aero frame query for seasoned riders / members in relation to normal rider

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
c60rider
Posts: 344
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

I remember Chris Boardman saying, who was one of the team behind finding advantages in kit for British Cycling track performances, that one of the simplest things to gain a huge benefit was an aero helmet and most the pros at that point were riding round in large vented helmets catching the wind. Interesting that over the past couple of years most pro riders are using an aero or semi-aero lid to some degree when speed is the primary goal. Overall frontal area was the next biggest gain so flexibility to get down low enough, and still be comfortable, was the next biggest gain. So both are quite inexpensive for the benefits. Beyond that the gains are less but the cost starts to skyrocket!

by Weenie


asiantrick
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:18 pm
Location: the OC, CA

by asiantrick

If all you do is sucking wheels in a group like me, then aero frame is pointless.

AJS914
Posts: 2251
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I wonder if there are any studies on that. It's often pointed out that you don't need aero when you are behind another rider but I have a feeling that aero equipment is still important.

I was doing my group ride on Saturday and we had a tail/side wind. I was on the rivet at 28mph while sitting on a wheel. Isn't the chief force that I am overcoming at 28mph still wind resistance? I'm still keeping my head down and using the drops or using forearms straight on the hoods because if I sat up I'd be working too hard.

Stueys
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:12 pm

by Stueys

AJS914 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:12 pm
When I add up aero gains from various sources it looks like:

50mm wheels 25 watts
frame 20 watts
bars 5 watts
aero helmet 10 watts
https://www.cyclingweekly.com/videos/cy ... -bang-buck

Most of what I’ve seen suggests a pure aero frame makes a relatively small difference compared to kit, wheels, bars, etc, etc. Certainly I don’t think you would get 20 watts

Matt28NJ
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:16 am

by Matt28NJ

Stueys wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:43 pm
Most of what I’ve seen suggests a pure aero frame makes a relatively small difference compared to kit, wheels, bars, etc, etc. Certainly I don’t think you would get 20 watts
Agree:

And this pushes things (if true) off in a different direction:
https://bikerumor.com/2014/08/27/eb14-c ... dated-rca/

diegogarcia
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

Great stuff and thanks for contributing all. Great for some real world experience ref; aero.

My goal is to re-ride this point to point but 'aero overshoes' next. Considering aero bars too. Current FTP 252 at 47 years old - middle for diddle I would say. Ebbing into winter here and 12 weeks of power building on the turbo to come too but hopefully get a blast at it before winter bites.

ichobi
Posts: 649
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

by ichobi

R5 is a great frame to ride. I suggest you start with an aero bar or integrated bar stem first. tour magazine test shows that a good aero bar can save almost as much as an aero frame upgrade. Then wheels. Latex tube if you ride clinchers. Use real fast tire like Vittoria Corsa speed Tlr. Run your bearings in light oils. Use aero helmet and if needed a skin suit. All of this will still be cheaper than buying a new aero frame but It will net you more than 25-30 watts reduction already. What you want to do seem to be running a time trial basically, with a roadbike.


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Alumen
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:47 pm

by Alumen

diegogarcia wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:41 am

But, here is the rub. A fellow rider claims an aero bike will hold speed better thus pushing me further up the chart and effectively save time, or make me 'quicker'.
...and that is well said by the fellow rider !

An aero bike doesn't make you faster, as such... It saves you energy during your ride, so that during or at the end of your ride you can hold your speed better. Which indeed contributes to a higher AVERAGE speed.

And I mean an aero bike here, not a TT bike, that indeed does make you INSTANTLY faster due to your aero position.

Training for an even better fitness still is the best solution, at the end of the day the legs still have to do all the work :)

But like mentioned before, you can already gain 80% of the aero benefits by picking the low hanging fruit like an aero frontal part of your bike and helmet.
CAAD 10 2015

mattr
Posts: 3755
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Stueys wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:43 pm
Most of what I’ve seen suggests a pure aero frame makes a relatively small difference compared to kit, wheels, bars, etc, etc. Certainly I don’t think you would get 20 watts
probably quite dependant on your baseline. An oversized, round tubed frame with fully exposed cable bosses, poor fork design and completely unoptimised to bars/stem/wheels then going to a full aero frame "system" that is optimised to work with all its individual components. You may be looking at 20 watts bonus for the frame alone (but only at 50kph and zero degree yaw....)

mattr
Posts: 3755
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

AJS914 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:22 pm
I wonder if there are any studies on that. It's often pointed out that you don't need aero when you are behind another rider but I have a feeling that aero equipment is still important.
It's a sliding scale, dependant on many things. To get to "no benefit at all" you'd probably be needing to look at very very large groups of very tightly packed riders travelling at <25kph.

Charity sportive sort of thing. Where I'd not dare ride anything expensive!

pmdd72
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:47 pm

by pmdd72

AJS914 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:22 pm
I wonder if there are any studies on that. It's often pointed out that you don't need aero when you are behind another rider but I have a feeling that aero equipment is still important.

I was doing my group ride on Saturday and we had a tail/side wind. I was on the rivet at 28mph while sitting on a wheel. Isn't the chief force that I am overcoming at 28mph still wind resistance? I'm still keeping my head down and using the drops or using forearms straight on the hoods because if I sat up I'd be working too hard.
I think you answered your own question here. I don't need a study to tell me that if I'm on the rivot in a paceline or break it helps to tuck my elbows in and maintain an aero position while I'm behind other riders. While the aero gains from individual pieces of equipments won't turn a turkey into an eagle...every bit helps.

Edit: Speaking of keeping my elbows tucked in, I can't tell you how many times I've seen riders give up any aero advantage gained from their expensive wheels/frames by failing to keep their elbows tucked in or mouting their garmin at an screwy angle or something. If speed is important to you, definitly pick all the low hanging fruit with an aero helmet, shoe covers, and a skinsuit and then, when budget permits, move on to the wheels and frame. (You should also experiment with narrower bars and less stack height, if possible.) Just remember, though --when things get going fast, remain aware of your position so you don't give away your hard earned watts.
Last edited by pmdd72 on Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

GlacialPace
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:37 am

by GlacialPace

moonoi wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:06 am

Not sure I agree, I have a Chapter 2 Tere and a Colnago Concept, and riding out solo and in to a headwind I can feel a massive amount of difference in the amount of power needed to maintain the same speed between the two, with the Concept requiring less effort/power for the same speeds.

I would say that if you're riding in a bunch, the aero benefit is negligable, you'd benefit more working on your positioning in the group to save energy/power than riding an aero frame.
The point I was trying to make is that when you are in a race/fast bunch ride you are not dictating the pace (unless you are an animal on the front and everyone is just trying to hold on for dear life, but let's assume that's not the case) so you are going to be going the same speed no matter what bike you are on. In this case an aero bike will save you a few watts and will allow you to be fresher for the final sprint, or will allow you to hold on for longer if you are struggling with the speed. In this situation a small helping hand can make a decent difference.
If you are riding solo then you are dictating the pace (or probably more accurately the power output) and so an aero frame might save you a few minutes total ride time. This might matter to you if you are chasing strava KOMs but it will likely not have a massive impact on your enjoyment of the ride. I think a light comfortable bike would have a larger impact on your enjoyment level in this situation.

It really depends on the riders habits and preference. Are you surrounded by massive hills or endless flat? What proportion of your riding is solo, in a bunch? How on the rivet are you when you do bunch ride or race? What do you like the look of? Do strava KOMs matter to you?

diegogarcia
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

OK mild update as did my end of season point to point this morning. Same drill.

Set off, started raining, pouring on the hour, but maintained an aero position as best I could still on my 38mm wide round bars as per Youtube videos bent elbows, flat back wher possible - 58mm wheels.

Different gilet, no flapping, did not get velotoze in time due to work, which is a shame as soaked through at the end, but was 7 minutes faster completing 43.5 miles in 2 hours 12. However, power out put up (NP 233) which I suspect was combating wet roads. Overall pleased, I was a smidge away from 40 miles at 2 hours on the dot on which is classified as a hilly ride. The last 3 miles feel uphill and drag robbing me of a good 10 minutes. Aero frame not going to happen to be honest but looking at Specialized Aerofly 2 38mm c-c once I work out how my wahoo elemnt fits them :thumbup: Compliment my R5 - it is some bike. Overall, on the day, it is all about good sensations in the legs. As I said to my brother himself a rider and me 47, him 52, a fit house cat is faster than an overweight tiger :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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HenHarrier
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:34 am

by HenHarrier

Long time lurker, first post and apologies because not really a ww comment - but I have a cervelo r2 and lusted for the red /black colourway 2017 S5. Huge discounts in UK right now ahead of new S5 model with discs etc so went for it. I'm 58yo, never raced, not ridden many different bikes really and don't 'need' aero, but do I ever love this bike. It's just joyous to ride. I love the handling, the feel of it, the look of it... I love owning it. Am I faster? I don't care. Do my mates think I'm a bit barmy for buying rim brakes and 'poor' tyre clearance? I don't care. Do I look the very definition of a mamil with 'too much bike'? I don't care. The R5 is brilliant (I almost pulled the trigger) but the S5 just grabs me and doesn't let go. It's fun. I'm smiling now thinking about riding it. I've read a lot of these debates here and learned a huge, huge amount from the experts on the forum - but in the end I gave in to a bike that is already almost 'old fashioned' and I just don't care. YMMV but the comment I read on here that I most associate with: if it makes you want to ride it, that's the bike for you. Again sorry, not a ww first post but felt compelled (much like the feeling that led me to the S5) to comment.

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diegogarcia
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

HenHarrier wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:51 pm
Long time lurker, first post and apologies because not really a ww comment - but I have a cervelo r2 and lusted for the red /black colourway 2017 S5. Huge discounts in UK right now ahead of new S5 model with discs etc so went for it. I'm 58yo, never raced, not ridden many different bikes really and don't 'need' aero, but do I ever love this bike. It's just joyous to ride. I love the handling, the feel of it, the look of it... I love owning it. Am I faster? I don't care. Do my mates think I'm a bit barmy for buying rim brakes and 'poor' tyre clearance? I don't care. Do I look the very definition of a mamil with 'too much bike'? I don't care. The R5 is brilliant (I almost pulled the trigger) but the S5 just grabs me and doesn't let go. It's fun. I'm smiling now thinking about riding it. I've read a lot of these debates here and learned a huge, huge amount from the experts on the forum - but in the end I gave in to a bike that is already almost 'old fashioned' and I just don't care. YMMV but the comment I read on here that I most associate with: if it makes you want to ride it, that's the bike for you. Again sorry, not a ww first post but felt compelled (much like the feeling that led me to the S5) to comment.

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Great post. Ignore your friends. Rim brakes are still relevant and I concur about riding the bike you love. I love my R5 - such as versatile bike and if it was not as fast as it is (within my skillset) I would have bought a S bike too, but oddly enough I went from n+5 to n+3 this year and at the minute like you the R5 delights me. I sat looking at it today totting up it's overall value and kept thinking "what a bike !" .... :thumbup: Everyone I know tells me the S5 is something else. Enjoy.

by Weenie


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