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Light Weight vs Aero?

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Light Weight vs Aero?

Old 10-18-22, 05:04 PM
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PeteHski
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Personally, I found their customer service online to be useless because they cannot answer basic dimensional questions, which is important because they won't swap out the stem/bars.
What basic dimensional info could you not find again?
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Old 10-18-22, 05:50 PM
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Old 10-19-22, 06:27 AM
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Not sure if I understand the graph.

Am I correct in interpreting that at 30 kph on a 5% downhill I save about 2 watts? That seems to be almost insignificant. Especially at a recreational pace.

In real world terms, what is this amount of aero equal to? Super deep section wheels vs standard? Aero bars? Or is it something big like a flapping jacket or sitting upright?
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Old 10-19-22, 08:11 AM
  #29  
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Very roughly speaking, .005 m^2 in CdA is small but not teeny: it's roughly equivalent to the area of a standard business card. Flapping jackets are way *way* bigger, as are aero bars vs. being on the bar tops or hoods. In terms of wheels, a 15mm increase in rim depth (for the same rim profile) might be in the ballpark of 0.015 m^2; a reduction in spoke count of maybe 2 spokes would be around .01 m^2. [Edited to add:] Years ago I was testing on a warm day and the zipper on my jersey was a bit down -- not Thomas Voeckler kind of down, just down around the bottom of my throat. On a whim I did a test with the zipper all the way up. The difference was close to 0.01 m^2. That was so shocking that I returned the next day to repeat the test. It turns out that the jersey wasn't flapping around and the slightly lower zipper wasn't turning the jersey into a parachute -- the looser zipper allowed the jersey to bunch up and wrinkle around my neck and shoulders.

The point of the calc is that even 100g of mass (which many riders think is huge) has a small effect compared with small differences in aero.

Last edited by RChung; 10-19-22 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 10-19-22, 08:16 AM
  #30  
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It seems to say that a slight aero increase outweighs a slight weight reduction, with the aero taking the edge starting around 15 kph and increasingly offering an advantage up to about 40 kph. So ... shave a few grams and so long as you are traveling slowly (like a serious climb) the weight advantage outweighs any aero advantage, but over 15 kph, aero is the better option.

it also show that even at 25 mph you are only saving 4 watts with better aero over lower weight .... and it doesn't take into account how much would be saved with much greater weight differences or much improved aero .... and since in the real world riders are much more of a drag than the bike, maybe a skinsuit and shoe covers are a better deal .... get a light bike and be a more aero rider.

And no matter what it is unlikely to be major wattage saved or lost.

I am not sure exactly how to translate .005 square meters reduction in frontal area ..... to really make sense this chart would need to show the difference between the two bikes in question---how many hundred grams less for the lighter bike---versus the aero reduction actually provided by the frame.

I have no idea what difference concealed cables and a little extra tube-shaping make in terms of actually lowering drag ...... but the chart does seem to say that you need to be doing 18-20 mph to get s significant effort reduction form aero, and that one hundred grams' weight savings is almost too little to measure.
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Old 10-19-22, 09:39 AM
  #31  
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I don’t ride competitively. But, FWIW, I have one very aero bike. The southern New England area that I live in is always windy (great for sailing). It’s noticeably easier riding that bike in a headwind. But riding it in a cross-wind can sometimes be perilous, and not fun. For that reason, I’d prefer lightweight over aero. I so guess you might want to consider weather conditions where you ride.

Dan
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Old 10-19-22, 11:09 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by circlemaker View Post
if being fast and competitive (informally) is important, should I buy a light weigh, or aero version of a Canyon or comparable road bike?
As already noted, aero almost always provides more gains than reducing weight.

However, the gains that you'll get by using a new aero bike vs a new endurance, all-road or gravel bike (assuming the same riding position and same tires) are likely to be small, probably 5-10 watts. That matters if you are sprinting for the win in a Cat3 race. That doesn't matter at all if all you want to do is pass people on your daily rides.

You should also be aware that today, road cyclists run wider tires at lower pressures than they did just 5 years ago.

If I needed a new bike today, I'd get an all-road type gravel bike, and set it up with slicks and a semi-aggressive position. They're a bit more versatile than aero road bikes. For Canyon that's the Endurace or Grail. Thankfully I don't need a new bike, as they're pretty spendy these days....
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Old 10-20-22, 03:21 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by circlemaker View Post
Hello, I'm new to the forum, but not to cycling. However, I've been out of the saddle for a while (accident with hip fracture) and not very savvy about the newest bike tech. I would greatly appreciate your earnest, well considered advice.

In a nutshell, my question is, if being fast and competitive (informally) is important, should I buy a light weigh, or aero version of a Canyon or comparable road bike? Here are some factors to consider: 1) I'm small (5'7" and 145 lbs.). 2) My usual ridding terrain (Southern California) is mixed, i.e., mostly flat to hilly with several steep climbs on a typical 40-mile ride. And it can be quite windy along the coast).

I am aware that smaller riders like me have a weight-to-strength advantage that makes us better climbers than bigger riders (all else being equal). And I like accelerating past the bigger riders on hills. But smaller riders have more surface area per unit of muscle mass, making us less able to counter wind resistance. And I rarely ride in anyone’s draft (which I regard as mildly obnoxious).

I'm no physicist or mathematician, but my inclination is to go aero to help me on level ground (I'm not especially brave on descent). BUT, as a small rider, every ounce of bike weight is a bigger percentage of my weight than that of a bigger rider (3 lbs. is more than 2% of my weight vs less than 1.7% of a rider weighing 180 lbs.).

Is going aero at the expense of weight best for me?

Many thanks for your response!
What is your budget? I ride in the alps and am happy with my aero bike, I did upgrade wheelset to a carbon one which ended up not just being deeper but also 300g lighter, which does make a difference in feel. I think I would go for aero in most instances. With pedals I am now at just about 8kg which I find great for a 58 size and I don't think 1kg lighter bike would make me all that much faster. If you use a power calculator, at my weight and power output, a 1kg lighter bike is 20 seconds over 10km at 5%, which is 1% or 2W. I think most impact of a lighter bike is perceived ride feel up a hill, but not actual speed.

Cube did just launch the Litening Air, which is their aerobike made light (though to be fair, I think they did not have a climbing bike before, just aero and endurance) and that is seriously light (7.1kg for the first model and 6.6kg for the top model) but still quite aero. However, depends on your budget, they are quite expensive, although still cheaper than most.
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Old 10-20-22, 04:51 AM
  #34  
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In reality the overall speed difference between a Canyon Ultimate vs Aeroroad is going to be minimal over mixed terrain. Even World Tour pros are often split between these two frames on the same race stage. So there is some personal preference there too. The Endurace is definitely more comfortable though, with very little performance downside. But then I'm focusing on endurance events, so I value ride comfort very highly. If my aim was to PB my local 25 km loop I'm sure an Aeroroad would give me a measurable advantage. But I'll take my Endurace every time for my daily riding or any endurance event.
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Old 10-20-22, 08:18 AM
  #35  
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Which raises a good point; both the Ultimate and the Aeroad are race bikes which are by design longer and lower then an endurance bike like the Endurace, which isn't ideally suited to everyone.
​​​​​​
At some point the tradeoffs of "it's a bit faster" just aren't worth it and that's individual.

I care about speed for my nice bike and have no issues with a race geometry and narrower tires, but I wouldn't go without discs for instance because an extra 0.1 km/hr just isn't worth it when the tradeoff is braking on carbon rims in the wet.

My other bike which I do gravel / commute / easy road rides on has 33s and a non-aero steel frame, though.
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Old 10-20-22, 10:07 AM
  #36  
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In my size at least, Endurace isn't an upright, slack frame compared to an Emonda, Dogma F or the SuperSix, all of which are race bikes. Bikeinsights.com can be used to compare different frames.

Rarely does a pound or two off a bike result in a faster ride compared to a more aero rider and more aero bike. The exception is a pure hillclimb. The other exception is in a race where one's W/Kg is marginal and a couple of pounds could decide whether one is dropped or hangs with the pack. Riding in S Cal, I'd do with aero first all day long. There are ways to calculate using bestbikesplits or using Gribble. Comfort is probably most important because if you cannot hold the proper position, you will be sitting bolt upright and that is the slowest of all.
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Old 10-20-22, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Comfort is probably most important because if you cannot hold the proper position, you will be sitting bolt upright and that is the slowest of all.
This. There is a reason TT riders need to practice a lot ... staying aero is painful and not terribly efficient. And that is also why TTs tend not to be long ... after 40 minutes of trying to breathe and pedal in that position, riders would need to relax. And as soon as you sit up, you are a sail .... By far the biggest drag in the system is the rider.
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Old 10-20-22, 03:50 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
This. There is a reason TT riders need to practice a lot ... staying aero is painful and not terribly efficient. And that is also why TTs tend not to be long ... after 40 minutes of trying to breathe and pedal in that position, riders would need to relax. And as soon as you sit up, you are a sail .... By far the biggest drag in the system is the rider.
Hmmm. My experience is quite different. Several years ago I broke my wrist and put clip on aerobars on my regular road bike (that is, it wasn't optimally set up). It was way more comfortable than riding in the drops, and more aero too. If I were going on a long long ride by myself and not in a group, or on a long tour, I wouldn't hesitate to use clip on aerobars. It's both reasonably comfortable and reasonably efficient.
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Old 10-20-22, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
What basic dimensional info could you not find again?
Do they measure to the beginning or center or the end of the bar, for instance. Reach to the bar is what matters most in my case. It could be merely a question of having to buy a $400 cockpit from them post-sale to a bike that will not fit. After lots of review of the data presented, it was clear there were two errors that they made, so, I contacted to ask a simple question of how do they define Reach+. The fact that they could not respond directly and continually give me a song and dance to a simple question? Terrible service. Don't bother trying to inform me otherwise.
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Old 10-20-22, 04:35 PM
  #40  
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There are no fast or slow cycles, only fast or slow cyclists, discuss...
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Old 10-20-22, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason View Post
There are no fast or slow cycles, only fast or slow cyclists, discuss...
I can easily do 30 mph on one bike and struggle to do 23 mph over 10 miles on another. W/m^2 is the difference.
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Old 10-20-22, 06:25 PM
  #42  
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Get the bike that fits best and has all the bling you desire. I sincerely believe that an aero frame will make no difference in speed for someone that is not properly positioned for aero dynamic drag. Aero wheels are needed for proper air flow around and over the wheels. Without the whole package an aero frame is simply a "statement", not a serious effort.
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Old 10-20-22, 06:26 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by ghostrider62 View Post
i can easily do 30 mph on one bike
lol
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Old 10-20-22, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason View Post
lol
Almost every argument in cycling fora:
1. Only the pros need to worry about that. Are you a pro?
2. The best riders are the best because of what they do so just imitate them.
3. Things I don't care about, can't see, or can't measure aren't important.
4. Things I think are important are important, so you should care about them.
5. If I don't know how to do something, it's too complicated for anyone to know how to do.
6. I think very highly of myself/my abilities and I can't do that so you couldn't possibly do it either.

I think your post falls under #6.
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Old 10-21-22, 01:00 AM
  #45  
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This spring I took on the exercise of modifying my wife's triathlon bike which she no longer intends to use into a TT-legal bike (they actually check here so you've got to conform to the UCI rulebook - saddle setback and distance from the BB to the handlebars ends and all that), with about zero previous experience riding in aerobars. Anyway, after making it fit acceptably well on the trainer, I took it on the road to get used to it. Just about the first time I sat on it, the thing it was noticeably faster than my road race bike (which is itself an aero road bike and I run a really low and as narrow position as I can get). Unfortunately, my plan to do some TTs this year didn't pan out due to bike unrelated reasons, but, well, next year.

It's all about the legs? Sure, human performance variation is huge and exceeds bike performance variation by far. Same guy, totally different bike, though? The difference is big - you don't even need to tease the data to see it, the difference is plain as day.
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Old 10-21-22, 03:29 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
This. There is a reason TT riders need to practice a lot ... staying aero is painful and not terribly efficient. And that is also why TTs tend not to be long ... after 40 minutes of trying to breathe and pedal in that position, riders would need to relax. And as soon as you sit up, you are a sail .... By far the biggest drag in the system is the rider.
In threads like this one, one or two people always assert that aero bars are painful to ride with or cause breathing difficulties or both. I suspect that those people have very little experience with aero bars.

The little and ring fingers of my left hand tend to go numb quickly when I ride (structural ulnar nerve problem at the elbow), and so for the last 25 years or so, all of my bikes have sported either clamp-on or one-piece aero bars. Pain? Having to struggle to breathe? Not a bit.

On all four of the bikes I ride regularly (track bike, road bike, TT bike, utility hybrid bike, all of which I use for typically 3-to-4-hour-plus rides), I have no trouble staying on the aero bars everywhere except on climbs and in traffic. And I don't remember ever having had to practice riding with aero bars.

But I had already spent a couple of decades racing and doing long miles in a nearly flat-backed position when I first installed a set of aero bars, so the transition was easy. In fact, transitioning between the bullhorns and aero bars on my track bike, my profile on the bike remains nearly the same. The only position that causes some slight discomfort is riding in the drop bars on the road bike.

And where did the myth about aero bars and breathing difficulty arise? Mimic an aero bar position right now, with your upper arms horizontal in front of you, elbows together, and your lower arms vertical, wrists together. Can you detect any difficulty breathing? I sure can't. I can't while riding in that position with my elbows resting on aero bar pads, either.
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Old 10-21-22, 03:49 AM
  #47  
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I have ridden a sort of aero-bar set up on my touring Cannondale .... but there is a Big difference between having clip-ons or something on your bike and actually riding in a very aero position. Go ask some serious TT people if you doubt it ... or find some way to explain why pro TT riders spend time (and team money) to train in wind tunnels.

There is more to it than bending over with elbow support---yes, that is comfortable because you can spread the weight and support yourself well in essentially a "drop" body position. But the people who really do the stuff, have to round their shoulders, lock the neck, hold the perfect posture throughout the event, because as people here might have heard, almost all the drag comes from the rider.

If you are sincerely worried about losing a watt of power because one bike has exposed cables and the other doesn't, then you need to be wearing a skinsuit, aero socks and gloves, aero helmet and face shield, shoe covers, and riding in a perfected posture. Otherwise you are going to lose that 1-watt edge which matters so much.

Sure, I am a little more aero when I lean on the clip-ons .... and it is pretty comfortable since I can rest my core a bit and transfer more load onto arms and shoulders without stressing palms or elbows ..... but is it pro-TT-position aero .... nah, I am still a big fat guy sticking his head up and stretching his neck and back.

But ... whatever. I am sure the pros test in wind tunnels just to get a break from riding on the roads.
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Old 10-21-22, 04:00 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Do they measure to the beginning or center or the end of the bar, for instance. Reach to the bar is what matters most in my case. It could be merely a question of having to buy a $400 cockpit from them post-sale to a bike that will not fit. After lots of review of the data presented, it was clear there were two errors that they made, so, I contacted to ask a simple question of how do they define Reach+. The fact that they could not respond directly and continually give me a song and dance to a simple question? Terrible service. Don't bother trying to inform me otherwise.
You obviously had a poor experience when contacting Canyon, but the info you wanted above is very easily found:-

eg. quote from Canyon product engineer:- "Reach+ describes the horizontal distance from the bottom bracket to the CENTRE of the handlebar tops." Seems pretty clear to me although Canyon do fail to state this simple definition on their geometry charts!

Before I bought my Endurace I compared its geometry with my current bike using GeometryGeeks and poked around on the Canyon website and other sources of info (forums, reviews etc) to find out all the info I needed. There were no surprises on the resultant fit measurements. The bike itself is great and rode perfectly right out of the box. I did double check the drivetrain setup before riding (Canyon included the SRAM factory alignment tool) and it was all spot on. Over the last few thousand km the only thing I've had to adjust is the headset preload, which is not that unusual for a new bike.
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Old 10-21-22, 04:34 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
Which raises a good point; both the Ultimate and the Aeroad are race bikes which are by design longer and lower then an endurance bike like the Endurace, which isn't ideally suited to everyone.
​​​​​​
Just to help the OP, the geometry differences between the Ultimate and Endurace are quite subtle (10 mm shorter reach and taller stack in my size L). There are other build spec differences e.g. slightly wider endurance wheelset (Endurace has a bit more frame tyre clearance), the compliant split seatpost and slightly more compliant bars (on my spec).
Basically just tweaks to make the Endurace a bit more comfortable on longer rides. But it's still very much a road race bike at heart. I would only choose the Ultimate over the Endurace if I was looking for a seriously slammed cockpit and riding super-smooth roads all day. As it is I still have most of the original stack spacers on my Endurace cockpit. So a 10 mm lower frame stack would have been of no benefit. As for the 10 mm reach I don't really care either way. It's simply one bar stem size up/down. As it happens the stock stem length on the Endurace was perfect for me.

I think the Aeroroad is a slightly different beast than either of the above, more focused toward out-and-out racing without compromise. Only the rider can decide if that makes it a better bike to live with. I personally don't think so, but then I'm a 50+ rider focused on challenging Sportive riding. When I do ride shorter, flatter courses I don't feel like I'm giving much away on the Endurace. Either way I'm still a mid-field runner. Does it matter if I finish a 100 mile event 5,000/16,0000 or 5,100/16,0000? It's not like I'm aiming for the podium.
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Old 10-21-22, 05:31 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
In reality the overall speed difference between a Canyon Ultimate vs Aeroroad is going to be minimal over mixed terrain. Even World Tour pros are often split between these two frames on the same race stage. So there is some personal preference there too. The Endurace is definitely more comfortable though, with very little performance downside. But then I'm focusing on endurance events, so I value ride comfort very highly. If my aim was to PB my local 25 km loop I'm sure an Aeroroad would give me a measurable advantage. But I'll take my Endurace every time for my daily riding or any endurance event.
After I got the Cube Litening, my Canyon Endurace did not feel more comfortable.
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