Aero - don't believe the hype?

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Comments

  • Coach H
    Coach H Posts: 1,092
    The 6.8kg weight limit is daft and seriously outdated.
    It's easy to make a 6.8kg bike so i can understand the argument of 'let's make our 6kg bike an aero 6.8kg bike', but very few of us are racing to this standard, so which is better, the 6kg bike or the 6.8kg aero one?

    Although Ernesto Colnago is often quoted that bikes (particularly frames) are seriously compromised at weights lower than this. This may just be marketing BS due to the Colnagos being a bit heavier than the competition but I am sure Colnago could build a lightweight frame if they wanted to.
    Coach H. (Dont ask me for training advice - 'It's not about the bike')
  • Aero like carbon before it and Aluminium before that are simply ways of keeping the industry moving forward. If they can squeeze some more money out of you all well and good.
    the deeper the section the deeper the pleasure.
  • Coach H wrote:
    The 6.8kg weight limit is daft and seriously outdated.
    It's easy to make a 6.8kg bike so i can understand the argument of 'let's make our 6kg bike an aero 6.8kg bike', but very few of us are racing to this standard, so which is better, the 6kg bike or the 6.8kg aero one?

    Although Ernesto Colnago is often quoted that bikes (particularly frames) are seriously compromised at weights lower than this. This may just be marketing BS due to the Colnagos being a bit heavier than the competition but I am sure Colnago could build a lightweight frame if they wanted to.

    I have an off the peg SL4 which without much effort on my part is at bang on 6kg. The Cannondale frame is lighter still, and loads of brands can do a sub 1kg frame now.
  • 6.8kg bikes are underengineered enough as it is... Make a carbon fibre frame and fork without removing every last ounce of 'excess' material, and use durable hubs with a few more than 16 spokes, and I would think you would end up with a bike somewhat heavier than 6.8kg.
  • Make a carbon fibre frame and fork without removing every last ounce of 'excess' material, and use durable hubs with a few more than 16 spokes

    Why, the weight is unnecessary. Adding excess material as you call it doesn't make the frame any stronger in any real sense, to improve the strength of carbon fibre you have to purposefully add more carbon, generally companies work to eliminate extra resin as it does almost nothing for the strength whilst adding significantly to the weight.

    As for low spoke counts, they're usually there to improve margins and make the wheel look flash. Low spoke count wheels are a lot quicker to lace.
  • meesterbond
    meesterbond Posts: 1,240
    6.8kg bikes are underengineered enough as it is... Make a carbon fibre frame and fork without removing every last ounce of 'excess' material, and use durable hubs with a few more than 16 spokes, and I would think you would end up with a bike somewhat heavier than 6.8kg.

    Not at all... My bike's running at just over 7kg with Cosmic Carbons, a 4 year old groupset and alloy stem and bars. You wouldn't have to go all weight-weenie with a dremel to get it well under 6.8kg.

    As for TT bikes getting faster and faster, I think they probably peaked with Boardman's Lotus 108 in 1994.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    And ultimately... why do you want to go faster? Any particular reason to be home earlier? I have given up any desire to go faster ages ago... there are a number of challenges I still want to tackle, but none involves being faster than I currently am.
    I'd like to do the Raid Pyrenees again... but slower, rather than faster... I realise now I have very few memories of it and very confused, we were just going too fast to pay any attention to what was around... can't remember the name of a single village or town I have zipped through...

    Excellent point from Ugo. When I look back at my 'best' rides, there were all memorable for number of reasons but not one of the reasons is "I was really fast that day".

    I also like the point made earlier about manufacturers having to hit a weight limit to race so aero is the way forward for them...and then amateur riders buy the bikes because the pros look good on them. Aero is about marginal differences once everything else is optimised...and for an unfit lump there's a lot that can be optimised first...but that would be bringing logic into an emotive decision, which buying a bike is.
  • Isn’t Cav currently riding a bike that weight 7.25kg? And he’s on a tiny wee man’s bike too*.





    *Like me ;-)
  • iPete wrote:
    The rider is 80% of the drag and I can imagine buying a skin suit/pointy helmet will make a greater aero saving than buying a new frame or wheels.

    Spot on. Or maybe way more than 80%.

    Variations in, say, ear or nose size of rider probably have more effect than say 23c vs 25c or deep section vs shallow or aero tubes vs normal profile.

    I guess taking a spacer out of your stem set up is the cheapest way to get a bit more aero - it seems feasible that the position of the great lumbering human on top of the bike could have a significant effect.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    My best bike is of the aero design.

    Do I think its any faster than the old one ? No.

    But at least it looks pretty.

    In the real world - who needs 0.0001% increase in frame aerodynamics.It's just not detectable. But it is marketable - and thats why they do it.

    Deep rim wheels are faster I find - but not much fun in the wind.
  • 6.8kg bikes are underengineered enough as it is... Make a carbon fibre frame and fork without removing every last ounce of 'excess' material, and use durable hubs with a few more than 16 spokes, and I would think you would end up with a bike somewhat heavier than 6.8kg.

    Not at all... My bike's running at just over 7kg with Cosmic Carbons, a 4 year old groupset and alloy stem and bars. You wouldn't have to go all weight-weenie with a dremel to get it well under 6.8kg.

    And you are absolutely certain that no part of the bike has been purposefully made light rather than durable?
    As for TT bikes getting faster and faster, I think they probably peaked with Boardman's Lotus 108 in 1994.

    With that I would agree. I can't help but wonder how today's TT bikes would compare...
  • Careca
    Careca Posts: 95
    I had an aero Super Burner as a kid in the 80s. Horrible ugly frame :D
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Surely the reason to have an aero bike is so that, in that final sprint to the line, it might just help you gain that half tyre thickness that wins you the stage. The advantage the aero confers isn't even getting you home earlier in the way that Ugo refers to - it's getting you in 100th of a second earlier! If you can use that 100th of a second to make a cup of tea and finish that boxed set you were watching then fine but I don't think I could!

    If that's what you want then fine but I can't see it as a good reason to buy a new bike!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • JackPozzi
    JackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    6.8kg bikes are underengineered enough as it is... Make a carbon fibre frame and fork without removing every last ounce of 'excess' material, and use durable hubs with a few more than 16 spokes, and I would think you would end up with a bike somewhat heavier than 6.8kg.

    Not at all... My bike's running at just over 7kg with Cosmic Carbons, a 4 year old groupset and alloy stem and bars. You wouldn't have to go all weight-weenie with a dremel to get it well under 6.8kg.

    And you are absolutely certain that no part of the bike has been purposefully made light rather than durable?
    As for TT bikes getting faster and faster, I think they probably peaked with Boardman's Lotus 108 in 1994.

    With that I would agree. I can't help but wonder how today's TT bikes would compare...

    AFAIK Cervelo tested the P4 against the lotus in the wind tunnel and it was faster, so I'd think most of the current crop of superbikes would test faster although not by a lot. I'd love to see how the frames would have developed if the UCI hadn't introduced the double diamond rule...
  • VTech
    VTech Posts: 4,736
    in reality I dont reckon anyone, even the elite riders would truly see the difference between the likes of an average aero against a decent non-aero bike.
    Even over 50km distances I doubt you would really see significant differences.
    Having said that, they do look very nice.
    Living MY dream.
  • Strith
    Strith Posts: 541
    I quite like the look of new giant propel, I'd buy one if I was in the market.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Just get one of these, far cheaper than a whole bike.

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/spe ... e-ec021321

    Certain to give you an added 1mph I would have thought :-)

    Now if only they did matching pumps!
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • VTech
    VTech Posts: 4,736
    I looked at these but they dont do them in black.
    I have also thought about buying a non aero pump and putting it inside this bottle :)
    Living MY dream.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    VTech wrote:
    I looked at these but they dont do them in black.
    I have also thought about buying a non aero pump and putting it inside this bottle :)

    Nah, that would rattle like crazy...can't stand rattles me. :D
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • smoggysteve
    smoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    6.8kg bikes are underengineered enough as it is... Make a carbon fibre frame and fork without removing every last ounce of 'excess' material, and use durable hubs with a few more than 16 spokes, and I would think you would end up with a bike somewhat heavier than 6.8kg.

    Call the 6.8kg rule outdated all you like. Its the rules. No company is going to spend the time and money developing a bike thats illegal to compete with. I actually think the UCI should change the rule to make frames less than 800g illegal. The bike as a whole has too many places to add weight whereas the frame is the weight baring bit that is likely to become the failure point if they get too brittle.
  • As always, the answer is that yes it makes a difference, but the magnitude of the difference isn't remotely important unless you are racing. Marketing bods have naturally jumped on it and use "aero" as a way to quickly separate idiots from their money, just as they used to use "light".
  • VTech
    VTech Posts: 4,736
    I dont understand the rules as such but there does come a point where weight saving is hazardous.
    Living MY dream.
  • VTech wrote:
    I dont understand the rules as such but there does come a point where weight saving is hazardous.

    Not on readily available bikes, no. If you try and make a 4kg bike like Weightweenies do then yes, obv.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Bigger aero tubes generally means a harsher ride - your sprint isn't much use if it's been battered-out of you in the preceding 2 hours of the race, or the bike handling is so skittish its hard to keep the wheels on the ground whilst putting the power down? Most road race circuits I ride on are distinctive by the rotten, pot holed surfaces.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • VTech
    VTech Posts: 4,736
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Bigger aero tubes generally means a harsher ride - your sprint isn't much use if it's been battered-out of you in the preceding 2 hours of the race, or the bike handling is so skittish its hard to keep the wheels on the ground whilst putting the power down? Most road race circuits I ride on are distinctive by the rotten, pot holed surfaces.

    My bike is like driving a car without suspension, the ride is HARD !
    Living MY dream.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    VTech wrote:
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Bigger aero tubes generally means a harsher ride - your sprint isn't much use if it's been battered-out of you in the preceding 2 hours of the race, or the bike handling is so skittish its hard to keep the wheels on the ground whilst putting the power down? Most road race circuits I ride on are distinctive by the rotten, pot holed surfaces.

    My bike is like driving a car without suspension, the ride is HARD !

    But no roll in the bends :lol:
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Aero wheels took 9 seconds of my 10TT time, aero clothing took 44s off. As usual it's all about the rider.
  • When I started cycling 4 years ago, these forums were full of people buying into the marketing BS, to some degree including myself. Now I think most people realise that nothing will make you go significantly faster other than you. Mags like C+ are still full of all this crap, but I guess it helps sell copy.

    That said, I love my matte carbon 'dale with low spoke count wheels - it looks cool and I love riding it. I'm no longer dillusional about its contribution towards my speed though.

    Pros excepted though - marginal gains then become significant.
  • TakeTurns
    TakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    Next time you're out on a TT, don't wear any gloves or mitts - you'll be more aero.

    article-2180419-14444602000005DC-185_468x327.jpg
    wiggins2.jpg
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,488
    It's the equivilant of this years cranks which are 10% stiffe than last years, which coincidentally were 10% stiffer than the previous years which were made from custard.


    Having a hearty dump in the pre ride ritual will probably give the same performance increase.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu