Blog – Billy Oliver Then & Now


Billy Oliver looks back at his setup from this time last year and talks about what has changed as the season for 2015 approaches

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Blog – Billy Oliver Then & Now

Billy writes … Seems crazy that it was pretty much a year ago I was racing on a course that I’m soon to be back on. It will be great to compare pictures from the different years and how the race goes. I said I would go through the set old set up and explained what and why has changed.

I look at a picture from that race and I don’t really think it was a case of it wasn’t a strong position as I did get some good times in it but the more I look at it, the details and changes are vast and get smaller and smaller.

Starting from the top, I found the Giro a good helmet but in my position, looking up the road was hard as the tail really flattens off and the tail piece meant I couldn’t stay aero and look up the road which is just asking for trouble. The Javelin sorts this problem nicely and I’m hoping the Lazer Wasp will give me an even smoother transition between helmet and bike.

The skinsuit was on its first outing back then and only seemed to bag a tiny bit around the elbow and neck plus the neck was too high and tight so I had to have it undone a tad which wouldn’t of helped.

As for the rider, me, I think I was about 83kg there and I’m 77kg now so a good 6 kg of unneeded weight gone!


Billy later in the year at the 10 champs.

The bike itself has changed from the P4 to the Boardman TTE which has lead to some component changes but a lot of that is through choice as much as forced through bike change (ie TT has integrated bars and brakes etc).

Wheels firstly. The rear is a Powertap G3 built into a 32 spoke cyclops rim. It’s my training wheel and weighs a ton. It has the very smart Raltech disc cover on which used to rub the super wide rear stay of the P4 due to the large bulge in the cover but not always. It is a great piece of kit mind for using as a training wheel.

For racing, standard bearings and Shimano 11-23 cassette, tyres used front and back were the 23mm Conti Supersonics. The front wheel was a old Hed Jet which was pretty good but a bit scary as soon as the slightest bit of wind came along. Cranks and chain ring were the FSA Neopro in a 180mm (changed to 170mm near the end of the year). Really cool cranks but I remember I massively overtightened them a few times being ham fisted and they would hardly spin (love making life harder for myself.)

I’ve been trying to get a set in 170mm but just can’t find them anywhere. And a 56t Osymetric but I will go into the what and why it was changed later.

I’ve always ran just a single chain ring so that won’t change this year. I was running a SRAM Rival rear mech with token standard 11t jockey wheels but thanks to David at Prologue performance, I’m replacing that with something very special.

The Adamo saddle stays as its mint but the 3T Ventus bars have made way for a fully integrated front. I never liked the fussy area as I called it of cables that used to go to the brake and back into the frame for the gears and rear brake so it’s great to clear this area up.

Positional changes have changed the extensions from ski bend to a reverse set of 35 degree bends and I will be running the Drag2zero arm rests also which I got later in 2014 on the TTE. The SRAM R2C shifters stay as I think they are great. I’m not running Di2 but will go into the whys in the next blog when we look at the TTE setup.

The more I look, the more I spot tiny things. Even the wheel skewers have been swapped out. Before I forget, someone was asking about front brakes on TT bikes. I used a standard Shimano 105 front brake with nokon cable. It was a great fit on the P4 and with the nokon you could pretty much get the cable out the way. I looked at the tri-rig etc but couldn’t justify it over what i had tbh.

So that’s pretty much this time last years set up. Just from me and equipment changes, I think I’ve saved 7kg plus on the overall weight and can spot immediate savings over everything from better fitting skinsuit with the nopinz speedpocket to minimising friction lose and rolling resistance, to the obvious training power output.

I just need to get out and ride now. I found out today we have a date for aero testing at Newport velodrome which will be awesome and a good chance to get some solid data. I will get a photo from the same event as the one above was taken and do the same again with that set up. Hopefully it’s been interesting and I haven’t managed to give too much away. Things seem to move along so fast in racing, its pretty refreshing to go back over old stuff and look at what you’ve changed and try and spot the improvements or maybe even find something you might need to go back to ;)

Catch up with Billy’s other blogs here – A year to beat the clock

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