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Reminds me of those shoot outs Car & Driver, Road & Track and Motortrend would do every few months about which is the best car.
 

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A couple things seem a little fishy to me. First, on the S5, Madone, and Venge the hoods and drops have essentially the same drag, that doesn't seem right to me. Second, the Propel on the hoods is 40+ watts slower than the Madone and Vias? It doesn't surprise me that they are faster but 40 watts is unreasonable. My thought is that position is not controlled nearly as well as it should be for a test like this.
 

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I still haven't purchased an aero frame. I still don't buy it. I do have one bike that runs deeper wheels than the rest, but they're all setup the same otherwise.

I see a lot of aero frames out and about. I see a lot of aero helmets too. I still don't wear one of those either. Tried a couple but didn't like their size and shape.

I also see a lot of baggy and wrinkly clothing. I see a lot of spacers under upturned stems. I see a lot of people riding fairly upright on their aero bikes with their aero helmets and club jerseys.
 

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A couple things seem a little fishy to me. First, on the S5, Madone, and Venge the hoods and drops have essentially the same drag, that doesn't seem right to me.
I think it would not be right... if it were a normal person riding in a normal way on the hoods and drops. My guess is that since they had a national pursuit champion doing the riding, his position was a bit more efficient than most.

So I would think using the last numbers, for the "aero hood" position, is the best way to compare the frames since in that test he likely got as aero as possible given the set up.
 

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I think it would not be right... if it were a normal person riding in a normal way on the hoods and drops. My guess is that since they had a national pursuit champion doing the riding, his position was a bit more efficient than most.

So I would think using the last numbers, for the "aero hood" position, is the best way to compare the frames since in that test he likely got as aero as possible given the set up.
In that case they are all pretty much tied within the margin of error except for the Propel which lags behind.
 

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I have the Madone, its legit. Although you really want some form of electronic shifting on these. I got a great deal on a leftover 2016 and swapped in Ultegra DI2 and my aero wheels, and its impressive at speed. And the ISO couple thingee means its rides pretty decently, and not like a bearly converted TT bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I believe that aerodymics is significant, not everything, but significant. I agree with MMs that most people haven't even addressed the most important parts of the equation (fit, clothing, front end setup, wheels, etc) before they start discussing the pros and cons of certain tube shapes, etc. I would also add that many of the tests done and stats touted by bike companies are a little wonky, because they don't control for these things either.

That being said, following track racing and time trials has convinced me that aero tubes and helmets can be important for those that want to maximize the ability to generate and maintain speed, especially if you also take care of everything else listed above. Your first priority should be to get your noggin and body out of the wind though. To me, it should still matter most to track racers, time trialists, and triathletes though. Everyone else can probably get by just fine with a good fit and a set of aero/semi-aero wheels if they want to do something to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Reminds me of those shoot outs Car & Driver, Road & Track and Motortrend would do every few months about which is the best car.
Very similar. I remember those and liked them a bunch when I was a kid.
 

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Your first priority should be to get your noggin and body out of the wind though.
The first priority should be getting in shape and flexible enough to be able to put out power in an aero position. Most people I see on aero bikes skip that step and go straight to the final piece of the puzzle.

Putting your body in an aero position is easy. Being able to maintain it efficiently long enough so it actually helps isn't.

Very few people who are not full time pro's are their fastest in the most aero position. Even pro cyclist have to make some compromise with aero to be able to pedal efficiently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The first priority should be getting in shape and flexible enough to be able to put out power in an aero position. Most people I see on aero bikes skip that step and go straight to the final piece of the puzzle.

Putting your body in an aero position is easy. Being able to maintain it efficiently long enough so it actually helps isn't.

Very few people who are not full time pro's are their fastest in the most aero position. Even pro cyclist have to make some compromise with aero to be able to pedal efficiently.
I think I agree with most of what you are saying here, but you don't have to be super chiseled or fit to get into an aero position you can hold. Just go to one of your local track or time trial races and you will see examples everywhere, especially with the track sprinters. Aerodynamic positioning on the bike can work for lots of different body types.
 

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I think I agree with most of what you are saying here, but you don't have to be super chiseled or fit to get into an aero position you can hold. Just go to one of your local track or time trial races and you will see examples everywhere, especially with the track sprinters. Aerodynamic positioning on the bike can work for lots of different body types.
We're talking about road bikes though. Being efficient for a few laps around the track is a lot different from doing for the length of a typical road race.

My point is that just about anyone can put their body in what the wind tunnel tells them is the most aero position. But that's only the fastest position if you have the flexibility and experience to pedal efficiently in that position.
Many people are their fastest in what isn't their most aero position because the extra power they can put out more than makes up for loss of aero.

To kind of exaggerate my point: You know how you can fly down a 12% grade by just going into a tight tuck? There's a reason you don't use that same position to ride 50 flat miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We're talking about road bikes though. Being efficient for a few laps around the track is a lot different from doing for the length of a typical road race.

My point is that just about anyone can put their body in what the wind tunnel tells them is the most aero position. But that's only the fastest position if you have the flexibility and experience to pedal efficiently in that position.
Many people are their fastest in what isn't their most aero position because the extra power they can put out more than makes up for loss of aero.

To kind of exaggerate my point: You know how you can fly down a 12% grade by just going into a tight tuck? There's a reason you don't use that same position to ride 50 flat miles.
I have no problem with that part. With regard to body type/fitness though, what I said still holds. You can generate watts without being chiseled or super fit as well. It's just reality. There are plenty of examples out there on the road too if you look for them. Power is power and aero is aero for most of us regardless of body type. A good fit and body position helps mosts cyclists. Fitness helps you maximize these things, but they are not less relevant or irrelevant before you are there.
 

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I have no problem with that part. With regard to body type/fitness though, what I said still holds. You can generate watts without being chiseled or super fit as well. It's just reality. There are plenty of examples out there on the road too if you look for them. Power is power and aero is aero for most of us regardless of body type. A good fit and body position helps mosts cyclists. Fitness helps you maximize these things, but they are not less relevant or irrelevant before you are there.
You're moving the goal posts. Obviously, a "good" fit is important. But the conversation is about an aero fit. An aero fit is only beneficial if the rider has the flexibility and experience to pedal efficiently in that position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I have no problem with that part. With regard to body type/fitness though, what I said still holds. You can generate watts without being chiseled or super fit as well. It's just reality. There are plenty of examples out there on the road too if you look for them. Power is power and aero is aero for most of us regardless of body type. A good fit and body position helps mosts cyclists. Fitness helps you maximize these things, but they are not less relevant or irrelevant before you are there.
@ Jay, To me, all of that is included in a good fit session. The goal is for you to end up in the most aero position you can comfortably sustain for extended periods of time. Unless the rider has extensive injuries/flexibility issues or is just riding to putt along and be outside, etc., it's the only thing that makes sense IMO. We may just have to agree to disagree though.

Regarding the article, I was actually surprised to see the Canyon Aeroad up that high. I though the new Madone and S5 had a slight gap on everything else. I would like to see numbers for the Felt AR, the Fuji Transonic, Ridley Noah SL, and a couple of others in future tests. Very interesting stuff.
 

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@ Jay, To me, all of that is included in a good fit session. The goal is for you to end up in the most aero position you can comfortably sustain for extended periods of time. Unless the rider has extensive injuries/flexibility issues or is just riding to putt along and be outside, etc., it's the only thing that makes sense IMO. We may just have to agree to disagree though.

Exactly. I'm not sure if you've changed what you're saying along the way or if I'm needlessly confusing the issue by not understanding but that's pretty much what I've been saying.
And "most aero position you can comfortably sustain for extended periods of time" is often quite different from the most aero position without regard to comfort and ability to generate power from that position.
Or to put it another way the most aero position isn't necessarily the fastest position if one doesn't have the flexibility and experience to pedal efficiently in that position.
 

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I was interested to find out if all these white papers saying a frame can save 30W were true so I purchased a Felt AR and rode it against my Felt F for about a year same wheels, tires and fit down to the mm. IIRC Felt had the same similar findings to Cervelo and now everyone else of approximately 30W over a "traditional" frame. Their words not mine...

I did a ton of roll down tests, endless sessions of holding power constant then holding speed constant and what I found was statistically insignificant between the two bikes. I think the AR was slightly faster but, not anywhere close to 30W. In the end I found that especially in races that had any technical aspect to them at all I favored the F. Eventually I sold the AR and to be honest the whole marketing of aero bikes has left a really bad taste in my mouth. My testing was not controlled so I admit it's full of error. But over a year of looking and not finding I felt that was good real world data for me.

So reading these tests I am a bit skeptical. 30-40W between aero frames would probably be around 1mph at those speeds. Just from a frame. The aero savings between these bikes and traditional bikes must be insane. If you believe the white papers add another 30W to your traditional bike, so 60-70W.

Which brings me to my question. When these guys start throwing around terms like "aero watts" does that mean a watt that you an I see on a PM? For example riding on the hoods of the Trek at 300W on my PM will yield the same speed as when riding the Giant at 340W all else equal? Because I really don't think this is the reality. Someone set me straight! What am I missing?
 

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Which brings me to my question. When these guys start throwing around terms like "aero watts" does that mean a watt that you an I see on a PM? For example riding on the hoods of the Trek at 300W on my PM will yield the same speed as when riding the Giant at 340W all else equal? Because I really don't think this is the reality. Someone set me straight! What am I missing?
that's my understanding. I'm not sure and I might illustrate it different from you but if you don't have the gist of it I don't know what to heck else it could mean. It's very deceitful terminology if it means something other than what you say.

I'm not at all surprised your testing didn't match the claims. On the other hand most of the testing I've seen on latex tubes says about 3 watts per wheel. I've done roll out tests and timings ect and while very unscientific I definitely detect a difference. So if there's any validity to my feeling 3 per wheel, 30 or 40 would feel like you got a motor.
 

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that's my understanding. I'm not sure and I might illustrate it different from you but if you don't have the gist of it I don't know what to heck else it could mean. It's very deceitful terminology if it means something other than what you say.

I'm not at all surprised your testing didn't match the claims. On the other hand most of the testing I've seen on latex tubes says about 3 watts per wheel. I've done roll out tests and timings ect and while very unscientific I definitely detect a difference. So if there's any validity to my feeling 3 per wheel, 30 or 40 would feel like you got a motor.
Ok thanks. Thought I was missing something.

As for the frames I tested I'd say less than 10W difference. Or no more than 10W. Anyways, well off what's claimed. 30W really is a season of training so to market savings like that and not to find it (not easily at least) is frustrating. And I know a ton of guys who think an aero frame or wheels for that matter will magically transform them into a different rider.

The ONLY piece of equipment to date that I believe make a noticeable difference are tires. I use latex as well but have not tested...
 
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