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Old 12-04-08, 06:59 PM   #1
ldesfor1@ithaca
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Aero RR frames... worth it?

I'm currently racing a CAAD7 and love the bike, but cant help but lust for an aero road racing frame/fork. I fell in love with the break away last season and am looking for all possible advantages in breaks.

I own new HED Jet 60/90 wheels which are pretty damn aero, so I got wheels covered. I'm working on position, bodyweight, training, etc and all of the other variables that i can imagine.

That said, I'd love a Felt AR4! or a new Ridley, Like RacerEx

If money werent an issue, I'd have one now, but money is. Really.

Any cheap ways to get onto a aero frame/fork that is actually faster (legitimately more aero) than the Cannondale?

Are the new leader frames even worth considering? Is the Soloist team worth it?

thanks,

-eL
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Old 12-04-08, 07:16 PM   #2
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Are the new leader frames even worth considering? Is the Soloist team worth it?
Martin and Cobb* put the difference between a standard frame and a highly aerodynamic one (think Cervelo P3) as about 2 minutes for a 200-300W rider. That's where the rider is in the wind for over 50 minutes. Think about how long you're likely to be in front in a road race, how close you'll come to the drag of a P3, how important the likely time saved will be, and how much the money is worth to you. Then decide.

*http://www.amazon.com/High-Performan...8439766&sr=8-1
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Old 12-04-08, 07:19 PM   #3
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i think all this aero frame stuff is marketing hype ... make an aero carbon frame and you got a winner boys ... come on ... we all know that in the order of go-fast parts an aero frame makes little difference. i would go with a bike that fits and feels good and allows you to get the power down. hey, if you can do that on an aero bike ... cool ! but i wouldn't get an aero frameset thinking that it will drop 2 mns off a 40k tt.
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Old 12-04-08, 07:22 PM   #4
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any road race i have been in usually has me wanting to stay out of the wind until the last km. again, if you are riding in the front of a race for that long you will get smoked in the end by some half-wit sprinter ... a hunter-killer

oh yeah, same deal with a crit...

for a tt, yep you have to be in the wind so aero is your friend.
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Old 12-04-08, 07:26 PM   #5
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I DO plan on being in the front/wind for long periods of time... as long as possible. ... really
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Old 12-04-08, 07:29 PM   #6
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... but i wouldn't get an aero frameset thinking that it will drop 2 mns off a 40k tt.
Jim Martin and John Cobb are renowned for their studies of cycling mechanics. They've published numerous articles in the peer reviewed literature. You say their results are wrong. What data do you have to back that up?
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Old 12-04-08, 07:38 PM   #7
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I DO plan on being in the front/wind for long periods of time... as long as possible. ... really
Word.

There's no fresh sprinters to get beaten by when you're solo OTF
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Old 12-04-08, 07:39 PM   #8
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Soloist Team. Hands down best "bang for the buck" bike in the business. At $1300 list for the frameset it's nearly a "disposable"...which may not be a bad idea for a race bike, especially if you do crits
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Old 12-04-08, 07:50 PM   #9
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Felt AR4

Get it.
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Old 12-05-08, 05:00 AM   #10
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Jim Martin and John Cobb are renowned for their studies of cycling mechanics. They've published numerous articles in the peer reviewed literature. You say their results are wrong. What data do you have to back that up?

the only data i have is years of experience racing bikes in New England and knowing what goes down. If you anything less than a Cat 3 then perhaps you can get off the front and solo attack your way home... but I don't think you need an aero frame to do that. If you are a Cat3 any solo attack will likely get chased down. It you are 1 or a 2 then I doubt you would even be asking the question about areo frames.

at the end of the day if there is data to suggest some type of benefit then hey ... great! however I think the biggest limiting factor with an aero frame is the rider and the combination of rider and bike (wheels, shoes, cranks, shoulder width, helmet etc...) should be considered. again, this diligence is great for a TT where you know that being slippery helps... but i not convinced when you have a 50, 60, 70, 80...100 mile road race with hills.

at the end of the day, get what you think will make you feel fast.... i suppose.
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Old 12-05-08, 07:14 AM   #11
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We've been chasing the Ghost of Lightness for years to the point of Ti bolts and $2/gram reductions. Other factors being equal (budget, fit, whatnot), why not make things more aero? It's the same, if not better, logic at play.

The only question with these things is how far in the hole of diminishing returns do you wish to plunge?
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Old 12-05-08, 07:33 AM   #12
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dude, according to your cat-o-meter, you're 28% of your journey toward becoming a cat 2, and I assume you've done this on your CAAD7. since you've demonstrated success on your CAAD7, and state money is an issue, explain to me like I'm a 5-year old why you want a different frameset?

I'll bet there's a cat 3 or a hundred of 'em in NE that'll not let you ride away OTF for Ws very many times.

keep whatcha got, it seems to be working for you

now go practice some sprints so weakling vultures like me dont burn by you in the last 50M.
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Old 12-05-08, 07:41 AM   #13
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Some guy in my race has an aero frame, lets say a soloist. I'm on my brick shaped 09 Giant SL. What do you suppose the chances of him just riding me off his wheel, based on superior aerodynamics, and soloing in for the win? Lets say said rider is Thurlow Rogers. Now reverse the bikes. What happens?
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Old 12-05-08, 08:34 AM   #14
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Martin and Cobb* put the difference between a standard frame and a highly aerodynamic one (think Cervelo P3) as about 2 minutes for a 200-300W rider. That's where the rider is in the wind for over 50 minutes. Think about how long you're likely to be in front in a road race, how close you'll come to the drag of a P3, how important the likely time saved will be, and how much the money is worth to you. Then decide.

*http://www.amazon.com/High-Performan...8439766&sr=8-1
This seems like more of a time-trial bike study, asgelle - so I'd guess that the aero bike didn't have water bottles, and cages... any chance you know?
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Old 12-05-08, 08:51 AM   #15
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Flame away if you like, but an aero bike will make a difference, especially if focusing on breaks and attacking. I cannot say it is smart racing, but it is what I do and yes, I have been solo off the front of a 1/2/3 field for quite some time, so please stop with the category arguments. In a race, even in the pack, most energy expenses are for aerodynamics. Any time you are on the front, leading out, attacking, or pulling in a break is that much more important because of un-muddied air. Look, aero saves energy and watts. Who would not want more of that in the end of a race? I have a fair amount of experience of attacking and succeeding with 1k to go. Would I win without that aero frame? Maybe, but maybe not. Remember cancellara attacking in the TdF? The estimates said that if the frame had been that of his competitors, they would have overtaken him. I am going to the tunnel very soon. Road bike in tow. Keep believing the science is bad, and I will keep getting good results.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:03 AM   #16
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This seems like more of a time-trial bike study, asgelle - so I'd guess that the aero bike didn't have water bottles, and cages... any chance you know?
It sounds like they were looking at the span from a standard road frame to an aggressive TT one. Based on the pictures, I'm guessing they used a Cervelo Rennaisance, Dual, and P3. The say they had matched seat heights, cranks and pedals horizontal, and no handlebars. From that and the included pictures, though they don't say it explicitly, I assume there were no water bottles or cages on any of the frames.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:09 AM   #17
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Keep believing the science is bad, and I will keep getting good results.
People that refuse to believe science never cease to amaze. And by amaze, I mean attract my hatred, pity, and ridicule.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:17 AM   #18
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People that refuse to believe science never cease to amaze. And by amaze, I mean attract my hatred, pity, and ridicule.
Heathen!

We'll burn you at the stake while wearing our aero shoe covers! Do those things do a damn thing?
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Old 12-05-08, 09:31 AM   #19
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There's more aero bang-for-buck in tight shoe covers, super-snug jersey, even in a more aero helmet (data on last is scarce, though). Make sure you got all that covered before dropping big money on a supposedly-aero frameset.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:48 AM   #20
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People that refuse to believe science never cease to amaze. And by amaze, I mean attract my hatred, pity, and ridicule.
Like Mrs. "The Earth is 6,000 years old"?
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Old 12-05-08, 10:16 AM   #21
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And dinosaurs were used as draft animals, pets even. Anyone who sez otherwise is a sucker.
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Old 12-05-08, 10:28 AM   #22
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Jim Martin and John Cobb are renowned for their studies of cycling mechanics. They've published numerous articles in the peer reviewed literature. You say their results are wrong. What data do you have to back that up?
Their results are solid, but only if you respect the context. Blurting out the data on a P3 versus a standard road bike is pointless to the OP and anyone else. Why not suggest the recumbent data? Can you race a P3 in a crit?

The question is: does an "aero" road frame offer an advantage over a standard road frame in the practical world of cat racing and crits? Quoting data in tunnels at 50km/hr for 50 minutes is fine, but that really only applies to maybe one hundred men in the world, in laminar air flow. Below that, the difference drops off to the third power-that's a steep drop.

As for the sprint scenario, in the total package, the position of the rider makes almost all of the contribution to drag, but even given that, sprinters choose the stance that allows them best power for their biomechanics, some of the world's best even sprint on the hoods. There are plenty of examples of riders optimizing position in wind tunnels, only to go slower in a real TT. The rider is not a simple motor. Of course it's all science, but you cannot distill a racer down to one variable.

The problem is not believing in science, the problem is understanding the correct application and interpretation of science.

So while trying out your road racing position in a tunnel may make you faster, that's only going to happen if the optimal aero position coincides with your optimal biomechanics. For bang-for-the-buck, water bottle and number placement, jersey fit, helmet choice, wheel choice, bar drop, are all factors anyone can optimize before just buying an 'aero' frame. Wouldn't it be great is just buying a different frame made you faster? Sorry, but it's still an athletic sport.

Then there's reality. Armstrong has unlimited funds at his disposal and is spending time in the tunnel for his TT bike and position, but for his stage races and climbs, he's not going to run anything particularly aero. In the past, he won some notable TTs by understanding aero better than most by taking off the dish wheels in cross wind stages.

Of course, the placebo effect can be amazing on bikes. So whatever floats your boat. But applying naive theories in model situation without practical validation is what engineering scientists refer to as "waxing the pink mustang".

As for science and arguments, I quote Lewis Black on evolution:

FOSSILS!...FOSSILS!..FOSSILS!...I win!


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Old 12-05-08, 11:02 AM   #23
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Can you race a P3 in a crit?
Absolutely, nothing in the rulebook against a P3 frame; and asgelle has already mentioned that the aero was tested without bars, in order to keep things comparable.
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Old 12-05-08, 11:22 AM   #24
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People that refuse to believe science never cease to amaze. And by amaze, I mean attract my hatred, pity, and ridicule.
I'm actually more amused by people who take a small chunk of science that they don't understand and then apply that nugget of knowledge in the wrong situation while grabbing the 'scientific' high ground.

For instance, see 'Laminar Flow' earlier in the thread.
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Old 12-05-08, 02:44 PM   #25
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agreed. Using big sciency words to validate one's opinion or misconception isn't cool.
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