*Tour Aero Bike Test 2019*

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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RyanH
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by RyanH

Noctiluxx wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:25 pm
This kind of testing is really fun to read but has absolutely no real effect in real world use, with less than world class level riders. Having said that, I'm glad I bought the 2019 rim caliper Madone, cause its more aero :lol:
That is incorrect, the slower you go, the greater the time differences between aero frames/kit. On the other hand, unless you're doing RAAM, if you're slow then what do the time benefits mean to you? I think we've hit peak aero at this point, or have started regressing as in the case of the Madone (maybe they're building in a cushion to make the disc more aero for the next model release so they can sell more :noidea: ).
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by Weenie


TiCass
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by TiCass

RyanH wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:19 pm
Noctiluxx wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:25 pm
This kind of testing is really fun to read but has absolutely no real effect in real world use, with less than world class level riders. Having said that, I'm glad I bought the 2019 rim caliper Madone, cause its more aero :lol:
That is incorrect, the slower you go, the greater the time differences between aero frames/kit. On the other hand, unless you're doing RAAM, if you're slow then what do the time benefits mean to you? I think we've hit peak aero at this point, or have started regressing as in the case of the Madone (maybe they're building in a cushion to make the disc more aero for the next model release so they can sell more :noidea: ).
Trek are on the verge to integrate light in the seatpost and ring bell on handlebar on the Madone.

robeambro
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by robeambro

This test seems to suggest that not all aero bikes are created equal. Some will give an advantage, some may not.
Weirdly enough, I may buy a Ridley Noah Fast, and it will be "much slower" than other aero bikes, virtually as aerodynamic as a Tarmac SL6.

In other words, you buy an aero bike, it looks faster (cause the Noah does "look" faster than the Tarmac), but at the end of the day for some of these bikes the wattage saving is just not there. What about other brands like Colnago/Orbea/Wilier or even smaller ones? How can one even hope that, with arguably very little R&D compared to the big names, their offering would be more aero than a Tarmac/R5/what-have-you?

I suppose the only way to be sure that one's money is spent on actual benefits is to buy a safe bet bike from a company with gazillions spent in wind tunnel testing, or you just buy any aero bike and hope for some kind of "Monkey Writing Shakespeare Effect" (ie a bike that is aero just by pure chance).

IchDien
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by IchDien

AJS914 wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:59 pm
I've actually been thinking of buying a used Madone 9. It's nice to know that with rim brakes it's faster or just as fast as the $12,000 disc super bikes. I moved to a pan flat area where we have a few 2-3% climbs so an aero bike fits the terrain. We also have rough roads so ISO speed and the ability to run 30mm tires ticks all the boxes. And a used Madone 9 in mint condition can be had for about half price of a new SLR.

Still, I keep talking myself out of it. I just got some new 50mm aero wheels for my C59 and I was able to fit 25mm GP4000s on it (27mm actual). I have one of the rare C59s that can take a wider tire but I am at the limit. Still, it's pretty comfortable now @ 65/70psi.

The other reason I talk myself out of it is that my weak spot right now is those 2-3% climbs. The fastest guys in our group do them in the big ring at a good speed but it's still a slow enough speed that an aero bike would not make a huge difference.

I am thinking about installing an aero road bar (-5 watts) on my C59 and buying an aero road helmet (-10 watts) and calling it a day.
I thought it was only at gradients 4-5%+ that weight began to trump aero? What sort of big ring speed are we talking here?

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by parajba

robeambro wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:29 pm
This test seems to suggest that not all aero bikes are created equal. Some will give an advantage, some may not.
Weirdly enough, I may buy a Ridley Noah Fast, and it will be "much slower" than other aero bikes, virtually as aerodynamic as a Tarmac SL6.

In other words, you buy an aero bike, it looks faster (cause the Noah does "look" faster than the Tarmac), but at the end of the day for some of these bikes the wattage saving is just not there. What about other brands like Colnago/Orbea/Wilier or even smaller ones? How can one even hope that, with arguably very little R&D compared to the big names, their offering would be more aero than a Tarmac/R5/what-have-you?

I suppose the only way to be sure that one's money is spent on actual benefits is to buy a safe bet bike from a company with gazillions spent in wind tunnel testing, or you just buy any aero bike and hope for some kind of "Monkey Writing Shakespeare Effect" (ie a bike that is aero just by pure chance).
What he said! 100% agree with you.

I think the whole aero bike industry is a marketing BS. That’s why:
1) All tests are done in incredibly unrealistic situations I.e. without rider. It’s a bit like doing a car crash test against...a wall made of rubber. I am sure the ‘real’ tests have indeed taken place, but they ‘don’t sell well’ and companies are very good at showing you ‘what sells’.
2) in the Pro peloton there is very little take up (I know, there are other variables included e.g. sponsorship, drafting etc but all brands now offer an ‘aero’ model).

My take:
1) Buy the bike you prefer and like the most (SL6 disc)
2) Put some deep wheels and an aero handlebar on it.
3) Be done with it. This confit will offer low weight, great handling, great comfort, less bling and overall better riding, with a very similar aero behaviour.

AJS914
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by AJS914

IchDien wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:06 pm
I thought it was only at gradients 4-5%+ that weight began to trump aero? What sort of big ring speed are we talking here?
Like 12-18mph. My thought is that if an aero frame saves 10 or 15 watts at 45km/hr then the savings at 15mph is going to be pretty small - at least not worth it enough to spend $4,000 on a used Madone.

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

AJS914 wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:57 pm
IchDien wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:06 pm
I thought it was only at gradients 4-5%+ that weight began to trump aero? What sort of big ring speed are we talking here?
Like 12-18mph. My thought is that if an aero frame saves 10 or 15 watts at 45km/hr then the savings at 15mph is going to be pretty small - at least not worth it enough to spend $4,000 on a used Madone.

Who averages 15mph for a ride though? I averaged about 18mph solo over ~40mi with ~4000ft of climbing...with shallow wheels on one of the least aerodynamic bikes (Emonda.)

AJS914
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by AJS914

I'm talking about a single climb not the whole ride. What is your point?

spartan
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by spartan

why the f** does tour mag do inconsistent testing. last year they published online(free) all the aero data with stock oem wheels and zipp.

https://www.tour-magazin.de/raeder/renn ... a00#anchor

this year. no. nothing.
i can't beleive using 55mm front aero wheel on giant would get it down to 201.9watts. no way. the madone comes with 60mm and it scores lower than a f**** pinarello disc with zipp 303. not possible. before the cynics say disc disc disc,

last year the pinarello dogma disc vs non-disc were 1 watt diffence.

did they test the aero drag a 160mm rotors vs 140 ? aero on a 54 vs 56? aero drag on the front thru axle skewer ?

wtf they spend $$$$ doing aero testing and deliver minimal data. are they selling it? consulting with bike companies on their next gen proto bikes .mmm cannondale :)


Beaver wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:28 pm
The results are mainly because of the wheels. The SystemSix has 64mm high, 32mm wide rims with 23mm tires - all other wheelsets were lower, narrower and had 25mm tires. They only changed the wheels on some bikes for comparison.

And why I mentioned the Giant earlier: With Lambda Racing wheels (55/70mm high) and a Vision Metron 6D bar-stem combo it's the fastest with 201.9 watts...

But again: with a rider these watt numbers are twice as high, but the one digit differences stay the same - it's really not that much and not that noticable on the road. ;)

And I still doubt that disc bikes can be as aero as a rim braked bike, it's just more surface and that can't be spirited away.
Current Rides:

2019 S-Works Tarmac SL6 Bora Di2 9150

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Matt28NJ
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by Matt28NJ

robeambro wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:29 pm
or you just buy any aero bike and hope for some kind of "Monkey Writing Shakespeare Effect" (ie a bike that is aero just by pure chance).
This quote didn't get enough love. Well done, bud. :beerchug: :lol:

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

AJS914 wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:25 am
I'm talking about a single climb not the whole ride. What is your point?

Let's say I'm doing 300W for 14mph up a 5% climb on a 15lb climbing bike. If I add 1lb in weight penalty, I would need to do 302W to travel the same speed. It's probably a safe bet the aero frame still saves 2W at 14mph. It's probably a wash unless the parcours is has dramatic pitch changes leading to a lot of accelerations...then the lighter bike wins out. Then again, there's the rest of the ride unless you really are just going up.

This is all at my weight anyway.

AJS914
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by AJS914

robeambro wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:29 pm
This test seems to suggest that not all aero bikes are created equal. Some will give an advantage, some may not.
Weirdly enough, I may buy a Ridley Noah Fast, and it will be "much slower" than other aero bikes, virtually as aerodynamic as a Tarmac SL6.

In other words, you buy an aero bike, it looks faster (cause the Noah does "look" faster than the Tarmac), but at the end of the day for some of these bikes the wattage saving is just not there.
I'm not sure why you are concluding that. The Noah Fast is only 1 watt off of the Madone and 5 watts off the Venge. Ok, it's 10 watts off the fastest bike (SystemSix). It's still pretty close in the grand scheme of things. Personally, I'd call the Tarmac an aero bike without an integrated bar/stem or hidden cables.

If you add the legs to the manequin and it adds 200 watts you are looking at 403 vs 413 watts to hold the 45km/hr or a 2.5% difference.

Shrike
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by Shrike

Been skimming, so.. the original numbers are not from a 404 control test. They used the original supplied wheelsets?

Jugi
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by Jugi

parajba wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:31 pm
1) Buy the bike you prefer and like the most (SL6 disc)
2) Put some deep wheels and an aero handlebar on it.
3) Be done with it. This confit will offer low weight, great handling, great comfort, less bling and overall better riding, with a very similar aero behaviour.
4) If minimal CdA is a main concern: when on the prowl for a new bike, everybody should remember the rider is the biggest piece in the puzzle. If the bike doesn’t provide a proper fit (to get the rider’s CdA as small as possible), even a 5% difference in bike aerodynamics doesn’t mean much in the end result.

I’m not saying aero bikes are somehow harder to fit than a traditional bike, just pointing out that 5W saved in drag will quickly disappear if the frame’s dimensions or some proprietary solution will restrict the rider from getting to the most aerodynamic and reasonably comfortable riding position.

by Weenie


robeambro
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by robeambro

AJS914 wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:55 am
robeambro wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:29 pm
This test seems to suggest that not all aero bikes are created equal. Some will give an advantage, some may not.
Weirdly enough, I may buy a Ridley Noah Fast, and it will be "much slower" than other aero bikes, virtually as aerodynamic as a Tarmac SL6.

In other words, you buy an aero bike, it looks faster (cause the Noah does "look" faster than the Tarmac), but at the end of the day for some of these bikes the wattage saving is just not there.
I'm not sure why you are concluding that. The Noah Fast is only 1 watt off of the Madone and 5 watts off the Venge. Ok, it's 10 watts off the fastest bike (SystemSix). It's still pretty close in the grand scheme of things. Personally, I'd call the Tarmac an aero bike without an integrated bar/stem or hidden cables.

If you add the legs to the manequin and it adds 200 watts you are looking at 403 vs 413 watts to hold the 45km/hr or a 2.5% difference.
I misread, thought it was 219w with control wheels. I would still argue that, as parajba also pointed, once you have a bike such as an SL6 with aero wheels and bars, a full-blown aero frame is not bringing benefits. At 18-20mph the differences between a SystemSix, a Noah and a R5/Tarmac will be single digits (and possibly below 5w but this is speculation). Arguably, these single-digit advantages will be at least partly offset by a weight penalty, depending on the course. I’m not even bringing comfort to the equation (but arguably the lack of comfort on the SystemSix will likely bring more fatigue and less power over time).

Of course all of this applies to “aero optimised yet traditional” bikes such as the R5 and Tarmac. I think if one owns an Emonda/SuperSix or other bikes with very traditional tubing, then there is a more tangible benefit from switching to an aero frame.

Ultimately, consumers -even racers- pay big money for an advantage that isn’t really there..

And I’m saying this as somebody who loves the look of aero bikes and will most likely buy one. It’s just that I hate seeing something being marketed as a superior performance tool, when in fact the differences are minuscule to non existent. And not for amateurs but for racers as well, if you take a holistic view and step away from computer simulations.

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