Lightweight is the new aero!

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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RocketRacing
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

So the market moved from lightweight to aero. Now that we are at peak aero, and bikes got a bit chunky in the process, so i predict that marketing will again move to increasing lightness (while keeping aero).

As a 60kg light rider, i came to the conclusion that at any kind of semi competitive level, i will not be winning sprints or tt courses. Watts win on flats.

So i have been focusing on what should be my strength... climbing. Being small is a good thing. Here power to weight (w/kg) is king, and all i need to do it increase my watts faster than i gain weight. So far so good.

To get to the point, my weight weenie bike justifies itself because it helps increase my power to weight ratio which is key for climbs above 4% (the approximate tipping point where aero is trumped by weight).

Moreover, it helps me more than it helps you, because at 60kg, a 3kg savings in a bike is mathmatically worth more than saving 3kg when a rider is 90kg.

So I embrace my god given physique and to the hills I go!

That is all.

by Weenie


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Lelandjt
Posts: 525
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am

by Lelandjt

Just to play devil's advocate:
You say you're light but if you're also short you could work on your position and get pretty low and aero. Little guys can be fast on flats and downhills by punching a tiny hole in the air, think Caleb Ewan.

Another alternative viewpoint is that because you have fewer watts to offer when churning along the flats and because you have a smaller frontal area than a bigger guy, the reduced drag of say an aero wheel or handlebar is a bigger percentage improvement for you than me.
I'm also a big believer in "light aero" so my advice is to pick the low hanging fruit that doesn't come with a big weight penalty. An Easton EC90 handlebar is pretty light and the wind tunnel says it's a reasonable improvement. You could find the lightest 38ish mm deep wheelset and also shed some drag while adding minimal weight.

At a pretty reasonable budget I built a bike with aero frame, fork, seapost, bars, wheels, and kinda brakes (the frame and fork sort of wrap around the Dura-ace direct mount calipers) in size 61 at 6.6kg.

RocketRacing
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Hahaha. Well, what if i told you my 13.5lbs bike has 56mm wheels and aero bottles?

liam7020
Posts: 1001
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:04 am

by liam7020

Lelandjt wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:01 am
Just to play devil's advocate:
Little guys can be fast on flats and downhills by punching a tiny hole in the air, think Caleb Ewan.
I completely get your point but Ewan wasn't punching many holes in the crosswind echelons at Paris-Nice yesterday!
Tarmac SL6 & Campag Record EPS https://weightweenies.starbike.com/foru ... 0&t=153968

"Sometimes you don't need a plan. You just need big balls." Tom Boonen

robeambro
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

Lelandjt wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:01 am

I'm also a big believer in "light aero" so my advice is to pick the low hanging fruit that doesn't come with a big weight penalty.
I second that, as I said many times.
For example, aero frames (whilst being sexy) offer a quite slim CdA improvement / Kg ratio. Aero handlebars and deep(ish) wheels instead, offer a more sizeable improvement in CdA and usually (barring very exotic components like Obermayers) a small weight penalty vs their lightweight counterparts.

I think the "definitive" race bikes of today are the likes of the Tarmac / R5 / new Izalco. Aero-Optimised Yet Lightweight machines.
Of course one could argue that the likes of the SystemSix, Venge, Madone are "faster everywhere but the steepest ascents" (to also echo Cannondale's marketing which is by the way cherry-picking circumstantial favourable data in a very basic way), but any regular guy can achieve a good 90-99% of that performance by optimising a bike like a Tarmac/R5.

Ettore
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:44 am

by Ettore

The market is now moving to a balanced blend between lightweight and aero. Retaining 90% of aero performance at nearly full-on climbing bike weight.

ichobi
Posts: 952
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

by ichobi

Viviani's Venge with everything equipped including pedal weights 6.92kg (GCN) while being peak aero. If you do UCI race you can't really go lower weight anyway. That, is the optimal solution. Light enough while being super aero. Of course this doesn't apply to most other disc-aero bikes since they are at least 7.4-7.5kg sans powermeter.

An all round bike that optimize for aero is probably the best combo right now. Like the post above - think Tarmac, Ultimate, R5 equipped with full on aero handle bar and clean cable lines. Deep section wheels. There is almost no performance lost vs full on aero bike. May be even better since the GC bikes are more comfortable so you are less tired in the longer race and able to produce more consistent power.

by Weenie


boots2000
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

Why not have both?
As mentined- THe venge is not heavy.
But you could also run something like the Tarmac. Has a bit of aero. Set this up with the 56mm wheels that you mention and one of the lighter aero cross section bars- Like the Pro Vibe Superlight Aero. Clean your cables up and that is a pretty fast setup.

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