Becoming more aero, and faster

That video is much more useful.

Most riders are able to tolerate more drop than more reach. If you’re really prioritizing aero first you’ll struggle to get in your ideal position with such a tall head tube. Essentially, you’re attempting to shoehorn yourself into an aggressive aero road position on an endurance bike.

The struggle is a short top tube, and tall head tube. Currently, you’re running your seat far back on the rails. It seems you’re doing this to correct your reach, which is/was too short, because the frame is too small for an aero position, off the shelf.

Really, your only solution on that bike is more drop or more reach. Forgetting the biomechanical implications. Which could be better or worse… usually worse.

Currently, your reach looks more or less fine. You could definitely handle more drop with the required time to get used to it.

The issue is, because of the bikes style and size, your changes are only getting you halfway there. If you fit the exact same set-up to an aggressive race bike, your front end would be 2/3cm lower and your saddle would be closer to the bottom bracket.

Basically, you’re attempting to rotate forward just like a TT bike.

TT bikes have steeper seat tubes, with saddles slammed forward to open the hip angle, while the body is slammed forward.

Current solution. Fit a more aggressive stem. Same length -25 degree. That’ll get you lower, no more stretched out. Ritchey make some great -25 stems.

After that, you’ll simply have to get a more aggressive frame.

Have a look at the calculator in the description box of this video to check your drop. I think it’s 2cm lower, with a -25 stem. Remember, without the saddle going forward, you may run into hip angle issues. The only real solution for that, is a new frame.


Thanks Bandit, this is what I’ve had to accept. I think the current fit is maxed out with what tinkering I want to do. I just need to ride it with the new -17º / 130mm stem and get used to it. Then do some research on gravel frames and figure out what’s out there in my size. As much as I’d like to go all in on a true aero road bike I need something that can run 35’s so I can continue my gravel racing exploits.

Headtube length will always be a challenge for big bikes. Take the Cannondale Topstone in an XL for example, 232mm head tube. A 61cm Salsa Warbird is 220mm. A 61cm SL7 Tarmac is 198mm.

I did race a guy on an SL7 Tarmac running 32mm Gravel Kings…that was cool.


Some of us like to do stupid shit


there should be a thread for that
the Road Bike Max Tire Clearance Thread (with photos)


The Cervelo Aspero 61cm head tube is 214mm I think but it’s got alot of reach! That would be an amazing gravel/road N=1 type bike.

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Yeah, that bike looks amazing and I’ve been keeping my eye on framesets.

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I love my aspero


Another endorsement for the Aspero.


The Aspero is gorgeous. I wish I jumped on one last summer when I had the chance.

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Yesterday i did a 20 mph ride (round, so even much head/tailwind) with 184w average. Around 185w is most of the time around 20mph in the summer. Is that aero? Iam 67kg and 180cm tall.

yes (in my opinion.) that is pretty fast for under 200w

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Agreed, that seems quick. I just did a flat ride and 200w was around 18mph on flat stretches.

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You’re quite a lot smaller than OP which would help in aero comparisons a lot. 36km/h on such few Watts seems pretty good.

What was NP for the ride?

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20 miles is 32kmh?

191 NP.

Thnx. I will post tomorrow some strava rides with high speed, low power.

That seems more reasonable lol :man_facepalming:. Should have had my morning coffee first.

Size/build has to be a huge factor though. I am 5 foot 3.5 inches(shrinking so the little amounts add up) and 62ish kg. I did a two hour plus ride at 30.2kph roughly 18.7mph…NP was 152. It was a day with little wind ie less than 5km/hour.

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Man on the flats no wind 200W for me with hands on hoods (just sort of neutral position…not upright not trying to be super low) is 21mph+. And I’m not particularly small.

Just looked at a strava loop I frequently do and averaged 192W with an average speed of 22.3mph. Super flat at 25’ elevation dif over the 4 mile loop.

it is.

Monday ride:

  • 18.5mph / 29.8kph of mostly uninterrupted riding for an hour
  • 190W average power
  • 199W normalized power
  • light and variable winds
  • flat roads with three overpasses and about 100’ of elevation change
  • no attempt to be aero, simple zone2 ride with hands on bars and hoods