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Aero bikes, aero wheels, high winds, and a beanpole.

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Aero bikes, aero wheels, high winds, and a beanpole.

Old 02-20-14, 08:48 PM
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Aero bikes, aero wheels, high winds, and a beanpole.

Okay so hears the scoop. I know this doesn't necessarily belong in the "racing" section but avoiding the 41 is one of my top priorities as most of them consider skinny being 5 foot 7, 150 pounds. At 6 foot 135 pounds, typical thin cyclist build, how much trouble would an aero road (S5, Venge, AR1) bike be in the crosswinds compared to a traditional road bike. I'd also have hopefully some 303 or 404 wheels on it.

Sadly I think I would get blown around a ton as I live on the plains of the midwest where a good day is 18 or so mph and an average day is around 25.

So you think it would make a big difference or not too bad. Any of you in similar scenarios? Thanks.
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Old 02-20-14, 09:02 PM
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you'd get used to it in a few miles. Frame would be negligible, arguably less than a normal frame, and the wheels are pretty shallow. Squarely in no-big-deal territory.
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Old 02-20-14, 09:29 PM
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I cycle in the Santa Ana wind corridor and really the difference between my training wheels and my Jet 50's isn't that big. Its noticeable, but really not enough to cause a fall.
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Old 02-20-14, 10:09 PM
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I have 303's and 404s. I also have an older aero bike - Cervelo SLC-SL. I agree with the above post that you'll get used to it quickly.

The thing about wind gusts is they don't really push you. The surface area of wheels really isn't that big. It's the surprise. People tend to stiffen up and almost panic. It's just a matter of relaxing and realize it's nothing.
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Old 02-20-14, 11:31 PM
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I'm 5'10" and 174. Don't go insulting my BMI foo.
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Old 02-21-14, 06:59 AM
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An aero front wheel can really affect bike stability. Bikes work because you can steer them. Once you can't steer them a normal rider can't ride one. This is why touching your front wheel or bars can be crash-inducing - it's hard to maintain control of the bike if you don't have control over the bars or front wheel.

*edit therefore an aero front wheel will be more unstable than a non-aero. I specifically bought a less-aero 46mm front wheel for races in heavy wind and I'd like to get a "non-aero" (under 30 mm tall) front wheel for the same reason. /edit

Of course there's that video of the Dutch riders in massively heavy winds. In that kind of situation a rear wheel also affects stability. I can't imagine that wind though. I did a ride just before Hurricane George hit Florida (50 mph steady, 80+ mph gusts) with Specialized TriSpokes (aka HED3 now), front and rear. We were down there to race so I only had those wheels, none others. Although I was leaning a lot just to go straight I didn't get blown away or anything, and the three of us could ride and draft each other as normal. I weighed in the 150 lbs range, very short compared to you (50 cm Specialized road frame), but the wheels didn't sail away.

Video of Dutch riders for reference:
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Last edited by carpediemracing; 02-21-14 at 07:01 AM. Reason: Forgot to conclude first paragraph
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Old 02-21-14, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing
An aero front wheel can really affect bike stability
I have around 3k miles on a 50mm U shape ("firecrest" made for crosswinds) Chinese wheelset. I liked them fine when I rode them first because I had nothing to compare them to. Now that I am rolling on Enve 3.4.. there is a BIG difference. I still get pushed around but very slightly with crosswinds. Took the 50mm after about 3 weeks of not using them and found myself having to correct my steering during the ride very constantly. Even ended up in a gutter once during the ride. I admit we are having unusual weather here in Atlanta lately but still I am 160 pounds not 130. I'd think at 130 you'd have a fair amount of problems with a 50mm+ deep dish wheel on the front. That being said I cannot comment on the frame since I have ridden 2 Aero bikes very shortly, liked them both but really can't give you much of an educated opinion.
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Old 02-21-14, 07:20 AM
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BTW the vid is hilarious! Thanks for starting my day on a good note Carpediem!
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Old 02-21-14, 08:24 AM
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So I used to live in a windy part of Texas, where like you 15 mph winds was a calm normal day, and 25 mph sustained winds was a little windy. We'd often get wind storms with gusts in the 70-80mph range - I could even see my apartment building walls swaying in the wind. It was kind of crazy.

Anyway, back to your question. Crosswinds can be tough. When I lived there, I used Ksyrium SL wheels. They were awful. The 4mm spokes almost acted like a wall. I would constantly be blown about, and it was not uncommon for me to end up leaning into the wind (This would often cause problems when there would be a momentary lull in the wind, and I almost fell over once or twice from leaning too much.)

But the guys with 303s didn't seem to have the same problems, largely because the spokes were thinner and didn't cause as big of a problem. And many of the guys I used to ride with now have invested in Venges, and they seem to like them.

And where I used to live is host to a very large half Iron Man each year and people successfully navigate it on TT bikes with very deep wheels.
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Old 02-21-14, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lsberrios1
I have around 3k miles on a 50mm U shape ("firecrest" made for crosswinds) Chinese wheelset. I liked them fine when I rode them first because I had nothing to compare them to.
Which Chinese wheelset did you end up buying? Aside from issues with crosswinds, how did you like them?
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Old 02-21-14, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by FFJ
Which Chinese wheelset did you end up buying? Aside from issues with crosswinds, how did you like them?
I think they are good for the $. I can't really compare them to the Enves because you can notice a difference in quality. The Chinese were actually true when they came the Enves were not BUT the enves brake much better. The only concerns are the crosswinds (50mm depth) and the braking which I have to blame on the quality of the braking surface. They have not failed but they are loud and not quite as confidence inspiring as the ENVEs. That being said, it is a huge chunk of change between the two. Up to you to decide if you want to pay 400% the price of the chinese clinchers to have a better braking surface and maybe a bit more peace of mind.

PS wheels are Yoeleo U Shape 50mm Clinchers w superlight hubs w ceramic bearings. They roll better than the Enve PT hubs and weigh about 140g less.
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Old 02-21-14, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wsuhoops1000
Okay so hears the scoop. I know this doesn't necessarily belong in the "racing" section but avoiding the 41 is one of my top priorities as most of them consider skinny being 5 foot 7, 150 pounds. At 6 foot 135 pounds, typical thin cyclist build, how much trouble would an aero road (S5, Venge, AR1) bike be in the crosswinds compared to a traditional road bike. I'd also have hopefully some 303 or 404 wheels on it.

Sadly I think I would get blown around a ton as I live on the plains of the midwest where a good day is 18 or so mph and an average day is around 25.

So you think it would make a big difference or not too bad. Any of you in similar scenarios? Thanks.
I don't know about that, even my cyclist friends think I'm pretty damn light and skinny, and I'm definitely fatter than you. Still, in less-than-bananas wind conditions, especially with modern aero rim shapes, you should be fine. I wouldn't ride on 808s, in fact maybe it's best to stick to 303s, but the range of wheels you're looking at shouldn't be too bad most of the time.
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Old 02-21-14, 03:21 PM
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In my prime I was 6'0" 136lb, and have an aero frame + 50mm wheels. I have no trouble controlling my bike at all in winds, but you do have to be slightly more cautious than with box wheels. Frame doesn't affect much feel wise in crosswinds.
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Old 02-21-14, 03:51 PM
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My brother is 6'4 and 140lbs, although I think he has aids.


Just have a spare set of wheels (probably will come with the bike) to train on for super windy days. Plus think about the headwind, so many watts saved you could go pro!!
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Old 02-21-14, 04:11 PM
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6'-0" 170 lbs checking in. My 55 wheels are pretty stable in normal flat terrain. A few weeks back I was out riding with a friend and it was SUPER windy out, on the flats I was fine but descending was ALL sorts of sketchy. I had my hands on the brakes the whole way, doing like 20-25mph where I normally do 40. Crosswinds downhill are no fun.

Last week at a road race I got nailed with a crosswind when I was doing 45 mph, it actually moved me over a few feet. I was death gripping the bars after that. I should of brought my training wheels but they were at the shop getting new bearings.

I have a few friends who are 6'-0 and 130 and it seems like they do just as well as I do at 170.
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Old 02-21-14, 05:38 PM
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Goodness i feel fat
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Old 02-22-14, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by thechemist
Goodness i feel fat
rwaki must feel like a cow then







j/k
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Old 02-22-14, 12:31 PM
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You do get used to deeper wheels. As others have said, you learn to anticipate the blast and how it will steer the bike so that you can compensate quickly. I am a little shorter and a little heavier than you and I get blown around a lot.

It is more than rim depth, though, it's rim shape, width, and tire width as well. Both sets of my wheels are narrow. The clinchers are 50mm and the tubulars are 58mm (404). I get blown around a LOT more on the 50mm. The rims are a standard V shape Gigantex. Pretty fast as well.
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Old 02-22-14, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wsuhoops1000
Okay so hears the scoop. I know this doesn't necessarily belong in the "racing" section but avoiding the 41 is one of my top priorities as most of them consider skinny being 5 foot 7, 150 pounds. At 6 foot 135 pounds, typical thin cyclist build, how much trouble would an aero road (S5, Venge, AR1) bike be in the crosswinds compared to a traditional road bike. I'd also have hopefully some 303 or 404 wheels on it.

Sadly I think I would get blown around a ton as I live on the plains of the midwest where a good day is 18 or so mph and an average day is around 25.

So you think it would make a big difference or not too bad. Any of you in similar scenarios? Thanks.
I am 5'11" 132lbs. Have an S5 w/ 404's. I live in SW Ontario and our county is peppered w/ windmills. Always windy here. I have no problems.
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