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Which Pro Has The Fastest Aero Bike? Part 2 | Cycling Weekly

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Published on Dec 10, 2017

Who has the fastest bike: Ewan, Groenewegen, Nibali, Cavendish, Kittel, Degenkolb, Sagan, Kristoff or Dumoulin? Read on to find out... | Subscribe to Cycling Weekly here: https://www.youtube.com/user/CyclingW...

It is normal practice for a bike manufacturer to claim its aero bike is the fastest out there.

Clearly they can’t all be the fastest, so we decided to try and find out which one actually is. To do this, we teamed up with aerodynamic testing specialists WattShop and headed to Derby Velodrome to perform some testing in a controlled environment.

All the aero bikes we have here are leading models from their respective brands and all are WorldTour framesets used by the pros.

So far we have tested what we consider to be eight of the most sought after aero bikes on the market. If demand is sufficient, we will perform a third round of testing with another batch of aero bikes and update the results on this page.

Let us know in the comments which bikes you would like to see tested.

The bikes tested to date are:

Trek Madone Race Shop Ltd
Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS
Cervelo S5
Giant Propel Advanced SL
Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Scott Foil
Merida Scultura

How we tested

We travelled to Derby Velodrome to perform aero testing on all the bikes in a controlled environment. This was done in a bid to quantitatively find out which of these bikes is the fastest.

Aero-testing specialists WattShop were on hand to help us record and interpret power data during our velodrome testing. Each bike was ridden at a target power of 380 watts.

The reason for this, is that this equated to a speed of roughly 45-48kph, which is considered the industry standard for aero testing.

At this speed, data is more consistent and repeatable than at lower velocities. Furthermore, this was a power output that was sustainable and reproducible for our test rider, national pursuit champion, Dan Bigham.

The WattShop software is able to interpret the power and speed data to give a drag coefficient for each bike. Slight differences in the power were accounted for using the WattShop software.

Prior to each run, temperature, air pressure and system weight were recorded. A coefficient of rolling resistance was measured and calculated. By subtracting the watts required to overcome drivetrain friction and rolling resistance, we are left with the ‘aero watts’ – our comparative measure (the watts required to drag at 45kph).

These are presented for each bike for three different riding positions – the hoods, the drops and riding in a low aero position on the hoods.

For consistency, the bikes were set up in as close a riding position to each other as possible and the same wheels were used in all the bikes. The reason for this is that we wanted the variable to be the bike frame itself and not the rider or wheelset.

The wheels were a set of Fast Forward F9Rs with a PowerTap G3 rear hub for power measurement. For reference, 1W equates to 0.1 second per kilometre, as a rule of thumb.


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