aero road bikes - climbing?

rubberbullet
rubberbullet Posts: 36
edited June 2011 in Road buying advice
Morning one, morning all,

I do a fair chunk of half-ironman triathlons and a variety of sportives up to the 200km mark or so. I've been doing these on a Wiggle-bought road bike and not disgraced myself for the last few years, but am now in the market for something a little bit faster.

My thoughts are (all roughly within the same price class)
- Felt AR3/4/5
- Scott Foil (it's sexy even if the only comparison in terms of sizing is the CR1)
- Cervelo S2

Now I've tried them all (CR1, not Foil) and can't really decide which I prefer. The only problem is that in the shops, one can't take them out for a longer ride into the hills and check their climbing abilities.

I gather that (rider aside) the key factors to climbing are weight and bike stiffness and geometry. Now call me a layman, but they're not hugely different, are they? I appreciate that the Felt has a slightly more classically TT-shaped frame so is heavier, the Cervelo/Foil have a slantier toptube.

I guess what I'm asking is... Does anyone have any guidance or able to give me a steer/recommendations on this in whatever direction?

Much appreciated!

Comments

  • bristolpete
    bristolpete Posts: 2,255
    Oddly, I had a Cervelo S3 frame and I currently have an SL3 s-works. To be honest I cannot feel any difference in the way it climbs as personally, I think that the rider is more key than the frame.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    What will make you faster is your power and fitness rather than an 'aero' road frame per se - the vast majority whose benefits are extremely tenuous. Likewise, base your selection on the frame that allows you to dial-in your optimum position / bike fit. For longer distances, stiffer frames can induce fatigue quicker too - big, fat frame tubes might help with power transfer, but they also transmit road vibration more readily too.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I should have added that the quickest and often cheapest way to climb faster is to lose weight!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    Monty Dog wrote:
    For longer distances, stiffer frames can induce fatigue quicker too - big, fat frame tubes might help with power transfer, but they also transmit road vibration more readily too.

    Except in carbon... like wot these bikes is.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • AidanR
    AidanR Posts: 1,142
    Well, good design and optimised layups can help, but there's always going to be a trade-off between stiffness and comfort. Carbon is not immune to this.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    I went out on an AR4 at the weekend and although it was nothing special handling wise, it just came into it's own on a climb, handling very light, which was nice.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    Except in carbon... like wot these bikes is.

    No, I strongly disagree - I have two carbon frames and both are stiff and unyielding - fine for a couple of hours racing but a killer for 5-6 hours. The best material combination for my riding style and weight IMO is titanium and carbon - but it takes skilled craftsmen to make them. Not some generic marketing concept dreamed-up in a studio by twonks and churned out in a factory that could be run by monkeys.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • bristolpete
    bristolpete Posts: 2,255
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    Except in carbon... like wot these bikes is.

    No, I strongly disagree - I have two carbon frames and both are stiff and unyielding - fine for a couple of hours racing but a killer for 5-6 hours. The best material combination for my riding style and weight IMO is titanium and carbon - but it takes skilled craftsmen to make them. Not some generic marketing concept dreamed-up in a studio by twonks and churned out in a factory that could be run by monkeys.

    I concur. My old Dogma was stiff but I could ride that for hour after hour. My SL3 on the other hand ravages me after 5+ hours in the saddle yet feels less stiff. All rather odd.
  • Wheelspinner
    Wheelspinner Posts: 6,562

    I concur. My old Dogma was stiff but I could ride that for hour after hour. My SL3 on the other hand ravages me after 5+ hours in the saddle yet feels less stiff. All rather odd.

    So, was there an upside to the switch? :D

    Am tempted with a Dogma at the mo', since there are some 2010 framesets about for good prices. Already have an '07 Paris FP which is excellent, wonder whether the Dogma would be worth the financial slug?
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS