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Why Lightweight Aero Bikes Are The Future | GCN Tech Show Ep. 79


– Welcome to the GCN Tech show, this week we've got confirmation of a new bike, a super light seatpost, a Greg LeMond tribute act, or kind of – And our weekly talking point which is, why light-weight aero bikes are the future

– Are they? The future is light-weight And aero Oh (upbeat electronic music) – Why light-weight aero, or is it, aero climbing bikes are the future? – Yeah, 2019 is already the year of the light-weight aero bike, but why are we seeing so many light-weight aero race machines? For the last few years the focus has all been about the aerodynamic road race machine, that's all well and good, but there's no denying about it, they weigh more than the climbing bikes that we tend to see out there But why now are we starting to see the light-weight aero bikes, Oli? – Well, I think if you speak to any aerodynamics expert worth their salt, that saying comes from Roman soldiers being paid in salt, fact, then they will always say that a heavier aero bike is faster than a light-weight non-aero bike over any terrain

Even over mountainous or hilly courses – [Jon] Aero trumps weight – Generally speaking most aero bikes are around a kilogram heavier than their non-aero climbing equivalent And they typically save around 20 watts of aero drag at 45 kilometers an hour Although, this aero drag saving can be more or less depending on the model, but 20's a pretty consistent number

And this means that even on a course with the profile of a queen stage in a grand tour, aero trumps weight You will go faster on paper on the aero bike than the light-weight bike – Yeah, the only situation, really, where a light-weight bike has that advantage has to be on a summit finish or a hill climb, something like that Because, lets face it, there is a caveat that if the climb is, say, five percent gradient or less, then the aero bike, on paper, will be faster, won't it? – Even when climbing aero bikes can be faster on shallow gradients Drag is proportional to square of speed

Which means that the power required to overcome that drag is proportional to the cube of that speed Which means the faster you go, the amount of power you need to produce becomes exponentially higher And so, at the speeds that competitive amateurs, good club riders, and professionals ride at, aerodynamics, it's hugely important – Yeah, that's all well and good, Oli, but pro riders and team leaders specifically, have consistently shunned the aero bike in favor of a light-weigh bike, haven't they? You can't deny that Think Movistar, you get guys like Quintana, always riding the ultimate not the aero'd

And then Trek-Segafredo, team leaders there like Bauke Mollema, pretty often rides the Émonda instead of the Madone – Yeah – Just a couple of examples – Yeah, I mean there's loads, but the heavier aero bike has definitely been a tough sell to team leaders and a lot of pro riders So having spoken to pro mechanics, pro riders, and bike designers about this very thing, I think there are some reason for it

– Yeah, first up, a kilo of weight is a lot more tangible than 20 watts of aero drag, because you can instantly feel that, can't you? What's the first thing you do when you get a new bike? – Pick it up, feel how heavy it is – Yeah, that's what everybody out there does Beginning of the season you see every pro rider, they're just picking it up, and they always ask us, actually, at races, how much does their bike weight if we gone and weighed it? It makes a massive difference to them mentally – Second is tradition Us cyclists are a traditional bunch, right? And it often takes us a while to adopt new tech, even if there is a measurable benefit to it

Now, a good example would be everyone laughing at riders wearing skin suits in road races a few years ago But they soon quickly stopped laughing when Johan Vansummeren won Paris-Roubaix wearing a skin suit in a road race, rather than a time trial And then Cav won the world championships also wearing a skin suit The next week, well, everyone was wearing skin suits – Yeah

You went down the shops wearing one as well, didn't you? – Gainsburys – Oh, cheesy (laughter) What about then, the demands of road racing? I mean, I think that plays a big part in this, doesn't it? Because, lets face it, the team leaders, the winners, generally are drafting for a great of the race, aren't they? You know, they're riding in the middle of the packs, so those aerodynamic gains don't really effect them as much – Well, interestingly though, there have been studies on this, they do, so there is still an aerodynamic benefit to riding an aero bike behind teammates And in the bunch

But it is less – Yeah, and I guess really, quite often, a race is won on a climb, something like that, or following an attack, so a lighter bike has that instant advantage, doesn't it? Because you see those attacks go on a steep part of a climb or, I don't know, somewhere out of a corner, something like that And having that lighter bike it's going to be quicker to accelerate, isn't it? – Yeah, lower inertia of a lighter bike, and I think it's at those decisive moments in the race, they feel that the lighter bike gives them an advantage – Yeah – So, on the one hand, there's an undisputed advantage to riding an aerodynamic bike

But, people psychologically seem to feel that they're just a little bit too heavy, so – Enter the light-weight aero bike, or the aero climbing bike, for a better word? I don't know Either way, both professionals and consumers have obviously been demanding this, to have an aerodynamic bike that's also light too Bike brands this year have been all releasing them, haven't they? – Everyone's making one – Who've we had so far this year? In fact, it started last year

– It was a couple of years ago, it started first, really, I think, with the BMC Teammachine Then we had the S-Works Tarmac, and the Focus Izalco Max, that came out at the end of last year – Pinarello F12 That at first, we didn't really think it was an aero climbing bike, but at looking at it– – [Oliver] Oh, yeah, it's definitely a– – [Jon] Yeah (laughs) Wilier Zero SR

– Yeah, Wilier Zero We've had the Cannondale, new SuperSix EVO And the new SCOTT Addict come out – Well, what do they all look like, Oli? – They all look the same (laughs) – Integrated cockpit, check

– Slightly downward top tubes, often as well, check – Aero tube shapes – Aero tube shapes throughout, and dropped seat stays They all have dropped seat stays – [Jon] And an aerodynamic seatpost as well

Or slightly– – De-shaped seatpost, tick – [Jon] Tick, yeah – The generally consensus is that these new bikes are as light, in some cases slightly lighter, than the previous generation of pure climbing bikes But also significantly more aerodynamic But not quite as aerodynamic as a full on aero bike like the Trek Madone

Now, I did some testing a couple of years ago and we actually found that the new specialized Tarmac was around 15 watts faster than the previous non-aero Cannondale SuperSix EVO at 45 kilometers an hour Which is a significant saving But, not quite as fast as the full on super aero bikes like the Madone, or the Venge, for example, which were around 20 to 25 watts faster at 45 kilometers an hour So, it's kind of interesting to see that we've got that balance being struck – Yeah, could we have reached then peak carbon bike? Is this the optimum blend of light-weight and aero? I mean, you love both, I'm not that fussed about aero bikes

I like to have a really nice light-weight bike – I love an aero, I love aero bikes – You obsess over it But also over weight Anyone who's watched your climbing videos will know that

– No, I think I'm really cool But let us know what you think in the comments Which would you prefer? Full on light-weight, full on climbing? Or a full on aero or this half way house? This blend of both Let us know, and let us know which one you think looks the best as well out of the new bikes that all look the same – Yeah, also, by the time this video has gone out there's probably a new one already been released, so

– There probably is (laughs) – Let us know what you think about that one too Now, after all that light-weight chat, Oli, I've been scouring around on the internet trying to find some light-weight components for us to perv over, if you like And a company I've found out there is a Spanish company called Darimo, and they've got something called the T1 Loop seatpost, just check that out – I know, oof, look at that, it's 90 grams

90 grams, right? 316 diameter Handy And it's 400 millimeters long – You're not going to get a much bigger seatpost than that, either, are you? – I just can't fathom how they've made it that light

But it's got a really light-weight carbon shaft, and then the way that the clamping mechanism works at the top for your saddle, is a bit unconventional So they actually use Dyneema cord to keep the weight down, which is the same material as you may have seen on burred spokes as well – I think they use that in sailing as well, don't they? Quite a bit, that sort of thing So, yeah, it just wraps around and then when you tighten up those bolts it does it's magic I love things like that, I want to check one out

Right, moving on now to a completely different area With the Tour De France just days away, Mavic have launched a special Greg LeMond tribute range of clothing Now, Greg LeMond himself, he famously used Mavic wheels and components in that 1989 Tour De France that he won by the slimmest margin ever Just eight seconds With a subtle nod to that victory margin, they've got a jersey, a cap, and some socks, with some pretty discreet eight logos on there

Just a nice little touch I think Big fan of that – In other news, the SCOTT that we spotted at the (mumbles) has been confirmed, and we mentioned it in our main talking point as well It's the new SCOTT Addict RC, and it's been officially launched ahead of the Tour So you can expect to see the Mitchelton-SCOTT riders aboard this

The bike looks kind of like a skinnier version of the SCOTT Foil And a big feature of it all the heavy integration Particularly around the cockpit There was loads of information in this on the press information that we saw And interestingly, they've gone with a one and a half inch steerer, which the SCOTT Foil also had

This is a slightly wider diameter steerer tube, it's also found on Giant's and Canyon's A lot of bike brands still use a one and a quarter inch steerer, but, yeah, interesting it's got that – Yeah, it's going to be nice and stiff at the front end, isn't it? And I think it looks really clean, now Total and utter integration Like you say, in the press pack it was absolutely full of information on it

But one of the interesting things as well is that they've done away with all of the stem bolts that you can visibly see I nearly said physically, well, it is physically as well I suppose So they've got a magnetic cap which goes over the top just to really clean that up And of course, it's stiffer as well, apparently 15 percent stiffer around the bottom bracket area than it's predecessor – There you go

– Yeah Hopefully you're going to check that out at the Tour De France You're going there soon, aren't you? – Can see one, yeah – Yeah (drilling) (bell dinging) – It's now time for screw riding upgrades, buy upgrades

Where you submit evidence of the upgrades that you've made to your equipment or bikes, for a chance to win the ultimate prize, the GCN eddy water bottle – One that I've not had my lips around – Well, you can have that one if you want – That's a bit weird That's a little bit weird

– Some of 'em are – Fair enough Right then, last week, I need to announce the winner actually, don't we, of last week? You've really thrown my train of thought off Either way, it was Joao, and it was his wife's fantastic Colnago build, that one was an absolute stunner And, in fact, Joao, then sent me email detailing more and more stuff about that bike, it was great, including pictures of it when they actually bought it rather than the finished item

Either way, get in touch with us on Facebook to arrange delivery of the GCN camel back eddy water bottle Congratulations – Well done – Right then, the first contender this week is, Theo, from Cape Town in South Africa – Right

– Theo, bought a 2011 Giant TCR road bike second hand a few years ago on Gumtree, and never began to imagine how well it would treat him Theo, did many races with the bike and couldn't seem to justify after so many great rides, why he should trade it in for a newer model The only problem Theo had, was that it started to show it's age with a few scratches and bits of wear and tear Time was running out Now was the time to give the bike a full makeover and a bit of surgery

Custom paint, internal routing, polish out all the scratches on cranks and rear derailleur, and a new gold chain was agreed on – Yes, gold chain – After surgery, it definitely felt younger, and now has a few more years ahead Theo, can't wait to start training with his new machine – Right, let's see it then

– Right, here's the old TCR, advanced SL They were lovely bikes, weren't they? – Yeah, nice bikes – Absolutely lovely Look at that paint job (gasps) Theo, very naughty

– That is very nice – Yeah, that is, isn't it? – Nice Great job – That is fantastic looking bike What's that bar tape? Has he got some fancy pearlescent mirrored bar tape? – Strange bar tape going on there

– Strange, but, I'm strangely attracted to it – That paint job's brilliant I love it, that's great – Side on, that looks just like a blue bike, doesn't it? Metallic blue – Looks like he's polished his cranks and stuff as well

– Yeah, cheeky – Given it a polish – Right (laughs), go on then Who's Theo up against this week? – Theo is up against, John, from Sheffield, in UK – That's just down the road from where you're originally from, isn't it? – It is, yeah

– Maybe you know him I feel sorry for you, John, if you do – I bet John looks good on the dance floor Anyway, every year while helping his dad tidy his garage, John, got the usual discussion about his dad's old 1990s British Eagle touring bike, at the back, covered in dust, unloved, unridden for over 15 years And, well, he'd ask his dad, can I have it and restore it? And the answer was firmlier no

– Go away Something like that imagine – But, just before Christmas this year, apparently, no, he was like, yeah, go on, you can restore it Christmas miracles do happen – Father Christmas

– And so, half a year later, after he's been restoring this bike, trawling the internet for bargain parts and tinkering in his garage, and modernizing it, and turning it into a racier looking machine This is the result Look at that – Oh, my – Look at that frame

– Yeah Good work with the decals Decals, stickers – [Oliver] Look at that blue – [Jon] Nice to find some of those, bet you found them on eBay

– [Oliver] Look at that – [Jon] That looks good now, doesn't it? – [Oliver] I like the orange and the blue with the Dedacciai Bar Tape, that's nice, isn't it, that? – [Jon] Look he's got orange skewers, orange bolts in the pannier rack – [Oliver] Those prime wheels They're a good value set of wheels, they look smart, don't they? You know, don't break the bank, looks smart on that build – [Jon] Yeah, he's got an orange Garmin mount, or Wahoo mount, whatever it is on the bars

– [Oliver] GP4000's as well – [Jon] Yeah, look at the saddle, that's blue, a little orange stripe through the middle I tell you what – [Oliver] The color coordination is through the roof there – Blue and orange always looks good

Cantilever brakes – Well, make sure you lock that up if you go down eccy road Anyway, Theo or John? – Yeah, who's it going to be? Vote up there, top right hand corner And remember to submit your bikes into the screw riding upgrades, buy upgrades, by using the uploader tool down there in the description Bike of the week time now, and you will remember that last week there was a very special head to head, it was the Lotus 110 super bike, up against the Wilier Zero SLR, new bike that came out

And unsurprisingly, or surprisingly, actually, for me, was the Wilier, yeah That won – [Oliver] Yeah, I'm a bit surprised by that – I mean, we will have these head to heads every now and then when we deem it necessary, because we're the enforcers of this, aren't we? – Speaking of which, Jon, I deem it necessary – Oh, right, okay

– We should have a foursome – Right? Go on, I'm intrigued – So, all the new aero light-weight bikes The Pinarello F12, right, versus the new SCOTT Addict RC, Cannondale SuperSix EVO, and the Wilier Zero SLR Chuck 'em all in, all four

– Yeah, you decide, up there, vote away – Which looks the best? – I think that's the first time we've done a four thingy up there, init? Bike vault time now, and I hope you know the drill But if not, a quick reminder, if you want to submit pictures of your bike to hopefully go into that bike vault and get rated either nice or super nice, make sure you use the uploader tool found there in the description below And, Oli, what happens, mate, if they get rated super nice? – If they're super nice then, Jon, will ring the bell – Correct

I guess I'm ringing the bell again this week – Yes, yes you are – Good to have you back, mate Right, okay (laughs), the first one in this week, it comes in from, Isidore They're from the third rock from the Sun

What that means? It's a television program, it's a C4 Joker Ever seen one of those before? – [Oliver] Yeah Once Bizarre looking piece of cycling history, isn't it, that? – [Jon] They were all the rage for about two weeks in about 1994 – [Oliver] Well, it is very Saturday morning TV paint scheme on it, isn't it? It's very Live And Kicking

– [Jon] This is what we said earlier on about the carbon, you know how all bikes used to look the same? And then when carbon came along we got funky shapes This is funky – Yeah But what on Earth is that foam thing hanging from the top tube with like Velcro? – I don't know – What's that about? Isidore, let us know what that is

This has potential, doesn't it? – It does, yeah – It has massive, massive potential But I'd love to give it a super nice, but it's just– – [Oliver] Just that foam, the Velcro thing going on What is that? That's unforgivable We can't just let that go

– You can't! – We can't let that go That sets a dangerous precedent if we let that in, because of that It's nice – Yeah, surely you go pockets on your jersey Right, who's next? – Right, we've got Eric from Boston

In the US of A – Oh – Oh, look at that – [Jon] That's nice, Colnago Master, isn't it? – [Oliver] And again Orange and blue

Like a bit of orange and blue – [Jon] Yeah, it looks good, always – [Oliver] Very nice – [Jon] Straight away we can see, valves not lined up Not the best angle to take it at

– [Oliver] Little big chain ring combo Not got it in the Biggie Smalls – The biggie? Don't ever say that again Don't ever bring Biggie into the tech set, well, you can actually, I quite like that, it was well done – Biggie Smalls is what we want

– [Jon] Bit of a scratched up seatpost Isn't it Controltech seatposts? – [Oliver] There is potential there – [Jon] Again, potential, bottle cage only on the seat tube, not on the down tube There's a few things here going on That I'm just not happy with

– [Oliver] It's a very nice bike, but, there's just – It's a nice bike It is a nice bike

Right, next up is, Sam, on the shoreline trail in Mountain View, California Apparently, Sam, took the long way home Whenever I hear that, long way home, I always think of, is it Supertramp? – [Oliver] It is, yeah – [Jon] They play that, don't they, at the end of cricket innings? Or batsman's innings Yeah, Supertramp

Either way, it's a specialized Big stem Reflective bar tape? – Well, he's used a flash, hasn't he? And then that's brought out the reflective element on the bar tape, but it also emphasizes the gold chain – It does We always have a winner, don't we? Every week

– I like that – Yeah, Envy wheels Do you know what? That actually reminds me, when I lived in Antwerp, believe it or not, they used to have sunsets like that in Belgium Yeah, on the river there, on the skelder Yeah, that is really nice

Yeah, yeah, super nice, right (bell ringing) Okay – Next up we have got, Chuckie, in Hong Kong I do hope this is not, Chuckie, as in child's play Chuckie But, Chuckie, has (laughs) sent us a video

This is GCN Tech show first, a video submission to the bike vault – [Jon] Let's have a look– – What a good shot – The camera work Look at this, this is well edited, isn't it? – [Oliver] Do you think he wants a job? – [Jon] Oh, Chuckie (laughter) The Chuckmeister

– [Oliver] Yeah, oh, look at that – [Jon] Look at that This is brand new, this is like an advert for the bike, isn't it? – [Oliver] Yeah (gasps) GP fat tubeless Tubeless 5000's, look at that, oh, come on

– Look at that That's beautiful, init? – Super nice – Chuckie – Super nice – Yeah, super nice, just for the fact it's in a video

– GCN Tech show first Brilliant – Saw it here first (bell ringing) – And finally, it is Paul from RAF Cosford, or rather, just outside of RAF Cosford, with his Dolan bike It's a lovely looking bike

– [Oliver] Is that in the Black Country? Is it in the Black Country? – [Jon] Yeah, yeah, it's just near Wolverhampton, yeah – [Oliver] Paul from near Wolverhampton RAF Cosford – [Jon] Yeah, lovely looking bike that, init, though? Again, orange and blue – [Oliver] Yeah, oh, look at that Hawker Siddeley Hunter in the background, though

– Oh, you know your aircraft Now, incidentally, there was just 415 of those Mark 6 Hunters produced And 380 of them went to the RAF The greatest number of any Hunter variant – Well, that's completely correct that, Jon, but this variant actually had improved flying controls over previous versions of the Siddeley Hunter, making an ideal acrobatic aircraft, serving with various display teams including the Black Arrows and Blue Diamonds

It also had the Rolls-Royce Avon engine with it's 10,150 pounds per square ton output, and dogtooth wing leading edges It was armed with 30mm ADEN cannons, and bombs or rockets which were mounted on underwing pylons And the RAF Hunter F Mark 6S entered service in October, 1956 – [Jon] Blimey, you really do know your stuff Weren't some of the later ones, as well, the wings were actually modified slightly to be able to carry heavier loads as well? – [Oliver] Yeah, that's correct, they were

And they actually saw service right up until 1963, and still in 1980s as a training role as well – [Jon] Well there we are A little bit of history there Beautiful looking airplane – [Oliver] Siddeley Hunter a super nice? – [Jon] Yeah, definitely, and as for that Dolan, I like that as well, it's nice and clean, isn't it? Bowls lined up vertical, big chain ring

You know, middle of cassette– – [Oliver] Something I've not seen before – Go on – Color coordinated saddle bag – [Jon] Oh, yeah, and also bottle cages One orange, one blue

It kind of does the job, doesn't it, that? – [Oliver] I mean, mismatched bottles, shall we let that slide? – [Jon] I can let that slide because of the beautiful backdrop And also it's just a clean looking bike, isn't it? – [Oliver] That is, yeah, nice – [Jon] Yeah? Super nice (bell ringing) I've enjoyed that finishing bike, yeah Get involved, submit your bikes to the bike vault, use that uploader tool

– Or airplanes We like them too – Airplane vault (laughter) Nearly time for the end of the show now, but we just thought we'd go through a few of our favorite comments underneath the videos of last week First up, one aimed at me where I turn that fixed wheel bike, you know, the conversion one, you know what I'm talking about

Elliot Flowers said, referring to me, I've seen this guy in a video painting sash window frames That's just weird Unless you've been filming me, or someone else has – Send us a link to this video – I want to see it, what's he look like? – Yeah, and on a video of Hank riding in the rain

– [Jon] No, he's presenting in the rain, he was presenting the Pro Bike, wasn't he? – [Oliver] Yeah, and it says, poor James, suffering in the rain, some one get this man an umbrella – [Jon] No, he loves it, doesn't he? – No, he doesn't really mind the rain – Yeah, he doesn't mind, yeah, doesn't care one bit And underneath last weeks show, Callum Gill, said, the ultimate car for a cyclist or mountain biker is a 90s or 00s Subaru Outback or Forester Oh, I dunno

Actually, yeah, my mate had an Impreza Estate, that was terrible for bikes But yeah, Forester, I think Ed Clancy had one of those Twin turbo – Did he? – Yeah What would be your ideal car? – Well, this is purely speculative, and the manufacturer in question will have to send me one so that I can confirm this, but I would speculate that the best car would be a McLaren 570S as used by Bahrain Merida

– Yeah, good point Or it could well be the Jaguar that Team Sky used a couple of years ago, that was highly practical as well, wasn't it? – F-TYPE R with the V8 – Yeah, specially scooped out boot, wasn't it? So a wheel could get in there Something like that – Yeah

You can put a C sucker on the back can't you? – You're right, yeah, you could Right, anyway, do stay tuned to the channel 'cause we've got loads of great content coming up, haven't we? Because you're off to the Tour De France – I am, I'm going now, actually – Are you? Okay, all right, mate, okay, well, just remember to like and share this video with your friends Don't forget to subscribe to the channel by clicking on the like button, there's a subscribe button, and also that little bell so you get notifications each and every time we put a video live

And now, for two more great videos, how about clicking just down here, and just down here And also, don't forget to check out the GCN shop, at shopglobalcyclingnetworkcom We've got all sorts for you

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