Madone is the aero king - why?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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alcatraz
Posts: 972
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

Hi WW's

I've been wondering what makes an aero frame aero. (I know changing the frame only saves you like 17 watts, but setting this aside)

I've watched some Hambini videos talking about NACA tube profiles and analyzing some frame properties. What is good and what is bad and so on...

What strikes me as unusual is that I don't see the main common aero features on the madone frame and yet it still tests very good in the wind tunnel in several tests. (The first test I read I thought "ok good one trek marketing, you're not fooling anybody)

1. I'm looking at the down tube, and I see a huge surface there like a sail from the truncated tube profile.

2. The seat tube does not come close at all to the rear wheel.

3. Tubes all around the bike are not exceptionaly narrow and they are all quite severely truncated.

4. Front wheel does not go into the down tube a little. The head tube and upper down tube area is not particularly drop shaped in the horisontal plane

Can it be true that the gains that put the madone on top simply come from places I hear people say are negligible?

1. Exposed cables

2. Aero brake calipers

3. Integrated handlebars


In the same wind tunnel tests a frame that to me looks to be more like a TT/Tri bike gets worse results.

Should I just give up my own convictions of what makes a good aero frame and just buy a madone or is something fishy going on here? Is it all magic and we just have to wait for the results before we know if it's aero or not?

Thank you for reading.

/a
Last edited by alcatraz on Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

glepore
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:42 pm
Location: Pa USA

by glepore

Kamm profiles. Ugly ish but work. Look at frontal profile of the bike as well.


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by Weenie


morganb
Posts: 539
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:30 pm

by morganb

This is a shot in the dark but maybe it just works really well as a system. The individual tubes and parts are aero if not the most by themselves but possibly they work together better than on other bikes.

cunn1n9
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:24 am

by cunn1n9

The Pinarello F8 and F10 are just as aero as the Madone according to Germany’s Tour Magazine. Obviously the truncated aero foil works even though Hambini dismisses it with his computer modelling. Thing is that the Pina has exposed cables so they must not be such a big deal as the Madone and Pina are basically the same and the Pina has normal bars too.

I have an F8 and an S5 and they both feel fast to me. Faster then my old R5


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53x12
Posts: 3762
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:02 am
Location: On the bike

by 53x12

Tube shapes + integration.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

alcatraz
Posts: 972
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

What would the ideal aero bike be in your opinion?

An S5 built with kammtail tube shapes?

A trek speed concept is more like a cervelo than a madone. Weird?

Also was the kammtail tube shape introduced first in the madone 9 and speed concept 9?

/a

mrlobber
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:36 am
Location: Where the permanent autumn is

by mrlobber

If superfast (+ super comfortable and light) aero bikes would be so easy to build based on just "an opinion", Berk would be creating one for me right now :D :D

More or less, "peak aero" has been reached and you won't see additional gains of more than a couple of watts versus the current cream of aero offerings. Better (easier) integration, better comfort within the current aero envelope, but more aero - hardly.

That's at least one reason more why industry is doing so big push on disc brakes, otherwise almost any current top end bike in aero or light category is a bloody great machine, thus, greatly diminishing any incentive to upgrade it each year or two.

pyrahna
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:53 pm

by pyrahna

alcatraz wrote:Hi WW's

I've been wondering what makes an aero frame aero. (I know changing the frame only saves you like 17 watts, but setting this aside)

I've watched some Hambini videos talking about NACA tube profiles and analyzing some frame properties. What is good and what is bad and so on...

What strikes me as unusual is that I don't see the main common aero features on the madone frame and yet it still tests very good in the wind tunnel in several tests. (The first test I read I thought "ok good one trek marketing, you're not fooling anybody)

1. I'm looking at the down tube, and I see a huge surface there like a sail from the truncated tube profile.

2. The seat tube does not come close at all to the rear wheel.

3. Tubes all around the bike are not exceptionaly narrow and they are all quite severely truncated.

4. Front wheel does not go into the down tube a little. The head tube and upper down tube area is not particularly drop shaped in the horisontal plane

Can it be true that the gains that put the madone on top simply come from places I hear people say are negligible?

1. Exposed cables

2. Aero brake calipers

3. Integrated handlebars


In the same wind tunnel tests a frame that to me looks to be more like a TT/Tri bike gets worse results.

Should I just give up my own convictions of what makes a good aero frame and just buy a madone or is something fishy going on here? Is it all magic and we just have to wait for the results before we know if it's aero or not?

Thank you for reading.

/a


Here is the hard thing about aerodynamics....it's hard and unpredictable. The best tool we have as consumers to understand the aero properties is third party tests....but even those are pretty fallible.

Bridgeman
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:04 am
Location: USA
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by Bridgeman

After riding both a Felt F1 and a Pinarello F10 extensively, there is no question in my mind the F10 is far more aero.

The Madone in contrast always felt too flexy, and certainly does not lend itself to sprinting like the F10 does.

kode54
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

by kode54

alcatraz wrote:What would the ideal aero bike be in your opinion?

An S5 built with kammtail tube shapes?

A trek speed concept is more like a cervelo than a madone. Weird?

Also was the kammtail tube shape introduced first in the madone 9 and speed concept 9?

/a



Kammtail has been around for awhile. i have Kammtail shaped tubes on my Parlee ESX...and that's not a new bike either. some frame sets have Kammtail seat tubes and downtimes. can't remember which ones.
- AX Lightness Vial EVO D + DA9150 + Enve SES 3.4 carbon hubs
- Parlee Altum + DA9150 + Enve SES 4.5 carbon hubs
- Parlee ESX + DA9150 + THM SRM PM + Enve SES 6.7 CK hubs
- Independent Fabrication Ti FLW + DA9100 + Enve 3.4 CK hubs

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1372
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Kamm shaped tubes aren't optimal... They're used because the 3:1 rule was in place and because they're practical for sections like the downtube where a bottle would be placed.

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Rich_W
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:31 pm
Location: On an Island 6 Miles at Sea. Move over Swanson, I'm drivin...

by Rich_W

I've been enjoying my project one H1 since August. My first aero bike... it definitely feels quick.

Also note the thing is super comfortable and stops well.

I think you've got only part of it.

1. Exposed cables
2. Aero brake calipers
3. Integrated handlebars

I'll add, frontal area: head tube, bar/stem interface, and seat mast

Also seat stays and top tube junction.

Air flows as smooth through the rider as possible.
Attachments
madone_frontal.jpg

wingguy
Posts: 3965
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:43 pm

by wingguy

alcatraz wrote:I've watched some Hambini videos talking about NACA tube profiles and analyzing some frame properties. What is good and what is bad and so on...

Cervelo put out a white paper way, way, waaaaay back in the days of either the Soloist SLC or original S3 explaining why NACA profiles didn't work very well as part of a complete bike system, and why they'd started developing their own aero tube shapes for each individual part of the bike frame instead.

Why would you expect a frame that used NACA profiles to be competitively fast? :wink:

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kgt
Posts: 6806
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

Actually Madone is considered as 'the aero king' because some tests say so. Keep in mind, though, that these tests do not follow strict scientific protocols and their results are not actually processed.
In general tests done by manufacturers or cycling magazines are neither rigorous nor independent. Actually the only PhD research on bike aerodynamics ever discussed in this forum has as its main conclusions that the aerodynamics of the frame itself (comparing track frames) do not, practically, matter:

https://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/h ... lltext.pdf

by Weenie


youngs_modulus
Posts: 512
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:03 am
Location: Madison, WI USA

by youngs_modulus

Respectfully, KGT, that dissertation's conclusions do not say what you suggest. In fact, the author says quite the opposite on page 234:

Lindsey Underwood wrote:A relatively large impact on drag was also found by changing either the frame (2.8%) or the wheels (2.5%) individually.


She essentially writes that since the rider is responsible for most of the net drag, she concentrated most of her efforts in drag reduction on the rider.

Underwood reaches this conclusion after sticking some quasi-random foam shapes to already-aero pursuit bikes with electrical tape. One of the pieces of foam gets taped to the steerer clamp of a conventional stem and resembles nothing so much as a half-finished Chipotle burrito (Fig 7.1a, p. 148). This is not to impugn Dr. Underwood's work, but rather to highlight that she didn't make a serious attempt to say whether the aerodynamics of the frame "matter in practical terms." (I'm paraphrasing you here).

Underwood compared two fairly aero 2008-era pursuit frames and made small, slightly goofy modifications to them. The conclusion she reached about frames is that (a) aero frames are already aero, and (b) even two aero frames can have significant differences in drag between them.



Edit: typo-fixing
Last edited by youngs_modulus on Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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