The fastest aero road bikes

The latest aerodynamic bikes are slipperier than ever

by David Arthur @davearthur   July 30, 2015  

Merida Reacto 300 - riding 1

In just a few years aero road bikes have gone from The Next Big Thing to a mainstream bike option. The latest models have been tweaked to be faster than ever, according to the manufacturers, and to alleviate the harsh ride that characterised some early aero bikes.

Aero road bikes essentially draw the aerodynamic features from time trial bikes into a road frame, and balance the demands of weight and stiffness into a package that, on paper, looks to be the ideal all-round choice.

At any decent speed, most of your effort goes into overcoming air resistance, so reducing a bike's drag means you'll go faster, or ride at any given speed with a lower power output. Who doesn't like the sound of that?

Most of your air resistance comes from your body. Wearing non-flappy clothing will help, as will losing weight. But the 20% or so of air resistance from your bike is enough for engineers and designers to focus on making road frames and products more slippery in the air. In the pro peloton aero road bikes have been quickly adopted, where the margins of victory are very slim and there has been a focus on gaining ever smaller performance gains over the years.

Weight, and the lack thereof, used to be the main driving force of frame development. Along with stiffness, these were the two cornerstones of bike design. These days most bikes are light, many well below the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit (which doesn’t affect non-racers anyway), and come with more stiffness than is sometimes comfortable.

All that has made aerodynamics more important for manufacturers. Specialized has built its own wind tunnel, for example, and most manufacturers are testing in wind tunnels. Nevertheless, aero road bikes haven't converged on a perfect, slippery common shape. Different engineers prioritise different ways of improving aerodynamics but there are shared design trends: skinny, aerofoil-shaped tubes, integrated brakes, and internal cable routing.

Let's take a look at the latest aero offerings.

Cervelo S5

Long hailed as the fastest aero road bike by people who know a lot about aerodynamics, the Cervelo S5 has received quite a makeover this year. It still looks like an S5 but Cervelo claims to have finessed every tube profile and found significant drag reductions. It’s also increased frame stiffness in the head tube and bottom bracket to improve handling. Another change is the shorter head tube to put the rider in a lower, and more aerodynamic, position. Cervelo has also developed its own aero handlebar which is compatible with a regular stem.

Read our coverage of the Cervelo S5 launch
Find a Cervelo dealer


Ridley Noah SL

The Noah FAST packs a lot of innovative aero technology, including slotted forks and seat stays, integrated v-brakes and small ridges on the leading edges of the frame surfaces to smooth airflow. It’s still available, but the Belgian company has released the new Noah SL which is lighter than the previous Noah with a 950g claimed frame weight. It still features the innovative F-Splitfork, but there’s no slotted rear stays and the raised ridges have been incorporated into the tube shapes. The integrated brakes are gone, in their place regular caliper brakes in front of the fork and at the seat stay.

Read about Greg Henderson's Ridley Noah SL
Find a Ridley dealer


Pinarello Dogma F8

Developed in collaboration with Team Sky and Jaguar, the Dogma F8 is the first aero road bike from Pinarello, and it’s just won the 2015 Tour de France, though we reckon Chris Froome could have won on any bike. The F8 uses FlatBack tube profiles, a Kamm Tail sort of shape, with a rounded leading edge and chopped tail. Pinnarello has also lowered the seat tube water bottle cage and it’s further shielded by the down tube. Meanwhile, up front the fork has been derived from the company’s Bollide time trial bike with an aerodynamic shape, and the crown closely nestles into a recess in the down tube.

Find a Pinarello dealer


Canyon Aeroad CF SLX

The second-generation Aeroad CF SLX has been inspired by the work on its futuristic Speedmax time trial bike, with razor sharp aero tube profiles and an optional one-piece handlebar and stem assembly. Much of the company’s focus with the new bike has been in reducing the frontal surface area, so along with the new handlebar there’s a narrower and hour-glass shaped head tube to help reduce drag. Other changes include the new tube profile, a variant of the Trident shape used on the Speedmax, and a seat tube that hugs the curvature of the rear wheel. Unlike some aero road bikes that integrate the brake callipers, Canyon has opted for direct-mount Shimano brakes in the regular positions.

Read our review of the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 70 Di2


Specialized Venge Vias

The Venge has had a radical makeover, with an all-new aero frame with the most interesting integrated brakes we’ve ever seen. Manufacturers have been integrating brakes into the frame in an effort to reduce drag, but the Specialized approach, with custom designed brake calipers, is claimed to produce zero drag. Elsewhere, a new aero handlebar and stem provides full internal cable routing, there are almost no visible cables on this bike, a further measure to reduce drag.

Read about Mark Cavendish's Venge at the Tour de France
Find a Specialized dealer 


Scott Foil

The Foil arguably kicked off the whole aero road bike trend, bringing aerodynamic design that was once the preserve of time trial bikes to regular road bikes. This update has been a long time coming but it’s evolution, not revolution that is the news here. Changes to the front-end see the down tube lowered and wrapped around the fork crown, and a smaller rear triangle and new internal seat clamp in the top tube. The rear brake is also positioned underneath the chain stays.

Read our coverage of the 2016 Scott Foil launch
Find a Scott dealer


Trek Madone

Once an all-round lightweight race bike, the Madone has been given a complete aerodynamic makeover this year. It features a version of the Isospeed decoupler borrowed from the Domane to provide some comfort (aero road bikes have traditionally compromised comfort in the quest for speed) and it’s wrapped up in a frame with Kamm Tail shaped tubes. Like Specialized, Trek has also developed its own brake callipers, and they’re concealed within the fork and seat stays. To keep the cable routing of the centre pull front brake nice and clean, the head tube features flaps that open and close when the fork is turned.

Read our coverage of the 2016 Trek Madone launch
Find a Trek dealer


Merida Reacto


Merida’s Reacto features tube profiles shape in accordance with NACA airfoil principles, and using the popular Kamm tail approach of chopping off the trailing edge, tricking the air into acting as if the trailing edge were there. More than any other bike here, the Reacto looks like a time trail in drag. There’s an aero seat post, internal cable routing and the rear brake is positioned underneath the chain stays. The front brake, meanwhile, is found on the front of the fork.

Read our review of the Merida Reacto 300
Find a Merida dealer


Not quite aero road bikes


Cannondale SuperSix Evo

Not strictly an aero road bike as such, but Cannondale has lightly modified its latest SuperSix Evo with new Truncated Aero Profile (TAP) main tubes and lowered the seat tube mounted water bottle to reduce the drag.

Read our coverage of the updated Cannondale SuperSix Evo
Find a Cannondale dealer


Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

In the same vein, Canyon has given its latest Ultimate CF SLX a light touch of aerodynamic influence. It has developed a new D-shaped down tube, seat tube and seatpost, which along with a new internal seat clamp, adds up to a claimed 10% reduction in drag compared to the previous non-aero Ultimate. It doesn’t challenge Canyon’s Aeroad CF SLX for outright slipperiness in the wind tunnel though, but does point to a future where all road bikes might one day be shaped in the wind tunnel.


BMC TimeMachine TMR01

Launched in 2013, the TimeMachine grew out of the understanding of aerodynamics BMC derived from its TM01 time trial bike project. It uses a truncated wing profile (not unlike a Kamm tail) for the main sections of the frame. To reduce the air turbulence over the frame memebrs BMC puts a smooth groove at the leading edge of forward facing sections, called a Tripwire. This delays flow seperation and keeps the air attached for as long as possible, minimising drag — in essence it's doing the same job as the dimples on a golf ball.

Read our coverage of the BMC TimeMachine launch
Find a BMC dealer


Giant Propel Advanced

The Propel Advanced SL 3 was Giant's bold entry into the aero road bike fray and gave rise to a whole range of highly-regarded Propel bikes. 

Key to the frame is the AeroSystem Shaping technology that is the result of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research and wind-tunnel tests. Every tube has been carefully shaped, with a teardrop shape in evidence wherever you look. Interestingly, the down tube has been shaped with a water bottle in mind. It’s flattened where the water bottle normally protrudes from the sides of a conventional down tube.

Read our coverage of the original Giant Propel launch
Find a Giant dealer


NeilPryde Alize

Unlike many aero road bikes, the Alize's tube shapes are surprisingly chunky with nary a teardrop profile in sight. Whereas traditional aero bikes feature aerofoil shaped seat and down tubes that are prone to flex and can perform poorly in cross winds, the tubes on the Alize have been designed to act as a complete package enabling wider, stiffer and lighter tubes to be used.

the lower third of the down tube which features what Neilpryde call an 'Extended Kammtail'. The kamm tail is the latest buzzword in the cycling world. In effect it's an aerofoil with the tail sawn-off, and has been used on cars since the 50s. What Neilpryde have done, however, is extend this concept so that both the down tube and seat tube act as a single kammtail aerofoil enabling them to increase the size of the down tube without damaging aerodynamic performance.

Read our review of the NeilPryde Alize
Find a NeilPryde dealer


Boardman AiR

Chris Boardman knows a thing or two about aerodynamics, winning the individual pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and breaking the hour record on three occasions. The AiR in his signature range of road bikes borrows heavily from the stunning AiR TT bike. The frame has a deep section down tube, internal cable routing and a fair amount of melding together at the point where the top, down and head tubes meet. There are flat surfaces on the inner faces of both the fork and rear stays, designed to work with deep section wheels and ensure that airflow smoothed by the wheel isn't disturbed by a more traditional section fork blade.

First look: Boardman Air 9.4 aero road bike
Find a Boardman dealer

40 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

cyclingfury wrote:
Why do you insist on perpetuating the myth of fast bikes? You cannot walk into a bike shop and buy a "fast bike."

A bike can be aero. A bike can be stiff. A bike can be light. But only riders can be fast.

No fast cars either, then, they're only fast when a driver drives them!

For the hard of understanding, a fast bike is one that goes significantly faster than another for the same level of power input. Pretty straightforward for anyone of moderate intelligence.

posted by Mr Turning [78 posts]
30th July 2015 - 22:14

3 Likes

Quote:
a fast bike is one that goes significantly faster

Y'all be telling us how much faster you be going then?

The kind of test I'd be looking for would be you, riding your standard bike around a circuit of say 30 miles with 1-3000 feet of climbing and recording the average speed for say, 10 rides?

Then ride an aero bike for the same.

I suspect the difference between an aero bike and a standard bike would be less than the difference between your best and worst lap on the standard bike.

posted by crikey [1001 posts]
30th July 2015 - 22:38

2 Likes

...Michael Hutchinson suggested in his book, 'Faster', that the gains he had bought over his career should have added up to about 10 minutes difference over a 40 km time trial.

They added up to about 2-3 minutes.

Don't believe the hype.

posted by crikey [1001 posts]
30th July 2015 - 22:45

1 Like

Get in fat lads....one more excuse gone.. "me bikes not aero"..
um, no its your chins and fat arse that aren't aero..

But they'll never admit they bought t cos they think it looks good... which is a perfect reason... its how most of us choose life partners is that PC enough?).....

posted by shadwell [9 posts]
30th July 2015 - 23:13

0 Likes

crikey wrote:
It's a load of old fashion led bollocks though, isn't it?

Yep.

Judging by the frequent upgrading Qs on here (perfectly good, even relatively new gear) there are a hell of a lot of people with money burning a hole in every pocket.

ashleyr wrote:
have you ever rode an aero bike to compare, I have

Unless you're racing, why bother? It's "ridden" BTW. I don't give a fig about a tiny time saving on a training ride or commute. If I ride my bike it's either for fun or to get fitter. An aero frame doesn't help in either case. If someone wants an aero bike that's fine with me but it's not 'better'.

Tour magazine found the aero version was worth about 15 secs over an hour (tweet).
GCN and CW invalidated their already rather slapdash 'tests' by using deep section wheels on the aero bike but not the lightweight one. CW has also compared them climbing Box Hill.

If people are so bothered about marginal equipment gains why not do it properly and get a motor fitted?

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2339 posts]
30th July 2015 - 23:48

1 Like

Mr Turning wrote:
No fast cars either, then, they're only fast when a driver drives them!

In a car the driver and engine are separate things. In a bike they're the same thing. Your car analogy only works if you hollow out the bottom of your Bugatti Veyron and your Lada and make like Fred Flintstone when you're doing your comparison.

Mr Turning wrote:
For the hard of understanding, a fast bike is one that goes significantly faster than another for the same level of power input. Pretty straightforward for anyone of moderate intelligence.

I think you need to define "significantly". The quality of the rider has a far bigger impact than the quality of the bike. Bradley Wiggins could beat me on a rusty 70s mixte frame with downtube shifters.

posted by vonhelmet [380 posts]
31st July 2015 - 0:15

0 Likes

Mr Turning wrote:
cyclingfury wrote:
Why do you insist on perpetuating the myth of fast bikes? You cannot walk into a bike shop and buy a "fast bike."

A bike can be aero. A bike can be stiff. A bike can be light. But only riders can be fast.

No fast cars either, then, they're only fast when a driver drives them!

For the hard of understanding, a fast bike is one that goes significantly faster than another for the same level of power input. Pretty straightforward for anyone of moderate intelligence.

In 25 years of cycling I've seen riders significantly faster than others but never a bike Wink

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [236 posts]
31st July 2015 - 2:34

1 Like

A bike is only as fast as the rider peddling it.

Think VERY carefully about this statement.

posted by Ginsterdrz [55 posts]
31st July 2015 - 7:00

0 Likes

No one is suggesting that an average bloke (or lady) on an aero bike would be faster than a World Tour pro rider on a bike from 30 years ago.

Some people are correctly suggesting that an aero bike would make you significantly faster over a given route under given conditions at a given power output.

Whether that significant increase in speed would be significant to you as an individual would have to be evaluated on a personal level against a variety of factors which are beyond the scope of the manufacturers and the article above. These could include the cost benefit ratio of say commuting and arriving to work, on average, 30-seconds quicker (this may mean that the cost is too great and the significant advantage too small).

On the other hand, it maybe that it'd make you finish 5 places higher in your road race, or finish a TT 30-seconds quicker and this may (or may not) be of significance to you. You, as an individual would need to evaluate that. For me, as a racer it'd be a significant advantage.

Also, time differences (between an aero and non-aero bike) are dependent upon the speed you're travelling at, and wind yaw. So, one company may say that you'll save 30-secs over 25-miles while riding at 25 mph (baseline speed on non-aero bike) with a zero degree wind yaw. Out on the road, wind yaw will vary.

But aero savings are very real indeed. And can be demonstrated.

Ric

posted by Ric_Stern_RST [26 posts]
31st July 2015 - 8:03

4 Likes

vonhelmet wrote:
Mr Turning wrote:
No fast cars either, then, they're only fast when a driver drives them!

In a car the driver and engine are separate things. In a bike they're the same thing. Your car analogy only works if you hollow out the bottom of your Bugatti Veyron and your Lada and make like Fred Flintstone when you're doing your comparison.

No, that's not right. Following your logic, a car can only be aero, have a powerful engine etc. It can't be fast.

For a car to move fast, it needs a driver who's capable of driving it fast. Same with a bike. But we say they're fast because they have the potential to be driven/ridden faster than others of similar ilk.

According to your logic, you can't have a fast marathon course – only a runner can be fast – no fast wicket in cricket – only a bowler can bowl fast... etc etc

Life must be very confusing for you guys!

Mr Turning wrote:
For the hard of understanding, a fast bike is one that goes significantly faster than another for the same level of power input. Pretty straightforward for anyone of moderate intelligence.

I think you need to define "significantly". The quality of the rider has a far bigger impact than the quality of the bike. Bradley Wiggins could beat me on a rusty 70s mixte frame with downtube shifters.

Correct. So what? Wiggins on a Bolide versus Wiggins on a mixte would be the relevant comparison.

posted by Mr Turning [78 posts]
31st July 2015 - 8:18

2 Likes

It's horses for courses though isn't it?

I'm 45, I don't put out 400 watts, and I don't compete against other riders. Theres no number that I need to achieve, so there's simply nothing to be gained from my perspective from having a super slippy bike.

From a personal improvement point of view, that can only be meaningfully measured if all other factors remain the same. Buying an aero bike, an aero helmet and a size-too-small skinsuit will undoubtedly make me go faster, but I'm not a better rider because of it.

If you're competing, great, take every edge that's available to you that you can afford. I'm just not in that market, so while these bikes look beautiful, I'm never going to own one.

neildmoss's picture

posted by neildmoss [240 posts]
31st July 2015 - 8:42

1 Like

Of course there are faster bikes!

I go quite a bit faster on my road bike on the same roads than I do on my mountain bike. Therefore one is faster than the other!

posted by Podc [12 posts]
31st July 2015 - 8:43

4 Likes

Podc wrote:
Of course there are faster bikes!

I go quite a bit faster on my road bike on the same roads than I do on my mountain bike. Therefore one is faster than the other!

And when you go off road on a rough trail?
Have you taken into account gearing (including wheel size), tyre pressure, tread pattern, etc.?

If no then your comparison lacks a certain degree of validity.

The difference in drag coefficient between an aero model and its non-aero stable-mate is so tiny that the percentage of cyclists who could benefit from the difference is probably very small. Marginal gains only make a difference when you've sorted out everything else.

posted by levermonkey [580 posts]
31st July 2015 - 9:08

0 Likes

Ric_Stern_RST wrote:
On the other hand, it maybe that it'd make you finish 5 places higher in your road race
Even if you finished fourth on your road bike? Wink

Most people buying them don't race. And surely any aero gains are reduced when riding in a bunch.

Do aero bikes perform better in variable yaw conditions? I wouldn't bank on it, early ones were apparently hard work in crosswinds.

Ric_Stern_RST wrote:
But aero savings are very real indeed.

They are real, but the savings for a frame are very small. Clothing, hat and a good position will give bigger gains for competition. Shouldn't you be promoting the benefits of coaching rather than a bike, Rick?

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2339 posts]
31st July 2015 - 9:18

0 Likes

Mr Turning wrote:
Cars, marathons, cricket wickets and bikes.

The point with all of these things is that they are only as fast as the person using them. I can't run and I can't bowl, so you could put me on the fastest marathon course or wicket and I'll still suck. I can drive fairly confidently, so I'd get some benefit out of a faster car (in a racing situation, natch). I can ride well, but not that well, so even on the most aero bike going I'm not going to be much faster than on my regular bike. I'm good enough that the difference between £300 and £600 worth of bike is meaningful, but that's probably about it. I'd benefit more from some proper training than from £3k of super aero bike, and the same is true for the overwhelming majority of riders.

posted by vonhelmet [380 posts]
31st July 2015 - 9:19

1 Like

Oh, man - why do articles about bike tech always produce such negativity?

Clearly, these bikes are faster than their non-aero counterparts. The reduction in drag will definitely mean that for a given power generated by a rider with a given aero cross-section, that rider will go faster. Might not be much, but aero drag is a factor, even if the bike is small part of the aero load. Pro riders ride these because of the gains, even if they're marginal. Bike companies produce them so that they are associated with race-winning riders. Yes, they also do it make money, but if they didn't do that they wouldn't be around to produce bikes at all for any of us. Yes, there'll be another technology in a few years - of course there will - *technology advances*. I realise the luddites amongst the commentards don't like it, but it is there and you can't change it.

And if folk with more money than me want to spend it on a flash bike, why shouldn't they? Who cares if they are fatter/older/less fit than you? Do you really need to project your jealousy that they can afford the latest output from the bike companies? Bikes are good; more bike riders are good; the more there are the better for all of us. Why can't we just celebrate that?

adamthekiwi's picture

posted by adamthekiwi [84 posts]
31st July 2015 - 9:37

5 Likes

I've been riding the same bike (a nice Wilier non-aero bike) for two years and have a local 25 mile loop that I do a couple of times a week for an easy evening spin.

I've recently upgraded and have a Canyon Aeroad. In the week that I've owned it I've done the usual 25 mile evening loop twice and each time has been at a significantly (an extra 2mph+) faster average speed. With PR's all over the place.

Nothing else has changed other than the bike, and I've pushed hard on previous loops plenty of times.
Thinking

posted by PJKPhoenix360 [1 posts]
31st July 2015 - 9:47

0 Likes

posted by PJKPhoenix360 [1 posts]
31st July 2015 - 9:51

0 Likes

Can we stop saying things are "significantly" faster/more aero than other things without actually pointing toward some stats! Most of the data I've seen suggests that aero frames might be a little faster than an old school frame so fair enough if you're after a few seconds - or, frankly, just like the look of them - but the £/second ratio is probably pretty dire compared to slaming the stem and fitting 40 cm bars etc. Still want one though ...

posted by MattT53 [144 posts]
31st July 2015 - 9:53

0 Likes

crikey wrote:
Faster? In a wind tunnel, with a rider sitting still as a still thing.

Look at the average speeds of the Tour; there are many things which affect speed, bicycles are not high on that list. I have ridden TT bikes in prologues, but the vast majority of that speed gain is due to position rather than the shape of the tubes.

Cycling weekly did a test on herne hill velodrome. Same rider, same positon, same power, for 10 mins each on an aero and non aero bike. Can't quite remember the differences but I think 10mins at 300 watts gave over 400 metres more covered. And lots of us could put in a 300 watt effort for 10 mins at some point in a ride. They also did at 250 watts and there was still a meaningful difference.

Nuff said.

posted by brackley88 [122 posts]
31st July 2015 - 10:36

1 Like

Found it...worth a read...but not if you don't want to have to buy a new bike

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/how-much-faster-is-an-ae...

posted by brackley88 [122 posts]
31st July 2015 - 10:37

0 Likes

They don't keep wheels standard though, so you have no idea what the difference for the frame only is

posted by MattT53 [144 posts]
31st July 2015 - 11:18

1 Like

Some obtuse arguments on this thread.

Re: the Bradley Wiggins example, Wiggins would be quicker on an aero bike than a non-aero bike. Hell, he even shaved his beard for the hour record to save what, 0.1W?

I bought an aero bike, a Felt AR. I race. I'm not a sprinter, I ride in breakaways. Over a 2 hour / 70km race, if my bike saves me 20 seconds over my old bike then fantastic - a minute is all I need to hold off the bunch for a couple of laps.

posted by nicho [2 posts]
31st July 2015 - 11:23

1 Like

Most gains in cycling are marginal. Lighter bike. Better nutrition. Quicker recovery after training. Aero bike.

When was the last time you heard of anything in any sport that improved your performance by, say, 50%?

Yet people have a downer on an aero road bike because the gains are marginal. Yes, everyone knows the gains are marginal. No one ever said any different.

The point is, the gains are real. If they’re of no use to you – if you don’t race – you don’t need to spend money on getting them. If the gains are likely to be of benefit to you, you can consider whether they're worth the money.

Simple, no?

posted by Mr Turning [78 posts]
31st July 2015 - 11:53

1 Like

adamthekiwi wrote:
And if folk with more money than me want to spend it on a flash bike, why shouldn't they? Who cares if they are fatter/older/less fit than you? Do you really need to project your jealousy that they can afford the latest output from the bike companies?

I'm not jealous. I genuinely don't care what bike you ride, whether it's an old Raleigh Shopper or a Cervelo S5. I just don't like stuff being misrepresented, and the marketing of 'aero' bikes is a classic example.

brackley88 wrote:
Cycling weekly did a test on herne hill velodrome. Same rider, same positon, same power, for 10 mins each on an aero and non aero bike. Can't quite remember the differences but I think 10mins at 300 watts gave over 400 metres more covered. And lots of us could put in a 300 watt effort for 10 mins at some point in a ride. They also did at 250 watts and there was still a meaningful difference.

Nuff said.

No, it's rubbish. Very different wheels, which could account for a chunk of the difference (which is about 40 seconds over 10 minutes).

For most of us, after putting out 300 watts for 10 minutes, we'd probably spend the next 5 minutes recovering at 120 watts. Then freewheel up to a junction or ease off to wait for your mate on the inferior round-tubed bike to catch up.

If you want to believe the hype, feel free to carry on, but I am not obliged to agree with you.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2339 posts]
31st July 2015 - 16:12

0 Likes

Simon E wrote:

brackley88 wrote:
Cycling weekly did a test on herne hill velodrome. Same rider, same positon, same power, for 10 mins each on an aero and non aero bike. Can't quite remember the differences but I think 10mins at 300 watts gave over 400 metres more covered. And lots of us could put in a 300 watt effort for 10 mins at some point in a ride. They also did at 250 watts and there was still a meaningful difference.

Nuff said.

No, it's rubbish. Very different wheels, which could account for a chunk of the difference (which is about 40 seconds over 10 minutes).

For most of us, after putting out 300 watts for 10 minutes, we'd probably spend the next 5 minutes recovering at 120 watts. Then freewheel up to a junction or ease off to wait for your mate on the inferior round-tubed bike to catch up.

If you want to believe the hype, feel free to carry on, but I am not obliged to agree with you.

Isn't a velodrome test pretty unrepresentative of most environments anyway? Like a motor test track where official fuel consumption and diesel engine emissions are calculated but rarely achieved outside. At least those don't rely on the driver having to be an exceptional specimen to reap the benefits (I could drive Lewis Hamilton's car as fast as him (at least in a straight line). I can't ride Froome's bike anything like as fast as him).

I don't think anyone's objecting to anyone else spending their money on whatever they like - it's the misleading spin that's attached to a lot of this stuff by manufacturers, repeated by the press and swallowed and regurgitated by people who'll never realise the dream they're being sold.

posted by Duncann [182 posts]
31st July 2015 - 18:02

0 Likes

Quote:
I don't think anyone's objecting to anyone else spending their money on whatever they like - it's the misleading spin that's attached to a lot of this stuff by manufacturers, repeated by the press and swallowed and regurgitated by people who'll never realise the dream they're being sold.

This.

Cycling is turning into a middle class, high disposable income leisure activity, and this kind of 'but you save 20 watts at 40 km an hour' science has much more in common with selling soap powder using men in white coats than it does with any kind of real world use.

Armstrong got one thing right; it's not about the bike.

posted by crikey [1001 posts]
31st July 2015 - 18:14

2 Likes

'course there's such a thing as a "fast bike" - it's a recumbent.

posted by boil-in-the-bag [10 posts]
31st July 2015 - 20:49

1 Like

Is there really any gains to Jo average using an 'aero' bike when the lump riding it acts as it's own sail? As you can tell, not really a fan of aero bikes, prefer a traditional shape with a horizontal top tube but that's just me.

posted by steviemarco [30 posts]
31st July 2015 - 21:01

0 Likes

levermonkey wrote:
Podc wrote:
Of course there are faster bikes!

I go quite a bit faster on my road bike on the same roads than I do on my mountain bike. Therefore one is faster than the other!

And when you go off road on a rough trail?
Have you taken into account gearing (including wheel size), tyre pressure, tread pattern, etc.?

If no then your comparison lacks a certain degree of validity.

The difference in drag coefficient between an aero model and its non-aero stable-mate is so tiny that the percentage of cyclists who could benefit from the difference is probably very small. Marginal gains only make a difference when you've sorted out everything else.

In the grand scheme of things....this is twatwaffle

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1532 posts]
31st July 2015 - 22:13

0 Likes