Madone is the aero king - why?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
ichobi
Posts: 636
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

by ichobi

As someone who live and work in the industry ( I run online cycling magazine and regularly get to review cheap to luxurious bike), there is a reason that bikes cost over 5k get gushing review, and we NEVER do paid review. The reason? : They are that good. The difference between these bikes are subtle and tend to be personal preference. Some might be a tad more responsive, some less comfortable etc etc. I wouldn't mind owning any of them. They are more than good enough. But if I can choose one I will also have my own preference like all of you here do - the branding, the history, the legacy, the color, the build options.

Each bike will have somewhat unique ride characteristics, but most are extremely competent. There is very little room for bad bike at this price point.

Example: I own a Tarmac Sl6, I also get to ride Bianchi Specialissima extensively.
They are both stiff, comfortable, precise handling. I don't have many objective to describe them. Most publication will say the same. True - the Specialiisima feel faster to accelerate. The Tarmac more measured in cornering but as said these are miniscule difference that use have to ride to see for themselves but don't make them categorically better than the other. They are also very expensive. I mean can you expect any less from bikes that cost this much?

This may surprise some of you but most of the sponsors / importers don't really want gushing review either. They want to know what the riders don't like, and keen to get feedback.

Bike brands can't risk getting caught out or outdone by their competitors. The local media that do paid gushing review are almost out of business as readers and riders are much much more educated these days. They will call you out if something they read an overly glowing review. They will point out tiny details that the reviewer miss.

This is how it works in Thailand. I don't know about any other country as we are not dealing directly with the manufacturer.

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

It is true that there is a tendency, although it's just a tendency and not a reliable law such as the law of gravity, that an item which costs more might exhibit qualities greater than its lower priced comparisons.

However there are a load of cognitive biases that come into play here.
Oh, you say your journalists are not being compensated in some way to promote a brand? That does not negative a cognitive bias. Here are a few that are applicable even by the description you've written above:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_correlation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect
http://coglode.com/gem/price-value-bias

and some... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

Have a read:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=147396


ichobi wrote:This may surprise some of you but most of the sponsors / importers don't really want gushing review either. They want to know what the riders don't like, and keen to get feedback.


They'll get feedback, but not in reviews. They get the 'negative' feedback through their staffing at demo-days or from their test team, or from the mechanics of teams that they sponsor, and so on.
Online journalism review being negative? Hardly when it comes to the top-end equipment. If there's any mark against something the comment is usually not elaborated upon enough to really help a brand improve their product.

ichobi wrote:Bike brands can't risk getting caught out or outdone by their competitors. The local media that do paid gushing review are almost out of business as readers and riders are much much more educated these days. They will call you out if something they read an overly glowing review. They will point out tiny details that the reviewer miss.


The comments section of readers being a place where they point something out? Readers are more likely to point out that the cranks were not aligned for the photo rather than some issue with the product, and then usually the comments end up being a choir of bandwagon effect, the few dissenters not getting their voice recognized adequately. The dissent isn't about details here, the dissent is about the much larger claimed aspects of a product.



But getting back to the Madeone being claimed as the "aero" king - Aero is a measurable, quantifiable quality.
The dissent came under the sensory perception of other aspects of the frame, not the 'aero' qualities.
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by Weenie


mag
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:23 pm

by mag

First back to the original topic a little:
- I agree with youngs_modulus that the Madone whitepaper is pretty good work given it's been put through the marketing department with the target audience being general public. It gives a good insight into how that aero-focused frame development went on, what it focused on and with which results. I participated on few documents of such kind myself (completely different field) and this one is really better than what I'd expect in such case.
- The drag/yaw-angle results (when compared to the Cervelo S5) pretty well match what one would generally expect from that bike knowing it utilizes the Kammtail shaped tubes. Slightly worse at low yaw angles, more than slightly better at higher yaw angles. Of course it's more complex than just this, but it sets up some base for the aerodynamic properties from which they then optimized further. I think the whitepaper pretty well outlines their process so it's worth checking out for those interested.

Offtopic regarding comfort:
- I'd expect the IsoSpeed system to perform the best in certain ranges of vibration frequencies & amplitudes as well as rider weight. Therefore there may really be cases where it doesn't perform well. Also for the real test to be more relevant one would need to ensure that at least wheels, tires & their pressures would be the same for all compared bikes (which we don't know it was the case of Noctiluxx). And still, he's an unique individual which may simply prefer different feel than what did the Madone give him (it's still very subjective matter after all).

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