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What is a Merckx ITT?
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Clutch Cargo] [ In reply to ]
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Old skool bike setup: no aero bars, no aero wheels, no aero helmet (I think), etc.

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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Clutch Cargo] [ In reply to ]
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Usually an ITT conducted only with equipment allowed in mass start races, or generally no:- disc wheels, long tail aero helmets, aerobars etc.
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Clutch Cargo] [ In reply to ]
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As has been stated, it is generally doing a TT with the same equipment you'd start a mass start race with but there is no official definition of what that means, and this means different things to different folks. It will depend on the RD on some things, e.g. TT helmets, disc wheels, shoe covers, etc, are technically mass start legal for USAC but may not be the intent of a Merckx TT. In my experience, TT helmets, disc wheels have not been legal but shoe covers, all non-disc wheels and skin suits have been. Unless you plan to race with none of those, it is best to ask the RD to make sure.


ETA: Usually the intent of a Merckx TT is to give riders who don't have the resources to invest in super aero TT set-ups a category to race and be competitive in, so the line is usually drawn at the TT only items (helmets, discs, aerobars).

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Last edited by: jsiege11: Aug 14, 14 6:12
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Clutch Cargo] [ In reply to ]
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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^^^ This.

Although they sound like a good idea, they usually miss quite a bit in the execution.

http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Clutch Cargo] [ In reply to ]
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For the METT series

Merckx Division Rules:
All Merckx racers must not race a time trial bike or a triathlon bike, the racer cannot use clip on bars, all wheels have to be under 40mm in depth, and no aero (tear drop) helmets. The racer may wear a skin suit if they so desire. All other race rules apply.



"4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul"
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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People always end up arguing. Does an aero road bike break the rules? Do you need to stick with box rims? It seems like it means something different to every RD unfortunately.
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [warwicke36] [ In reply to ]
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warwicke36 wrote:
For the METT series

Merckx Division Rules:
All Merckx racers must not race a time trial bike or a triathlon bike, the racer cannot use clip on bars, all wheels have to be under 40mm in depth, and no aero (tear drop) helmets. The racer may wear a skin suit if they so desire. All other race rules apply.

So...my S5 with Zipp Vuka Sprint bars would be OK?

What if I told you that on that setup, with a road helmet, road kit, 2 small bottles, and 50mm depth wheels, my CdA comes out to be ~0.285m^2?

I have a feeling someone would argue that I'm "cheating" with that setup, even if I swapped the 50mm depth wheels for something 40mm deep.

That's the problem with blanket statements like "not a time trial bike". I use my S5 as a time trial bike...and the drag of it's frame is ~equivalent to a P4. So, what defines a frame as being a TT frame?

That's what I mean about typically missing something in the execution....they usually make the rules too broad and then end up restricting things anyway, which is the opposite of the thought that it would allow participation without specialized equipment.

http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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To be true to the ideal a Merckx TT should be done on a steel Eddy Merckx (Colnago/De Rosa steel also acceptable).
At least, that's how I roll - no carbon (apart from in the steel obviously).

Speedtheory
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Clutch Cargo] [ In reply to ]
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Steel bike, box rim tubulars, leather saddle, toe clips, wool jersey, leather helmet, baguette.
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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The idea is to make it accessible to people who don't have TT bikes to encourage them to do TT's, not to transfer the arms war of equipment into a different category. Since Eddy Merckx TT's are put on by USAC in general they are/should be aimed at the idea of taking your road racing bike and using that. Of course there is some leeway for the promoters to do what they want, I shouldn't do an Eddy Merckx TT with my 404's even though those are my USAC road racing wheels.

As with anything there are issues. It's getting to the point where I know a guy who had to borrow a set of low profile wheels for a local Merckx TT this year because all he has are carbon wheels that were deeper than the maximum specified. Frankly, I don't have a problem with that as it fits what I consider the spirit of a Merckx TT.

If your road bike is a Venge or an S5, then so be it. But if you have an S5 and an R5 you should use the R5 to keep in the spirit of the event.

Similarly now with helmets I think. If all you have is a Specialized Evade, then go for it, but it you have an Evade and a Prevail then you should use the Prevail to stay in the spirit of things.

It's supposed to be about how strong you are, not how much speed you can buy.

But really it's up to the promoter to decide and lay out what is okay. At the Calaveras TT this year this year this is what they said about the Merckx TT.

http://www.ncnca.org/...14%201816%20OKED.pdf

"For the Merckx class races, NO Aero Equipment allowed, so no aero bars, use regular drop road bars ONLY, and no clip-ons, no TT helmet (or face shield), no skinsuit, you must have separate shorts and jersey, and no wheels with any deep "V" rim (box-type rims preferred). Traditional frame with round tubing encouraged, but any legal frame is acceptable. Stubble, beards encouraged, along with exposed cables and toe clips, any clothing made with wool is good as well."

Again, an Eddy Merckx TT is not an equipment arms war, it's a somewhat leveled test of strength.

Kevin

http://kevinmetcalfe.dreamhosters.com
My Strava
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [nslckevin] [ In reply to ]
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nslckevin wrote:
Again, an Eddy Merckx TT is not an equipment arms war, it's a somewhat leveled test of strength.

While I don't disagree with your sentiment. There will be a 100% leveled test of strength. So there will always be shades of grey.

To me, if the rules are no TT bike, 40mm or shallower wheels, and no tailed aero helmets... I have no issue with using my Felt AR5, I can't use my HED jets as they are too deep, so I will use my heavy ass 30mm deep aluminum training wheels, and when I get an Evade or Giro Air Attack I will use that too. To me it doesn't make sense to dumb down my gear to do anything other than be within the rules. I don't think this hurts the spirit of the event. What's next, no latex tubes no tires over 60tpi. I mean you have to draw the line somewhere and they have. If I'm within the guidelines I have no guilt.



"4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul"
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [warwicke36] [ In reply to ]
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warwicke36 wrote:
nslckevin wrote:

Again, an Eddy Merckx TT is not an equipment arms war, it's a somewhat leveled test of strength.


While I don't disagree with your sentiment. There will be a 100% leveled test of strength. So there will always be shades of grey.

To me, if the rules are no TT bike, 40mm or shallower wheels, and no tailed aero helmets... I have no issue with using my Felt AR5, I can't use my HED jets as they are too deep, so I will use my heavy ass 30mm deep aluminum training wheels, and when I get an Evade or Giro Air Attack I will use that too. To me it doesn't make sense to dumb down my gear to do anything other than be within the rules. I don't think this hurts the spirit of the event. What's next, no latex tubes no tires over 60tpi. I mean you have to draw the line somewhere and they have. If I'm within the guidelines I have no guilt.

Eddy of course used latex tubes in his ultralight tubulars. On the other hand I purposely did not switch out my butyl tubes for latex, nor put conti 4000s' on my mid level Ksyrium training wheels for the Calaveras Merckx TT. Mostly because I'm lazy, sure, but it also seemed kind of weak to go through that kind of trouble to do an event that is supposed to be about accessibility to all.

Kevin

http://kevinmetcalfe.dreamhosters.com
My Strava
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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>So...my S5 with Zipp Vuka Sprint bars would be OK?

Legal by Fiesta Island Merckx rules.

>What if I told you that on that setup, with a road helmet, road kit, 2 small bottles, and 50mm depth wheels, my CdA comes out to be ~0.285m^2?

I'd tell you, "that's nice," and pat you on the back as I passed you.

I don't know what all the talk about arguing is. I've mixed it up Merckx style on Fiesta Island with some pretty fast guys, and I've never heard anyone argue about anything. I raced a Felt AR with no bottle cages, no flat kit, a skinsuit, and Firecrest 404's, and no one has whined to me one bit. I did ask the Race Director about the Giro Attack, and that got nixed, so I use a normal road helmet.
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:

>So...my S5 with Zipp Vuka Sprint bars would be OK?

Legal by Fiesta Island Merckx rules.

>What if I told you that on that setup, with a road helmet, road kit, 2 small bottles, and 50mm depth wheels, my CdA comes out to be ~0.285m^2?

I'd tell you, "that's nice," and pat you on the back as I passed you.

I don't know what all the talk about arguing is. I've mixed it up Merckx style on Fiesta Island with some pretty fast guys, and I've never heard anyone argue about anything. I raced a Felt AR with no bottle cages, no flat kit, a skinsuit, and Firecrest 404's, and no one has whined to me one bit. I did ask the Race Director about the Giro Attack, and that got nixed, so I use a normal road helmet.


Like I said...they're inconsistent in defining what it means since aero equipment is so prevalent in both road and TT along with the many TT/road equipment crossover possibilities.

And...if you try to limit it and constrain things further, you end up causing people to find "specialized equipment" anyway.

I guess I basically just don't get it. If the whole point is just to see who puts out more power, just have everyone hop on a Computrainer :-/

http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
Last edited by: Tom A.: Aug 14, 14 16:17
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:

I did ask the Race Director about the Giro Attack, and that got nixed, so I use a normal road helmet.

And yet...I bet if you'd shown him a LG Course, or a Giro Synthe they would be allowed, even though both are more aero than the Air Attack.

I guess that means Merckx TTs are really all about "looks"? :-/

http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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>Like I said...they're inconsistent in defining what it means since aero equipment is so prevalent in both road and TT along with the many TT/road equipment crossover possibilities.


Who's inconsistent? The Fiesta Island RD is perfectly consistent. It's not that complicated. All it really means is "use a road bike." E.g. no aero bars. The other rules are just gravy.

It's not like there's some USAC Merckx series that compares times from different courses. Or like Cancellara trying to break/set an hour record where you need a phonebook of rules.

The goal is so that people without a TT bike can be introduced to the barely-viable cycling sub-genre of pure TT. It's a purely grassroots local event, and it works great as that. To suggest that it's inconsistent just because some road bikes approach TT bikes in aero is an elitist argument. Most people don't care. They just want to go out and have fun racing a TT without having to drop $2-10K on a TT bike. God bless 'em.
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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>I guess that means Merckx TTs are really all about "looks"?

True, enforcement is a lot about looks. But I'd argue it's really about a allowing roadies with just one bike an introduction to TT.

And recruiting for TT is a problem. Every SoCal crit category is loaded, every weekend (for the men). But most Fiesta TT categories have just a handful of entries. A dozen max. The SCNCA TT had 10-20 entries per category. Pro/1/2 had 13, which is pathetic.

I raced Merckx so I could trash-talk the crit-only roadies about how'd I'd kick their asses in TT. On a road bike. I got quite a few to take me on. Someday some of them might get TT bikes. If just so they can be legit stage race contenders after stage 1.
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:

>Like I said...they're inconsistent in defining what it means since aero equipment is so prevalent in both road and TT along with the many TT/road equipment crossover possibilities.


Who's inconsistent? The Fiesta Island RD is perfectly consistent. It's not that complicated. All it really means is "use a road bike." E.g. no aero bars. The other rules are just gravy.

It's not like there's some USAC Merckx series that compares times from different courses. Or like Cancellara trying to break/set an hour record where you need a phonebook of rules.

The goal is so that people without a TT bike can be introduced to the barely-viable cycling sub-genre of pure TT. It's a purely grassroots local event, and it works great as that. To suggest that it's inconsistent just because some road bikes approach TT bikes in aero is an elitist argument. Most people don't care. They just want to go out and have fun racing a TT without having to drop $2-10K on a TT bike. God bless 'em.

So...why not just let everyone race whatever they want? Like in a "public" category? What if I show up with a "TT" frame with drop bars? I know people who ride them that way...even in road races. Some would argue that's actually what my road bike is anyway.

Like I said, I guess I don't get it. By definition, the Merckx category is about limiting equipment...but then that limiting is done haphazardly...so, for what purpose?

http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:


>I guess that means Merckx TTs are really all about "looks"?

True, enforcement is a lot about looks. But I'd argue it's really about a allowing roadies with just one bike an introduction to TT.

And recruiting for TT is a problem. Every SoCal crit category is loaded, every weekend (for the men). But most Fiesta TT categories have just a handful of entries. A dozen max. The SCNCA TT had 10-20 entries per category. Pro/1/2 had 13, which is pathetic.

I raced Merckx so I could trash-talk the crit-only roadies about how'd I'd kick their asses in TT. On a road bike. I got quite a few to take me on. Someday some of them might get TT bikes. If just so they can be legit stage race contenders after stage 1.

I would submit the low participation numbers are not about equipment, but more about most folks having a problem with the internal motivation needed to effectively TT. The external motivation from mass start races works much better for most to be able to push themselves IMHO.

I actually don't have a problem with Merckx categories...or singlespeed...or recumbent. It's just that, as I started commenting above, I find them to typically be very much "open to interpretation" in their application, which doesn't appeal to me...and, as Jack pointed out, often leads to whining about "cheating" (which both he and I have apparently witnessed).

http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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>The external motivation from mass start races works much better for most to be able to push themselves IMHO.

Maybe. It's the opposite for me - it took me a good two years to figure out how to enjoy (and succeed in) mass start racing. But that's probably because I came from triathlon and have natural TT physiology. I can understand how some people have trouble with TT. It does require a totally different mental approach.
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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If it makes you feel better to show up with whatever then do it. Or worry about what someone else has. Or if latex tubes are hidden under tires. No need to over-think it, the spirit is pretty obvious for anyone seeking a true test of strength.
Last edited by: Carl Spackler: Aug 14, 14 20:30
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [nslckevin] [ In reply to ]
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nslckevin wrote:
warwicke36 wrote:
nslckevin wrote:

Again, an Eddy Merckx TT is not an equipment arms war, it's a somewhat leveled test of strength.


While I don't disagree with your sentiment. There will be a 100% leveled test of strength. So there will always be shades of grey.

To me, if the rules are no TT bike, 40mm or shallower wheels, and no tailed aero helmets... I have no issue with using my Felt AR5, I can't use my HED jets as they are too deep, so I will use my heavy ass 30mm deep aluminum training wheels, and when I get an Evade or Giro Air Attack I will use that too. To me it doesn't make sense to dumb down my gear to do anything other than be within the rules. I don't think this hurts the spirit of the event. What's next, no latex tubes no tires over 60tpi. I mean you have to draw the line somewhere and they have. If I'm within the guidelines I have no guilt.


Eddy of course used latex tubes in his ultralight tubulars. On the other hand I purposely did not switch out my butyl tubes for latex, nor put conti 4000s' on my mid level Ksyrium training wheels for the Calaveras Merckx TT. Mostly because I'm lazy, sure, but it also seemed kind of weak to go through that kind of trouble to do an event that is supposed to be about accessibility to all.

You're permitted to ride your road race legal bike in any TT, so regular TT's are still accessible to anyone that wants to start.

Where they are not accessible is in some events where limitations on field numbers means getting a start may depend on having previously recorded fast times.

If a TT event's rules place lots of restrictions on the bike, well there will always be those who'll spend thousands of $ at tunnels or hundreds of hours of field testing to squeeze out the max aero advantage from whatever rules apply. People will make custom geometry frames that get them into better aero positions and so on. Resources will be spent either way.

And it's never going to level the field in any case. Some people are just naturally more aerodynamic than others. Indeed it might widen the gap for some.
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Re: What is a Merckx ITT? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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Tom A. wrote:

I would submit the low participation numbers are not about equipment, but more about most folks having a problem with the internal motivation needed to effectively TT. The external motivation from mass start races works much better for most to be able to push themselves IMHO.

TT in and off themselves are pretty boring. I love racing bikes, but will probably only do 1 TT per year, outside of stage races.
Different strokes for different folks, but I wouldn't get all high and mighty about "internal motivation" as if TT is somehow more worthy because if you do it right it is mostly just very uncomfortable. For me it takes a lot more internal motivation to race criteriums, by far my weakest event and always difficult to stay on the pace.

That being said, two TTs this weekend, 5K prologue uphill tomorrow and then a pancake flat 15 miler on Sunday. I'm not sure which one will hurt more (although I will place a lot better in the uphill one;)
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