53x12 wrote:Yes the Cervelo S2/S3 and the Felt AR are improvements over the aero roads bikes of old. From my time test riding them (limited), I would say I would have an extremely hard time telling a difference in comfort compared to a traditional road bike if I was blind folded. Honestly, that Felt AR is quite comfy.
I seriously doubt they ride as well
as the better road bikes but that's a very subjective. Road bikes run the spectrum from bone-jarringly stiff to plush. I ride a Roubaix SL4 with CG-R seat post so my definition of "good ride" probably differs from yours. I do plan to test the AR the next time they have a demo in my area. I don't know if Cervelo does that type of demo but I think you really need to ride the bike for at least 30-45 minutes to get a feel for ride. There was a recent magazine review of the S3 and AR and I think they rated the ride at 6-7 which isn't exactly plush bike territory.
I am also of the mindset that you also get a lot of your comfort from other places besides your frame: Better quality bib shorts helps a lot, selecting a good saddle, proper tire selection as well as tire pressure, wheel selection...etc.
I disagree, my personal experience is that if the frame is too stiff there is very little you can do to make the bike ride acceptable. Bearing in mind that most aero frames can't take larger than a 25-28mm tire.
Why does this aero discussion always have to turn into a, "instead of getting a aero frame why not do x,y or z instead." They aren't mutually exclusive. One should be doing all of those things you listed. Yes, all of them. Why can't you have an aero frame + all of those things you listed (which I agree with)?
I think context is very important when you're talking about aero equipment. If your goal is to pick up a certain amount of watts there are cheaper ways to do it. For example, should I really go spend several thousand dollars on a new bike or work on being able to ride a more aggressive position comfortably? The big point is the penalty in ride quality aero frames impose. We may get to the point that aero frames ride as well as standard road bikes but we are not there yet.