Aero Podcast with Specialized – What do you want to ask them?

We are headed to the Win Tunnel tomorrow to record a podcast on all things aero with the aerodynamicists at Specialized.

We have tons of topics we want to discuss, but what specific questions would you like us to ask them? We’ll make sure to fit as many of them into the podcast as possible!


I’m curious about aerodynamic testing with MTB racers. Enduro, DH, but mainly XC.

  1. Are aero frames the next step in any of these disciplines?
  2. Have farings around suspension been looked at?
  3. How does the factory team balance aerodynamics with bike handling? I wonder about torso angle, bar width, and stem height.
  4. What’s the difference in aero gains between the new Evade vs. the prevail II?
  5. How do cable messes at the front of a bike (lockouts, brake lines, shifters, droppers) affect aerodynamics?
  6. Are rim/tire interfaces investigated with rims like they have been looked at on the road?

Thanks guys!


Is there a bow wave in cycling drafting? In other words, if we’re racing into a block headwind and I ride up one edge of the peloton is there an aerodynamic advantage even though I’m not directly behind everybody else? How close do I have to be, laterally, to other riders to get some advantage?

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What is the weight to aero trade-off when climbing for the average rider, not the pros? That is, for a rider with a watts / kg of 4, what is the trade-off between better aerodynamics (e.g., deeper section wheels, etc.) and weight, and when should you prioritize one over the other.


Praying mantis position - worth it or hype?

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How much of an aero penalty is a camelbak/hydration pack compared to other hydration set ups? Thinking gravel/long endurance race context specific.


Is there any aero difference in the “new” mips helmets and the older versions

I’d love to hear their thoughts on this article. In particular the testing methodology used and the various conclusions drawn about yaw angle at various speeds

I’d also like their perspective on disc wheels and the actual break even point on speed. I’m yet to see a good (read: non-wheel manufacturer funded) study comparing the various disc wheels on the market and their performance at a variety of speeds

Their thoughts on products such as this and their viability and usefulness at calculating CDA for those of us without access to a wind tunnel:

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If I’m on a non-aero climbing bike, what (if any) are the benefits of ‘slamming’ the stem? Is there a sweet spot of stem slammage, assuming rider flexibility/comfort/handling don’t suffer from a lower position? Is there a way (short of wind tunnel testing) to find the best slammed position for a given rider?

In short, to slam or not to slam?


Saddle bag impact on aerodynamics?


Shoe covers? Yay or nay? Brands?


How about numbers for aero that us “avg joes” ride at 18-20 MPH, compared to pro 30 MPH. How much is a 40k TT really going to save having a skin suit?? Helmet??

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  1. When will aero bikes and light weight bikes simply become one light aero bike that peaks in both metrics within the current UCI rules?

  2. Will Specialized consider bringing to market a non-UCI legal aero road bike? (Can make the point that if the market shows enthusiasm for this, the rules could change faster doing it this way).

  3. Have they committed any R&D into internal gearing in the bottom bracket. Why are we still wearing out and spending large amounts of time scrubbing external drivetrains that are not aerodynamic, not to mention that the drivetrain efficiency of the current model can reduce dramatically over a ride as it collects dirt.

  4. Did the new Venge get stem envy after seeing the S5 disc?

BTW, in case nobody is familiar with the youtube Specialized Win Tunnel video series:

They’ve done a lot of super neat stuff!

GCN did a wind tunnel test/vid.

GCN is paid product placement though :-/

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Is there an aero optimal leg speed/cadence (e.g. does moving the legs more cause more turbulence or resistance)?

Not for the saddle bag/pannier test they did. Their sponsored vids are always marked ‘Ad’.

If you put S-Works Aerofly II handlebars and Roval CLX 64 wheels on a Tarmac SL6, how close does it come to the aerodynamics of the Venge (which come stock with those parts)?

I know, pretty specific, but I’m in the market for a new bike next year!? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Flo wheels has a good blog post on this. You actually save more overall time at slower speeds.