Time Trialing: Be The World World Champion of the World

My college rowing coach used to host a race called the "World World Championship of the World," which took place five or six times every Wednesday morning as the sun was coming up on Lake Mendota -- big guys in boats trying to crush one another. If you could walk through the other crews -- come from behind, pull even, put them in your wake -- they were done. And they saw it all happen. Rowers face their wakes, so they see an advancing boat, see it pull even and when it's disappeared behind them, they're ruined. They will not catch it. A crew strong enough to pull through you will never be seen again.

All that makes me think of time trials on this bike. This is a mean bike of big leverage built for a rider with the body of an oarsman. Think Taylor Phinney, George Hincapie, Tom Boonen -- riders whose lanky power gives them control over a time trial course, who see riders ahead of them as milestones to be walked through, devoured. Vroooosh. The sound of a spirit falling as something big slides by. How far back was his start? As this bike and its rider disappear down the course, those left in its wake have to confront some truths.

This aluminum frame doesn't get in the way of a fast rider; it just exposes where the speed truly lies. In the key aspects where a bicycle can help its rider attain speed, this bike excels. The HED carbon cockpit with F-16 armrests will minimize your frontal area. Its clincher wheels are some of the strongest aero wheels on the market -- Mavic Cosmic Carbones. Along with Dura Ace 7800 brake calipers -- famous for their unparalleled modulation -- these wheels are stable in crosswinds and offer a real and maybe surprising advantage: the alloy part of the rim allows you to brake better. You'll be able to set yourself up for corners with precision and confidence instead of maybe scrubbing away too much speed due to the less predictable feel of carbon brake tracks. Plus, these wheels are famous for their durability and will stay true and stand up to years of hard riding. 

The 55-tooth front chainring accomplishes a few things. One, it is wicked. Two, if you're powering your 12-tooth cog at a cadence of 90, you'll be at 52 kilometers an hour, versus 50 kph with a 53. But most important, it makes the gear ratio differences smaller. So when you are riding the 55 and shift your rear derailleur, it is a smaller percentage change and you'll be able to dial in a bit better. 

Here are the full build specs:

2006 Specialized S-Works Transition 61 cm XL frame with carbon FACT aero fork (Zertz inserts, carbon steerer) and aero carbon seatpost.

Dura Ace 7800 10-speed group: brake calipers, derailleurs, cassette (11-23), crankset (177.5 mm 55/39), bottom bracket, shifters, chain

Look Keo Carbon Ti HM pedals

Fizik Arione Saddle

Kool Stop Salmon brake pads

Mavic K10 700x23 tires

Mavic Cosmic Carbone 700c clincher wheels

S-Works Integrated Mindset headset

HED one-piece adjustable carbon aerobars with F-16 armrests and HED brake levers.

Enduro ceramic bearings in bottom bracket and rear derailleur pulleys

$1,775 for full bike as pictured

$525 for wheelset (skewers, cassette, tires included)

$1,625 for bike without saddle or pedals