Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Bike

Finding The Perfect Time Trial Position

A bike guru shares his advice for developing and maintaining the perfect position on the bike.

For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.

A bike guru’s advice for developing and maintaining a perfect time trial position.

Professional triathlete Laura Siddall credited her breakthrough performance as an athlete to working with coach Paul Buick, a New Zealand native who serves as the Purplepatch Fitness bike guru. Buick is known for going beyond just the bike fit—he assists athletes with how they should interact with the bike.

While it’s not practical for most athletes to work so closely with a personal cycling coach, Buick shares his advice for developing and maintaining the perfect position on the bike.

RELATED: Bike Fit Fixes

Saddle

In order to find what works for you, saddle selection comes down to personal preference as well as trial and error. When testing saddles, Buick advises athletes to focus on the “saddle-short-athlete” combination to find the most comfortable seat:

Test saddles in your triathlon race shorts. Not only will it help you find the saddle combination that will work for you during a race, but it will help you avoid artificially lowering your seat compared to testing and training in the thicker chamois of a training bib.

RELATED – 2016 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Saddles

Seated position

Paying attention to where you are seated on the saddle in your fitted position is also critical. Not only should your bike fit be biomechanically efficient, it should be a position that you can maintain throughout the duration of a race. Your perfectly dialed aero position goes to waste if you are fidgeting around on your saddle during the ride.

Identify your seated position and aim to maintain it throughout the duration of your training rides. A slight shift forward on the saddle will trigger a number of further adjustments that will compromise your overall position, such as hands choked back on the aero bars, back arched and pelvis rotated backwards.

RELATED: Seven Tips To Get Comfortable In The Aero Position

Posture

Buick recommends that triathletes include road bike rides consistently throughout the season to help with both bike position awareness as well as improved postural fitness. The aero bars of a time trial position add skeletal support, whereas that support does not exist on the road bike.

You can simulate road riding, even if you don’t have a road bike, by riding your triathlon bike on the base bars. Practicing good base bar posture will strengthen your lower back and relieve tension in your neck.