Light weight goes down - aero goes up

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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tymon_tm
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:35 pm

by tymon_tm

it's also the issue of manufacturers being more proficient with carbon and able to make almost anything out of it. 15 years ago, if they connected the tubes right or made a mold that was remotely rideable it was a huge success. today, you get full aero, semi aero, normal with aero tweaks, light, uber light.. pick your favourite. personally I went for an aero bike because a) it's super sexy b) it's super nice above 35kmh c) it's plenty stiff, a bit harsh, but I like my bikes that way d) wasn't really that expensive (bought an Ultegra/Cosmics Aeroad for like half of the price of Madone frameset..)

perhaps it's fashion thing as well, but it actually works - I don't know anyone who'd say "I don't like my aero bike, gonna swap it for a normal one". instead, those who tried S3 lust for S5. those who ride Emondas/Domanes will sell their kids to get a Madone. semi-deep wheels are being replaced by 50-60mm deep. no one's complaining, especially not the bikes shops which appear to sell more (for a bigger price as well) than ever before!
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.

by Weenie


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Noctiluxx
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Location: Southern California

by Noctiluxx

I think the best overall bikes are semi aero and semi light, like the F10 and XR4. My XR4 with DA 9150, Bora Ultra clinchers, EE brakes, SP titanium pedals, and Berk saddle is 14.5LBS. I have no desire to pick up a new 16-lbs bike to gain 2 watts at 50KM.
2018 Bianchi Oltre XR4, (Celeste Matt)
2018 De Rosa SK Pininfarina (Blu)
2019 Trek Madone SLR (Rage Red)
2019 Giant TCR Advanced SL (Chameleon Blue)
2016 Specialized Allez DSW Sprint (Gold)

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kgt
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by kgt

dgasmd wrote: ↑
Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:26 pm
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!
Exactly!
It's all about trends. Aero frames used to be super trendy in the mid-late '90s. Then lightweight became the new trend. We loved 900gr Scott frames and 1100gr Lightweight wheels. Then stiffness became the ultimate priority. Then aero ruled again and weight did not matter.
Nowadays, disc brakes are non aero obviously but are the new trend. Wait for another trend to pop up soon. Manufacturers have to keep on selling.
I am sure that we will think of the 2010s aero obsession in a few years and laugh. As we did for those vanguard aero frames of the 1990s...

Image

mikemelbrooks
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:58 pm

by mikemelbrooks

dgasmd wrote: ↑
Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:26 pm
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!!
This
But also, weight is a easy quantity to measure, you just stick what ever on a scale and there is your answer. With aero unless you have a windtunnel how do you compare one bike or component from another? Change your air speed you get a different reading, change yaw angle, rider postion, or clothing and you get a different result.

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dgasmd
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Location: South Florida

by dgasmd

mikemelbrooks wrote:
dgasmd wrote: ↑
Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:26 pm
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!!
This
But also, weight is a easy quantity to measure, you just stick what ever on a scale and there is your answer. With aero unless you have a windtunnel how do you compare one bike or component from another? Change your air speed you get a different reading, change yaw angle, rider postion, or clothing and you get a different result.
Again, because it doesn’t matter in real life to the 99.9%!!! Measure all you want. You are still going to chit chat at the end and get that super aero frame bike in the car just the same

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Calnago
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by Calnago

And weight, particularly when climbing, is very real and easily felt, even in small amounts. Just ask anyone who has started out on a significant self contained bicycle touring trip carrying everything on their bike. If it’s their first trip, while packing, basically the criteria is how much stuff can I fit into the bags I’m carrying. Once you start climbing and as the days/weeks go on, the thoughts change to “what am I carrying that I can send back home, or just throw away altogether”. Even the smallest of dispensable items get tossed from the load. As for a racing bike, it’s no different, except that the limiting factor in the low weight number becomes safety... because at some point throwing away grams from the frame can inevitably lead to a dangerous or poor handling bicycle. And you can’t ignore your own weight when factoring that in to the equation. The lower weight limit becomes also a function of rider weight. At 200+ pounds I have no expectations that I should be on a frame as light as 150lb rider could get away with. But I absolutely want the lightest bike possible that will allow me to ride aggressively in any conditions and still feel like bike is solid underneath me.
Weight will always be a huge factor in a bicycle as long as we’re relying on our own power to push it over a hill. Aero, not so much, more of a nice to have feature if you can live with the looks and if the ride quality is good and it doesn’t get pushed around too much in the wind due to tube shapes, deep wheel profiles, etc. Looks are subjective for sure, and I admit to having an aesthetic fondness for a classically shaped bicycle, but ride quality and handling are not things I would compromise, except if I was racing a specific event where I needed to squeeze every bit of aero advantage that I could, such as in a pro level time trial. And no one in our group is going to get to the lunch stop faster due to having an aero bike. So ride what you like.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

Nejmann
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Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:25 pm

by Nejmann

Calnago wrote: ↑
Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:13 pm
And weight, particularly when climbing, is very real and easily felt, even in small amounts. Just ask anyone who has started out on a significant self contained bicycle touring trip carrying everything on their bike. If it’s their first trip, while packing, basically the criteria is how much stuff can I fit into the bags I’m carrying. Once you start climbing and as the days/weeks go on, the thoughts change to “what am I carrying that I can send back home, or just throw away altogether”. Even the smallest of dispensable items get tossed from the load. As for a racing bike, it’s no different, except that the limiting factor in the low weight number becomes safety... because at some point throwing away grams from the frame can inevitably lead to a dangerous or poor handling bicycle. And you can’t ignore your own weight when factoring that in to the equation. The lower weight limit becomes also a function of rider weight. At 200+ pounds I have no expectations that I should be on a frame as light as 150lb rider could get away with. But I absolutely want the lightest bike possible that will allow me to ride aggressively in any conditions and still feel like bike is solid underneath me.
Weight will always be a huge factor in a bicycle as long as we’re relying on our own power to push it over a hill. Aero, not so much, more of a nice to have feature if you can live with the looks and if the ride quality is good and it doesn’t get pushed around too much in the wind due to tube shapes, deep wheel profiles, etc. Looks are subjective for sure, and I admit to having an aesthetic fondness for a classically shaped bicycle, but ride quality and handling are not things I would compromise, except if I was racing a specific event where I needed to squeeze every bit of aero advantage that I could, such as in a pro level time trial. And no one in our group is going to get to the lunch stop faster due to having an aero bike. So ride what you like.
This i why i just got my hands on a C59..

JerryLook
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:18 am

by JerryLook

themidge wrote: ↑
Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:15 pm
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.
+1
2010 Orbea Opal 54cm
6.6kg

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themidge
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by themidge

Calnago wrote: ↑
Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:13 pm
At 200+ pounds I have no expectations that I should be on a frame as light as 150lb rider could get away with. But I absolutely want the lightest bike possible that will allow me to ride aggressively in any conditions and still feel like bike is solid underneath me.
Cal, your C60 weighs approximately 8% of what you do, which presumably is a good amount given your above demands of a bike. This gives me great joy and hope for a WWing future, because 8% of me is ~4.16kg! :D

Back on topic now, I think Cal makes an important point: these things are subjective and relative. What might be far too light for one rider might only be scratching the surface of acceptability for someone else, or what one rider might feel is aero enough for their needs, might seem like riding a shopping bike holding an umbrella* to another rider.

*A common and apparently quite effective staying dry strategy, I discovered on holiday in Holland. Obviously not recommended to be used in conjunction with riding lightweight melensteins down a windy hill.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Ha... well, I'm not sure you can apply that ratio directly like that, but yes, if you're a lightweight, then I'm sure you can ride a much lighter bike than I ever could, or would.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

muti
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by muti

If people were buying what they actually need,this industry would be out of business.This industry lives on vanity.Either for an effortless gain of speed or a pursuit of youth that will never come again,depending on the age.

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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

muti wrote:If people were buying what they actually need,this industry would be out of business.This industry lives on vanity.Either for an effortless gain of speed or a pursuit of youth that will never come again,depending on the age.
+1

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kgt
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by kgt

+1

AJS914
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by AJS914

Yes, most of us here buy a new bike because we want it. I'd still be riding a 1996 Litespeed Classic if I hadn't lusted after carbon fiber. And the only reason I bought the Litespeed was because it built up three pounds less than my early 90s Guerciotti SLX.

The reason aero is up and light weight is down is science. Fifteen years ago we had Analytical Cycling. I would plug in weights and see how much faster I'd be up a big climb if I had shed some weight. Science is now telling us that aero time savings is trumping weight time savings. Peter Sagan wins most of his races on a Venge. The data tells us that the full aero bike is worth 3 or 4 bike lengths at those speeds.

I don't know why we have aero-deniers on this forum. There are a few who use every opportunity to put down aero, to say that you don't need it, to say that it doesn't make a big difference. Sure, one can make the case that nobody needs aero other than top level racers but you can't deny that it isn't a benefit. Saving 2km/hr on your ride may be meaningless or it may be the difference between winning and losing.

by Weenie


Theologian
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:34 am

by Theologian

It's my understanding that aero vs weight is very dependent on speed, No? I'd love to save a few more grams off my bike, and it makes more sense at the speed I'm going (which is usually slooooowwww), but alas, my titanium frame is not getting any lighter. So I'm putting on aero rims and handlebar and seatpost now.

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