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Possible stupid Q on aerodynamics.....(7 posts)

Possible stupid Q on aerodynamics.....newridr
Aug 13, 2003 7:46 AM
I was just wondering why more high end bikes don't use areo shaped tubing - similar to tri bikes. Wouldn't having an aero frame be an advantage on 2 or 3 (or longer) rides? I know it wouldn't matter if you're in a group, but how about those times when you're out front pulling or by yourself?
re: Possible stupid Q on aerodynamics.....TJeanloz
Aug 13, 2003 7:51 AM
The effect of tubing on aerodynamics is not really significant in the overall context of things - body position is a much greater factor. And aero tubing almost always weighs more (usually much more) than round tubing, so you do pay a penalty there. In cycling, the premium is usually on light weight first, at least for road racing bikes (as opposed to TT bikes).
re: Possible stupid Q on aerodynamics.....Akirasho
Aug 13, 2003 7:56 AM
... aero tubing is generally heavier and while it has been shown to offer an aero advantage... said advantage may only come over considerable distances and speeds with near laboratory conditions (winds and ride directions are rarely static).

The other thing to consider is the very nature of "aero" tubing. Only a small number of makers actually use true NACA aero tubes (many other makers use "squished" teardrop tubing which is not an efficient airfoil).

Lastly, the lion's share of aero drag is the rider... work and time spent improving your own aerodyamics and position has a far more profound effect than simply switching to an aero tubeset (this, coming from a blob who occasionally perches on a couple of true aero rigs).

Be the bike.
The Aero DifferenceZeGopha
Aug 13, 2003 8:43 AM
You bring up an interesting and highly debated point.
Do Aerodynamics matter? Pretty much everyone agrees, in group riding, no. However, it can make a significant difference in high speed breakaways. But how many people do this?
How aero? is also a question, you'll probably notice a bigger increase in road riding if you use deeper aero wheels.
Intersting point on wheels....newridr
Aug 13, 2003 9:42 AM
I think you're right about more people road riding if more aero wheels found their way onto the bikes in showrooms. Let's face it, any hobby is all about the gear. The cooler the gear, the more people into it. That's one of the reasons mtbing exploded. Full suspension bikes look cool.
missing the point somewhatfiltersweep
Aug 13, 2003 1:19 PM
I think the point was there would be more of a noticeable performance increase- not an increase in riders.

I don't think "hobbiests" are the ones spending big bucks on carbon aero wheels or high-end framesets... the hobbiests are buying a $400 bike at REI and complaining about how expensive the gear is... the cost of ONE Zipp wheel for the entire bike.

The reality is aero wheels are almost a waste for everyday riding- hence are generally saved for races- and since they are generally used just for races, are as often as not tubular rather than clincher- making them even less suitable for everyday use. They are such a matter of taste that it would make no sense to stick them on a built bike.

Frankly, a full suspension mtnbike looks HEAVY by my eye ;)

I think mtn biking exploded for the same reason SUVs exploded. The reality is, only a tiny percentage of mtn biking is actually done "off-road" (or off MUTs, etc...).
The Aero Differenceasgelle
Aug 13, 2003 9:51 AM
However, it can make a significant difference in high speed breakaways. But how many people do this?

If we're talking about racing, if you want to win, you'll have to put your nose in the wind sometime whether that be for a few meters at the final sprint or many kms for a long break. In either case, aerodynamic drag will be the greatest resitance to overcome. (the exception for weight during climbing is dominant only for the most extreme climbs.