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Trend towards heavier more aero frames?

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Trend towards heavier more aero frames?

Old 07-06-20, 08:01 PM
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Plainsman
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Trend towards heavier more aero frames?

I'm wondering if this is just a Trek thing, or something happening in the industry in general? When the new Domane came out, the only knock I read about it was how much heavier it had gotten. When I compare it to a couple of other common endurance frames (Scott Addict, Canyon Endurace), it is definitely on the beefier side. Now that the new Emonda is out, even at the top end it doesn't seem incredibly light weight. I know that the advent of disc brakes has added some weight, but I'm curious if there is some data demonstrating that the aerodynamic benefits overcome the weight penalty. The new Emonda in particular has made me wonder about that as it's marketed as their climbing bike. I would not be as surprised to see a Madone, a Venge, or an Aeroad pick up weight, but adding weight to climbing bikes seems counter intuitive. (FWIW, I neither work for Trek nor have any particular investment in them - it was just the drop of these two bikes that made me start wondering). Is this trend unique to Trek, or is this happening across the board?
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Old 07-06-20, 08:46 PM
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It's across the board

It's disk brakes adding weight too, frame design changes to accommodate disks add weight
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Old 07-06-20, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
It's across the board

It's disk brakes adding weight too, frame design changes to accommodate disks add weight
Interesting, I guess I’m still surprised that of the well known manufacturers, Trek seems to still be coming out as one of the heavier disc offerings, particularly since they also tend to be among the more expensive. That’s what made me wonder about some wind tunnel magic that might bolster the heavier frame design logic.
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Old 07-06-20, 09:07 PM
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Disc brakes, electronic shifting, bigger tires, even bigger cassettes.

Visually as well, newer bikes are getting a muffin-top look.
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Old 07-06-20, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Disc brakes, electronic shifting, bigger tires, even bigger cassettes.

Visually as well, newer bikes are getting a muffin-top look.
I agree. It isn’t just in a particular area. Bike components as well as frames are getting heavier. It is the trade off, I guess, for improvement in other areas of bike performance.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:35 PM
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Great questions. As someone who has owned and ridden all three generations of Domane frames, seen the weight from the first to the latest gain a pound, and gone from stuffing 32mm tires on the first for grins to 40mm gravel tires as an adventure set of wheels on the current, all I can say is the current one goes more places and is more fun to ride. I would add in faster, adjusted for the fact that my 63 year old legs are not quite what they were 7 years ago.
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Old 07-06-20, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
Interesting, I guess I’m still surprised that of the well known manufacturers, Trek seems to still be coming out as one of the heavier disc offerings, particularly since they also tend to be among the more expensive. That’s what made me wonder about some wind tunnel magic that might bolster the heavier frame design logic.
In Trek's case, their use of Isospeed also adds a little weight, I believe. Certainly, the Madone has a very different ride quality from other aero bikes - a lot of people love it, others dont.

But yeah, the science purportedly does show that for all except long, steep climbing stages, weight > aero. Although HED has been saying this since atleast 2012, so it isnt really new
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Old 07-06-20, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tigat View Post
Great questions. As someone who has owned and ridden all three generations of Domane frames, seen the weight from the first to the latest gain a pound, and gone from stuffing 32mm tires on the first for grins to 40mm gravel tires as an adventure set of wheels on the current, all I can say is the current one goes more places and is more fun to ride. I would add in faster, adjusted for the fact that my 63 year old legs are not quite what they were 7 years ago.
i 100% agree with this. Although personally disappointed at the increased weights across the board, the fun factor has actually increased - being able to go more places, explore areas I’ve overlooked due to “poor surfaces” and just getting away from the normal tarmac routes that I’ve ridden 1000x is worth it. Weight doesn’t really matter for me except when racing, and I’ve got my race bike for that...and even then aero trumps weight!
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Old 07-07-20, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
I'm wondering if this is just a Trek thing, or something happening in the industry in general? When the new Domane came out, the only knock I read about it was how much heavier it had gotten.
Weight simply doesn't matter that much. As one company likes to tout, "aero is everything."

And in any case, when the vast majority of riders have pounds to lose themselves...
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Old 07-07-20, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by yamsyamsyams View Post
i 100% agree with this. Although personally disappointed at the increased weights across the board, the fun factor has actually increased - being able to go more places, explore areas I’ve overlooked due to “poor surfaces” and just getting away from the normal tarmac routes that I’ve ridden 1000x is worth it. Weight doesn’t really matter for me except when racing, and I’ve got my race bike for that...and even then aero trumps weight!
Lots of insightful responses here, all of you, thanks. Especially the part about how the ride/fun factor has increased. Honestly, I guess the weight aspect really is a narrow focus. I don’t do exclusively climbing rides, but there are some where the grades are steep and relentless. I guess if I was suffering on one of those, even if I was riding on a 15 pound bike I would probably wish for 14! ;-). The move to more “all-road” capable bikes is an interesting angle. Strangely, I didn’t become aware of it until Allied and REI were specifically marketing that aspect. Sounds like I may be missing out on something, an entertaining middle ground, as I’m either riding on tarmac or my mountain bike in the woods. I also imagine tech will catch up again and someone will figure out how to fit all of the new components and wizardry into a lighter package eventually (at an affordable price point).
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Old 07-07-20, 08:08 AM
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A lot of the "improvements" are simply new fashions created by manufacturers to drive sales.
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Old 07-07-20, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Disc brakes, electronic shifting, bigger tires, even bigger cassettes.

Visually as well, newer bikes are getting a muffin-top look.
Next we’ll get a tiny ~50w starter motor in the down-tube to help you get going from a dead stop.
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Old 07-07-20, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
A lot of the "improvements" are simply new fashions created by manufacturers to drive sales.
And then there are a lot of improvements that are actually improvements that drive sales.
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Old 07-07-20, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
And then there are a lot of improvements that are actually improvements that drive sales.
And they raise the sale price too, more $$$$$ per bike
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Old 07-07-20, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
And then there are a lot of improvements that are actually improvements that drive sales.
For example...........
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Old 07-07-20, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
For example...........
What? You want a list to shake your fist at?
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Old 07-07-20, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
What? You want a list to shake your fist at?
Exactly, me and a lot of others.
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Old 07-07-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
Exactly, me and a lot of other old farts.
fify

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Old 07-07-20, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
A lot of the "improvements" are simply new fashions created by manufacturers to drive sales.
No offense, but sweeping statements like that sound very pithy but dont really stand up to deeper scrutiny.

Contrary to what you may think, you cannot just create new fashions at the drop of a hat to drive sales. There have been cases where that has been done successfully, but it is nowhere as easy as you think (and it is more prevalent in the luxury/Veblen goods area). As an entire category, customers arent as stupid or as gullible as people would like to think.
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Old 07-07-20, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
customers arent as stupid or as gullible as people would like to think.
Ain't it true that some are and some aren't?
https://southfloridareporter.com/its...ocks-2-videos/
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Old 07-08-20, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
Ain't it true that some are and some aren't?
https://southfloridareporter.com/its...ocks-2-videos/
Heh, that's why i deliberately said "as a category"...
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Old 07-08-20, 03:29 PM
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I try to be pretty discerning when I'm bicycle shopping, and don't always assume that just because something is new it is somehow better. I think there are strong cases to be made for disc brakes (as well as cases to keep rim), and I understand frames becoming a little more stout to support discs. With a demand for wider tires, I suppose that adds a little more material and therefore weight as well.
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Old 07-08-20, 05:08 PM
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Saw an article a few months back about one of the big companies starting to move away from specific aero frames and back towards ride feel and some weight savings.

I've always kind of hated the "aero is everything" movement to an extent as it chucks common sense out the window. I have watched scores of triathletes sit and debate with me the finer points of drag on their components while ignoring the fact that their bike splits averaged 13-17mph.
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Old 07-08-20, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
For example...........
I would argue that disc brakes fall into this category - there’s no question that discs are objectively better than rim brakes, but they confer no advantage for the vast majority of riding situations. However, we (the riding general public) has been convinced that by not riding with discs, we’re taking our lives In our hands with those obsolete and inferior rim brakes. Most of us don’t need disc brakes, but we’ve been convinced that we do. It’s a bit like how we’ve been convinced that, without the superior roadholding and safety of AWD, we might not survive the next trip to the mall
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Old 07-08-20, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
I would argue that disc brakes fall into this category - there’s no question that discs are objectively better than rim brakes, but they confer no advantage for the vast majority of riding situations. However, we (the riding general public) has been convinced that by not riding with discs, we’re taking our lives In our hands with those obsolete and inferior rim brakes. Most of us don’t need disc brakes, but we’ve been convinced that we do. It’s a bit like how we’ve been convinced that, without the superior roadholding and safety of AWD, we might not survive the next trip to the mall
Having ridden exclusively discs for the past 8-9 months and then going back to rim brakes, i could immediately notice how much poorer the modulation was. Can i live with rim brake braking? Yes, of course. Hell, i rode a canti-brake CX bike as my training bike for half a decade. But is there a reason to stick to rim brakes? Not for me. The additional 200-300gm of weight is meaningless compardd to a noticeable superior braking performance.

Also, keep in mind that one of the huge benefits of disc brakes isnt just the braking - it is also the ability to use wider rims and thicker tires for a better blend of aero and comfort.
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