Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

"Aero" frame benefit?

Old 07-15-05, 08:02 PM
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sparknote_s
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"Aero" frame benefit?

Let's the take cervelo soloist for example. Not very popular around here at least, but is well known for its aero tubing. Aside from time trials and triathlons, does the aero tubing actually make a noticeable difference at avg race speeds (~25 mph)? Perhaps noticeable isn't the right word...is it a benefit such as losing half a pound off the bike, where only pros will get a real benefit, or can you and I see it as a real advantage?
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Old 07-15-05, 08:53 PM
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Aero frames offer less benefit than things like wheels, a good position( handlebar drop/width) or even knee width. That being said the aero benefit is still probably more than weight. Nothing you'll feel though.
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Old 07-15-05, 09:13 PM
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Your typical aero bike has a very low front end so you can get your body in a aero riding position with aero handlebars. Aero bars are not allowed in mass-start races, so these bikes are only useful in time trials and triathalons.
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Old 07-15-05, 09:18 PM
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The least aerodynamic thing on the bike is the rider . . .
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Old 07-15-05, 09:24 PM
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The reason for aero is exactly said, to get the rider in a more favorable posistion. Now all the little tear drop tubes, etc do help, but about as much as a good set of wheels...

Now you can not tell me that aero is not "good looking"



(Anything to show my baby!)
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Old 07-15-05, 09:45 PM
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A semi-aero frame like the Cervelo pictured above will increase your velocity by ~1.2 percent, and reduce 40-km time by 37 to 58 seconds.

source: High-Performance Cycling, Jeukendrup, 2002.
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Old 07-15-05, 09:50 PM
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I'm not an engineer, but I would think that type of tubing shape might add some stiffness too?
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Old 07-15-05, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
The reason for aero is exactly said, to get the rider in a more favorable posistion. Now all the little tear drop tubes, etc do help, but about as much as a good set of wheels...

Now you can not tell me that aero is not "good looking"



(Anything to show my baby!)
wow, it almost looks like a cardboard cutout at that angle. I didn't realize how thin it was.
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Old 07-15-05, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by twahl
I'm not an engineer, but I would think that type of tubing shape might add some stiffness too?
Tubing diameter and thickness has more of an impact on stiffness than tubing shape.
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Old 07-15-05, 10:55 PM
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Nytro has some interesting things to say about aerodynamics.

Click on the "How important is aerodynamics vs. weight?" link.

http://www.nytro.com/Nytro_Pro_Tips.html
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Old 07-15-05, 11:08 PM
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Incorrect. Since the majority of big tubes in your bike undergo torsional loads, the best use of material would be a round tube.

Most of the very large tubes you see on modern bikes are to make the welding process easier. What's easier to torque, a ruler or a dowel?
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Old 07-16-05, 12:07 AM
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I am not the authority to go to on this,but I imagine aero tubing has a small effect on the max speed you can push your bicycle. don't your legs/arms block out most of it anyway?
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Old 07-16-05, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
The reason for aero is exactly said, to get the rider in a more favorable posistion. Now all the little tear drop tubes, etc do help, but about as much as a good set of wheels...

Now you can not tell me that aero is not "good looking"



(Anything to show my baby!)
that's one sexy bike.
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Old 07-16-05, 12:26 AM
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As I said above a good TT bike will put you in the most aerodynamic posistion possible. Now all the other little things like the aero downtube, the aero seat post and seat stay, the 1 inch steertube, the rear wheel cutout, etc all help with the aerodynamics but not as much as posistion.

Now personally what I would be interested in is seeing the difference from a P2k (mine) vs a P3SL (with the full cutout). They say it makes a big difference either of them because the rear wheel effectivly drafts behind the frame. Now when I someday get a full disc setup then it will be even faster...
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