Time trials are a core part of the racing scene in the UK, and are generally very accessible. However, if you want to be competitive, a dedicated time-trial bike is a must.
To address this, the CTT (Cycling Time Trials, the UK’s time trial governing body) introduced an official road bike category in 2022 in a bid to make time trialling “an every person’s sport”.
The move sees results split by road and time trial bike classifications in open club events, with the season culminating in separate national championship events.
There are, of course, rules that define what makes a ‘road bike’ in the eyes of the CTT.
To start, bikes must have drop or flat bars, which means clip-on extensions or tri bars aren’t permitted. Wheels can also be no deeper than 90mm and must have at least 12 spokes, so disc wheels are off the cards.
The 2023 National Road Bike Championships took place on Sunday (1 October) on a rolling 18-mile (29km) course north of Marshfield, in the south-west of England.
With 180 riders on the start sheet, the general consensus was that the introduction of the road bike category is a welcome one, with promoters FTP Racing surprised by the size of the field.
We were on the ground to take stock of how riders tackled the event.
While some have the means and desire to push the rules to the limit of their interpretation, many others choose to ride the same or lightly modified versions of their everyday road bikes.
Here are our top five weird and wonderful bikes from the 2023 National Road Bike Time Trial Championships.