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Aero Vs standard road bike

johnmolloyjohnmolloy Posts: 28
edited July 2014 in Road buying advice
Hello all,
Been riding since last September ( have clocked up over 5k kilometres) and wanna upgrade from alu to a carbon bike. I mainly do rides of around 50km, do some metric centuries occasionally and even did the wicklow 200 at start of this month but mostly its around 50km spins.

Have narrowed my search down to the following:

http://www.rosebikes.com/bike/rose-xeon ... ged=676942

http://www.rosebikes.com/bike/rose-xeon ... ged=674118

Is there any reason not to go for the aero bike? Surely it will be quicker with its wind cheating properties. I must mention at this point I'm addicted to strava and love trying to best my personal records and getting the odd top 10 time.

My real question is why are more people not riding aero bikes, are they not all they are cracked up to be? Is it because they are not comfortable? Surely it would be more comfortable than my alu bike (Felt z95)? I'm very new to the whole road bike thing so please forgive my ignorance.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,729
    The aero effect is largely aesthetic. Buy one if you like the look of it, but don't expect it to change your life. Riding comfort comes from many other factors (like fit, tyre choice/pressure, etc), most of which are unrelated to frame design.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    look at how narrow a bike frame is.
    look at how narrow you are.

    You won't notice any aero benefit off the frame - but get it if you like the look of it.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    There will be some aero advantage due to the frame and this advantage will be greater the faster you ride but it will always be quite small compared to total drag. The potential downsides, in my opinion, are primarily weight and price. Aero bikes use less structurally efficient shapes because they are instead optimised for aerodynamics and therefore either more material or stronger/more rigid material must be used to achieve similar stiffness and strength. It also makes it harder to design in other properties like flex for comfort but I think tyres are more important in that respect anyway.
    I'm not sure an aero bike is worthwhile for solo recreational riding and there's little point if you ride in large groups. There is some argument for one if you're considering using your road bike for time trials or duathlon/triathlon too. This was the decision I was debating in spring as I do some duathlons and adventure races and I plan to do some triathlons as soon as I get my swimming improved a little. In the end I decided to go for a very light and stiff non-aero road bike instead. The aero options were all a bit to expensive, seemed compromised on weight/stiffness or didn't suot me for fit. I considered the Felt AR4, Boardman AiR, Cervelo S2& S3 and Rose CW and was tempted by all of them but ended up with a Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 and after a couple of months on it I'm very happy with that decision.
    Oh, one other thing: If I got an aero bike I know my friends would try and point to that any time I beat them in a sprint or race and they'd use it as ammunition to slag me if I lost!

    P.S.
    Well done on the Wicklow 200. It's a tough one. I did it last year but wasn't able to make it this year.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,445
    The aero advantages will be practically undetectable and as mentioned above, the really aero ones usually end up compromising in other areas that you /will/ notice.

    IMO you are best going for a compromise, i.e. a frame that has been primarily designed to be a good all-rounder but with some thought given to making it reasonably aero. Some of these frames are sold as "aero" frames and some aren't. E.g. the Scott Foil (which I have) is primarily a good all-round, stiff, light bike although it is also moderately aero (although it's marketed as a full-on aero frame it isn't really, which is probably a good thing).

    Tour magazine did a test of aero and non-aero bikes a while back, and while the "aero" ones were on average more aero than the non-aero ones there was a lot of overlap, i.e. some non-aero frames were as or more aero than some aero frames.

    A tight jersey will give you more aero benefits than any frame.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,773
    I can give you a few reasons

    1) It looks like a bad joke

    2) With all that extra surface area exposed to side winds, handling will suffer on those (many) breezy days

    3) As pointed out earlier, the aerodynamics of a frame account for almost nothing in the overall picture, not worth having a frame that looks like that if it only saves you half a watt... think of the resale value, you might have bizarre taste, but most people would find that thing rather ugly
  • johnmolloyjohnmolloy Posts: 28
    Thanks everyone for the replies, really appreciate that and interesting to hear. Funnily enough the Scott Foil and Canyon Ultimate Cf 9.0 are right at the top of list too. I discounted the canyon based purely on looks as the white bar tape and saddle just are not for me although I think it would be an excellent bike. The Scott foil 20 was a bit heavier than I would like and read a review about the brakes and wheels not being the best and I would not have the cash to upgrade them, maybe u disagree?

    But basically I narrowed it down to the 2 Rose bikes because I feel they offer good value for money, like Canyon, and probably most importantly I like the look of them best!

    Yeah wicklow 200 was a toughie, rained solid for the first 100km had some serious doubts whether I was gonna make it,but thankfully weather improved and there was a tail wind for the second 100km and that always makes life easier.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    johnmolloy wrote:
    Thanks everyone for the replies, really appreciate that and interesting to hear. Funnily enough the Scott Foil and Canyon Ultimate Cf 9.0 are right at the top of list too. I discounted the canyon based purely on looks as the white bar tape and saddle just are not for me although I think it would be an excellent bike. The Scott foil 20 was a bit heavier than I would like and read a review about the brakes and wheels not being the best and I would not have the cash to upgrade them, maybe u disagree?

    But basically I narrowed it down to the 2 Rose bikes because I feel they offer good value for money, like Canyon, and probably most importantly I like the look of them best!

    Yeah wicklow 200 was a toughie, rained solid for the first 100km had some serious doubts whether I was gonna make it,but thankfully weather improved and there was a tail wind for the second 100km and that always makes life easier.
    I wouldn't let the saddle and bar tape aesthetics put you off the Canyon. They're amongst the easiest things to change. The tape is only about €12 and 20mins work. The saddle is even easirr but will cost a bit depending on what you go for. I've fairly specific saddle preferences so changed mine after the first ride to my usual Specialised Romim Evo Expert. You can always sell on the supplied Fizik Antares. It's a good saddle, just doesn't suit me.

    I wouldn't agreed with Ugos opinion on the Rose. I quite like it and if the geometry suits you I don't think it's so easy to rule out. But unless you're sure I think the Canyon is a safer option.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,773
    Ai_1 wrote:
    I wouldn't agreed with Ugos opinion on the Rose. I quite like it

    You might not agree, but it's still a pretty ghastly thing
  • johnmolloyjohnmolloy Posts: 28
    Yeah perhaps the cw is an acquired taste, I do like it but can se how others may not, but the crs is cracking looking in the red imo
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,773
    johnmolloy wrote:
    Yeah perhaps the cw is an acquired taste, I do like it but can se how others may not, but the crs is cracking looking in the red imo

    Not sure about the handlebar: if you have 3 or 4 fingers like Mickey Mouse and the Simpsons then fine, but if you have 5, you might have to chop your small finger to fit in such a shallow curve... I think it's a woman handlebar...
    That said, a set of bars is 20-30 quid, so no big a deal
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,445
    Not sure about the handlebar: if you have 3 or 4 fingers like Mickey Mouse and the Simpsons then fine, but if you have 5, you might have to chop your small finger to fit in such a shallow curve... I think it's a woman handlebar...
    That said, a set of bars is 20-30 quid, so no big a deal
    :) You really don't like it, do you?

    I'm not a massive fan either but I think one of the biggest contributors to the ugliness of that particular bike is the teeny stem, it can't be any longer than 90mm.

    <edit> I was talking about the stem on the CW - but yes, the handlebars on the CRS are just weird.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,773
    neeb wrote:
    Not sure about the handlebar: if you have 3 or 4 fingers like Mickey Mouse and the Simpsons then fine, but if you have 5, you might have to chop your small finger to fit in such a shallow curve... I think it's a woman handlebar...
    That said, a set of bars is 20-30 quid, so no big a deal
    :) You really don't like it, do you?

    I'm not a massive fan either but I think one of the biggest contributors to the ugliness of that particular bike is the teeny stem, it can't be any longer than 90mm.

    <edit> I was talking about the stem on the CW - but yes, the handlebars on the CRS are just weird.

    I was talking about the handlebar in the non-aero one. The bars on the aero one are actually OK, but yes, the stem is too short
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    neeb wrote:
    Not sure about the handlebar: if you have 3 or 4 fingers like Mickey Mouse and the Simpsons then fine, but if you have 5, you might have to chop your small finger to fit in such a shallow curve... I think it's a woman handlebar...
    That said, a set of bars is 20-30 quid, so no big a deal
    :) You really don't like it, do you?

    I'm not a massive fan either but I think one of the biggest contributors to the ugliness of that particular bike is the teeny stem, it can't be any longer than 90mm.

    That's merely aesthetics and down to personal taste. I have a 90mm stem and think my bike looks great with it. Long stems look a bit stupid to me - like the frames too small. Probably partly because I'm used to a short stem but really it's an insignificant part of a bikes overall appearance.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    neeb wrote:
    Not sure about the handlebar: if you have 3 or 4 fingers like Mickey Mouse and the Simpsons then fine, but if you have 5, you might have to chop your small finger to fit in such a shallow curve... I think it's a woman handlebar...
    That said, a set of bars is 20-30 quid, so no big a deal
    :) You really don't like it, do you?

    I'm not a massive fan either but I think one of the biggest contributors to the ugliness of that particular bike is the teeny stem, it can't be any longer than 90mm.

    <edit> I was talking about the stem on the CW - but yes, the handlebars on the CRS are just weird.

    I was talking about the handlebar in the non-aero one. The bars on the aero one are actually OK, but yes, the stem is too short
    Nice thing about Rose is that as with most of the components, you can specify from a selection of different handlebars when you order so if the one in the picture doesn't suit your taste or anatomy you can change it and there's no need to switch it out yourself later at an additional cost.
    Similarly you can change the stem type, angle and length. I don't see anything terribly wrong with a 90mm stem myself although I'd prefer 100mm so I have more scope for adjustment later if I got the sizing slightly out.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,445
    Rolf F wrote:
    That's merely aesthetics and down to personal taste. I have a 90mm stem and think my bike looks great with it. Long stems look a bit stupid to me - like the frames too small. Probably partly because I'm used to a short stem but really it's an insignificant part of a bikes overall appearance.
    It will also influence handling, although of course it's not only the length of the stem that matters but the total distance that the hoods and the drops are beyond the steering axis.

    But handling is also down to personal taste to some extent.
  • johnmolloyjohnmolloy Posts: 28
    At the risk of spoiling a good argument the bars and stems are exactly the same on both the Rose bikes and are the same as those used by Canyon on the CF sl.

    Think the picture of the crs on the website does not do it justice, Have seen some really nice ones on google images.

    The main thing i have taken of this discussion is buy the bike you like the look of.
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 945
    The bars are the same on the spec sheet but not in the pictures - I think the non-aero bike has the specified bar.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    monkimark wrote:
    The bars are the same on the spec sheet but not in the pictures - I think the non-aero bike has the specified bar.
    If I remember correctly the bar shown depends on the bar tape selected. The picture on their website is a composite of the components and they don't have a graphic to cover all combinations of bar shape and tape colour. So not all changes are reflected in the picture.
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,785
    Looking on the Rose site, I can't see where you specify the stem length you want. I must be missing something :oops:
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 945
    It's in the 'step by step configure' option.
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,785
    Sorry. I must be thick :? I've been into the configurator and can see that I can select different stem but I still can't see an option to select the length.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    There is certainly no point in riding an aero bike without an aero helmet, skin tight clothes, a race position and at least 35mm rims. It makes me despair when I see a big rider with a big yellow jacket riding a Scott Foil or something. A 13.5 stone, powerful friend has a Cervelo S3 with 50 mm rims and he says its damn right scary riding it on a windy day.
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Dabber wrote:
    Sorry. I must be thick :? I've been into the configurator and can see that I can select different stem but I still can't see an option to select the length.
    I think that option may be given when you put it in your shopping basket. It's definitely there somewhere!
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    There is certainly no point in riding an aero bike without an aero helmet, skin tight clothes, a race position and at least 35mm rims. It makes me despair when I see a big rider with a big yellow jacket riding a Scott Foil or something. A 13.5 stone, powerful friend has a Cervelo S3 with 50 mm rims and he says its damn right scary riding it on a windy day.
    It's fine to train like that but not much point having an aero bike if you'll race that way.
  • junglist_mattyjunglist_matty Posts: 1,727
    johnmolloy wrote:
    Canyon Ultimate Cf 9.0

    I've put 10k miles on my Ultimate AL9.0 since Sept'12, it's a brilliant bike I'm sure the CF would be equally as good, but I'd rather the AL personally as it offers even better value for money.

    johnmolloy wrote:
    Scott foil 20

    Also worth thinking about the slightly more uncomfortable riding position this bike puts you in (as do many aero frames). But for shorter rides (i.e. < 3hours) it's probably not likely to be a big issue.
  • johnmolloyjohnmolloy Posts: 28
    When you pick the frame size , you also get to pick the stem length which is after you have put it in the baskey
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,785
    johnmolloy wrote:
    When you pick the frame size , you also get to pick the stem length which is after you have put it in the baskey

    Thanks for that.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    The change in drag coefficent of an aero frame compared to a round tubes frame is around the same a going from a 36H mavic OP rimmed wheelset to a set of 50mm toroidal rimmed wheels perhaps a bit more.

    In fact the time saving is greater at lower power out puts than larger ones (maths works in funny ways).

    As with all things marginal enough marginal gains add up to something more but it is expensive and unless you are competing it may not be worth it as it will not make riding more fun. I have "fast" bikes and "slower" ones, they are all equally enjoyable to ride and non of them stop me keeping up with a quick club run, thats not a brag but an illustration of how marginal marginal gains actually are especially if you are sheltering in a group. For competition then that assesment changes.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    .....In fact the time saving is greater at lower power out puts than larger ones (maths works in funny ways)........
    I would dispute this.
    Aerodynamic improvements are of vastly more value at higher speeds. While a very slow rider may benefit under certain circumstances, the proportional contribution of improved aerodynamics to the equation will be minimal as compared with a faster moving bike and rider.
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