Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

What say you? New bike: Aero vs. Lightweight

Notices
Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

What say you? New bike: Aero vs. Lightweight

Old 08-01-19, 06:07 PM
  #26  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 3,886

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1412 Post(s)
Liked 177 Times in 137 Posts
Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Completely false. The slower you go, the more overall time savings you get from aero equipment.
Thats interesting. I had always read that being aero, which for many doing triathlons, was riding on the aero bars and being as aerodynamic as possible, didnít matter unless you were up over 17-18 mph or so. I always had read and assumed that energy to gain speed is mostly an effort against the wind, thus it would make sense (to me) that aero tubing and wheels will have less effect at slower speeds and itís only when you hit certain speeds do the frame and wheel design start to be beneficial. Iíve been know to be wrong though.
Steve B. is online now  
Likes For Steve B.:
Old 08-01-19, 06:12 PM
  #27  
seau grateau
Senior Member
 
seau grateau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: PHL
Posts: 9,802

Bikes: Litespeed, IRO

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1269 Post(s)
Liked 192 Times in 107 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Thats interesting. I had always read that being aero, which for many doing triathlons, was riding on the aero bars and being as aerodynamic as possible, didnít matter unless you were up over 17-18 mph or so. I always had read and assumed that energy to gain speed is mostly an effort against the wind, thus it would make sense (to me) that aero tubing and wheels will have less effect at slower speeds and itís only when you hit certain speeds do the frame and wheel design start to be beneficial. Iíve been know to be wrong though.
You're not wrong.
seau grateau is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 06:14 PM
  #28  
RedBullFiXX
Senior Member
 
RedBullFiXX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: SoCal USA
Posts: 130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 23 Posts
I believe GCN did a Swiss Side episode worth watching
Apparently slower riders gain more from Aero due in part to the "sail" effect
RedBullFiXX is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 06:51 PM
  #29  
terrymorse 
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 3,520

Bikes: Scott Addict R1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 332 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 123 Posts
A colleagueís Scott Foil is both light and aero. With carbon tubular wheels, itís less than 14 lbs.
terrymorse is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 06:53 PM
  #30  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 20,381
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10532 Post(s)
Liked 1,729 Times in 1,034 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Thats interesting. I had always read that being aero, which for many doing triathlons, was riding on the aero bars and being as aerodynamic as possible, didnít matter unless you were up over 17-18 mph or so. I always had read and assumed that energy to gain speed is mostly an effort against the wind, thus it would make sense (to me) that aero tubing and wheels will have less effect at slower speeds and itís only when you hit certain speeds do the frame and wheel design start to be beneficial. Iíve been know to be wrong though.
You have to overcome air resistance walking at 2 mph. It's an insignificant part of the work of walking, but still must happen. On a bike at 10 mph, there's even more.

So if you do a 10 hour century, that's a lot of kJs that go into pushing through the air. If you go all in and cut your air resistance by 1/4, you've saved a lot of work, so if you're putting out the same power regardless, you'll finish faster. So far so good.

If you do a 3 hour century, being more aero is important, but at 3 hours you're not going to be able to shave much time. Impossible to shave more than 3 hours, right? If you were going to take 10, shaving 3 hours off your time is less than 1/3 the minutes, more doable. (I know the numbers are daft, I'm trying to make this easy to follow. You can math it out with real numbers.)

But it's really a matter of semantics. Below a certain speed, you don't care about speed, above a different threshold it's a drug and you want all you can get. 5 seconds is significant in a TT if it gets you on the podium. Saving 40 minutes on a long, slow recreational ride is numerically huge compared to those 5 seconds, but probably not significant to the rider.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 10:31 PM
  #31  
colnago62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,769
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 61 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Thats interesting. I had always read that being aero, which for many doing triathlons, was riding on the aero bars and being as aerodynamic as possible, didnít matter unless you were up over 17-18 mph or so. I always had read and assumed that energy to gain speed is mostly an effort against the wind, thus it would make sense (to me) that aero tubing and wheels will have less effect at slower speeds and itís only when you hit certain speeds do the frame and wheel design start to be beneficial. Iíve been know to be wrong though.
Part of the diminishing returns at very high speeds has to do with the amount of energy required to go even a small amount faster. Their is a point where aero does not creat a big enough advantage to overcome the wattage required.
I was told that aero trumps weight at speeds down to about 12 miles an hour. That is why you see riders climbing with aero wheels, especially in the professional ranks.
colnago62 is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 10:43 PM
  #32  
DrIsotope
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 7,735

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn

Mentioned: 116 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4309 Post(s)
Liked 822 Times in 496 Posts
Ride them both. And not just around the parking lot. Bring your pedals and shoes, ride each one for 10 or 15 minutes at least. You'll know which one you prefer.

When choosing between a Cervelo S3 (aero) and an R3 (lightweight,) it was the R3. It spoke to me.
__________________
DrIsotope is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 12:27 AM
  #33  
Kimmo
bike whisperer
 
Kimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Posts: 8,495

Bikes: https://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=152015&p=1404231

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 658 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 103 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
If you do a 3 hour century, being more aero is important, but at 3 hours you're not going to be able to shave much time. Impossible to shave more than 3 hours, right? If you were going to take 10, shaving 3 hours off your time is less than 1/3 the minutes, more doable. (I know the numbers are daft, I'm trying to make this easy to follow. You can math it out with real numbers.)
I'm reminded of an old Greek turtle.
Kimmo is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 03:01 AM
  #34  
rivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
Ride them both and buy the one which brings the biggest smile to your face
rivers is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 09:36 AM
  #35  
MyTi
6-4 Titanium
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 326
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Iíve read an aero frame in reality gives you like a 1% advantage because the body negates most of that aero advantage. Aero wheels however give a bigger advantage...and of course body position and getting in the drops.
MyTi is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 10:01 AM
  #36  
colnago62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,769
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 61 Posts
Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
Iíve read an aero frame in reality gives you like a 1% advantage because the body negates most of that aero advantage. Aero wheels however give a bigger advantage...and of course body position and getting in the drops.
The best bang for the buck, a skin suit
colnago62 is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 10:13 AM
  #37  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 27,588

Bikes: R3 Disc, Domane, Haanjo

Mentioned: 329 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11137 Post(s)
Liked 1,085 Times in 624 Posts
Which one is going to make you want to ride more?
WhyFi is online now  
Old 08-02-19, 10:27 AM
  #38  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 20,381
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10532 Post(s)
Liked 1,729 Times in 1,034 Posts
Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
I'm reminded of an old Greek turtle.
Mobile version of this site needs a like button.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Likes For Seattle Forrest:
Old 08-02-19, 10:33 AM
  #39  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 20,381
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10532 Post(s)
Liked 1,729 Times in 1,034 Posts
Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
Iíve read an aero frame in reality gives you like a 1% advantage because the body negates most of that aero advantage. Aero wheels however give a bigger advantage...and of course body position and getting in the drops.
I read that aliens built the pyramids.

But they probably had fake Stravas.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 11:23 AM
  #40  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,829
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 498 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
Iíve read an aero frame in reality gives you like a 1% advantage because the body negates most of that aero advantage. Aero wheels however give a bigger advantage...and of course body position and getting in the drops.
Wheels, frame, helmet, clothes each give about the same advantage comparing best to worst. https://cyclingtips.com/2019/07/nerd...s-made-simple/
asgelle is offline  
Likes For asgelle:
Old 08-02-19, 11:23 AM
  #41  
jsigone
got the climbing bug
 
jsigone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9,908

Bikes: one for everything

Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 44 Posts
aero and more aero
__________________
Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
jsigone is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 12:45 PM
  #42  
Flatballer
No matches
 
Flatballer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 11,355

Bikes: two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1144 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 52 Posts
Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Part of the diminishing returns at very high speeds has to do with the amount of energy required to go even a small amount faster. Their is a point where aero does not creat a big enough advantage to overcome the wattage required.
I was told that aero trumps weight at speeds down to about 12 miles an hour. That is why you see riders climbing with aero wheels, especially in the professional ranks.
You have to keep two very important things in mind whenever you're looking at what the pros are riding.

1) They're sponsored to ride certain brands (not super applicable in this case) whether they're best or not, and sometimes they'll take what they actually want to ride and make it look like something from the brand they're sponsored by.

2) They have a UCI minimum weight limit that is trivially easy to hit with high dollar frames and components, so they can either add literal weights to the bottom bracket area, or they can ride deep wheels that get them some aero advantage on the climbs and a significant advantage on the descents and flats.
Flatballer is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 01:29 PM
  #43  
firebird854
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 514

Bikes: 2016 Specialized Tarmac Expert

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 38 Posts
I had this debate, ended up getting a lightweight frame and aero wheels (Emonda ALR disc frameset + Aeolus 5 wheelset). The wheels make a hell of a lot more difference than the frame.
firebird854 is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 01:30 PM
  #44  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,829
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 498 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by firebird854 View Post
The wheels make a hell of a lot more difference than the frame.
Listen to the podcast linked on Post 39.
asgelle is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 04:36 PM
  #45  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 3,031

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1754 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 86 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Thats interesting. I had always read that being aero, which for many doing triathlons, was riding on the aero bars and being as aerodynamic as possible, didnít matter unless you were up over 17-18 mph or so. I always had read and assumed that energy to gain speed is mostly an effort against the wind, thus it would make sense (to me) that aero tubing and wheels will have less effect at slower speeds and itís only when you hit certain speeds do the frame and wheel design start to be beneficial. Iíve been know to be wrong though.

What's special about 18 mph? Do you feel any difference in a 10 mph headwind versus a 10 mph tailwind?
rubiksoval is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 04:37 PM
  #46  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 3,031

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1754 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 86 Posts
Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
You're not wrong.
Well, yeah, he is. And so are you. Twice.
rubiksoval is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 05:06 PM
  #47  
Noctilux.95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Southern California
Posts: 526

Bikes: Bianchi Oltre XR4 Celeste, De Rosa SK Pininfarina, Giant TCR SL, Giant Revolt Advanced Revolt 0 Gravel Bike, Trek Madone SLR

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 340 Post(s)
Liked 70 Times in 40 Posts

My "Aero" Bianchi Oltre XR4 is 15.0-lbs with pedals, and bottle cages. In all fairness the brake calipers are lightweight Cane Creek EE brakes and saddle is raw carbon.
Noctilux.95 is offline  
Likes For Noctilux.95:
Old 08-02-19, 05:46 PM
  #48  
sour
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 65
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I've got a '15 Ridley Helium SL and a '19 Madone SLR both bought as frame sets and built with SRAM red22. Besides the proprietary parts, the only difference is shallow aluminum wheels vs 50mm carbon wheels on the two bikes. It is very hard for me to tell a difference between the two bikes except when I put them on a scale or lift them into the car. The Madone does feel like it goes downhill faster, but that is probably a placebo...

My advice, buy the bike that will make you want to ride it.
sour is offline  
Likes For sour:
Old 08-02-19, 06:01 PM
  #49  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 3,886

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1412 Post(s)
Liked 177 Times in 137 Posts
Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
What's special about 18 mph? Do you feel any difference in a 10 mph headwind versus a 10 mph tailwind?
The comment was "up over 17-18 mph or so". Nothing special, it's what I recall from the early days of aero bar use when triathletes were starting to use the clip-on variations on standard road bikes as an attempt to gain some free speed without investing in a dedicated TT bike. It seemed common experiences were the faster you tried to go, the more you fought the wind and that speed area seemed to be the point were a clip-on was going to be advantageous, below that not so much. Much has changed in the ensuing 25 years to modify this "theory".
Steve B. is online now  
Old 08-02-19, 10:45 PM
  #50  
Kimmo
bike whisperer
 
Kimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Posts: 8,495

Bikes: https://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=152015&p=1404231

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 658 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 103 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Mobile version of this site needs a like button.
I tick a 'view desktop version' box on my phone's browser, and just zoom into the left panel on the index page.
Kimmo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.