Apologies for continuing this, but some of the posts here are quite uninformed. To set the record straight, here are some numbers from our own testing, and I'll even relate it to pro cycling! Data are from our third-party testing, nothing from manufacturers, you'll see the figures pop up in the magazine over the next few months. The new test on aero road bikes should hit newsstands in a few days, for those interested. And before you ask, no I will not provide any additional data
Fact #1: On Boonen's Venge, swapping from 32-spoke wheels to the fastest wheels in our test will save ~225 grams of drag (using weighted average across -20 to 20˚ yaw, at 30mph).
Fact #2: With those same fast wheels, swapping from a steel round-tube frame to a Venge will save 141g of drag.
Conclusion: If you say wheels make a difference, but somehow the frame does not, you are mad.
Specialized and the rest of Boonen's sponsors have done a bunch of education with the man himself year. In the past, he has always run traditional classics wheels in Flanders/Roubaix. This year, you will see that he does not. He has "bought in" to the aero advantage.
I hope this is not too OT but....
I am not Anti-Aero or Pro-Aero (I have both types of frames), but I have a few concerns:
I am in the medical field and Rule #1 is: Don't belive research that is produced by the manufacture who is selling/making it.
It seems in the bike industry that is all we really get, (Adrian & Madcow from FWB are very valuable because of this=independant) so we are at a disadvantage (but VN can help with their reviews), but if there "research" about "Specialized" comes from Specialized then we are again at a disadvantage:
We get Aero charts from Zipp= wow Zipp, is fastest
We get Aero charts from Enve= Wow, Smart system is fastest
We get Aero frame info from "frame company" = Wow there frame is fastest (as "saves___ watts"
And there is no way to combine them because they do them differently.
(not to mention, most companies arent' testing the "whole system" with:
-helmet,nor are they able to facter in (very well, as a whole...and accuratly);
-changing wind conditions,
-riders changing directions,
-the dynamics of the pelaton or group brake-away,
-different wheelsets (with a given frame)
-for wheel-are they testing varied spoke counts
-are they specifying a specific tire used (and it's width. Maybe they are in this case)
-weather/humidity (yes, this has to do with the rider, but what/who wins races..it is a factor)
-varience in ability (yes, this has to do with the rider, but what/who wins races..it is a factor)
-varienece in heat (yes, this has to do with the rider, but what/who wins races..it is a factor)
etc...)There are so many factors, it is unlikely we will ever know facts, we will really only know Aero will help in some small way (and that is great, but lets put it into perspective)
I, personally, don't believe much
of it (thier research could be correct, for all I know), but that is how I was trained. If I submitted research like that I would be laughed at.I could be wrong (I probably am ) but:
It seems like we are making "Mountains (minutes) out of Mole-hills (milliseconds)"
(and yes, milliseconds can make a difference in winning a race, but what percentage of cyclists are competing at that level = 1% or less ? )
But "in a nutshell", the above quote seems interesting, but have we ever recieved date from company "A" saying that anything they (company "A") produce, isn't "better", "faster" etc... that the rest (or the previous model).
As an example: have very many of us been to the LBS where we have been told that "A_____" is great and "B_____" is bad, and it is because "A" is what they are selling and "B" is what the LBS down the street is selling.The odds of really knowing (I am not saying they lie, per-say) the truth, from Marketing, is pretty slim, you have to admit. You don't get you research form "the maker" of the product.What is comes down to is:
Aero helps, I am sure...to what degree...we will (probably) never know.
So if you enjoy it and want to try anything to get an edge...great, go for it.
But if you don't belive it, there is some truth to that as well....great, too.
I just think we should see things for what they are (and if we don't know what they are they we should at least admit it)
Sorry if this is OT and too long