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Canyon Marketing Fail: It's All About the Aero! Or Not...

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Canyon Marketing Fail: It's All About the Aero! Or Not...

Old 10-31-20, 06:59 AM
  #1  
PoorInRichfield
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Canyon Marketing Fail: It's All About the Aero! Or Not...

Disclaimer: I like Canyon bikes. The largely pointless post is to point-out how silly marketers can be sometimes when they "miss the obvious" in trying to get you to buy their product. And I'm bored.

While dreaming about purchasing a set of integrated handlebar and stem combinations to satisfy the weight-weenie in me (which is a completely illogical part of my brain, I confess), I found myself on the Canyon web site as they offer several of such handle bar combos. What struck me immediately as being very odd is that while they are promoting their Aerocockpit bars as being "aero" to partially justify the $400 price tag, the photos of the bars show that aero can't really be all that important to them. Spend a small fortune to save a few bazilla-seconds off one's ride time due to handlebar drag, only to add a few bazilla-seconds back on to that time because you have a rat's nest of cable and wires dangling off the front of the bike?

I think this is the case of the marketing / photoshoot team "not getting the memo" and perhaps not being cyclists themselves, so not understanding what should've been important in photographing this specific component (I.e., web site designers, photographers, and marketing teams that work for bicycle manufacturers aren't necessarily bicyclists which in this case, seems to be a problem.) According to the details on the web page, the bars do indeed have internal cable routing which certainly would help sell the "aero-ness" of the bars, but the marketing team failed to show that. If this was a $5 part, I'd understand, but when people have bicycles that cost less than these bars, wouldn't you think they'd spend a few dollars getting the advertising right?

Canyon H36 Aerocockpit

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Old 10-31-20, 07:24 AM
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eja_ bottecchia
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
Disclaimer: I like Canyon bikes. The largely pointless post is to point-out how silly marketers can be sometimes when they "miss the obvious" in trying to get you to buy their product. And I'm bored.

While dreaming about purchasing a set of integrated handlebar and stem combinations to satisfy the weight-weenie in me (which is a completely illogical part of my brain, I confess), I found myself on the Canyon web site as they offer several of such handle bar combos. What struck me immediately as being very odd is that while they are promoting their Aerocockpit bars as being "aero" to partially justify the $400 price tag, the photos of the bars show that aero can't really be all that important to them. Spend a small fortune to save a few bazilla-seconds off one's ride time due to handlebar drag, only to add a few bazilla-seconds back on to that time because you have a rat's nest of cable and wires dangling off the front of the bike?

I think this is the case of the marketing / photoshoot team "not getting the memo" and perhaps not being cyclists themselves, so not understanding what should've been important in photographing this specific component (I.e., web site designers, photographers, and marketing teams that work for bicycle manufacturers aren't necessarily bicyclists which in this case, seems to be a problem.) According to the details on the web page, the bars do indeed have internal cable routing which certainly would help sell the "aero-ness" of the bars, but the marketing team failed to show that. If this was a $5 part, I'd understand, but when people have bicycles that cost less than these bars, wouldn't you think they'd spend a few dollars getting the advertising right?

Canyon H36 Aerocockpit

you must be bored.
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Old 10-31-20, 10:16 AM
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Actually that's probably more aero:

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/i...Dtail%20design.
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Old 10-31-20, 01:49 PM
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It's all about the Benjamins.
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Old 10-31-20, 04:35 PM
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I can understand the concern about the cables, but then I don't know what tier bike we're in. Is this on a bike with old style cables that don't lend themselves as well to being tucked away in bars and frame? Regardless, for a any bike with exposed cables, aero bars are still something.

Aero itself can be a problem. Take an airfoil shape, and if it can be put at an angle to the relative airflow that causes it to start to produce lift, then it is also producing induced drag. Whether that is significant, I've no idea, but surely it can be groused about till some aerospace engineer comes along to set us straight.
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Old 10-31-20, 04:51 PM
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That's an Aeroad CF SL. You want hidden cables, you gotta drop more coin.
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Old 10-31-20, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I can understand the concern about the cables, but then I don't know what tier bike we're in. Is this on a bike with old style cables that don't lend themselves as well to being tucked away in bars and frame? Regardless, for a any bike with exposed cables, aero bars are still something.

Aero itself can be a problem. Take an airfoil shape, and if it can be put at an angle to the relative airflow that causes it to start to produce lift, then it is also producing induced drag. Whether that is significant, I've no idea, but surely it can be groused about till some aerospace engineer comes along to set us straight.
Bottom tier of Aeroad, which is STILL about $4400. For $6000, with the CF SLX 8 DI2, you get fully hidden cabling.
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Old 10-31-20, 08:23 PM
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As others have noted, the fully integrated canyon solution does NOT use the old H36. It uses the new CP0018 which has a one piece bar stem. Well, 3 piece but those 3 pieces are effectively one unit.

I believe the fork, frame, and bar/stem are all a proprietary solution. And I believe it's electronic only. Not the greatest solution in the world when, for example, Specialized bikes can use a normal fork, bar and stem with electronic or mechanical systems.
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Old 11-06-20, 02:50 PM
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There's an awful lot to like about my Canyon Ultimate, but the "aero" cockpit is not one of them. Matter of fact, it's a royal pain. First of all, aero design offers precious little in the way of performance advantage for anyone that doesn't routinely cruise a 20+ mph. Secondly, none of their integrated bar/stem offerings, H36 or CP18, have a convenient, secure, readily available, and reasonably priced way to mount a bike computer. Thirdly, the whole integration thing means changing stem length or replacing a damaged handlebar is going to cost a lot more than a conventional stem & bar set up.
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Old 11-06-20, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bmcer View Post
There's an awful lot to like about my Canyon Ultimate, but the "aero" cockpit is not one of them. Matter of fact, it's a royal pain. First of all, aero design offers precious little in the way of performance advantage for anyone that doesn't routinely cruise a 20+ mph. Secondly, none of their integrated bar/stem offerings, H36 or CP18, have a convenient, secure, readily available, and reasonably priced way to mount a bike computer. Thirdly, the whole integration thing means changing stem length or replacing a damaged handlebar is going to cost a lot more than a conventional stem & bar set up.
I agree. I own a Madone 9 and ended up switching out the one piece stem/bar for an Enve aero cockpit. I could get the position I wanted without, as you mentioned, any loss of performance.
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Old 11-08-20, 02:18 PM
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Uhm, well if someone can't easily cruise at 20mph they're probably too beginner to benefit from anything aero. And being a beginner they wouldn't be able to size a bike with a integrated cockpit to fit them properly, so shouldn't be buying it anyway. More than likely they don't even have a fit yet as it'll change dramatically as they get in bike shape. But that's really not the target audience for the Aeroad or Ultimate.
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Old 11-08-20, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sfrider View Post
Uhm, well if someone can't easily cruise at 20mph they're probably too beginner to benefit from anything aero. And being a beginner they wouldn't be able to size a bike with a integrated cockpit to fit them properly, so shouldn't be buying it anyway. More than likely they don't even have a fit yet as it'll change dramatically as they get in bike shape. But that's really not the target audience for the Aeroad or Ultimate.
Are you saying that being a beginner is determined by the ability to cruise at 20mph? While I do still consider myself a beginner, I don't know what speed I could cruise at since where I live I don't have a lot of flat road to cruise on. In my case (could be based on where I live), I did have a bike fit, but I am going to a different fitter for what I hope is a better and more comprehensive bike fit. Now that I have been riding for a while, I can probably communicate a little better with the fitter to make the fit better. Having said all of that, I have looked at bikes and I would like hidden cables for no other reason than looks. I know that in my area I would be a long way from cruising at speeds that make it worth it, but I like the looks.
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Old 11-08-20, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by sfrider View Post
Uhm, well if someone can't easily cruise at 20mph they're probably too beginner to benefit from anything aero. And being a beginner they wouldn't be able to size a bike with a integrated cockpit to fit them properly, so shouldn't be buying it anyway. More than likely they don't even have a fit yet as it'll change dramatically as they get in bike shape. But that's really not the target audience for the Aeroad or Ultimate.
So the target audience for the Aeroad or Ultimate are people that can easily cruise at 20+ mph?

That's an infinitesimally small market...

Better give 'em a ring and tell 'em what's up.
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Old 11-10-20, 11:26 AM
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It is mildly irritating that they don't offer you the option to specify length and width of the integrated bar and stem when ordering, which would be a much better solution than the three piece system for adjusting width (and "order a new one" for adjusting length).

I must say that switching to a more endurance geometry, with a shorter stem for any given size, swapping the tires to a 25/28 combo, while it does make it possibly better suited for the average consumer who isn't getting any lighter or younger, doesn't make for a better aero race bike.



​​​​​​

Last edited by Branko D; 11-10-20 at 12:07 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 11-10-20, 11:44 AM
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Whoever the intended audience might be for these bikes, the fact remains that aerodynamic benefits don't become meaningful at the speeds most enthusiasts, even gifted enthusiasts, ride most of the time. Take a good look at the quoted wattage savings for things like aero bars, etc. Almost all of them are rated at between 35 and 40 k/h (22 - 25 mph). Can't speak for anyone but myself, but if I spend more than 40% of my riding time at those speeds, I'd be very, very surprised. And BTW, both my road bikes are well fitted to me.

So let's be clear. My gripe with proprietary "integrated" stem/bar cockpits is 1) They're expensive. If your fit does change over time and you want to change stem length to accommodate changing flexibility, that adjustment means you're going to replace the stem AND bars. 2) At least where the Canyon cockpits are concerned, mounting a Garmin or other computer is problematic. The only suitable mounts I've found are not readily available and expensive. 3) In my opinion, the benefits of aero cockpits are vanishingly small for the vast majority of riders. Sure, they look cool, but just how much inconvenience (and expense) are you willing to tolerate for aesthetics?
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Old 11-10-20, 12:31 PM
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https://www.renehersecycles.com/aero...orld-bicycles/



The most important finding probably does not come as a surprise: What you wear and how you position yourself on the bike has the largest impact on the aerodynamics. For example, simply raising your stem by 20 mm (3/4 in) increases the drag by 5%. (For comparison, other studies indicate that aero wheels bring an advantage of only 3%.) The difference between a close-fitting jacket and a looser cycling jacket is a full 8% increase in the overall wind resistance of your bike!
Perhaps more surprising to many, front bags were more aerodynamic than rear ones. A handlebar bag was more aerodynamic than a Carradice saddlebag that extended just slightly beyond the hips of the rider (see photo at the top of this post). Front panniers (on low-rider racks) were more aerodynamic than rear panniers.

Fairings actually increased the wind resistance in most positions. We tested many different fairings, and the photo above shows the “best” setup, and even that decreased the wind resistance only if the rider assumed a full aero tuck. It’s obvious that fairings only work if they form one body with the rider. Otherwise, you are just pushing one extra object through the air.
Speaking of the aero tuck, that was perhaps the most eye-opening result: A full aero tuck reduces the rider’s air resistance by 38% compared to riding “on the hoods.” There is nothing you can do to your bike that makes even nearly as much of a difference at high speed!
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Old 11-10-20, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bmcer View Post
Whoever the intended audience might be for these bikes, the fact remains that aerodynamic benefits don't become meaningful at the speeds most enthusiasts, even gifted enthusiasts, ride most of the time. Take a good look at the quoted wattage savings for things like aero bars, etc. Almost all of them are rated at between 35 and 40 k/h (22 - 25 mph). Can't speak for anyone but myself, but if I spend more than 40% of my riding time at those speeds, I'd be very, very surprised. And BTW, both my road bikes are well fitted to me.

22-25mph aero stats are a powerful marketing tool. The intended audience for these bikes/components wants to ride those speeds, and believes they can, regardless of what the reality is.

No one is sitting around wondering what it's like to ride the latest wiz bang aero race stuff at 17mph.
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Old 11-10-20, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
22-25mph aero stats are a powerful marketing tool. The intended audience for these bikes/components wants to ride those speeds, and believes they can, regardless of what the reality is.

No one is sitting around wondering what it's like to ride the latest wiz bang aero race stuff at 17mph.
It's a common failing of enginerd types like myself that we lack the "vision" to favor fantasy over fact. Makes us really annoying to the marketing type who live on wishful thinking.
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Old 11-10-20, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
No one is sitting around wondering what it's like to ride the latest wiz bang aero race stuff at 17mph.
Because we know how easy it is to translate data from one speed to another.
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Old 11-11-20, 03:20 AM
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Looking at the average speeds a rider goes at and concluding he derives no or insignificant (who is the arbiter of insignificant for other people) aerodynamic benefit is quite bogus.

Many people don't really quite care about average speed on a training ride (especially an easy one), nor expect an aero benefit when climbing hills. Both of these things lower the average speed. However, on the flat when going hard the speed for many riders is within the range where the benefits are tangible.
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Old 11-11-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
Looking at the average speeds a rider goes at and concluding he derives no or insignificant (who is the arbiter of insignificant for other people) aerodynamic benefit is quite bogus.

Many people don't really quite care about average speed on a training ride (especially an easy one), nor expect an aero benefit when climbing hills. Both of these things lower the average speed. However, on the flat when going hard the speed for many riders is within the range where the benefits are tangible.
The question though is what is the real benefit to Joe Cyclist on a typical ride who isn't in a race? Is purchasing speed really yielding a benefit?
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Old 11-11-20, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
The question though is what is the real benefit to Joe Cyclist on a typical ride who isn't in a race? Is purchasing speed really yielding a benefit?
But this is something only individual riders can determine. What is the benefit to going a little faster if you are not in a race (or planning to race)? It's entirely personal. I am not fast, but am reasonably fit for my age. I do want to go faster for no reason other than I want to go faster. Is there a tangible benefit? Not really. But if it matters to the rider, then so be it. Cycling is not cheap, but the investment of an aero frame or cockpit isn't really dramatically more than it is for a non-aero frame, unless you are talking lower price ranges (where my current bike resides).

I don't know what my next bike will be, but the reality is I don't *need* a nicer bike than my aluminum framed, 105 equipped Ridley. I do, however, believe I would derive some increased pleasure from a nicer bike. This may be stupid and shallow, but, hey, to each their own. In short, no, most of us don't need go fast stuff, and none of us on this board will benefit from it the same way pros do. But the benefit is different to each person depending on what they are looking to gain from the purchase. It may be a fraction more speed, or maybe it's something else.
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Old 11-11-20, 12:01 PM
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I'm willing to concede that the dubious benefits of aerodynamic design for Joe Cyclist may be of some value to some folks. I have to admit it does have eye appeal. How you choose to spend your discretionary funds is, after all, a personal decision. So let's lay that aspect of the discussion to rest.

However, speaking only for myself, the not inconsequential cost and inconvenience of integrated cockpits is more than a little off putting. Which is why I replaced the defective CP10 that came with my Canyon CF Ultimate 8.0 with a Zip stem (one of only 2 brands other than Canyon that offer stems for a 1-1/4" steering tube) and a set of Easton EC 70 bars. Total cost; < $300 vs > $400 for the H36. And mounting my Garmin can be accomplished with any of several inexpensive and easily available fixtures.
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Old 11-11-20, 12:02 PM
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It's only a marketing fail if they don't sell bikes. I suspect they're quite comfortable with their marketing.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:12 PM
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It's all about aesthetics to me.

My Aeroad is so much faster than my Ultimate, but mostly because its sexier. It will be sold though so I can have fully internal cables. Which are a huge pain, but again sexy.

Make a bike that is 2% slower, but 10% better looking and I will take the hit.
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