Horse for the Course: Trek Speed Concept for 12hr World TT Champs

A slippery bike with enough storage for a long day in the aerobars

A 12-hour time trial is not something I was ever considering until listening to an episode of The Cycling Time Trial Podcast by Mark Florence. While Michael Broadwith, the two-time British 24-hour time trial champion, recounted his experiences, it occurred to me that much of the training I’d done this year for long gravel and mountain bike races would translate fairly well to a long-format time trial.

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I grew up time trialing, racing mostly the 20-kilometer as a junior, but hadn’t raced a TT bike for quite some time. A quick internet search showed that RAAM’s 24-Hour World Time Trial Championships took place in early November in Borrego Springs, California. Also offered were six- and 12-hour options. I signed up after a bit more research (and reading how former BikeRadar editor Jeff Jones smashed the 12-hour record back in 2011).

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  • The course: The desert landscape of Borrego Springs, California plays host to the race. A mostly flat course means that aerodynamics take priority over weight. Racers ride an 18-mile loop until 1.5 hours to go, when they switch to a 5-mile loop. Both are flat and for the most part offer smooth pavement.
  • The equipment goal: Effectively balance aerodynamics, efficiency and comfort to maximize speed and minimize the need for stops.
  • The horse: A Trek Speed Concept with Shimano Ultegra Di2, a Stages power meter, Profile Design hydration, Cobb Maxx saddle, Vittoria Corsa Speed Open tires, Wheelbuilder AeroJacket disc cover and Speedplay Zero Aero pedals.