Time trial frames are made for speed. In time trial races the rider is not allowed to draft (ride in another riders slipstream) which therefore means the emphasis needs to go to aerodynamics and materials used. To aid the aerodynamics the front forks are very flat, helping to cut through the air, and the vertical down tube is often shaped to the rear wheel and within millimetres of the tyre.
There are three common types of material used for time trial frames and they are listed in the table below.
Carbon is becoming more widely used simply because it is light weight and strong. Carbon is a versatile material, meaning it can be shaped into almost any form which is great for reinforcing specific areas of a bike for increased stiffness or absorption.
Steel has for a long time been the most widely used material in bikes. Its benefits are its strength, ease to work with and relative inexpensiveness, however it is heavier than many materials making it less competitive in serious riding circles.
Alloy frames have lower density and lower strength compared with steel frames but they do have a better strength to weight ratio, giving it a notable weight advantage over steel frames.
If you have any specific questions about Time Trial bike frames, or would simply like to hear more about the importance of Time Trial bike frames, please feel free to contact us.