2 Questions: Aero and gears
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  1. #1
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    2 Questions: Aero and gears

    Two quick questions for ya'll.

    1 - I was reading a review of the '21 Trek Emonda and all the new aero tweaks they have done. In reality, for most of us, do these aero tweaks make any significant difference in how fast we ride? Seems like the component that has the biggest negative impact on the aero-ness of a bike it the blob sitting on the saddle. All the little oval tube shapes seem to be so small to have little to no impact on the every day rider.........but makes for a good sales pitch? Thoughts?

    2 - Are gears equal? If you have a double chain ring (53/39 for example) and let's say you have a combination of chain ring/cassette that give you the exact same ratio with say a 53-25 combo that you have with a 39-19 combo (just tossing these numbers out there and not sure if indeed they are equal). Are they really equal? Seems like I read something about the large chain ring combo possibly being a bit more efficient due to more gradual bends in the chain? Again, seems like any difference would be very small, if any.

  2. #2
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    1 - those aero tweaks will make very little difference in your performance. Collectively if you add up all the tweaks (such as bike, wheels, ski suit etc) you could have a measurable improvement. You are correct, the rider creates the most resistance. Velo News once did an article where they found the biggest improvement in aerodynamics one could make was with an aero helmet.
    2 - yes, gears are the same if the ratios are the same but remember that wheel diameter affects the gearing. So a 52-26 would be the same as a 42-21 on the same bike. The big ring choice is probably more efficient for the reason you stated, but I also find that you have a better chainline with the big ring option.

  3. #3
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    1. You're late to that party. Google or search this site. Generally people who bought aero bikes say it matters and people didn't say it doesn't. I know for me I never care about seconds as I'm not time trialing for a living so even it it did matter it doesn't to me.
    2. One of two equal gear ratios will have less friction than the other, so it will take less power to move the same cadence thus go the same speed, but not enough difference to matter.

  4. #4
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivanthetrble View Post
    Two quick questions for ya'll.

    1 - I was reading a review of the '21 Trek Emonda and all the new aero tweaks they have done. In reality, for most of us, do these aero tweaks make any significant difference in how fast we ride?
    Who is 'most of us'? All sorts of 'us' ride bikes.

    What is a 'significant' difference?
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  5. #5
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    aeroness does make a difference, but you need to go the whole 9 yards, ie., frame, wheels, skinsuit, helmet, handlebar, and body positioning. If you're not willing to go the whole 9 yards, then don't be concerned about being aero

  6. #6
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    aeroness does make a difference, but you need to go the whole 9 yards, ie., frame, wheels, skinsuit, helmet, handlebar, and body positioning. If you're not willing to go the whole 9 yards, then don't be concerned about being aero
    No, you don't need to 'go the whole 9 yards'. But...the more you do the more gains you make. The bike itself is a very small part of the equation. Rider frontal area is much much larger so you see more improvements w/ making the rider as aero as possible and making the rider's position and relationship w/ the bike and helmet as efficient as possible.

    As for gear ratios...Years ago, '07 I think, I worked for a UCI track team at the World Cup in LA. One of the guys thought it would be fun to bring up this subject. We had a sprinter and a pursuiter at the table along w/ a couple other guys. The girls were smart and decided to leave us to it.
    We went back and forth for what seemed like hours about physically larger or smaller rings/cogs and different width chains and their possible advantages or disadvantages. In the end we might have agreed that larger rings and cogs were probably more efficient while at speed, but we couldn't come to an agreement on which would accelerate quicker. We did manage to drink quite a lot though.
    #promechaniclife

  7. #7
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    Sounds like my kind of discussion! :-D

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Rider frontal area is much much larger so you see more improvements w/ making the rider as aero as possible and making the rider's position and relationship w/ the bike and helmet as efficient as possible.
    Rider flexibility plays a big role here too. With my flexibility or lack thereof, I will never be aero regardless of the bike, wheels and tires I choose. This would be like expecting a race car with a U-haul on the roof to be aero.
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