Why you need aero wheels

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Cugel
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby Cugel » 12 Dec 2018, 9:09am

rfryer wrote:
Brucey wrote:real science is 'really difficult'. If you don't have all the conditions absolutely nailed down you could do 'the experiment' ten times and get ten completely different answers.

True. But on the other hand, any attempt to do this rigourously would be criticized as not having any real world relevance to most riders. "But you wouldn't maintain that position for an entire ride...", etc.

I think that the set up described for this experiment isn't awful, and the main thing missing is any attempt to reproduce it a few times to establish whether the reported result is representative or an outlier.


Gubbins to make you go faster (even if it is just 1%) at the expense of comfort, maintainability, and other factors like being blown sideways under a truck (not to mention the large wodges of cash required) are all without "real world relevance to most riders". This irrelevance applies to a lot of current cycling gubbins besides so-called aero wheels (and frames). It applies to expensive Garmins that are poor at measuring data accurately and of no use navigationally as most riders cycle on roads they know very well. And why do they need any data? It applies to power meters, which are useless to all but (actual) racing fellows. Anyone may continue the list of "useless fashion items" as they wish.... They won't be spoilt for choice.

The racing cycling club to which I belong has only about 20% actually racing and therefore "in need" of go-fasters. Many of the others have the go-fasters only because they're fashionable. They have no practical use other than as cyclist-baubles, bangles and bright shiny beads. Even the racing folk are kidding themselves. They'd do just as well (or poorly) with any decent bike. And you could argue that being able to afford a £2-3000 pair of aero wheels that save you 40 seconds in the 25 mile TT for the same effort is, fundamentally, cheating if every competitor can't afford the same gubbins-provided advantage.

Cugel

reohn2
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby reohn2 » 12 Dec 2018, 9:16am

rfryer wrote:There was an interesting GCN video on aero wheels last week. From memory, they showed that in real world conditions, the effort required to maintain 41kph reduced from 379W to 345W when switching from decent quality aluminium box-section rims to top-end deep-section carbon.

This was enough to allow the tester to sustain that speed for over 50 minutes, rather than 20 minutes.

Was it windy?
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amediasatex
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby amediasatex » 12 Dec 2018, 9:25am

Garmins...and of no use navigationally as most riders cycle on roads they know very well


Speak for yourself, my Garmin has been an amazingly useful tool for exploring and travelling outside of my normal local rides. Way more useful than a paper map* and has both kept me on track on longer rides and allowed me to more easily re-route when there have been issues.

The data side of it is debatable, but you don't even have to press record if you don't want to ...
You can poo-poo many of the go-faster upgrades as lacking any real use or utility but I think lumping decent GPS devices in there is probably a step too far as they have huge utility for many riders.

* and allows me to fit an entire country's worth on the one tiny device, at multiple different scales too as well as being easier to read while on the move, not to mention being able to update said maps roads change over time.

thelawnet
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby thelawnet » 12 Dec 2018, 9:49am

Cugel wrote:It applies to expensive Garmins that are poor at measuring data accurately and of no use navigationally as most riders cycle on roads they know very well.


Poor compared to what? A Garmin will have a barometric altimeter, which most phones lack. It has the same positioning stuff. You can also measure cadence, which you won't get from a smartphone app.

It's a bit daft to say that they are no use navigationally if you already know the route.

I am inclined to agree that they are a bit pointless and most people can make do with a smartphone. I rode around 7 hours with my phone GPS on last week and still had over 50% battery.

And why do they need any data? It applies to power meters, which are useless to all but (actual) racing fellows.


I like data. It would be useful to know WHY I am terrible, iyswim.

I would like a power meter and would not agree that they are useless, merely that they are too expensive to justify.

If I know that I put out 200W and weigh 90kg on a bike weighing 14kg, it can help me decide what I do next in terms of, say, getting a bike weighing 9kg, losing 10kg, or whatever. I don't see that as being useless. Also I'm riding on a mountain bike with knobbly tyres and front suspension. If I can plug all the numbers in and say that actually that is costing me a lot of speed compared to say a road-ish bike with smoother tyres, then that's useful info. If, on the other hand, the numbers just say I weigh too much and generate too little output, then well the road bike doesn't look like a good option.


I don't think you can conflate actual moving components which may make your bike subjectively worse (more likely to break down, etc), with gadgets that at worst are simply a waste of money.

De Sisti
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby De Sisti » 12 Dec 2018, 1:45pm

Cugel wrote:It applies to expensive Garmins that are poor at measuring data accurately and of no use navigationally as most riders cycle on roads they know very well. And why do they need any data?

Cugel

Speak for yourself. My Garmin Edge Touring Plus has been very reliable. I like and appreciate the
data it shows me. Along with my Suunto T6, they add another dimension to me working out.

Canuk
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby Canuk » 12 Dec 2018, 4:18pm

reohn2 wrote:
rfryer wrote:There was an interesting GCN video on aero wheels last week. From memory, they showed that in real world conditions, the effort required to maintain 41kph reduced from 379W to 345W when switching from decent quality aluminium box-section rims to top-end deep-section carbon.

This was enough to allow the tester to sustain that speed for over 50 minutes, rather than 20 minutes.

Was it windy?


Very. But only from behind :wink:

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Cugel
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby Cugel » 12 Dec 2018, 4:44pm

To the gubbins fellows:

One day you may discover the joy of just riding your bike. Perhaps this will also allow you to become knowledgeable about where you ride it, in way that following the orders of a handlebar device cannot, especially when it takes you on to the motorway or perhaps to the middle of nowhere.

I suppose if one is a genuine tourist who goes to new locales all the time, a Garmin or similar can be useful. I'd rather have a paper map to memorise, along with the experience of getting lost then found. Somehow this makes the experience rather more real. But why do you need to know your speed, average speed, distance travelled etcetera? Does it really serve your cycling purposes or are these purposes really invented and installed in you by someone else - manufacturers and cycling "gurus"?

As to power meters - try feeling the cycling data supplied directly to your body as you attempt various cycling procedures. You'll learn to go fast, climb hills, descend quickly, ride rough tracks and all sorts of other stuff just as effectively without the meter as with it. In fact, with the gubbins, you may find yourself cowed by it's sneers as you fail to meet the demands of some "training plan" or other.

And in the end, you'll be several hundreds of pounds poorer. :-)

Cugel, semi-luddite.

thelawnet
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby thelawnet » 12 Dec 2018, 5:05pm

Cugel wrote:To the gubbins fellows:

One day you may discover the joy of just riding your bike. Perhaps this will also allow you to become knowledgeable about where you ride it, in way that following the orders of a handlebar device cannot, especially when it takes you on to the motorway or perhaps to the middle of nowhere.

I suppose if one is a genuine tourist who goes to new locales all the time, a Garmin or similar can be useful. I'd rather have a paper map to memorise, along with the experience of getting lost then found. Somehow this makes the experience rather more real. But why do you need to know your speed, average speed, distance travelled etcetera? Does it really serve your cycling purposes or are these purposes really invented and installed in you by someone else - manufacturers and cycling "gurus"?


I make my own maps, in Indonesia, as often no usable map exists.This is done based on satellite imagery.

These maps are digital. Paper maps in this context would be very silly. Using the digital map is great because you can work out a better (based on your value of 'better) route to where you want to go

Average speed is useful in that if I have a 60 mile journey with 40 miles on the flat and 20 miles climbing then I can work out how long it will take me to get there. Also if I do, say, 60 miles a day for two days and then feel exhausted for two days then that's some sort of guide for my route planning. All of these data are useful and don't have any connection with gurus.

reohn2
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby reohn2 » 12 Dec 2018, 6:32pm

Canuk wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
rfryer wrote:There was an interesting GCN video on aero wheels last week. From memory, they showed that in real world conditions, the effort required to maintain 41kph reduced from 379W to 345W when switching from decent quality aluminium box-section rims to top-end deep-section carbon.

This was enough to allow the tester to sustain that speed for over 50 minutes, rather than 20 minutes.

Was it windy?


Very. But only from behind :wink:

They talking out of their a*s& then :wink:
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ChrisBee
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby ChrisBee » 13 Dec 2018, 12:32pm

GCN imho is a good watch and generally gives good advice comment

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Chris Jeggo
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby Chris Jeggo » 13 Dec 2018, 4:31pm

AIUI, tennis balls are fluffy and golf balls are dimpled to make them go faster. Its to do with separation of the boundary layer. I would find it very easy to believe that hairy legs are faster than shaved ones.

OTOH, if I squandered some of my unbelievable wealth on the services of a masseuse in order to go faster, then I would of course shave my legs.

Samuel D
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby Samuel D » 13 Dec 2018, 4:57pm

ChrisBee wrote:GCN imho is a good watch […]

Not really my style but I can see the appeal.

ChrisBee wrote:[…] and generally gives good advice comment

Not that I’ve seen. GCN barely pretends to be more than light entertainment, and when it does, the advice is usually just the prevailing sentiment of the day neatly packaged in clichés and marketing slogans. Compare their descending tips (scattered across many videos, so I won’t try to link one) to Jobst Brandt’s version, for example.

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Cugel
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby Cugel » 13 Dec 2018, 5:46pm

thelawnet wrote:
Cugel wrote:To the gubbins fellows:

One day you may discover the joy of just riding your bike. Perhaps this will also allow you to become knowledgeable about where you ride it, in way that following the orders of a handlebar device cannot, especially when it takes you on to the motorway or perhaps to the middle of nowhere.

I suppose if one is a genuine tourist who goes to new locales all the time, a Garmin or similar can be useful. I'd rather have a paper map to memorise, along with the experience of getting lost then found. Somehow this makes the experience rather more real. But why do you need to know your speed, average speed, distance travelled etcetera? Does it really serve your cycling purposes or are these purposes really invented and installed in you by someone else - manufacturers and cycling "gurus"?


I make my own maps, in Indonesia, as often no usable map exists.This is done based on satellite imagery.

These maps are digital. Paper maps in this context would be very silly. Using the digital map is great because you can work out a better (based on your value of 'better) route to where you want to go

Average speed is useful in that if I have a 60 mile journey with 40 miles on the flat and 20 miles climbing then I can work out how long it will take me to get there. Also if I do, say, 60 miles a day for two days and then feel exhausted for two days then that's some sort of guide for my route planning. All of these data are useful and don't have any connection with gurus.


How did you manage before the gubbins could be bought? Or are you quite young? :-)

I spent several decades doing all kinds of cycling, including road racing, TTing, touring, commuting, a bit of cyclo-cross and some MTBing. Somehow it was all very enjoyable despite the lack of gubbins-data to tell me things I didn't need to know. Somehow I got very fit, despite the "training plan" being rather primitive (go out and try hard with others). I found the best way to discover how long a commute would take was to go out and do it. I did loads. Often I didn't care how long it took.

I suppose a country without maps could be something of a challenge. Still, even there cyclists probably manage rather well without £2000 worth of GPS, computer, power meter and various on-line boasting accounts.

Omitting the intermediate gubbins and their data allows you to look up from the wee screen and feel the world. And when you get back you feel that post-ride glow, rather than rushing to a big screen to find yourself disappointed because you failed to get a KoM or meet the standards the gubbins data supposedly allows you to aim for and .... not achieve.

Cugel, preferring the real to the virtual.

PS I suppose a disappointing gubbins data report could be countered (to a very small degree) by doing some retail therapy to acquire those 40-seconds-off-25-mile-ride aero wheels.

hamster
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby hamster » 13 Dec 2018, 6:13pm

I'm with you Cugel. My Wednesday night ride is with a bunch of MTBers on nice machines all under 2 years old. They all have 1x 11 speed drivetrains, tubeless, carbon frames etc.
I rock up on my 18 year old rigid 26er singlespeed. I'm normally riding the same pace as them, notwithstanding the limitations of a singlespeed (long gentle hills will see them snick up a few gears while I spin out). Usually I'm at the front of the pack uphill.
The tech makes far less difference than people think.

thelawnet
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Re: Why you need aero wheels

Postby thelawnet » 13 Dec 2018, 9:26pm

Cugel wrote:How did you manage before the gubbins could be bought? Or are you quite young? :-)

I spent several decades doing all kinds of cycling, including road racing, TTing, touring, commuting, a bit of cyclo-cross and some MTBing. Somehow it was all very enjoyable despite the lack of gubbins-data to tell me things I didn't need to know. Somehow I got very fit, despite the "training plan" being rather primitive (go out and try hard with others). I found the best way to discover how long a commute would take was to go out and do it. I did loads. Often I didn't care how long it took.

I suppose a country without maps could be something of a challenge. Still, even there cyclists probably manage rather well without £2000 worth of GPS, computer, power meter and various on-line boasting accounts.


This is a bit 'three yorkshiremen'.

In regards to other cyclists - there aren't many, bicycles are a luxury (moped far more practical, not to mention cheaper to buy) so people who do have bikes (beyond very basic BSOs or old Chinese roadsters) are just as likely to have the gubbins tbh.

And people don't really know where they are, people living 10 miles from where I am going (based on satellite) have no idea about the road to get there. Sure, if you ask the right person, they can take you down the right track and show you where to ford the river, but it's often as well as to just follow your own directions.

Omitting the intermediate gubbins and their data allows you to look up from the wee screen and feel the world. And when you get back you feel that post-ride glow, rather than rushing to a big screen to find yourself disappointed because you failed to get a KoM or meet the standards the gubbins data supposedly allows you to aim for and .... not achieve.


You don't really need to look at a screen when you're on your bike. I keep my phone in my frame bag. It's recording but not visible.