Testing, Testing - Introducing Bike Science Sponsored Time Trial Rider - Billy Oliver


We're proud to be supporting local rider Billy Oliver in his quest for time trial glory in 2015. Our aim is to help Billy go as fast as he possibly can in 2015 with the help of expert bike fitting, great equipment and aero testing over the coming months. Billy will be helping us develop a number of interesting testing methods that we'll be able to offer next year to all of our clients. Each month Billy will report back with progress reports and what we've learnt in our quest to make him FASTER!

Month 1 - October 2014.

"This blog will look at how far we can go in the quest to do what every time trialist and cyclist wants to do - GO FASTER. First off, a little bit about me…

I could be called a bit obsessive, stupidly focused, a nightmare etc. etc., but a firm believer that cycling is 80% in your head. How many times have you talked yourself out of a good ride, or shocked yourself on how well you have gone all from how you’re feeling in your head, if like me loads of times. I need everything to be spot on, trained right, kit right, head right and I’m away. Any of these things are wrong and I can forget it! I’m walking away thinking I should of / could have done better.

This year I have behind me two of what I think are the strongest support a cyclist could have and feeling dam lucky about it all (this obviously doesn’t include the friends and most importantly family who put up with me on a daily basIs).

Firstly a man that needs no introduction Matt Bottrill, TT superstar ,master of motivation #smashit and a guy even more hyper than man when on a mission to get stuff sorted. Second the man who brings one of the best bike fit minds out there and very generous support from Bike Science Bristol to the game. What does all this mean in the fight to beat the clock in 2015? EVERYTHING.

Over the next however long we will try and test as much as we can and find exactly what works for me. The best thing is the support from Bike Science and Andy is not all about bigging up products they sell or promoting products that look nice but don’t work, it’s all about going faster. Lucky for me Bike Science stock a lot of the things I want to try. Bont shoes, Rotor cranks and chain rings, the awesome looking Boardman TTE that will come face to face in aero tests with the current tt rig (a Cervelo P4), ENVE, Zipp and Reynolds wheels , Lazer helmets, the list goes on, so there is lots to test and a very interesting road ahead. I’ll update at least monthly if not more often on what we are testing or due to test, what’s worked what hasn’t , how the training is going and how the improvements and changes have affected the real world riding (there’s no point being fast on paper).

So far this month (Tuesday the 21st Oct to be exact) we have just had a very initial fit to see how I am on the P4 and to get the measurements so the Boardman TTE can be set up for me to test, this was done using the Retül 3d bike fit and is where a really good fitter like Andy comes into his own. I had the saddle to low which resulted in a very tight hip angle and a massive loss of power in the tt position. Some people say the saddle low can get you into a better aero position but I don’t believe it should be at the price of big power loses and for me it caused the muscles to fatigue faster and a sense of really having to force the pedals. Andy explained that the Retül system has a number of recommend joint angles at certain points in the pedal stroke. I’m pretty flexible and riding a max of 100 miles in the tt position so I could go outside of these as we were after aero and power. The main problem I had in my current position was getting my head tucked in and being compact at the front. I was perched on my elbows rather than relaxed and able to sink into the position, this was in turn causing my head to lift when putting in a race effort. Now this is key as setting up a position I could hold me head in a great tuck and make myself super tiny frontally, but soon as I put the hammer down it all went out the window and I became as aero as a brick with the head of a nodding dog in a TT helmet. What we found is by raising the saddle I could get a very smooth pedal action and a powerful one. This also got me effectively lower at the front and a better head tuck. The key now is to test it. Some steady rides in the position and some harder efforts and report back.

Coming up is the exciting bit I get to test stuff..!

I’m a man with champagne taste on a cherry panda pop budget, so most of these things would normally not be a option.

Previously, I would go down the road of looking what the fast guys have, reading reviews and seeing what’s in the sale!

First up I really want to get my hands on a set of Rotor Power cranks and the rotor ovalised Q-Rings. I tried osymetrics last year and thought I really liked them, had a super bling carbon osymetric from fibrelyte (this thing looked so good it was worth a watt of power just from the street cred) but ended up going faster on a sram red round ring. Now this could have been for many reasons so il have to go back and test again when we have a solid position, but it has to be one change at a time, gather all the info and go from there .

I will update the blog in November but you can keep up with it all on twitter @billyoliver80. Hope you all enjoy will be brutally honest and pretty open on what we find out along the way."

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