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2022 Gravel aero bikes

Old 04-27-22, 02:58 PM
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2022 Gravel aero bikes

Does anyone know of a link or resource comparing the latest aero gravel bikes? I can't seem to find anything.

I'm particularly interested in tests against each other in the aero drag category.

Google is failing me.
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Old 04-28-22, 07:50 AM
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A handful of months ago I read up on various aero gravel bikes, I think it was after listening to a NerdAlert podcast that referenced a new offering that claims to be aero and offered no data to back it up.
I struggled to find actual data to show X is faster than Y. I did see claims that a new model is faster than the old model, that general comment was pretty common.

Scott Addict Gravel
Ridley Kanzo Fast
Cervelo Aspero
3T Exploro
Open Upper
BMC URS
Specialized Crux

These were commonly listed and I dont remember seeing wind data or anything like that for any of them. It was more commentary like 'Scott borrowed these 4 design elements from their aero road bike when designing the Addict Gravel'. To me, that means no actual testing was done and it was just simulation during design. I think when actual testing is done, they proudly feature the results.


...just dont tie a number to the front of the bike or hang a bar bag and totally ruin the aero gains.
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Old 04-28-22, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
A handful of months ago I read up on various aero gravel bikes, I think it was after listening to a NerdAlert podcast that referenced a new offering that claims to be aero and offered no data to back it up.
I struggled to find actual data to show X is faster than Y. I did see claims that a new model is faster than the old model, that general comment was pretty common.

Scott Addict Gravel
Ridley Kanzo Fast
Cervelo Aspero
3T Exploro
Open Upper
BMC URS
Specialized Crux

These were commonly listed and I dont remember seeing wind data or anything like that for any of them. It was more commentary like 'Scott borrowed these 4 design elements from their aero road bike when designing the Addict Gravel'. To me, that means no actual testing was done and it was just simulation during design. I think when actual testing is done, they proudly feature the results.


...just dont tie a number to the front of the bike or hang a bar bag and totally ruin the aero gains.
Yep, that is exactly what I'm finding.

I guess the best we can do is go with a brand that has been known for their aerodynamics (Scott, Cervelo, 3T) for a long time and just hope they translated that over to their gravel offerings.
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Old 04-28-22, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Yep, that is exactly what I'm finding.

I guess the best we can do is go with a brand that has been known for their aerodynamics (Scott, Cervelo, 3T) for a long time and just hope they translated that over to their gravel offerings.
Yeah, it is quirky to see how in a world where marginal gains and hard data claims are the norm, there is a dearth of specifics when it comes to aero gains on gravel frames.
I think the common thought for a long time has been that its gravel where speeds are lower, so aero gains are not as important. If that is the common thought, it appears to be changing a bit as gravel naturally segments into adventure, party ride, competitive, etc. The interest in competitive/enthusiast gravel riding will naturally bring claimed aero gains from the road side as a marketing tool to differentiate product offerings.

^all that is really just me guessing in an attempt to try and understand why the gravel market as a whole does some things and doesnt do other things.
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Old 04-28-22, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, it is quirky to see how in a world where marginal gains and hard data claims are the norm, there is a dearth of specifics when it comes to aero gains on gravel frames.
I think the common thought for a long time has been that its gravel where speeds are lower, so aero gains are not as important. If that is the common thought, it appears to be changing a bit as gravel naturally segments into adventure, party ride, competitive, etc. The interest in competitive/enthusiast gravel riding will naturally bring claimed aero gains from the road side as a marketing tool to differentiate product offerings.

^all that is really just me guessing in an attempt to try and understand why the gravel market as a whole does some things and doesnt do other things.
As I get older I try to pay less and less attention to the marketing, and more to the experience of riding/wrenching/enjoying bikes.
Now that I've lived in one area for a few years now I have a good idea of what my likes/dislikes are. An aero gravel bike is intriguing to me because I do a lot of mixed surface riding and I think it would be fun to have a flat out race machine that can handle road and gravel. The Warbird is great, don't get me wrong, but it's not super aggressive or sprightly on the pavement.
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Old 04-28-22, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
As I get older I try to pay less and less attention to the marketing, and more to the experience of riding/wrenching/enjoying bikes.
Now that I've lived in one area for a few years now I have a good idea of what my likes/dislikes are. An aero gravel bike is intriguing to me because I do a lot of mixed surface riding and I think it would be fun to have a flat out race machine that can handle road and gravel. The Warbird is great, don't get me wrong, but it's not super aggressive or sprightly on the pavement.
For sure- the bike you describe seems right up your alley. Capable to handle a hammerfest on gravel and doesnt feel limiting on pavement.

The Aspero, Addict Gravel, and Exploro Racemax would all have steeper head and seat tube angles than a Warbird(at least in my size). They also have shorter chainstays, shorter wheelbases, and more bottom bracket drop. Their trail figures are also lower than the Salsa's so steering will feel quicker.
Just based on geometry, those should feel more sprightly on pavement as a result while still being fully capable on gravel.
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Old 04-29-22, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
These were commonly listed and I dont remember seeing wind data or anything like that for any of them. It was more commentary like 'Scott borrowed these 4 design elements from their aero road bike when designing the Addict Gravel'. To me, that means no actual testing was done and it was just simulation during design. I think when actual testing is done, they proudly feature the results.
Haven't seen any aero numbers, but seeing vids of SAFA hitting crazy speeds on the Addict Gravel, tells me that aero is prob not an issue. Now I just need to get my hands on one. lol
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Old 04-29-22, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Haven't seen any aero numbers, but seeing vids of SAFA hitting crazy speeds on the Addict Gravel, tells me that aero is prob not an issue. Now I just need to get my hands on one. lol
That guy is a legend. I was looking at availability and it seems pretty bad across the board. I'd love to swing a leg over the Medium and the Large, not sure which one I'd go with.
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Old 04-29-22, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I'm particularly interested in tests against each other in the aero drag category.

Google is failing me.
It's not google failing you. Aero testing is expensive. Some companies don't even test themselves. The list above is probably definitive enough. The hardest part is locating one....
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Old 04-29-22, 02:25 PM
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I think Aero for gravel is rather silly, but if you are looking at aero for the road portion of your ride that makes sense.

Aero really starts to make a difference over 20mph. Below 15 it isn't much of a factor. Generally I'm not doing over 15 on gravel solo (but sometimes in a pack, and always for that sprint).

I recently got some 3T wheels. Aero wise seem to do pretty good in a 20-30mph range (including apparent wind) with slicks. Any knobs is likely to ruin the air flow over the wheels. Then again, it may just be the placebo effect.
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Old 04-30-22, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I think Aero for gravel is rather silly, but if you are looking at aero for the road portion of your ride that makes sense.

Aero really starts to make a difference over 20mph. Below 15 it isn't much of a factor. Generally I'm not doing over 15 on gravel solo (but sometimes in a pack, and always for that sprint)
I am not claiming the benefits are massive as I really don't have a number in minutes or whatever, but aero on slower riders really is a thing. And it's impact is felt well below your claimed 20mph base.
https://amp.interestingengineering.c...ics-of-cycling
above speeds of around 10 mph (16 km/h), air resistance (drag) is the dominant force a cyclist needs to overcome. When speeds reach in excess of 30 mph (48.2 km/h), somewhere in the region of 90% of a cyclist's muscle power is used to blow through this invisible force.
...
At around 10 mph (16 km/h) somewhere in the region of 50% of their power is used to overcome air resistance.
https://blog.trekbikes.com/en/2020/0...really-matter/
The slower you ride, the longer it takes you to complete a course. That means you have more time for aerodynamic savings to compound, even though a smaller percentage of your pedaling power is working to overcome aerodynamics.
https://pedalchile.com/blog/aero-drag-speed?format=amp
At speeds over 10 mph (16 kph), aerodynamic (aero) drag becomes the dominant force of resistance, with no wind on flat terrain: At 18 mph (29 kph) it becomes 80% of the resistance25 mph (40 kph) it becomes 90% of the dominant force At 6 mph (10 kph) air resistance becomes a discernible resistance factor (but less than rolling resistance)
https://www.bicycling.com/skills-tip...dynamic%20drag.
There’s a misconception that aero only matters if you’re going fast. “People will say, ‘I’m not fast enough to need aerodynamic equipment,’” Barry says. “But good aerodynamics provides greater time savings to slower riders than faster ones.”
...
Your bike accounts for up to 30 percent of your total drag, which is significant
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Old 04-30-22, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I am not claiming the benefits are massive as I really don't have a number in minutes or whatever, but aero on slower riders really is a thing. And it's impact is felt well below your claimed 20mph base.
Yeah, someone wrote that 20mph thing on some website, sometime, somewhere...And it'll never go away. It routinely is treated as a binary -- as in, if you're only averaging 19.8mph, well, don't worry about it!
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Old 05-01-22, 08:34 PM
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The 3T is probably the one with the most aero testing and development. It is supposed to be faster dirty than when clean (turbulent air can follow sharp bends better than smooth laminar flow). Gerrard Vroomen had a hand in developing it (founder of Cervelo). Vroomen also started OPEN and designed the Open UP & Upper. The UP is crazy fast with a super short chainstay and feels lightning fast, but also has a moderately aggressive front geometry to keep it excellent handling on gravel. The thing is magic! Our shop sells gravel bikes by 3T, Open. Salsa, Bombtrack, Giant, Jamis, Wilier and Felt. I am on my third OPEN now as it is a magical balance of speed, COMFORT and handling. The 3T is fast but too stiff and twitchy to really be enjoyable to ride. The extreme short chainstay of the OPEN makes it really snappy and efficient but it retains comfort and controllability the be a fun all-day fast rider.
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Old 05-02-22, 03:47 PM
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Yeah, someone wrote that 20mph thing on some website, sometime, somewhere...And it'll never go away. It routinely is treated as a binary -- as in, if you're only averaging 19.8mph, well, don't worry about it!
I wrote it, lol.
It's based off of actual data. Something over 15mph the aero starts being greater than rolling resistance. Much over 20 its starting to dwarf rolling resistance. It goes up exponentially (where rolling resistance goes up linearly). But, if you have some better data, let me know.

I'll sprint at 40mph in a velodrome, so ya I care then. Solo gravel ride, it doesn't make much difference to me in my opinion.

Part of it is what I'm wearing. On the track, I'm full lycra. On gravel I'm often baggy and casual. What I put on my body has a HUGE impact on aero - more than my bike. Still, its all good. Sometimes I'm doing 30mph sprints on gravel! Lord knows, in a head wind, it is more about apparent wind than about my bike speed.
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Old 05-02-22, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
The 3T is probably the one with the most aero testing and development. It is supposed to be faster dirty than when clean (turbulent air can follow sharp bends better than smooth laminar flow). Gerrard Vroomen had a hand in developing it (founder of Cervelo). Vroomen also started OPEN and designed the Open UP & Upper. The UP is crazy fast with a super short chainstay and feels lightning fast, but also has a moderately aggressive front geometry to keep it excellent handling on gravel. The thing is magic! Our shop sells gravel bikes by 3T, Open. Salsa, Bombtrack, Giant, Jamis, Wilier and Felt. I am on my third OPEN now as it is a magical balance of speed, COMFORT and handling. The 3T is fast but too stiff and twitchy to really be enjoyable to ride. The extreme short chainstay of the OPEN makes it really snappy and efficient but it retains comfort and controllability the be a fun all-day fast rider.
Well put! That sounds fairly accurate.
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Old 05-04-22, 04:38 PM
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Do the above numbers take in consideration that just being on gravel itself can require 10-30% more power just from the resistance/efficiency of the surface?

Granted Aero is Aero no matter the surface, but if we're already handing over 10-30% by choosing gravel, we'd really need some serious aero to even get back to zero?

It's like the reaction I had the first time I road a new MTB with 760mm flat bars. I was thinking "why don't I just put on a drogue chute while I'm at it?"
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Old 05-04-22, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SCTinkering View Post
Do the above numbers take in consideration that just being on gravel itself can require 10-30% more power just from the resistance/efficiency of the surface?

Granted Aero is Aero no matter the surface, but if we're already handing over 10-30% by choosing gravel, we'd really need some serious aero to even get back to zero?
Again, aero penalty starts really building at 10mph based on a ton of actual data and testing. It doesn't matter if the surface is paved or unpaved- if you are riding over 10mph then wind resistance increases exponentially as your speed increases.

Having to create more power to go the same speed on gravel as you would on pavement is of no consequence here.
From an earlier post-
https://blog.trekbikes.com/en/2020/0...really-matter/
The slower you ride, the longer it takes you to complete a course. That means you have more time for aerodynamic savings to compound, even though a smaller percentage of your pedaling power is working to overcome aerodynamics.
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Old 05-05-22, 04:09 AM
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You guys are lucky to be discussing aero bikes. The fact that my body is distinctly non-aero, disqualifies me from the conversation.
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Old 05-05-22, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Monkey Face View Post
You guys are lucky to be discussing aero bikes. The fact that my body is distinctly non-aero, disqualifies me from the conversation.
I have been active in this thread, but I am 6'5 215# and ride a steel tube gravel bike with only 26mm deep rims and a small bar bag which is all absolutely not aero in any manner. I have pushed back on claims in this thread because even though I am distinctly not aero, I recognize that there is a benefit to it. I simply prioritized other things over aero for my riding.
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Old 05-05-22, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Monkey Face View Post
You guys are lucky to be discussing aero bikes. The fact that my body is distinctly non-aero, disqualifies me from the conversation.
Me too. LOL. lord knows I don't wear aero clothes on gravel either.
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Old 05-06-22, 04:56 PM
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Thoughts on the new Felt Breed Carbon?
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Old 05-06-22, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by gt3racerich View Post
Thoughts on the new Felt Breed Carbon?
There are so many good gravel bikes out there and Felt was late to market with the Breed so hardly anyone pays attention to it.
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Old 05-06-22, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by gt3racerich View Post
Thoughts on the new Felt Breed Carbon?
Thoughts about it as it pertains to being aero?...no idea. The site doesnt make claims.
It certainly looks nice. I like that it uses a simple round seatpost(not aero though) and has external cables running from the bars as that simplifies maintenance and setup(though its not aero).
I did laugh at the websites claim that the bike can handle 3 wheel sizes- 700c, 650b, and 29er. That's just damn funny to me. Why even make such a worthless claim?
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Old 05-08-22, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Me too. LOL. lord knows I don't wear aero clothes on gravel either.
Yeah not too many people running Unbound or RPI are thinking aero. Frame bags, handlebar bags, Multiple water bottle cages, yeah at some point aero becomes a lot less important than having an extra tire (Thinking Gravel Nationals Long Journey or Unbound XL) is more important than the aero gains. Not moving at all due to a mechanical one isn't prepared for is a bit higher priority.
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Old 05-09-22, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SCTinkering View Post
Yeah not too many people running Unbound or RPI are thinking aero. Frame bags, handlebar bags, Multiple water bottle cages, yeah at some point aero becomes a lot less important than having an extra tire (Thinking Gravel Nationals Long Journey or Unbound XL) is more important than the aero gains. Not moving at all due to a mechanical one isn't prepared for is a bit higher priority.
For 200mi events like you mention, sure aero can be less important. Again though, if you put all that stuff on a bike that is aero and one that is not, then the aero bike would still have a net benefit.
But what about the other side of races? The 100k races in the cool season where you can get by with a few water bottles or there is an aid station halfway thru? Few actually need to carry frame bags and extra tires. And a number on the front of the bike is going to be similar to a bar bag so having a bar bag isnt a big issue.



This thread continues to amuse me, which I guess is why I keep coming back to it.
The thought that 'well gravel is slower for X reasons therefore means aero doesnt matter' is like someone in debt saying 'cancelling cable wont get me all the way out of debt so I wont drop it'. In both instances- it still helps.
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