Recently, I received a question from a teammate who is interested in doing a stage race this summer. This particular stage race opens with a relatively short time trial, and then is followed by three days of road and criterium racing. As the teammate wants to do well overall in this event, he wondered if it would be worth his while to borrow a time trial bike for the opening stage. Here's my response:
Another option is to borrow a disk and a good front wheel and use shorty aerobars on your current road bike. Aerodynamically, you won’t be giving much up (get a good aero helmet); biomechanically, you’ll do much better on the bike that you’ve been riding than by borrowing a bike for a one-off event. Keep in mind that there’s a much greater opportunity to lose time in the circuit race and road race than in the TT, anyway. Unless you think that you’re going to get a top five or better, throttle back a bit in the TT and go with the breaks on the road.