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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 pm
Posts: 16
So, I have been following the aero bike debates closely and am nearing a conclusion on which bike to go with.

I was heavily considering the new Madone 9.9 - though I am going to be buying a frameset and Red E-tap and build it up myself.

Although I do believe in the aero claims and benefit on offer with the decoupler, ultimately I have decided it simply is too expensive of a proposition. Even more so when I think that the aero bike I choose will be the one I mostly race on and thus has the highest probability that I would crash it. $5,500 dollars is a lot of money to crash.

I am very seriously considering the new(er) Cervelo S3 (can get two of them for the price of the Madone!). I've read that its ~4 watts behind the S5 which is ~1 watt slower than the Madone 9.9 (Tour testing).

I would kit the Cervelo S3 with TriRig aero front brake (all aero front wheels so no need to use a quick release on the brake) EE rear brake and most likely a Bontrager Aero road bar with Red E-tap. Basically this would mean one brake cable in the wind.

There would be a very small penalty for having a regular stem (Zipp Sprint SL) plus Bonty Aero bar vs. the Madone integrated unit. Small hit too for the one exposed brake cable (~2 watts?)

So, by my estimation, this would put my Cervelo S3 at roughly ~3-5 watts (maybe less?) behind the Madone 9.9.

I am willing to sacrifice what is likely a more comfortable ride in the Madone for the money saved and slightly lighter bike that the S3 represents.

Is my math about right? Does this make sense to the AeroWeenies?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:49 am
Posts: 54
Race what you can replace right? For me personally I race an older model ti bike, that has lasted through many crashes without any issue and still looks brand new. At my level, an aero bike isn't the difference in winning or losing, the difference is the guy(s) who are beating me by significant margins and for which no aero bike is going to make a difference.

That being said, your mileage might very well be different. If you truly are contesting the results in whatever cat you line up in, then maybe that extra bit of aero would be the marginal gain you need. If however you're not contesting, I'd seriously consider a less expensive race option who's depreciation curve isn't astronomical. And a new Madone or a new Venge has one heck of a depreciation curve (especially when the new Venge hits stores less than one year after the last new Venge).

Now, all that being said. That watt difference you ask about. Again unless you're truly at a high cat 1, neo pro+ level or literally contesting results by fractions, that 5 watt difference isn't going to factor. Better race tactics would make much much more of a difference and learning those are free. Plus, because no one ever is perfect, you can always be improving.

I agree, $5,500 for an aero Madone frame (and I love the Madone) seems a bit steep, particularly if you ditch it on opening race weekend. Don't fret on the watts. But do immediately get a bike with disc brakes because it's impossible to win or even ride without them. Sagan would have won De Ronde by an hour if he had had them, BMC wouldn't have eaten it if the entire team was on them. Just kidding...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:43 pm
Posts: 527
Location: Florida
You are headed in the right direction. I would recommend along the same lines a Cervelo S2(ok S3 if you really want), pro-fit for optimal bike position and power output, race wheels and powermeter. Skip the Etap at this time and race with SRAM Force or equivalent.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:34 pm
Posts: 586
If you are going to run the Tri - Rig front brake take a look at the Speedvagen Custom modified ENVE stem they use on their cross bike. They route the cable through the stem and all that comes out of it is the inner cable. Right in the center of the stem and headtube. Then you can run the Tri-Rig center pull brake.

If you call and talk to them nice I think they will sell you one.

Run that with the SES Aero bar and it would be quite Aero. And then if you are going to do that use the ENVE Outfront Garmin mount that puts your Computer right out front in the Center helping to break the wind.

It's gotta be more aero than the stupid Madone Garmin bracket that hangs down.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:25 pm
Posts: 254
Location: UK
Great thread...

I've not seen any aero data for the latest S2 / S3, only the old one - Where does the 4W difference to S5 reference come from? Cervelo and others claim an aero bar is worth say up to 4W - So the frame difference between S3 and S5 might actually be very minimal?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:14 am 
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 9:48 pm
Posts: 243
Make sure you check availability on the Bontrager handlebars. I tried ordering one through my LBS but they are backordered with no availability estimate. I changed my order to the Zipp SL-70 Aero today.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:59 am 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 6:07 am
Posts: 154
dynaserve wrote:
Great thread...

I've not seen any aero data for the latest S2 / S3, only the old one - Where does the 4W difference to S5 reference come from? Cervelo and others claim an aero bar is worth say up to 4W - So the frame difference between S3 and S5 might actually be very minimal?


the 4w difference between the new(er) s3 and the new (2015ish) s5 is between the frames themselves, without reference to the handlebars. this is according to damon rinard when he was still with cervelo. see the following thread at ST:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi? ... ASC;mh=25;

have not ridden the s5, but have the newer s3 kitted out with dura-ace, 404s, and the zipp aero road bars. it "feels" fast compared to my wilier cento1 sr with non-aero alloy wheels. handles more like a road bike than an aero bike. love the s3!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Posts: 1311
Will you be riding in solo breakaways a lot? If not, the aero difference of the frame is negligible.

Good front wheel & bars is the best bang for the buck, and your helmet and jersey choice will outweigh anything you can do on the bike itself.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:52 pm
Posts: 436
Location: Dela-Where?
To generalize the argument you are correct. You are far better off getting a mid level aero bike than an aero "superbike". Fit comes first and most of gains of the new aero bikes are coming from their integrated cockpits. The team I race for has a trek bike deal but a madone 9 with a 40cm cockpit (the narrowest they make) wouldn't be faster than a mid-level aero bike with a 38cm Sl70aero. I also like the idea of real brakes.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:08 am
Posts: 315
Location: San Diego Ca USA
What about something like a Brand new BMC TMR02 56 frame for $900, the TMR01 Aero tested pretty well, the only difference with the TMR02 is the front brake and some would like that set up better.

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/bop/5512409954.html

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:27 pm
Posts: 23
[quote="morrisond"]If you are going to run the Tri - Rig front brake take a look at the Speedvagen Custom modified ENVE stem they use on their cross bike. ...
If you call and talk to them nice I think they will sell you one."

No, they won't. And in my experience, if you call and ask nicely, they will be snotty and dismissive and unhelpful. It's OK to say no, it's not OK to act like you're so special you don't have to be pleasant I guess because your bikes are some sort of fetish item in a narrow corner of the sport.

Eventually I tracked one down on eBay, but it appears like they came in one angle ... like, majorly down, and it just wasn't going to work for my fit. But yeah, if you can find one and you are one of those folks who slams their stem it looks like it might get another half watt out of the setup....


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 pm
Posts: 16
Thanks for all the replies thus far guys. Yeah, I think that what you guys are saying jives with my estimations.

Perhaps I should have explained this originally - I am a 42yo who is slowly getting back into racing, with specific goals I am aiming to hit over the next few years. I kinda see this as my twilight years of my racing career. I know I have some work to do on the engine, and am pretty certain that I can achieve my previous wattage numbers (~300 watts FTP with ~1200 watt sprint, and about a year ago I had a 550watt 2 min effort for example) and am on my way to target weight (168lbs right now). Currently I am around 240 watt FTP, so again, have some work to do. When I was in my early 20s, I worked my way up to a cat 3 and had enough points to upgrade to a cat 2. I am sure that there will be a learning curve with tactics etc, but think I can pick this up fairly quickly.

I have optimized everything else already (aero jersey / skinsuit / aero helmet / zipp 404 and 808)

My approach to racing is that once you show up on the start line, you have done all the work / homework you can to that point. Might as well make sure you have optimized your equipment too, cause you cant magically get an additional 30watts overnight. So I want to make sure I do everything I can to maximize results on the day.

Kinda like Cancellara at Flanders. At one point he and Vanmarcke were 13 seconds (I think?) to Sagan. Anyone else wonder what could have been if he had an aero helmet on? Or been on the new Madone? Or been using Di2 instead of cables? (Cervelo claims a 4 watt advantage due to no shift cables)

If I were to come that close to my lifetime goal, and miss out by such a small margin, it would be heartbreak. If I had all the equipment to get me there and I just miss out because my fitness was off or something else beyond my control on that day, then that I can handle. But if I had a piece of equipment in my garage that would have made the difference, it would haunt me.

I would need to go with the Bonty bar and Zipp Sprint SL stem to get the correct fit. The stem will be slammed and as long as they make it (140mm). Due to the semi tall head tube on the S3 (148mm for size 54), I would need the Zipp stem for its angle too. The Bonty aero bar has the right reach measurement I need (85mm) and looks like I will get on with the shape of the drop too (I tried the Zipp vuka sprint in short shallow, and have found I dont like the bend, I like a traditional round bend bar).

So, if anyone is interested I do have a Zipp Vuka Sprint 44cm short shallow bend that I have trimmed 15 grams off of that will be up for sale. I can even leave the cables routed in it for you.

One question on this bar / stem combo - can anyone provide real world comparison between the Zipp sprint SL stem and Bonty bar to a Pro Vibe 7s alu stem and Zipp Vuka Sprint bar?

I am guessing that the Zipp stem and Bonty bar will be a really nice, solid and stiff set up. Bonus on being able to slap on tt bars in case I do a hilly TT.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:12 pm
Posts: 23
I think you're seriously over compensating for the difference that equipment makes - in road races/crits anyways. 13 seconds its not a small margin by any means. Aero gains are small margins in the grand scheme of things.

I don't think anyone can expect that a tactical mistake be covered up by some better equipment. I certainly never blame my bike for my losses, nor do I thank it for my wins.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:37 pm 
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Posts: 5092
Location: Athens, Greece
+1
Just get something like an s-works, focus on your training, and do not bother more...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm
Posts: 519
If Cancellara had a few more aero do-dads he probably would have saved a second or two. He had another rider to draft on and that didn't make the difference. To me it makes no (financial) sense to take a new $4000 Madone or a $2000 set of wheels into mass-start cat 3 races. Plus, the frame makes the least difference. Shoe covers save more than a frame.

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