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Aerodynamic Frame Disadvantages?(4 posts)

Aerodynamic Frame Disadvantages?KSC
Sep 25, 2001 8:48 PM
I am looking to purchase my first road bike and am interested in the Kestrel Talon. Kestrel describes the frame as an all around road bike that can easy be converted into a TT or Tri bike. I have no intention of doing TT or Tri riding, but would like to do a mix of long and short rides, flat and mountain rides. Is it a bad idea to go for an aero frame? What are the disadvantages of an aero frame as opposed to the traditional road tubes (I believe loss of comfort is one of them - how much difference does it make)?

Would appreciate any insights.
re: Aerodynamic Frame Disadvantages?cyclequip
Sep 26, 2001 3:09 AM
Comfort has more to do with the tube material and frame angles than it does an aero profile. Some aero tubes are very comfortable and vice versa. TT or Tri bikes are characterised by upright tube angles irrespective of their shape. Road bikes have more relaxed tube angles irrespective of shape. The other consideration is that oversize tubes tend to be stiffer generally than smaller diameters, all things being equal.
Another disadvantage is...5ive
Sep 26, 2001 4:36 AM
that it gets thrown around more in cross-wind. It doesn't bother some, but it bothers me a bit.
In some cases, weightChris Zeller
Sep 26, 2001 7:37 AM
Some aerodynamic frames (and rims etc.) sacrifice weight in order to maximize on aerodynamics. Ordinary road bikes have frame tube sizes and angles that optimize weight savings. Specialized TT and aero bikes often optimize for aerodynamics at the expense of weight. Take Airborne's Spectre TT bike or Litespeed Blade for example. The added aero "nose cone" on the head tube and extreme ovalized tubing adds weight. These frames weight between 1/2-1 lb more than their equivelent roadbike frames. The same is true of aero rims. This is why I chose the Mavic OP over Rolf or Mavic MA3s etc.

Weight isn't especially important if you are riding full bore on the flats. Lance Armstrong's training book quote's HED as saying that 80% of the rider's effort at 20mph on flats is expended on aerodynamics. That's huge and definately a place to improve on. But if you ride in the mountains where your speeds uphill are slower and downhill you are on your brakes anyway (like me) an aero bike will give you a distinct disadvantage in terms of weight-performanbce/$.

In reality though you can ride just about anything you want. It's the engine that counts after all. All I'm saying is that an aero bike won't be your best option for this type of riding.