Light weight goes down - aero goes up

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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VTR1000SP2
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by VTR1000SP2

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Also it’s just reality. Aero bikes are simply the better option for most people, especially those of you who don’t climb much. On flat ground, a lightweight bike only helps during acceleration. Up a hill when climbing at a steady pace, the aero bike will be faster until you reach a pitch where your speed dips below 10mph or so. For me this is around 8% avg for a 1 hour climb.
How did you test this out?

I recently switched from an aero bike that was 7kg with very deep wheels to a lightweight bike that is 6.2kg with mid depth wheels and I haven’t noticed any change in pace over rollers or flat roads (other than the economy of the aero bike north of 40kph).

Haven’t had a chance to hit any major climbs but expect basic math to win here.


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bilwit
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Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

Aero is faster pretty much hands down in any situation other than going straight up from start to finish. That said, I'm not really bothered. I really like the modern look of the new Tarmac and Teammachine which only give a slight nod to aero at points.

There's also something to be said about taking an aero bike for a recovery ride to the cafe or down the street.. it's like getting a Bugatti and driving to work with it..

by Weenie


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Lelandjt
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am

by Lelandjt

I think the industry's adoption of disc brakes plays a part in this. They can make a disc bike that's "the most aero". They can't make a disc bike that's close to "the lightest". Much easier to market a bike that claims to be the fastest and has great braking than one that is moderately light and has great braking.

Aero appealed to me early because it suits the rides I do, but I like light bikes also. I enjoyed building a bike that was as light and as aero as possible. I hoped this would be the next thing the market would jump on. It made sense that they'd try to make bikes that are as fast as possible both on the flats and climbs (within the 6.8kg rule). Unfortunately enough of the public decided that braking and comfort are priorities that the industry went a different direction. Oh well, my 3 year old bike is still way lighter than any production aero bike and much more aero than any of the production light bikes so it doesn't feel old yet.

NiFTY
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

I think a lot of people buy the bike that appeals to them physically (in terms of looks). If you look at your frame and the mere shape of it excites you - you will ride more.

I think my next bike will be aero cause I think some of them look great (also my climbing bike is under 5kg so no point buying another light frame). But my next bike will not be disc, even if they were the same weight, mainly because I think that they are ugly as sin (especially the ice-tech shimano rotors).
Evo 4.9kg SL3 6.64kg Slice RS 8.89kg viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110579" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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kgt
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Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

VTR1000SP2 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:30 am
TobinHatesYou wrote:
Also it’s just reality. Aero bikes are simply the better option for most people, especially those of you who don’t climb much. On flat ground, a lightweight bike only helps during acceleration. Up a hill when climbing at a steady pace, the aero bike will be faster until you reach a pitch where your speed dips below 10mph or so. For me this is around 8% avg for a 1 hour climb.
How did you test this out?

I recently switched from an aero bike that was 7kg with very deep wheels to a lightweight bike that is 6.2kg with mid depth wheels and I haven’t noticed any change in pace over rollers or flat roads (other than the economy of the aero bike north of 40kph).

Haven’t had a chance to hit any major climbs but expect basic math to win here.

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You are right. 800gr is a lot of weight for an aero design to counterbalance it.
In any case if someone does not race who cares if he is faster or not. OTOH if one is a racer he better see what the top (pro) racers and their teams ride. Check the top 10 of this year's Giro. Check the top 10 of this year's Tour. Wait for this year's Vuelta top 10. You will hardly see an aero frame.

The good thing nowadays is that there are a lot of aero frames that ride great as well.

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wheelsONfire
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Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

If we took 3 different bikes and 3 cyclists and none of them rode with horizontal backs.
All 3 had 70mm drop, saddle to handlebar.
None of them in (true) aero position, all rode same amout in the drops and on the hoods.
All same clothing and some watt output.
I wonder what would be prio.
Ride feel or the miniscule aero effect!?

Light bikes feel so snappy, but sure. They won't help holding a fast pace.
Aero bikes IMO, suffer more from the fact that these bikes evolve faster.
People always want the latest and greatest. Especially since aero is all about gains.
The newer bikes is supposedly better.
I don't see light bikes evolve as rapid.
I won't lie, i also like the looks of aero bikes and deep profile wheels.
I often wish lighter bikes could have some fancy shapes.
I believe for many people aero sell due to looks.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

kgt wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:55 am

You are right. 800gr is a lot of weight for an aero design to counterbalance it.
In any case if someone does not race who cares if he is faster or not. OTOH if one is a racer he better see what the top (pro) racers and their teams ride. Check the top 10 of this year's Giro. Check the top 10 of this year's Tour. Wait for this year's Vuelta top 10. You will hardly see an aero frame.

The good thing nowadays is that there are a lot of aero frames that ride great as well.
Primoz Roglic wasted everyone on hilly stage riding an XR4. A semi-aero bike has won the last 4 grand tours in a row. ;)

There are some stages with steep mountain finishes where a climbing bike is going to make sense, just not most of them.
Last edited by TobinHatesYou on Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kgt
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by kgt

Semi-aero (with exposed brakes and cables) is not aero and we know nothing about XR4's actual aero performance. In any case the top aero frames are nowhere in the top 10.

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

kgt wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:53 am
Semi-aero (with exposed brakes and cables) is not aero and we know nothing about XR4's actual aero performance. In any case the top aero frames are nowhere in the top 10.

Ultimately that comes down to riders being pretty stubborn and having weird preconceptions. Bahrain-Merida only just got Nibali to ride the Reacto at all...His Milan-San Remo attack would have ended in tears on a Scultura. :)

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themidge
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by themidge

The frame is pretty far down the list of things-to-worry-about-being-aero right? Slapping on aero wheels and handlebar, having aero clothes, managing cables well/eTap, and having an aero position will make the most difference to your drag.
I'd say the relatively small improvement an aero frame will make isn't worth sacrificing the superior aesthetics of a traditional light weight frame.

hyvent
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:59 am

by hyvent

bilwit wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:07 am
Aero is faster pretty much hands down in any situation other than going straight up from start to finish. That said, I'm not really bothered. I really like the modern look of the new Tarmac and Teammachine which only give a slight nod to aero at points.

There's also something to be said about taking an aero bike for a recovery ride to the cafe or down the street.. it's like getting a Bugatti and driving to work with it..
this 100%

i love my bike on recovery rides

spartan
Posts: 1258
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 2:52 am

by spartan

dogma f10 IS a AERO bike. multiple grand tour winner. pinarello does not market it as aero, just fast.

f10 vs venge disk difference in watts is ~2 according to tour mag
Current Rides:

2018 Madone SLR DISC DI2 9XXX
2017 Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 DI2 9150

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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

I agree with the marketing comment and reason. Truth is that 99+% of people that buy bikes would not see a realistic and significant difference. So, we all end up buying what looks "pretty or cool" to us regardless of terrain ridden. Sure, you might shave a few seconds here and there in a huge mountain with a super light bike or "feel" a bit faster in your competitive group rides, but in the end we all just "weekend warriors". Buy the one that appeals to you and enjoy it!!!

If you've been in WW forum for a while, youd have noticed trends. Thisis a focused group. When I first joined, there was an insane amount of focus on lightest parts, tuning stuff, filing stuff, drilling things, replacing bolts, stripping frames and everything, etc. Almost every thread was about dropping weight or showing how you did it. Over time, as a lot of the parts got lighter by themselves, we hardly see that anymore. If you look at the top 40 threads right now, I doubt 4 have that focus. Seems everyone has turned more into getting a "cool looking new bike off the shelf" and just slapping a couple of lighter parts off the shelve. Everyone seems quite happy to have a 6 or 7 Kg bike when years ago those threads would not even get a reply! It's novelty I think, and you can't show off to others about what you have if they can't tell what it is. Personally, I still think there is a whole new crowd cycling these days, and the aero and posseur mentality is stronger than it used to be. All of this is based on solely my observation of "weekend warrior" as the PRO are controlled by too mnay variables like sponsors, budgets, UCI rules, etc that none of us have to deal with.

Ride and enjoy it!!

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VTR1000SP2
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

dgasmd wrote:I agree with the marketing comment and reason. Truth is that 99+% of people that buy bikes would not see a realistic and significant difference. So, we all end up buying what looks "pretty or cool" to us regardless of terrain ridden. Sure, you might shave a few seconds here and there in a huge mountain with a super light bike or "feel" a bit faster in your competitive group rides, but in the end we all just "weekend warriors". Buy the one that appeals to you and enjoy it!!!

If you've been in WW forum for a while, youd have noticed trends. Thisis a focused group. When I first joined, there was an insane amount of focus on lightest parts, tuning stuff, filing stuff, drilling things, replacing bolts, stripping frames and everything, etc. Almost every thread was about dropping weight or showing how you did it. Over time, as a lot of the parts got lighter by themselves, we hardly see that anymore. If you look at the top 40 threads right now, I doubt 4 have that focus. Seems everyone has turned more into getting a "cool looking new bike off the shelf" and just slapping a couple of lighter parts off the shelve. Everyone seems quite happy to have a 6 or 7 Kg bike when years ago those threads would not even get a reply! It's novelty I think, and you can't show off to others about what you have if they can't tell what it is. Personally, I still think there is a whole new crowd cycling these days, and the aero and posseur mentality is stronger than it used to be. All of this is based on solely my observation of "weekend warrior" as the PRO are controlled by too mnay variables like sponsors, budgets, UCI rules, etc that none of us have to deal with.

Ride and enjoy it!!
Well put


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Shrike
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by Shrike

My personal taste is the best etc.

Retro grouch borefest with hints of insularity and frugality :roll:

by Weenie


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