who had less W/kg, but TT Bikes. That is a tad frustrating.

1 Like

I hear you. Very annoying to be bested by just the bike. The issue is it becomes an “arms race”. Whoever can buy the biggest gains.

It’s kind of a downer. So lets see what can be done without breaking the bank. The problem is only, I hate to lose.

I clearly don’t know what performance level you guys are at but… there is an amazing amount to squeeze out with doing the basics very well. I have been following a facebook group called Time Trial Positions where I have learned a lot. Josh Poertner has some really good simple stuff like this MGTV Ep: 00011 Josh's Top 5 Affordable "Low Cost" Marginal Gains - YouTube
And I learned a lot listening to Alex Dowsett on the Marginal Gains podcast. He told a story of how he beat Marc Soler by minutes with very similar power output.

Not sure this is pre se about “performace level”. It’s a bunch of folks competing. Whenever there is competition, you wanna win. And us old geezers (55 years ;-)) are competitive to begin with.

Josh’s stuff is always good, especially his notion of “unit of useless improvement”, which seems to be the oversized pulley wheel.

The “Time Trial” position turns out to be very frustraing. At the end of the day, your butt needs to move up and forward to not close the hip angle too much when you move your upper body lower. My passion is climbing. My bike is a climber, it’s a weightweenie’s dream, anything but aero. Bike fit is pretty much exactly on the opposite end compared to a TT setup. So to make any of this half way work, I have to change a lot on the bike. And that is just not practical for a once a week event. I’ll go and hunt down a used Cannondale Slice. Those are fairly cheap, and I got enough spare parts from older Cannondale bikes around to properly soup it up.

1 Like