Light or aerodynamic?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by originalolol, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. originalolol

    originalolol New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is more important, weight or aerodynamics

    especially in terms of rolling resistance, ie wheels, etc
     
    Tags:


  2. willocrew

    willocrew New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would think light weight would help in your climbs, while aero dynamics (ie aero tubes, aero position with aero bars etc) would probably help in "rolling" as u describe..

    Thats what i think, though take it with a pinch of salt as i'm new to the sport.
     
  3. Eastway82

    Eastway82 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, depends on what sort of riding you do.
    For most of us, weight is important, but only up to a point. If your bike's under 9-10Kg then it's probably more important to lose some weight off your butt than your bottom bracket.

    If you do a lot of flat roads/time trials, then aerodynamics are more important. A lot of time trial bikes are actually heavier than equivalent road bikes as the extra momentum is more useful than liveliness/ acceleration. Many aerodynamic disc wheels are also heavier than conventional wheels - when Moser broke the hour record, he had a special heavy rear wheel built, which acted as a flywheel and helped him get an enormous gear through the dead spot on the pedal stroke.

    If you climb a lot of mountains, then weight starts to get more important, but setup, position and pedalling style are way higher up the list of priorities than having a super-lightweight bike. Cycling Weekly (a magazine in the UK, rather than cycling weakly, which is what I do...), recently published some figures and research on the subject. In a nutshell, it said that for an average club racer, ascending a 6% gradient, each extra kilo you're carrying loses you about 8.5 metres per kilometre of climbing. Only you can decide how important those 8.5 metres are!
     
  4. palewin

    palewin New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you check analyticcycling.com, aero beats out weight (for wheels) almost all the time, including most uphill TTs. But since the aero benefits are proportional to speed (i.e. the faster you ride, the greater the benefit) the studies are aimed at racing cyclists, and to get real aero benefit, you need pretty deep rims (Zipp data shows that you do not get aero benefits until the rims are at least 40mm deep, at which point you're talking carbon fiber). Also, the aero benefits are greatest when you're "in the wind" i.e. at the front of the paceline or solo, less when you're drafting. So a lot of the answer has to do with your intended purpose for the wheels. You don't really get involved with aero frames unless you're looking at TT bikes, some triathalon rigs, or Cervelo's Soloist Carbon; these are all pretty specialized equipment.
     
  5. John M

    John M New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is true even if the bike weighs more than 10kg!!
     
  6. originalolol

    originalolol New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can anyone compare normal & flat spokes, and those wheels with only 3 huge spokes?
     
  7. tetsuryuu

    tetsuryuu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Flat spokes tend to be a better option, IMO, not so much because of an aerodynamic advantage (probably negligable at best) but because they tend to have more metal to them for the same aerodynamic cross section so they're stronger; they say the width to depth ratio has to be 1:4 before you see any aero benefit. The 3 spoke wheels are more aerodynamic because they have this ratio, and they also tend to have deep rims (>40mm) which helps. Only problem is they're not legal in road races or crits because they act like blenders if someone falls off and gets caught in them... they're also a bit heavier and trickier in crosswind situations, due to the extra surface area.
     
Loading...
Loading...