Is an aero frame worth it?

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cheapvega
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

I think I got WWism out of my system. I have a rim brake FM098 build that I have been de-WWing for comfort and performance. My long term plan was to minimize spending on it to save up for an aero disc build, but my rear Tufo S3 tubular doesn't hold air anymore, and since the tires kind of suck anyway I thought about replacing them. Turns out decent tubular tires are super expensive, and I wasn't looking forward to the install.

So I grabbed a set of ELITEWHEELS 60mm clinchers and 28mm GP5Ks. Haven't ridden them yet but I had an old set of alloy clinchers with GP4Ks and they rode way better than the Tufos. They also hit the 105 rule perfectly (27mm tires and 28mm rims). I'm thinking I will get some aero integrated bars next. Going to get my jerseys tailored as well. After all that would an aero frame (which will prob require going disc) be worth it?

by Weenie


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wheelsONfire
Posts: 5213
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

This is the question! Do you intend to buy a aero frame that has some data showing that it really has an aero advantage, not just looking like an aero frame?
I expect aero to give gains at flat, but going up i think it's going to be vice versa.
I also think, going from rim brake to disc and further to an aero frame will worsen ride feel. If that is a problem or not, i don't know of before i have actually compared A to B. But i don't expect a full aero bike to have the nimbleness, livelyness of a light weight rim brake bike.
Fork and NDS chainstay needs to be beefed up to cope with the braking forces of disc brakes. Personally i think that's why the industry is so happy fat tires are modern.
If we all rode 23mm tires still, the less good ride feel would be noticed (way more).
I talked to a guy here racing and he is also way faster than me. He told me 35km/h and over he think aero concept (not bike alone, but the full concept) is good if you also keep a low stance on the bike.
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

robeambro
Posts: 1571
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

cheapvega wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 3:36 pm
I think I got WWism out of my system. I have a rim brake FM098 build that I have been de-WWing for comfort and performance. My long term plan was to minimize spending on it to save up for an aero disc build, but my rear Tufo S3 tubular doesn't hold air anymore, and since the tires kind of suck anyway I thought about replacing them. Turns out decent tubular tires are super expensive, and I wasn't looking forward to the install.

So I grabbed a set of ELITEWHEELS 60mm clinchers and 28mm GP5Ks. Haven't ridden them yet but I had an old set of alloy clinchers with GP4Ks and they rode way better than the Tufos. They also hit the 105 rule perfectly (27mm tires and 28mm rims). I'm thinking I will get some aero integrated bars next. Going to get my jerseys tailored as well. After all that would an aero frame (which will prob require going disc) be worth it?
If the frame is already of the right geometry for you to be in an aerodynamic position (which doesn't necessarily mean lower), and you don't really care for / want disc brakes, then swapping frame just for the sake of aerodynamic gains won't ever be "worth it" financially, unless perhaps you're at the pointy end of local racing and you truly want to maximise your potential.

cheapvega
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

wheelsONfire wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 4:38 pm
This is the question! Do you intend to buy a aero frame that has some data showing that it really has an aero advantage, not just looking like an aero frame?
I expect aero to give gains at flat, but going up i think it's going to be vice versa.
I also think, going from rim brake to disc and further to an aero frame will worsen ride feel. If that is a problem or not, i don't know of before i have actually compared A to B. But i don't expect a full aero bike to have the nimbleness, livelyness of a light weight rim brake bike.
Fork and NDS chainstay needs to be beefed up to cope with the braking forces of disc brakes. Personally i think that's why the industry is so happy fat tires are modern.
If we all rode 23mm tires still, the less good ride feel would be noticed (way more).
I talked to a guy here racing and he is also way faster than me. He told me 35km/h and over he think aero concept (not bike alone, but the full concept) is good if you also keep a low stance on the bike.
I think bike manufacturers are sophisticated enough to be able to design in the stiffness for disc brakes without compromising ride quality. Stuff like that is too speculative IMO.

My main thing is, v1.0 of this build prioritized money on shedding bike weight. A lot of that just came down to inexperience; I was pretty green to road cycling. Now with more experience, focus, and trepidation with the looming recession.... I want to only spend money on things that will make me go faster for less effort and if possible more comfort. And avoid crossing the barrier of diminishing returns. I call it "watt weenieism".

My average speeds are not that high. Maybe 26-29km/h as there are a lot of rolling hills and I'm not super fit. I spend the most time between maybe 26-30km/h. So aero would help but prob not be transformative. Esp not after all the other low hanging fruit I need to address.

mikemelbrooks
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:58 pm

by mikemelbrooks

I think there is plenty of low hanging fruit to pick first. Aero socks, Aero shoes, Aero helmet, gloves and Aero sleeves before thinking about a new frame.

req110
Posts: 560
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:23 am
Location: Prague, Czechia

by req110

i recall that i sold systemsix 2019 hi-mod 56cm frameset for 1800 EUR. That was a low handing fruit for a buyer!
S-Works SL7 Dusty Blue 56cm @ Sram RED AXS Quarq & ZIPP 404 Firecrest (7.2kg)
S-Works Epic 2022 Gloss Fluid L @ Sram XX1 AXS Quarq & Berg Ratheberg & BikeYoke Divine SL (9.9kg)

Roadrocket
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:43 am
Location: Slovakia

by Roadrocket

mikemelbrooks wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:53 pm
I think there is plenty of low hanging fruit to pick first. Aero socks, Aero shoes, Aero helmet, gloves and Aero sleeves before thinking about a new frame.
This. Aero jersey, helmet, handlebar, low body position are much cheaper than new aero frame and have greater impact on aerodynamics than frame.
I´d start here.

Roadrocket
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:43 am
Location: Slovakia

by Roadrocket

cheapvega wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 3:36 pm
They also hit the 105 rule perfectly (27mm tires and 28mm rims).
Sorry, but 27mm (measured) tires on 28mm rims don´t hit the 105% rule.

CustomMetal
Moderator
Posts: 998
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:14 pm
Location: UK

by CustomMetal

I rocked up to a group ride (fast group) the other day with the saffron (endurance steel frame with 34mm tyres, but I can get in an aggressive position on it), but aero road helmet, aero socks, aero mitts, aero jersey and bib. I was able to sit on the front for 90% of the ride and then drop them for the last 10% when bored.

Point being my position and kit were able to balance out my frame and tyres.... and the rest of the group were all on 10-12k aero bikes
Perdita- Burls Ti 8kg
Aurelia- Saffron Stainless 8.5kg
Bertha- Trek SC
Verity- Sturdy Ti Aero (coming)
Serenity- Sturdy Ti Gravel 9.9kg
Allegra- Sturdy Steel Lugged (coming)
Jolene- Tifosi Alu 8kg
Alya- Tifosi Mons 4.84kg
Wilda- Spoon Vars Disc (coming)

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wheelsONfire
Posts: 5213
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

cheapvega wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:21 pm
wheelsONfire wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 4:38 pm
This is the question! Do you intend to buy a aero frame that has some data showing that it really has an aero advantage, not just looking like an aero frame?
I expect aero to give gains at flat, but going up i think it's going to be vice versa.
I also think, going from rim brake to disc and further to an aero frame will worsen ride feel. If that is a problem or not, i don't know of before i have actually compared A to B. But i don't expect a full aero bike to have the nimbleness, livelyness of a light weight rim brake bike.
Fork and NDS chainstay needs to be beefed up to cope with the braking forces of disc brakes. Personally i think that's why the industry is so happy fat tires are modern.
If we all rode 23mm tires still, the less good ride feel would be noticed (way more).
I talked to a guy here racing and he is also way faster than me. He told me 35km/h and over he think aero concept (not bike alone, but the full concept) is good if you also keep a low stance on the bike.
I think bike manufacturers are sophisticated enough to be able to design in the stiffness for disc brakes without compromising ride quality. Stuff like that is too speculative IMO.

My main thing is, v1.0 of this build prioritized money on shedding bike weight. A lot of that just came down to inexperience; I was pretty green to road cycling. Now with more experience, focus, and trepidation with the looming recession.... I want to only spend money on things that will make me go faster for less effort and if possible more comfort. And avoid crossing the barrier of diminishing returns. I call it "watt weenieism".

My average speeds are not that high. Maybe 26-29km/h as there are a lot of rolling hills and I'm not super fit. I spend the most time between maybe 26-30km/h. So aero would help but prob not be transformative. Esp not after all the other low hanging fruit I need to address.
It's well known an aero frame with disc brake, without some gimmicks will not be as comfortable as a rim brake bike. You need to ask know what the beefed up fork and chainstays does. Weither it's a problem or not, sacrificing comfort, that's another story. Even riders of Pinarello Dogma F say the rim brake version rides better than the disc brake version. Test riders of latest Foil say Addict has a better ride feel. Spesh SL6 rides better than SL7. Ofcourse manufacturers work on getting as close as possible, but you need to have in mind that aero and disc brakes will not be as a rim brake bike.
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

Hexsense
Posts: 2926
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am
Location: USA

by Hexsense

36cm bar on normal frame can be faster than 42cm bar on aero frame.

There are gains to be made in the frame. But most of the time, it's not exactly the first thing you should worry about. Get all the low hanging fruits first.

Hexsense
Posts: 2926
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am
Location: USA

by Hexsense

wheelsONfire wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 11:17 pm

It's well known an aero frame with disc brake, without some gimmicks will not be as comfortable as a rim brake bike. You need to ask know what the beefed up fork and chainstays does. Weither it's a problem or not, sacrificing comfort, that's another story. Even riders of Pinarello Dogma F say the rim brake version rides better than the disc brake version. Test riders of latest Foil say Addict has a better ride feel. Spesh SL6 rides better than SL7. Ofcourse manufacturers work on getting as close as possible, but you need to have in mind that aero and disc brakes will not be as a rim brake bike.
It certainly require some re-engineering.
Stiffer chainstay, softer seatpost.
Stiffer fork, softer stem/bar/steerer tube.

A brand that use one same fork for all bike sizes despite them having vastly different head tube angle means they pay zero effort to make all bike sizes handle the same (equalize the trail value). They don't even care to make all size handle the same so why would you expect them to equalize the ride between disc and rim version?

SL6 vs SL7 is exactly that case of aero tubes impacting ride quality though. SL6 disc ride smoother than Sl7 disc mostly because of slimmer seatpost, and less aero tubes overall. The SL7 tube is more like slimmed down Venge than Sl6 upgrade.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 10612
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Roadrocket wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 8:10 pm
cheapvega wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 3:36 pm
They also hit the 105 rule perfectly (27mm tires and 28mm rims).
Sorry, but 27mm (measured) tires on 28mm rims don´t hit the 105% rule.

It's not a hard rule.

RyanH
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

by RyanH

The question of worth it comes down to what benefit will you get out of it. Aero frames are going to make you faster than non aero frames. Anyone suggesting that you can optimize your position or whatever...well...you can do those AND have an aero frame. So, in most situations, you should be faster on an aero frame*.

BUT, is it worth it? If you're getting dropped now, chances are you'll still be dropped with an aero frame. However, if you're missing out by a hair on the sprint or just need that extra little bit of freshness to bring it over the line first and that is important to you, then sure, it's worth it. Otherwise, just pedal your bike harder and if you lose, you lose but you had fun anyway, right?

*As with everything in life, the analysis isn't so simple because aero frames are now aero modules and require you to conform to whatever stem bar combo they make available so basically...YMMV.

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



Roadrocket
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:43 am
Location: Slovakia

by Roadrocket

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 1:19 am
Roadrocket wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 8:10 pm
cheapvega wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 3:36 pm
They also hit the 105 rule perfectly (27mm tires and 28mm rims).
Sorry, but 27mm (measured) tires on 28mm rims don´t hit the 105% rule.

It's not a hard rule.
Sure. You can even fit a 28mm tire on a 28mm rim and call it 105%. But actually it isn't.

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