Out of curiosity, those of you that are pretty adamant that Aero is not worth it, is racing your primary focus?
Depends on what type of racing you're asking about
Road Races? Criteriums/Circuits? Track? Time Trial? Ultra distance? Cyclocross?ª
They each have their nuances that determine whether aero will be of paramount* importance.
Where * paramount meaning that aero is the be-all-and-end-all priority above weight, comfort, handling, etc:.
I believe that aero has its place. I don't believe that 'absolute aero' designed frames have that much more of an advantage compared to a semi-aero frame (Scott Foil, A2J, for example), and I do not believe that in a complete system of rider/clothes/helmet/frame/wheels/etc that the frame itself has a significant impact on aero performance. Clothing, helmet choice, fit, and wheels will have more of an 'aero' impact individually than the frameset will. Aero can certainly look cool though!
I believe that in Time Trials, however, or for Triathlons (no drafting, basically one long TT), which rarely feature any uphill portion of significance, aero everything is the way to go.
ª speaking of types of racing, and if 'aero' is the king of everything, anyone wonder why we aren't seeing 'aero' frames or wheels in downhill or XC racing? Afterall speed matters there, and durability has already been proven with existing tech, yet there is virtually no visible, marketing push for 'aero' in any part of their equipment beyond 'internally routed cables' which serve more utilitarian purposes than aero ones.
|| Other projects in the works.