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Aero vs non aero, Emonda vs Madone, Addict vs Foil, etc (long and want feedback)

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Aero vs non aero, Emonda vs Madone, Addict vs Foil, etc (long and want feedback)

Old 08-23-22, 07:15 PM
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Aero vs non aero, Emonda vs Madone, Addict vs Foil, etc (long and want feedback)

Hello all, due to the pandemic I'm still on the hunt for a new bike. I've not been able to test ride a thing locally and have resigned myself to possibly shopping out of state if needed.

Current bike 2017 Roubaix Elite. I've upgraded the wheels to Reynolds AR42s (worth it).

I've been looking for a new bike for a couple years now, but due to the pandemic and my size, I'm typically the largest frame available at 6'6, so a 60, 61 or 62 is usually needed and as a result there just hasn't been anything locally. Things are showing signs of improving so I'm hopeful I can get something before next riding season. I also found out a client of mine at work has connections at Trek and has access to their national inventory as well as builds, so I could have a way of getting something in my size which is great to hear.

I do want an electronic groupset and am leaning towards rival for full wireless, but am not opposed to 105 Di2 or Ultegra. I DO NOT want to get into a groupset debate. I've done that before, I've done a ton of reading and now have some experience through friends with both group sets, they're great.

A little about me - I ride a fair amount, I'll log somewhere around 8,000 miles this year. My FTP fluctuates between 300-330 watts but I'm 6'6 and 185lbs so that's not that impressive. I will be doing some work this winter via trainer road to hopefully get up to 350-360w. My point is I'm not the fast dude in the corral but I'm also not terribly slow. I hang in just fine with A group rides and can do long sustained pulls relatively well.

I've been leaning towards an aero bike because of the additional benefit I think it would provide. But many of the "normal" or "race" frames have aero profiles now and are far better than bikes even 3 years ago.
As a result I have several questions.
Is an aero bike worth it?
Does a modern aero bike have issues in crosswinds or is that not really a thing anymore?
Has comfort really caught up in the aero bike world?

Almost anything will be lighter than my existing bike which is about 21lbs so I'm not super worried about weight. I do have a lot of short punchy climbs on most routes and it's not uncommon to log 60-80 miles with 3500 ft of climb, but these are usually fairly short climbs.

Aero trumps weight in 95% of cases. So really it's about cross winds, comfort on the bike and longevity. I'm fairly open to various brands and but would like a stack height of 590 or higher for comfort reasons. There are many good options in the 600-625 range.

Bikes I'd consider
Scott Foil, Scott Addict
Giant TCR, Giant Propel
Orbea Orca Aero, Orbea Orca
Trek Madone, Trek Emonda
Bianchi (can't remember the frames)
Pinarello Paris, Pinarello Prince
Felt AR

​​​​​​Does anyone know the actual watts differences between any of these between their "standard" and "aero" geo? I suspect there's not really a lot in it? How has cross winds impacted your riding of various aero frames? Where I live it's not uncommon to have winds of 15-20mph, sometimes higher. Cross winds are a real thing here for much of the year. In the entire month of April we had two days with winds below 20mph, yea that was usually windy but 10-15 is very common in April and May.

I think most bikes are basically made in China or Taiwan and there's not a ton of difference in them until you get into something like Allied, which is simply too expensive.

Happy to answer more questions if needed. I'd like to get something bought, or a frame bought by year end to get something build for March of next year.
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Old 08-23-22, 10:05 PM
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Your ftp range would have you at probably 24mph on flat road. That is pretty good for an hour of riding solo. Just saying don't dismiss that as common.
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Old 08-24-22, 07:44 AM
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Unfortunately the way I am built I've wide but skinny if that makes sense, so I catch a TON of air.
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Old 08-24-22, 08:35 AM
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Just focusing on the Trek bikes - The Madone is faster than the Emonda in every situation except for a race up a big mountain where a few pounds makes a tiny bit of difference. Aero matters, if you care about this type of thing.

If you want the fastest bike, then get the Madone. If you're worried about handling and weight, or prefer a more traditional aesthetic, then the Emonda is a great choice. It's also worth noting that Trek hasn't ignored aerodynamics with the Emonda - it also has some aero shaping on the frame, just not as extreme as the Madone.

I ride with people who own both - I don't think the crosswind handling differences are a big factor and I've never heard anyone describe the Madone as uncomfortable.
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Old 08-24-22, 08:35 AM
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You are 6'6 and 185#, but wide? Thats a first.
I am 6'5 and 215#. I must be a parachute then.
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Old 08-24-22, 08:44 AM
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Based on your reading your biggest gain will be the bike's stack/reach and bar width combo given you claim you are eating so much air.

Aero frames may have gains, at high speeds and riding alone, but not on the magnitude of getting a frame that gets you a bike fit that allows you to be more aero on the bike yourself.

So, pay attention to the stack/reach and included handlebar width figures as much as you're looking at aero frames. IMO, ymmv, standard disclaimer stuff.
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Old 08-24-22, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
You are 6'6 and 185#, but wide? Thats a first.
I am 6'5 and 215#. I must be a parachute then.
I dunno what to tell you. I have broad shoulders and my torso is somewhat V shaped? Getting shirts and suits for work is a major PITA. It all has to be ordered/fit.
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Old 08-24-22, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Based on your reading your biggest gain will be the bike's stack/reach and bar width combo given you claim you are eating so much air.

Aero frames may have gains, at high speeds and riding alone, but not on the magnitude of getting a frame that gets you a bike fit that allows you to be more aero on the bike yourself.

So, pay attention to the stack/reach and included handlebar width figures as much as you're looking at aero frames. IMO, ymmv, standard disclaimer stuff.
this makes some sense, I suspect I could gain a lot just from narrower bars. I think I have 44cm bars now?
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Old 08-24-22, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
... Current bike 2017 Roubaix Elite. I've upgraded the wheels to Reynolds AR42s (worth it).

I've been looking for a new bike for a couple years now, but due to the pandemic and my size, I'm typically the largest frame available at 6'6, so a 60, 61 or 62 is usually needed and as a result there just hasn't been anything locally. Things are showing signs of improving so I'm hopeful I can get something before next riding season. I also found out a client of mine at work has connections at Trek and has access to their national inventory as well as builds, so I could have a way of getting something in my size which is great to hear.
...
A little about me - I ride a fair amount, I'll log somewhere around 8,000 miles this year. My FTP fluctuates between 300-330 watts but I'm 6'6 and 185lbs so that's not that impressive. I will be doing some work this winter via trainer road to hopefully get up to 350-360w. My point is I'm not the fast dude in the corral but I'm also not terribly slow. I hang in just fine with A group rides and can do long sustained pulls relatively well.

I've been leaning towards an aero bike because of the additional benefit I think it would provide. But many of the "normal" or "race" frames have aero profiles now and are far better than bikes even 3 years ago.
...
... Where I live it's not uncommon to have winds of 15-20mph, sometimes higher. Cross winds are a real thing here for much of the year. In the entire month of April we had two days with winds below 20mph, yea that was usually windy but 10-15 is very common in April and May.
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Based on your reading your biggest gain will be the bike's stack/reach and bar width combo given you claim you are eating so much air.
Aero frames may have gains, at high speeds and riding alone, but not on the magnitude of getting a frame that gets you a bike fit that allows you to be more aero on the bike yourself.
So, pay attention to the stack/reach and included handlebar width figures as much as you're looking at aero frames. IMO, ymmv, standard disclaimer stuff.
OP, Pretty much what 'burnthesheep' has pointed out.
The biggest gain you're gonna get is from your own position... and less so from the bike and parts. But, it's ok to get the marginal gains from the bike.
This was posted in another thread - emphasizes the importance of a position as wind resistance becomes more important - obviously from your post, a factor.
UCI Banned Road Bike Position Aerodynamics - it's really illustrative of the most common positions/postures, even outside of the 'banned' positions, on the aero of each... nice summary with numbers.
I haven't used deep cross-section aero wheelsets much (just for TT, which I don;t do much at all), but those whom I ride with say the most impacted they felt with crosswinds, were due to 50+mm deep wheels, hardly any comments on the 'frame'... So maybe some well designed 40 ish wheels might be a good compromise... which might impact on bike choice ?
Nice 'toroidal' design wheels would be a big complement..
Otherwise, I would consider your current Bike, the Roubaix, and think about what it is in that design which might make YOU more Aero, and still comfortable enough to do a whole ride in the best comfy/aero position you can achieve (or want to achieve). Then look at the bikes you have available to you, and see what matches best.
I like this site for comparing and considering bike/frame differences - very informative... especially using the 'Comparison engine'.
GeometryGeeks - pick your roubaix for comparisons with what you're considering.
another chance for 'analysis paralysis'.... LOL!
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 08-24-22, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
OP, Pretty much what 'burnthesheep' has pointed out.
The biggest gain you're gonna get is from your own position... and less so from the bike and parts. But, it's ok to get the marginal gains from the bike.
This was posted in another thread - emphasizes the importance of a position as wind resistance becomes more important - obviously from your post, a factor.
UCI Banned Road Bike Position Aerodynamics - it's really illustrative of the most common positions/postures, even outside of the 'banned' positions, on the aero of each... nice summary with numbers.
I haven't used deep cross-section aero wheelsets much (just for TT, which I don;t do much at all), but those whom I ride with say the most impacted they felt with crosswinds, were due to 50+mm deep wheels, hardly any comments on the 'frame'... So maybe some well designed 40 ish wheels might be a good compromise... which might impact on bike choice ?
Nice 'toroidal' design wheels would be a big complement..
Otherwise, I would consider your current Bike, the Roubaix, and think about what it is in that design which might make YOU more Aero, and still comfortable enough to do a whole ride in the best comfy/aero position you can achieve (or want to achieve). Then look at the bikes you have available to you, and see what matches best.
I like this site for comparing and considering bike/frame differences - very informative... especially using the 'Comparison engine'.
GeometryGeeks - pick your roubaix for comparisons with what you're considering.
another chance for 'analysis paralysis'.... LOL!
Ride On
Yuri
geo geeks is great! Iíve been using them since I did my bike fit in Feb to help find a different frame!
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Old 08-24-22, 11:29 AM
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aero everything!! frame, wheels, helmet. Cheat the wind where you can since you're tall guy.
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Old 08-24-22, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
aero everything!! frame, wheels, helmet. Cheat the wind where you can since you're tall guy.
thatís the way Iím leaning. My roubaix is pretty heavy so the Madone and Foil and basically everything Iím looking at is lighter than what I have now.
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Old 08-24-22, 12:01 PM
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roubaix is more upright seating, longer head tube, harder to get down low to beat the wind to draft. The madone and foil will be more agressive fitting but we also have long arms to help w/ that when in the drops. The pinarellos are pretty aero too. Lower end Prince /Gan usually same molds as higher F series bikes w/ non hi mod carbon.

I have an older Gan S that is same mold as the F8, but the whole bike was a lil cheaper than F8 frameset. 10k miles later it's still a rocket, 6'1 and ride 56cm. 565mm top tube plus laid back seatpost. Geo works well for me.

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Old 08-24-22, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
roubaix is more upright seating, longer head tube, harder to get down low to beat the wind to draft. The madone and foil will be more agressive fitting but we also have long arms to help w/ that when in the drops. The pinarellos are pretty aero too. Lower end Prince /Gan usually same molds as higher F series bikes w/ non hi mod carbon.

I have an older Gan S that is same mold as the F8, but the whole bike was a lil cheaper than F8 frameset. 10k miles later it's still a rocket, 6'1 and ride 56cm. 565mm top tube plus laid back seatpost. Geo works well for me.

def a fan of pinarello! Thatís a nice looking ride!
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Old 08-24-22, 12:56 PM
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I'm confused about the conversation here. The Emonda and Madone have identical stack and reach numbers. In fact, they look like they have identical geometry across the board. I don't know about handlebar widths, but that is pretty easy to change.

I totally agree that getting a proper fitting can make a big difference in aero gains, I'm just not sure why this would factor into the decision on which one to buy. Wouldn't they both fit the same?
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Old 08-24-22, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I'm confused about the conversation here. The Emonda and Madone have identical stack and reach numbers. In fact, they look like they have identical geometry across the board. I don't know about handlebar widths, but that is pretty easy to change.

I totally agree that getting a proper fitting can make a big difference in aero gains, I'm just not sure why this would factor into the decision on which one to buy. Wouldn't they both fit the same?
geo on those two is the same. The conversation is more about whether or not the aero gains are worth it and is it a watt number worth considering? All things equal then sure but sometimes there are trade offs, comfort, winds, weight, etc

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Old 08-24-22, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
this makes some sense, I suspect I could gain a lot just from narrower bars. I think I have 44cm bars now?
If you have broad shoulders, you may not gain that much from narrower bars. I believe they're more useful for folks with narrow shoulders, to decrease frontal area by not having their arms farther out than their shoulders. But if you're 6'6 with shoulders that are broad even for that height, 44cm bars may well have the same effect for you.

Or I could be wrong! Happens all the time.
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Old 08-24-22, 03:29 PM
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All your choices would be great, so if you are getting something no need to complicate things. However, you could take a look at Canyon Aeroad. They have extra big sizes and if you can't test ride anyway why not take the cost saving from a brand set up to direct to customer?
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Old 08-24-22, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
If you have broad shoulders, you may not gain that much from narrower bars. I believe they're more useful for folks with narrow shoulders, to decrease frontal area by not having their arms farther out than their shoulders. But if you're 6'6 with shoulders that are broad even for that height, 44cm bars may well have the same effect for you.

Or I could be wrong! Happens all the time.
If only there were some way to know for sure.
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Old 08-24-22, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
If only there were some way to know for sure.
I kinda figure somebody knows the answer to this, but not being 6'6" myself, I can't be arsed to check.

EDIT: In my own work, my superpower is coming up with hypotheses which completely explain all the observed phenomena, and which are easily tested, and also completely disproved by those tests. They say, "Don't fall in love with your own hypotheses," but I should probably avoid even liking mine.
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Old 08-27-22, 07:02 AM
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For me, crosswind sensitivity has been mainly due to wheel depth. One reason I went with the Emonda as it has 37 deep wheels down from 52 on previous bike a Felt AR. Much improved.

Aero between current Emonda and previous generation AR seems similar. Both comfortable riding

Last edited by dbf73; 08-27-22 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 08-27-22, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dbf73 View Post
For me, crosswind sensitivity has been mainly due to wheel depth. One reason I went with the Emonda as it has 37 deep wheels down from 52 on previous bike a Felt AR. Much improved.

Aero between current Emonda and previous generation AR seems similar. Both comfortable riding
Good to know. I'll probably have two sets of wheels, at least in the short run I'll still have my Roubaix to ride if crosswinds are really bad (not uncommon here at all). It's got 42mm Reynolds on it now. They're pretty good overall.
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