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 Post subject: Aero Road Bikes are BS
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 2:31 pm 
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Says one of my pals...they also say a steel frame with small tubing is just as aero as the supposed large kamm section aero carbon frames or maybe more aero.

I feel otherwise but I don't have any myself. I have an Alu and a few vintage steel road bikes. All with aero wheels. I definitely feel the advantage vs normal wheels especially in oncoming/side winds when pulling the pack.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 3:00 pm 
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As it sounds like you know, wind conditions play a role in all of this, but I often see the figure thrown about that an aero frame makes a bigger difference than a typical deep section rear wheel, but less than a deep section front wheel. Try swapping your wheels around a bit if you want to do a bit of unscientific testing to see what you think.

Regarding big tubed kamm tail vs. small round tubed steel from an aero perspective, that is an interesting question. i haven't seen wind tunnel data from a traditional steel frame in a long time. Frontal area is certainly important, but if you look up some of the aerospace data on the drag that a skinny round tubed antenna generates on a plane, vs. a large but aero optimized wing cross section, it is pretty clear that aero shaping can overcome a lot of frontal area disadvantage.

Having said all of that, this is weightweenies, so even if narrow tubed steel was decent on aero it would still be at a big disadvantage vs some of the new aero superbikes, gravitationally speaking.


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Posted: Mon May 25, 2015 3:00 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 3:29 pm 
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I agree with the sentiment contained statement. Considering that most riders spend most of their time at speeds below the low 20's , other factors are more important. Pro's may consider it as even a second or two could make the difference between winning and losing. For most riders the legs matter most. if you are going to obsess on the bike contribution focus on the bike geometry. To the extent you want more aero, don't wear clothes that trap the wind, and ride in the drops more, but if a rider is inclined to get more aero, the place to focus on is the wheels.

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 3:54 pm 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE_GKeP ... t&index=13

Even accounting for differences I would say it's not all BS. Leading and trailing edges can have a much larger aero effect than size.

For aero I would say it is more about looking at the small details (clothing, helmet, position) than new frame + wheels which may be the headline

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 3:59 pm 
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Location: Atlanta, GA, US
Jmdesignz2 wrote:
Says one of my pals...they also say a steel frame with small tubing is just as aero as the supposed large kamm section aero carbon frames or maybe more aero.

I feel otherwise but I don't have any myself. I have an Alu and a few vintage steel road bikes. All with aero wheels. I definitely feel the advantage vs normal wheels especially in oncoming/side winds when pulling the pack.

Specialized did a test in their wind tunnel, comparing an older steel Allez to a new Venge. Show your buddy the video.

The Win Tunnel: Steel is Real but is it Aero?: https://youtu.be/XE_GKePa3CQ

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 5:08 pm 
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:roll: :roll: This 'debate' has been argued to death already.......


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 5:50 pm 
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I have been riding a 2015 S5 for much of the spring- it has proven faster on climbs and flats but until yesterday I would say the differences were seconds because I was comparing shorter blocks.
Yesterday I rode an 80 mile loop. Wind is usually similar as you get it on the way out and only a small stretch on way back- since it is a loop you cannot avoid the wind.
I rode the loop at a similar power to the exact ride 13 months ago.
On the ride 13 months ago I had a titanium frame with exact same wheels.
I was 5 minutes faster over the 18 miles.
Significant speed difference? Or pure noise and maybe conditions were different?


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 6:00 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 9:18 pm 
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So what is the question?


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:18 pm 
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Jmdesignz2 wrote:
Says one of my pals...

Suggest to your 'friend' that he should have a search on here, before starting another thread

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=101287

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=131873


Your choice what you want to believe. But your 'pal' might want to have some data to back up his assertion.

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:26 pm 
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Re Specialized. They rightly realize that the more important thing to get right is their rider first engineering concept, of designing each bike according to target size audience, not aero. They also put more emphasis on getting the bike to fit the rider than other builders. if the bike don't fit, or is either too stiff or not stiff enough, you won't ride optimally. This matters more than a wind tunnel test.

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:31 pm 
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fa63 wrote:
Jmdesignz2 wrote:
Says one of my pals...they also say a steel frame with small tubing is just as aero as the supposed large kamm section aero carbon frames or maybe more aero.

I feel otherwise but I don't have any myself. I have an Alu and a few vintage steel road bikes. All with aero wheels. I definitely feel the advantage vs normal wheels especially in oncoming/side winds when pulling the pack.

Specialized did a test in their wind tunnel, comparing an older steel Allez to a new Venge. Show your buddy the video.

The Win Tunnel: Steel is Real but is it Aero?: https://youtu.be/XE_GKePa3CQ


40 kilometers and only 50 seconds, in a lab? You have to be kidding. in the real world that 50 seconds would have been reduced some.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 1:14 am 
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It used to be light, stiff, Aero choose one with steel. Could get two with Alu and early carbon and now you can get all three.

Why compromise. You can get a light stiff, comfortable Aero bike.

Steel has improved as well and you can get a great ride but again can't get all three together.

Ultimately though it depends on what you want to do with the bike. Hell, people have gone back to down tube shifters on this board for the weight but for me would not be worth the compromise in performance. It all depends what is important to what you want to do with bike.


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 1:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:45 pm
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Location: PDX
It always amuses me when people try to argue against the math... as though their logic is somehow more indicative of reality than proven physics.


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 1:39 am 
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You underestimate my Logic. It goes beyond comprehension.

Or maybe they are just politicians.


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Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 1:39 am 


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