Crit bike, aero vs non aero

This past weekend a friend and myself went to the bucks county classic crit race in doyelstown pa. Many of the cat 1/2 racers had a non aero (traditional) frame. Knowing what we know about the aero benefits of a aero frame, Why are they not the top choice? It seems like a win win. Am I missing something? I don’t have a aero bike to compare. I currently have a Allez sprint and a tarmac. Both great bikes. Thanks for any input.

An allez sprint is an aero bike, just not a crazy high end aero bike.


That’s good to know. I didn’t realize that. Thanks!

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  1. Aero bikes are more expensive.
  2. People crash in crits.
  3. If you can’t afford to replace it, don’t race it!
  4. The difference isn’t that much.



Yeah, that has become a staple in racing and crit racing if you are on a budget. The Allez is quite affordable, fully aero and not too heavy. A team mate of mine has one, kitted out with DuraAce groupset and all. The ride is a bit harsh, he says, but for a crit race, who cares about comfort when you are in your pain cave.

Overall, aero kit makes a huge difference for crit racing, and an aluminum aero frame fits the bill perfectly IMHO.


I loved my sprint allez. Never had a problem doing any ride on it. Those who complain about a rough ride are riding too high tire pressure. Set of 25/26s, latex tubes, set proper psi and it’s a great ride.

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Really depends how you intend to race a crit. If you plan on spending an hour off the front, there may be benefits in aero frame, but if you are sitting in the pack its marginal. But like others have said there are other gains you can have for far cheaper, without the risk of crashing and $$$ evaporating.

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My opinion from owning a couple over the years @Araig82 because whatever minute aero gain an “aero” frame is over a “non-aero” frame it isn’t discernible from noise.


The body accounts for roughly 75% of the drag when you’re riding. The frame itself only accounts for roughly 5% so its not much at all. The wheels and handlebars are more critical.

Adding to the fact you are trying to conserve energy by hiding in a pack, its not much.

The 2 times it counts are in breaks and the sprint. In a Sprint an Aero bike may get you 2-3 inches, in a break it’ll get you maybe an couple of feet.

Considering crits gobble up frames and the small benefits its not really feasible to break the bank for one.


Thanks for all the reply’s!