Light weight goes down - aero goes up

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
AJS914
Posts: 2383
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Aero vs. weight is more dependent on grade than anything else. If you live in a flat area, shaving 30 grams off of your seatpost nets you essentially zero speed improvement.

Looking at Hambini's test even at 30km/hr you are saving 11 watts by going to a 50mm wheelset over the base Ksyriums. Some will say that you can't even feel 11 watts. That may be true but let's say that you are an average guy with a 200 watt FTP, well, then you are saving 5% at that speed. Only you can decide if 5% is significant or worth it.

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Kayrehn
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:06 pm

by Kayrehn

Weightweenism is probably just fun for the true tinkers on this forum. Set out with a goal, come up with methods and solutions, a chance to mess around with bikes and their parts. The assumption that people become weightweenies to be faster probably only applies to competitive hill climb specialists. Recreational riders probably believe that it helps to have a light bike in the mountains but I don't think they are concerned with the speed gains, maybe just effort saved on climbs and for the pleasure of knowing that your bike is more awesome than your mates' on the slopes.

Also, if light bikes all look similar and boring, the same can be said for aero bikes too. I used to think they look cool but not anymore when so many bikes have those dropped seatstays look.

by Weenie


AW84
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:04 am

by AW84

muti wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:59 pm
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.
Doesn't Greg Lemond still hold one of the top five fastest individual TT's ever on a 1989 model bike and 1989 aero technology?

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kgt
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Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

But what does 5% or 2% or 10% mean at the end?
The fact is that most, if not all, of the top riders in all recent Grand Tours do not ride aero bikes. They win on normal or semi-aero frames, using medium profile wheels, wearing normal helmets, without any shoecovers etc.
This is not a proof that aerodynamic advantages do not exist (because they do) but a proof that racing and performance is based on so many different things that aerodynamics end up not to play any significant role in competitive cycling (we are not talking about tts or the track).

BW the Sagan paradigm is really interesting because the watts this guy wins by his venge (first year he decided to race on an aero frame) are probably lost by his... beard. I really do not think he gives a damn about aerodynamics.

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VTR1000SP2
Posts: 439
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

The Sagan enigma aside, aerodynamics matter when it's rider vs time. Factor in a peloton, hills, weather, spectators, cafe stop, lunch, traffic lights, etc. and you never know what you're going to end up with. I wanted to know first hand if I was really benefiting from having an aero bike when I had my 2015 Cervelo S3. It was already as light as possible (7kg flat with pedals, cages, computer, lights) and moving to a Focus Izalco Max saved me 800 grams using everything that was on the S3 (that could fit) except for the wheels. The overall stack, reach, and saddle to bar drop was almost identical (within 1mm). My overall average speed over the various routes I ride didn't change but I know a few guys that went from a "light" bike to an "aero" bike and saw their average speed go up. Perhaps it's the placebo effect of a new bike, perhaps it's the new fit of the aero bike. In one case, someone went from entry level mavic cxp22 rims/shimano hubs to a generic asian 50mm carbon tubular saving almost 600grams and they saw their average go up almost 2mph on the best days.

I think aerodynamics will help most of us but is an aero frame the answer, no I don't think so and rather it's a combination of factors. Like some have said, a race bike that has aero characteristics like the F10 or Tarmac would be the best of all worlds. Would I buy an aero framed bike again, yes, they look damn good and if I'm going to get out there and hammer it, a pretty bike will make me want to do that. 100% vanity.
42.

Stendhal
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am

by Stendhal

Kayrehn wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:32 pm
Weightweenism is probably just fun for the true tinkers on this forum. Set out with a goal, come up with methods and solutions, a chance to mess around with bikes and their parts. The assumption that people become weightweenies to be faster probably only applies to competitive hill climb specialists. Recreational riders probably believe that it helps to have a light bike in the mountains but I don't think they are concerned with the speed gains, maybe just effort saved on climbs and for the pleasure of knowing that your bike is more awesome than your mates' on the slopes.

Also, if light bikes all look similar and boring, the same can be said for aero bikes too. I used to think they look cool but not anymore when so many bikes have those dropped seatstays look.
There's a lot of truth to this, good post. Weight weenism is fun, and subjectively lighter bikes seem to help -- I can't say that is true in reality other than by expert studies (see the Cervelo papers under Damon's watch where the engineers assessed that better aero > lower weight when riding up to a 5% grade for regular riders, ands up to a 8% grade for pros).

I ducked out of pure weeism (lowest weight possible) in favor of weight budgeting. I'll "pay" extra weight for the following benefits, in order:
1. Safety.
2. Stiffness.
3. Comfort.
4. Aesthetics.
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 (6.48 kg)
LOW// mki road (7.25 kg)
Retired: Pinarello Dogma F10 (6.49 kg), Lapierre Pulsium FDJ, TIME Fluidity S, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2, R3, R5, Felt Z-25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1884
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Stendhal wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:59 am
Kayrehn wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:32 pm
Weightweenism is probably just fun for the true tinkers on this forum. Set out with a goal, come up with methods and solutions, a chance to mess around with bikes and their parts. The assumption that people become weightweenies to be faster probably only applies to competitive hill climb specialists. Recreational riders probably believe that it helps to have a light bike in the mountains but I don't think they are concerned with the speed gains, maybe just effort saved on climbs and for the pleasure of knowing that your bike is more awesome than your mates' on the slopes.

Also, if light bikes all look similar and boring, the same can be said for aero bikes too. I used to think they look cool but not anymore when so many bikes have those dropped seatstays look.
There's a lot of truth to this, good post. Weight weenism is fun, and subjectively lighter bikes seem to help -- I can't say that is true in reality other than by expert studies (see the Cervelo papers under Damon's watch where the engineers assessed that better aero > lower weight when riding up to a 5% grade for regular riders, ands up to a 8% grade for pros).

I ducked out of pure weeism (lowest weight possible) in favor of weight budgeting. I'll "pay" extra weight for the following benefits, in order:
1. Safety.
2. Stiffness.
3. Comfort.
4. Aesthetics.
+1000

robeambro
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

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.
Finally somebody said it! I roll my eyes every time I see people saying "aero bikes are better for blah", regurgitating the main manufacturers' marketing material word by word.
Equally, I roll my eyes when I read people saying "weight is tangible, aero isn't going to make you go faster". Yeah sure, physics holds only partially. :roll:

A frame is really the least of worries when trying to get aero benefits, with position and clothing being by far the most important factors.
themidge wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:15 pm
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.
You lost me there! :mrgreen:

I love the artistic look of some custom Ti frames, but when it comes to riding, I also like some cocky aggressive look, and aero bikes do the job.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1884
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

robeambro wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:44 am

A frame is really the least of worries when trying to get aero benefits, with position and clothing being by far the most important factors.

Why not all of the above?

How often do you see someone on an aero bike in a club-fit jersey or with a non-aero helmet and do you think that trope applies to forum regulars?

robeambro
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:00 am
robeambro wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:44 am

A frame is really the least of worries when trying to get aero benefits, with position and clothing being by far the most important factors.

Why not all of the above?
Sure, all of the above matters, but there is plenty of evidence online showing that the CdA reduction achieved by using aero clothing (including helmet) and adopting an optimised position are far superior than those achieved with an aero frame. Heck, even wheels matter more than the frame itself in reducing drag.

That said, even frames matter; just saying that there is much lower-hanging fruit.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1884
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

robeambro wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:14 am

Sure, all of the above matters, but there is plenty of evidence online showing that the CdA reduction achieved by using aero clothing (including helmet) and adopting an optimised position are far superior than those achieved with an aero frame. Heck, even wheels matter more than the frame itself in reducing drag.

That said, even frames matter; just saying that there is much lower-hanging fruit.

This is a forum where most people don’t stop at “low-hanging fruit.”

I wouldn’t use a club-fit jersey, non-aero helmet and shallow wheels on days where I’d hunt for PRs, and neither would you.

robeambro
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:04 am
robeambro wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:14 am

Sure, all of the above matters, but there is plenty of evidence online showing that the CdA reduction achieved by using aero clothing (including helmet) and adopting an optimised position are far superior than those achieved with an aero frame. Heck, even wheels matter more than the frame itself in reducing drag.

That said, even frames matter; just saying that there is much lower-hanging fruit.

This is a forum where most people don’t stop at “low-hanging fruit.”

I wouldn’t use a club-fit jersey, non-aero helmet and shallow wheels on days where I’d hunt for PRs, and neither would you.
Wait, I don't understand why we're arguing, I think we are saying the same thing.
Maybe the fact that English is not my native tongue may have led to a misunderstanding.

I was, just like you, stressing the importance of all of those elements in capturing aero benefits, so obviously I wouldn't hunt for PR's without dialling them all in. I only said that, wanting to sort all of these in an ascending order when it comes to importance, frame counts less than clothing and position.

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dgasmd
Posts: 1450
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:10 am
Location: South Florida

by dgasmd

Yes, aero is real, weight is good uphill and accelerating, aero wheels are nice, aero bikes look cool, WW like to tinker, and we still just buy bikes based on looks, vanity, and fashion!!

bremerradkurier
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:18 pm

by bremerradkurier

VTR1000SP2 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:29 pm
Phuddy wrote:My big problem with this, is that there is no budget Aero bike to speak of; what’s the Everyman to ride??
Cervelo S2, Bianchi Aria, Ribble makes one, Giant Propel.. are these still out of reach?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Fuji Transonic and Ridley Noah as well.

rlpaul
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:25 pm

by rlpaul

Personally I think most aero bikes look ugly. Looks have nothing to do with why I'd ride one.

by Weenie


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