New road bike - 2021 riddle :)

You mention comfort as a priority and that you’re not particularly fit or flexible. All of the bikes mentioned are pretty agressive fit wise. If cold logic is what you’re relying on then forget those race bikes and look at an endurance road bike.
You’re list should not be madones and tcr’s and tarmacs

It should be Roubaix or Domane or Defy or something else in that category. For mere mortals like most of us its the bike we should be on. Of course, you’re on a forum about going faster so this might be the only response like this but I don’t believe we can be fast unless the bike fits us, we are comfortable and we actually want to ride the bike!

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Actualy I am working on my mobility and in my soon 40´s I am about to have the most “aggresive” (read low and narrow on the front) position I ever had and honestly that not only feels good, but inspires optimism that hopefuly I am not without potential and there are still gaines to be made :slight_smile: :metal:t2:
The “only” thing when I compare myself with those annoying pros and really fit people :smiley: (speaking only about the position), I just can´t get comfortable in the “breakaway” position - sitting on the regular position on the saddle, but having forearms laid close to the stem in a TT style. I call this position a “nutcracker” as I just can´t create enough space by rotating the pelvis and my “undercarriage” gets numb in 5 minutes :cold_sweat: So I have to push myself much more foreward when I sit really on the tip of the saddle on the left “sitbone” (dunno why just left, right feels super uncomfy) and shift much of my body over the bars…

So my riddle is over and I can officialy declare myself insane :smiley:
After a lot of mulling over, I simply could not justify to myself going for a “plastic” bike produced in mass in China with somewhat harsh ride - althought tests in magazines declares those bikes like “super comfortable”. But after riding shortly a SuperSix Evo, everything changed for me. Yeah, the acceleration is mind blowing, but I suddenly felt each and every crack of the tarmac. And so I understood I am simply lost, after so many years on titanium I just don´t want to go “plastic”…
And in this case, I will go much more local than I planned and this makes me really happy. Yes, I overshoot my budget for the frame about 3x which is crazy and will hurt badly my bank account. But after all, we do live only once, I will soon spend the biggest part of my income on my growing kids and this time, I take it is an investment into a long lasting frame and fork…
I comissioned a custom titanium frame made in UK :flushed: I just hope it could be around March, as there is R&D still on the way for this new model of this framebuilder and there is a queue, but I hope to have it for the Spring :slight_smile:

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Hey there,
I am really not sure what exactly you are looking for in a Bike. The Trek Emonda (not top build) is too heavy, a Trek Madone doesn’t test fast enough in the wind tunnel, but a Canyon Ultimate is „aerodynamic enough“.
I see a lot of subjectives here, which is absolutely fine. Just don‘t put it as „cold hard facts“ then. A Canyon Ultimate tests around 20 Watts slower than the most aerodynamic bikes at 45kph, while an Emonda/SL7 type bike tests only around 5-8 Watts slower. There is a rather significant difference there. Also, if you say you aren’t in the form you wish to be in, how much does one kilo of bike more or less matter really?
If the bike should also be usable for an ITT, get something that is decently aero and especially, that you can really fit a TT position on (most people can‘t find a good position on a roadbike when clipping on bars). You might also look at things like „upgradebility“, which is rather likely to find in a bike that uses standard 27.2mm seatpost and non-proprietary. What that does is you can choose any seat post (like the red shift one, which is great for TT/Tri (https://redshiftsports.com/pages/switch-aero-system) and any Extension system.

If this is not what you want, it makes sense to specify what you are really looking for in a bike…

Ok, interesting choice. Kind of underpins my „theory“ that you would rather take a very subjective decision after all, and not go with „cold hard facts“. Which is absolutely fine, I hope you’ll be very happy with your product.

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Yeah, you are right, after all it was a very subjective and emotional decision :slight_smile:

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Maybe you should try a different saddle. A shorter one perhaps. Maybe your bars are too low for that, maybe they are too far front.

Even better, get a professional bike fit. :slight_smile:

To put a bit of cold facts, I quickly looked for the Tour magazin tests - as far as I know the only one source with a consistent testing protocol… but I did not find numbers for the new Emonda :frowning:

Brand Model Watt
Cannondale SystemSix 203
Cervelo s5 205
S Venge 208
Canyon Aeroad 208
Pinarello Dogma F12 disc 209
S Tarmac sl7 210
Ridley Noah Fast Disc 212
Trek Madone 212
Canyon Ultimate 222
Rose Xlite six disc 225
Giant TCR Advanced SL 234
Trek Emonda 2019 239

You should definitely be able to ride in that position comfortably if racing is at all your aim and you are thinking about riding the bike for long tri events.
Bike fit is probably the best you can do, although my experiences with those are mixed.
I‘d definitely advice against bs, like tilting the saddle, that some people recommend.
However, solutions for your problem are myriad and probably a mix of many will do the Trick. Saddle fore and aft is something to look into, saddle height and saddle to handlebar drop. These will also effect your reach, just like the length of your stem.
Most importantly, you need to be in that position to work on it. Flexibility and core strength training can do wonders to your comfort.

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So just the cold facts, in my point of view, Madone is not as good as the best aero bikes. New Tarmac really is a very strong allrounder, faster than Madone…and Ultimate is in an objective view quite slower than his big brother Aeroad… honestly if my choise wouldn´t have been custom Ti, new Aeroad with it´s more user-friendly geometry and a bit more compliance would seem like a real candidate…

Yeah, good point and that is why I booked a bike fitting session :wink:
Otherwise I made a lot of experimenting with so many saddles from Specialized, SMP and many others and now I am on the Bontrager Aeolus which is the best I found so far…

Don‘t know where some of these numbers are from, but some are certainly incorrect. This is the official results from their recent testing (I bought the mag, so I am very certain these are real):


HOWEVER, take all of these with a grain of salt. Don‘t believe any statistics you haven’t tempered with yourself. You can hardly take any of these at face value.
For example: between 2017 and 2019, all bike tests where done with standardized wheels (ZIPP 404 Firecrest), to only have the frame results. When considering, that frame manufacturers now develop wheels and wheel concepts to work with their frames (Rapide for SL7, Hollowgrams for Sy6, narrow wide for new Aeroad), then it is detrimental if tour changes things around. Also, how these results translate to real world results, is highly questionable.
Also, very importantly, not all bikes are specced as they should be.
All bikes in this test have disc brakes, but the Pinarello Dogma F12 (211 Watts). Disc brakes usually cost you 3 to 5 watts in a wind tunnel at 45kph, so it gives a „too good result“ in comparison to the other bikes here.
The result of for the Madone smelled foul on face value, and that is because it is:

The bike they used has a non-stock stem/ bar combo that isn’t fully integrated, has 28c tires (that alone probably costs 2-3 watts) and is also the largest frame in the test at size 58. All the other bikes in the test are size 56/Medium, and the Ridley and the Eddy Merckx are even Small. What the f?
They say it is because Pedersen is a tall rider and rides a large frame, but this clearly isn’t Pedersens bike. Firstly, I think he rides a 56, and then, this has 48/35 chain ring, while Pedersen rides a 54/41 for flat races and a 52/39 for hilly ones.
So, really really f‘ing difficult to compare.

The SL7 did the same test at 210W (with it‘s deep wheels and standard spec hand bar/tires etc, obviously playing to its advantage). I am in good contact with a German pro cycling team (not WT) and they recently did aero testing on climbing bikes, and found that the Trek Emonda (2021) with integrated cockpit and their sponsored wheels (I think they use the 50mm DT Swiss) tested marginally slower (2 or 3 watts) than the SL7 S-Works with stock cockpit on the same wheels. Don’t know how the protocols compare, but that is the best I know.

Am I reading that correctly?

A Tcr requires a whopping 30 extra watts than a systemsix to maintain 45kph on a flat road?

My numbers came a bit from everywhere on the iternet, some of it was posted in tweets as a single bike test (and hence official numbers), but I took some of them from weightweenies post, so it was re-written by someone…
Oh gosh, when you can´t depend anymore on a german ponctuality :roll_eyes: :pleading_face:

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Well…technically…yes… but don´t forget that those numbers are comming from a wind tunnel and the characteristic of the air is really specific, so outside it is always going to be different. But yes, if there is a big gap, you can take as a granted that one bike is highly likely going to be quite faster than the other one…

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Yeah, never take anything at face value… I dug deep into the protocol of Tour Mag. It is actually rubbish, but sadly the best we have. However, the result of an aero bike being 20 to 30 watts more efficient at 45kph (400 or so watts) is very likely about correct.

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Fella on my Strava recently tested his new aero bike against his trusty lightweight steed.

I can’t remember the exact bikes, only that one was a new aero bike and the other a couple years old road bike.

He did a 20 mile loop, with about 300ft elevation, at the same power in consecutive days. He swore the weather was identical too, something I was actually able to confirm as his strava rides logged the wind speed and direction.

He was absolutely gutted to find his average speed was identical. Not even 0.1 mph of a difference.

That right there may sound like the most basic layman’s experiment but to me it carries more weight than all the other laboratory tests and sales pr put together.

No, it actually carries no weight at all.
All it says is, that he was 0.1mph faster with various factors changed.
I have done A LOT of testing. Helmets, wheels and more.
In the wind tunnel, outdoor velodrome and a sheltered piece of road. I have ridden dozens of runs of the same piece of road, the same day with the exact same position, exactly the same power, cadence, and also the same starting point and speed (flying start at 20mph in the same gear).
The differences of helmets, wheels, skinsuits etc are absolutely measurable.

For example:
I did 3 runs on my TT bike of the same 2 mile piece of road at 320W with CLX64 front, 321 rear. Then 3 runs same power, same road, same direction (I soft pedal on the way back to the starting point) with Hadron2 800 front, 321 rear.
Then I did another 3 runs of each of them, wind was close to zero and the road is sheltered.

The difference I was to find of one deep section wheel to another, on that day, at that power, was around 0.7kph.

I redid everything two days later, but this time kept speed the same (90 cadence in a given gear ratio), and averaged 6.2 Watts fewer with the Hadron2 Ultimate front wheel. (Which at the speed given is around 0.6kph, per bikecalculator).

So even comparing one deep section front wheel to another can give meaningful results.
A full aero optimized bike will certainly be faster than a lightweight one.
It is just very difficult to keep all other factors (wind, wind direction, friction, air density, CdA, power, NP, cadence etc.).
I did most of my testing with an aerodynamics engineer and a live CdA tool (Notio). He said the testing was clearly not perfect, but about as good as an amateur will (and should) be able to do it, and he deemed our results valid.

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I have a test loop. It’s only 2 mins so easy to keep all parameters the same but also, not ideal in that differences don’t have time to add up. I recently tested leg warmers vs bare hairy legs. Should be 30W difference right? At 250W over 2 minutes. 0 difference in time. Not a second difference and the tests were done back to back. With regard to the TCR being so slow. Surely Greg Van Avermaat would get dropped every race if he needed 30 Watts more power than everyone else. Something about these aero numbers doesn’t add up. BTW. Changing body positions on this course makes big differences.

I’m torn here. On one hand, the scientist in me suggests that aero factors should absolutely make measurable changes to speed. On the other, time and again I hear reports that people running (pretty simple) trials experience little difference.

The conclusion I come to is that for most people, there are other, bigger factors at play; e.g. the most obvious being position on the bike.

Comparing one bike with another only makes real sense if everything else is kept absolutely identical.

Having said that, my personal, anecdotal experience is that aero makes a difference. I am no time triallist, and have absolutely not done the wind tunnel work that some people have. However, I have 2 bikes; one has shallow wheels, no ‘aero’ features, and weighs about 7.5kg with pedals. The other has 45mm deep section carbon wheels, aero bars, some aero shaping on the tubing, and weighs 8.2kg with pedals. The setup on both bikes is very similar (both done by the same fitter), and I have only 1 helmet and don’t wear skinsuits etc.

The second bike is consistently 0.4-0.7 km/h quicker, on average, almost regardless of the course (though always starting and finishing at the same point), length and conditions.

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