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Where is the lightweight aero future we've been promised?

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Where is the lightweight aero future we've been promised?

Old 08-05-19, 08:19 AM
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Mr_Crankypants
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Where is the lightweight aero future we've been promised?

I'm sure many of us saw the GCN video a few weeks back that proclaimed that the future would be lightweight aero bikes, and we would no longer be forced to choose between the two.

So when is the future coming? I recall them naming the Cannondale SuperSix Evo as an example, and I think a Scott and a Wilier as well (neither brand is carried by any shop I live close to, so I haven't investigated them very thoroughly).

I've checked out the SuperSix Evo specs, and have to say I'm skeptical of the value - the aero cockpit doesn't kick in until you get close to $7K, and at that price tag you still have to pay to activate the power meter (!), and the cassette is 105 (nothing wrong with 105, except the bike is billed as Ultegra Di2 and at that price point I'd expect a full groupset).

My local dealer carries Giant, so I've been checking out their 2020 offerings pretty closely. It looks like Giant has decided to sit out 2020 - no update on the TCR, which is getting a little long in the tooth at this point. The Defy got a more aero cockpit with the 2019 model, but when it comes to the racier lineup, Giant is still forcing us to choose between aero and weight.

I'm looking for a more aero bike, but my ideal is a more aero all-rounder/climbing bike rather than a full-on aero bike. Are there some other models out there to consider?
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Old 08-05-19, 08:43 AM
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I think it'll be a market test for 2020 for one or two of the big manufacturers... maybe more (Cannondale, Specialized?) And of course they will come in at a high pricetag.

Next year TDF will see sponsor bikes with lightweight bikes and aero cockpits and invisible cabling for the top teams. The first round of 2020 lightweight aero bikes will have dropped from 9-10k to 6-8k and an Ultegra model @ 5995.99.

Then in 2021 we will see a whole array of lightweight aero bikes and the UCI will drop the weight limit to 6.5kg. (Because the whole world will be on 6kg or less bikes and the peloton will complain that they have to make stock bikes heavier to race them)

It would be interesting to see someone put together a customized lightweight bike frame built up with a fully integrated cockpit.

-Sean
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Old 08-05-19, 08:57 AM
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Relative to what? As the aero bikes get lighter, so too will the lightweight bikes.
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Old 08-05-19, 10:29 AM
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Expensive for sure, but lightweight aero style bikes are coming:

Colnago V3RS

Willier Zero SLR

Parlee RZ7

There are others out there, but I'm sure we'll see more soon as more manufactures adopt the trend.
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Old 08-05-19, 10:50 AM
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So I'm traveling last week and happen to come across a high-end race oriented bike shop. Decide to visit for a few minutes to check out the latest $10k and up bike bling.

Damn: the top-end bikes are so heavy relative to say 10 years ago. Aero has added a pound or so of frame weight, relative to optimal round tubes. Then there are disks, adding another 1-2 pounds of useless pork. I suppose if you are using your race bike for loaded touring in the rain... but I don't see any rack or fender mounts on these bikes.

Finally: clinchers, tubeless or otherwise... heavy! You can buy a 1,100 gram carbon tubular wheelset in minutes on AliExpress for like $500. Aero clinchers add a whole whack of rotating mass.

Pretty disappointing. Plus with integrated cable routings and hydraulic brakes, and press-fit proprietary bottom brackets, these bikes are impossible to service for anyone but a top-end shop.

No thanks.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
So I'm traveling last week and happen to come across a high-end race oriented bike shop. Decide to visit for a few minutes to check out the latest $10k and up bike bling.

Damn: the top-end bikes are so heavy relative to say 10 years ago. Aero has added a pound or so of frame weight, relative to optimal round tubes. Then there are disks, adding another 1-2 pounds of useless pork. I suppose if you are using your race bike for loaded touring in the rain... but I don't see any rack or fender mounts on these bikes.

Finally: clinchers, tubeless or otherwise... heavy! You can buy a 1,100 gram carbon tubular wheelset in minutes on AliExpress for like $500. Aero clinchers add a whole whack of rotating mass.

Pretty disappointing. Plus with integrated cable routings and hydraulic brakes, and press-fit proprietary bottom brackets, these bikes are impossible to service for anyone but a top-end shop.

No thanks.
The service issues are indeed an issue.

But 2-3 lbs vs significant aero gains? That is a huge leap forward IMO. As is the change from tubulars to clinchers. Heck, if if there were a 2-3 pound gain just going from tubulars to clinchers (and there is NOT), any sane person would gladly make that change, with the possible exception of a bike that would only be used on race day.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Relative to what? As the aero bikes get lighter, so too will the lightweight bikes.
This.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:06 AM
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The future is promised to no one.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
[tubulars].. person would gladly make that change, with the possible exception of a bike that would only be used on race day.
Umm, given unlimited resources and options, nobody rides on clinchers. They are distant second best to tubulars in terms of weight, safety (in a sudden blowout), impact resistance and ride quality.

About the only good aspect of clinchers is that fixing a flat is cheaper.

So clinchers are a utilitarian choice for training and grocery-store bikes.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Umm, given unlimited resources and options, nobody rides on clinchers. They are distant second best to tubulars in terms of weight, safety (in a sudden blowout), impact resistance and ride quality.

About the only good aspect of clinchers is that fixing a flat is cheaper.

So clinchers are a utilitarian choice for training and grocery-store bikes.
Lol yes, with unlimited time, resources, a chase crew/sag van for your training rides, a full time mechanic that works out of your garage, tubulars make an awful lot of sense

For the other 99.999% of us, you'd have to be a bit daft to train/ride on tubulars. Unless actually riding a bike is a distant second to wrenching on bikes and/romanticizing about neat vintage bikes. Which is fine as well.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
The service issues are indeed an issue.

But 2-3 lbs vs significant aero gains? That is a huge leap forward IMO. As is the change from tubulars to clinchers. Heck, if if there were a 2-3 pound gain just going from tubulars to clinchers (and there is NOT), any sane person would gladly make that change, with the possible exception of a bike that would only be used on race day.
Also, this.
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Old 08-05-19, 12:59 PM
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Can someone quantify the actual weights of comparable aero vs light framesets?

I'm thinking of the Cervelo R3 vs S3.

Argon 18 Nitrogen Pro vs Gallium Pro?

Cannondale SystemSix vs SuperSix?

And so forth. What are we really talking about in terms of weight for the frames themselves?


-Tim-
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Old 08-05-19, 01:01 PM
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The futuristic disc brakes are keeping weights high.
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Old 08-07-19, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Umm, given unlimited resources and options, nobody rides on clinchers. They are distant second best to tubulars in terms of weight, safety (in a sudden blowout), impact resistance and ride quality.

About the only good aspect of clinchers is that fixing a flat is cheaper.

So clinchers are a utilitarian choice for training and grocery-store bikes.
Tubeless saves watts according to this. Having gone from clinchers to tubeless I can say that I will never go back.

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Old 08-07-19, 09:43 AM
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In general, for a recreational rider like me, the hype of aero does nothing for me. And, the cost is silly. Whatever advantage of aero or lightweight, it will never matter enough to me.
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Old 08-07-19, 09:54 AM
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You just decided you don't care enough. But for most people, there is a value in going fast(er).
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Old 08-07-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
For the other 99.999% of us, you'd have to be a bit daft to train/ride on tubulars. Unless actually riding a bike is a distant second to wrenching on bikes and/romanticizing about neat vintage bikes. Which is fine as well.
I'm a bit daft then, I ride tubular for JRA. I like tubular wheels because you can get light wheels around 1kg, and deep aero wheels about 1.3kg. I had a set of ax lightness with tires and cassette that weighed as much as clincher rims without tires or cassette. Used tubular wheels are very affordable compared to clincher since they are less popular, and glue tape and latex sealant in tires makes them easily usable for regular mortals without mechanics. Good tubular wheels are both aero and light already, and the wheels make more difference in weight (rotational mass) and in aero than the frame does
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Old 08-07-19, 03:07 PM
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I have deep aero wheels at 1.4 kg in tubeless. So much less PITA than tubulars. Which I've also used, and won't go back to.
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Old 08-07-19, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
I'm a bit daft then, I ride tubular for JRA. I like tubular wheels because you can get light wheels around 1kg, and deep aero wheels about 1.3kg. I had a set of ax lightness with tires and cassette that weighed as much as clincher rims without tires or cassette. Used tubular wheels are very affordable compared to clincher since they are less popular, and glue tape and latex sealant in tires makes them easily usable for regular mortals without mechanics. Good tubular wheels are both aero and light already, and the wheels make more difference in weight (rotational mass) and in aero than the frame does
If you value 200-300 grams on a training ride more than not having to replace glued on tires on the side of the road when you get a flat, I assure you you are in the minority. There is a reason it simply is not done.
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Old 08-07-19, 03:36 PM
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I took a serious look at tubular recently.

Few 25 mm tires seemed to be available. Manufacturers list them on their websites but actual availability seemed sparse. The higher end rubber is expensive. Corsa are $90.

Weight gained by using clincher rims could be partially made up for by selecting very light tires and tubes. A 25 mm Vittoria Rubino G+ Speed tire with a Continental Supersonic tube is 252 grams. I'm already running this setup. A 25 mm Corsa tubular is 295 grams.

I'd glady have made the switch and am happy to revisit the idea for my next bike or wheelset. For now however, the benefit didn't seem to be enough to make the commitment and switch.


-Tim-
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Old 08-07-19, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
If you value 200-300 grams on a training ride more than not having to replace glued on tires on the side of the road when you get a flat, I assure you you are in the minority. There is a reason it simply is not done.
I trained and raced on tubulars for a number of years. Replacing a tubular was way faster than a tube in a clincher. As long as the replacement tire had been stretched on a rim, they pop off and new one on in no time. Big time saver is no need to find what caused the flat. At the time, I had a connection to these training tires on the cheap. When the connection dried up, I went back to clinchers.
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Old 08-08-19, 06:54 AM
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I run tubulars a lot. There are tutorials on YouTube on how to quickly patch a tubular on a ride - Super Glue and Stan's Sealant work pretty well to get you back on the road. There's also a guy in Florida who repairs tubulars if you do get a flat.

With regards to the original post, the lightweight aero future is here. It's just still really, really expensive. Did they promise a cheap lightweight aero future? Because that's a different thing.
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Old 08-08-19, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Lol yes, with unlimited time, resources, a chase crew/sag van for your training rides, a full time mechanic that works out of your garage, tubulars make an awful lot of sense

For the other 99.999% of us, you'd have to be a bit daft to train/ride on tubulars. Unless actually riding a bike is a distant second to wrenching on bikes and/romanticizing about neat vintage bikes. Which is fine as well.
Dare I say it? +10K miles on tubulars and not one....nope, not gonna say it but you know what I mean.

Prior to tubulars, I got really good changing out clinchers <3 minutes.
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Old 08-08-19, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
With regards to the original post, the lightweight aero future is here. It's just still really, really expensive. Did they promise a cheap lightweight aero future? Because that's a different thing.
Just IMO, it's "expensive" not necessarily because the tech or the manufacturing process to make an aero frame more difficult, but simply marketed as such because it's the new thing.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mpath View Post
Dare I say it? +10K miles on tubulars and not one....nope, not gonna say it but you know what I mean.

Prior to tubulars, I got really good changing out clinchers <3 minutes.
Lol yea to be fair I generally get a flat about once every few thousand miles also. However..i have a feeling if I rode group rides more consistently than I do...I'd get significantly more flats...its juat harder to avoid things when you view of the road is more limited.

Regardless...in spite of the voice of some here advocating here for tubulars...what say you of the fact it is virtually unheard of for people to be riding tubulars? When is the last time anyone saw somebody else riding tubulars that wasnt in a cross race?
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